Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Think Circles!
Joined
·
264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm new to the Front Range and riding in the cold. I think I have the layering method pretty well nailed down but I'm wondering if I could be doing something different.


Here's what I wear for 20-30 degree conditions. Closest to skin first

PolyPro socks under Smartwool (Feet still get cold)
Spandex riding shorts - Wicking blend type long johns- North Face windproof pants
Wicking T-Shirt - Wicking Long sleeve thermal - Thin Fleece jacket - Windproof Nylon Jacket
Bike specific riding cap - helmet
Windproof insulated Gloves. (I've tried a few different pairs and can't find anything to keep my hands warm)

So what are you wearing? Where can I improve. I'm generally warm, but tend to sweat a lot and need to do a lot of zipping and unzipping based on effort.
 

·
holding back the darkness
Joined
·
1,734 Posts
Bike shorts, homemade knickers, knee warmers, thermal socks, shoe covers.
Wool jersey
Lightweight wind-resistant shell.
Home Depot brand work gloves.

Sounds to me like you have too many layers. Start out cold and work your way warm-enough but not hot. A wool base layer has a large comfort range, and the light windproof jacket with pit zips is the damper to control how much airflow/cooling you get. Should be all you need for temps down into the low 20s.

Hands and feet are tough..... some people have luck with neoprene gloves like the kind that are used for diving or icefishing. I usually just go with the cheap work gloves from the depot.. i got three pairs for $12. Once upon a time I had a homebuilt headlight that ran off a 12v motorcycle wet cell I kept in a backpack. I converted some electric snowmobile handwarmers for handlebar use and wired them in. Warmest hands ever. Heaviest backpack ever.
If you're really into it you can buck up for some winter-specific shoes, but these will run you two bills or more for a good pair. I've had luck with shoe covers with chemical warmers sandwiched between them and the shoes, esp in the toe area.
You can build yourself a nice pair of cold weather knickers for cheap. I hear JAX has army surplus wool pants on sale which would be perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
620 Posts
I just moved here from the Mid-Atlantic and I think it's easier to stay warm here--more sunshine and the air is less damp.

Anyway, I bundle up:

1.wool socks & Lake winter riding boots
2.lycra shorts, windproof REI bike tights (they're actually a little loose...here they are)
If i plan to ride hard i'll wear lighter tights that aren't windproof.
3.long sleeve baselayer (wicking), fleece jersey, and then either a vest or a shell, depending on how hard i plan to ride
4. biking hat under helmet (occasionally a balaclava)
5. heavy duty skiing gloves

So far this works for me, but I'm still getting used to it. I find it's pretty easy to vent off some heat in cold conditions, so I don't worry too much about overdressing.

My feet and hands get cold easy, so if it's below 30 and I plan to be out for more than an hour, I'll use chemical warmers in my shoes and gloves, but I try to avoid that.

good luck.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,883 Posts
DaveMW said:
I'm new to the Front Range and riding in the cold. I think I have the layering method pretty well nailed down but I'm wondering if I could be doing something different.

Here's what I wear for 20-30 degree conditions. Closet to skin first

PolyPro socks under Smartwool (Feet still get cold)
Spandex riding shorts - Wicking blend type long johns- North Face windproof pants
Wicking T-Shirt - Wicking Long sleeve thermal - Thin Fleece jacket - Windproof Nylon Jacket
Bike specific riding cap - helmet
Windproof insulated Gloves. (I've tried a few different pairs and can't find anything to keep my hands warm)

So what are you wearing? Where can I improve. I'm generally warm, but tend to sweat a lot and need to do a lot of zipping and unzipping based on effort.
From Bottom to top

Lake Winter Shoes
Smartwool Socks
Cheap Lycra padded shorts
Underarmor winter runnning pants
LLBean Wicking Thermal Longsleeve T
Long Sleeve Bike Jersey
Pearl Uzumi Wind Jacket
Lake Winter Gloves
Underarmor Baklava

My standard 35F setup.
 

·
Awesomist™
Joined
·
2,952 Posts
With your feet still getting cold, I wonder if you're trying to stuff too much into your regular mtn bike shoes. Instead of two layers UNDER the shoes, try a cheap set of neoprene shoe covers for over the shoes. I think you can get some for under $20 at Performance or something like that, I have a pair by a brand called Sidekick (?) that works pretty well. As such, I just wear regular cycling socks underneath my shoes, and my feet still have plenty of wiggle room to keep warm and whatnot.

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/profile.cfm?SKU=20856&subcategory_ID=1344

For hands, I don't know if there's anything that works everytime, for everyone. Even when it's really cold, I usually only wear regular long-fingered cycling gloves, but I always always ALWAYS bring an extra pair for when those get soaked, as well as a pair of Fox Snowcross gloves (fleece lined!) for when it's REALLY cold. Anyways, point is I find that always having a fresh set of gloves to change into mid-ride if your gloves get wet for some reason and freeze over is quite helpful for staying warm.

EDIT: I tried to find a link for the Fox gloves I have but no dice. I did find these gloves though, they look alright: http://www.bicyclebuys.com/item/0750025PART
 

·
Heads up Flyboy!!
Joined
·
3,165 Posts
For feet it sounds like yours are being too constricted therefore reducing blood flow equaling cold feet. Using two pairs of socks will almost always guarantee this. Down to about 15 degrees with a few hike a bikes through snow, I use a pair of defeet wool socks(same as I ride in the summer), my regular year round riding shoes, and a pair of Performance Neoprene Booties.

If it gets colder I replace the wool socks with Snowboard socks and never have an issue with cold feet.

Your hands...Check out snowboarding or ski gloves. Most good pairs are wind and waterproof as well as designed for some very cold temps. I've worn mine down to -2 with no issues. Remember you want some space between the tip of the glove and the tips of your fingers...this airspace actually acts as an insulating barrier and will help you keep you hands warmer.

Torso...

below 25 degrees

defeet thin short sleeve base layer and a poly pro long sleeve base layer

Then I use a Performance Secolo II Jacket......a waterproof, windproof softshell or a Windstopper jacket made by KB Cyclewerks Both of these are reasonably priced and I think Performances jacket is on sale for $39.

Legs....a pair of knickers and a pair of tights over them and a pair of baggie shorts over all
 

·
The Notorious S.L.O
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
X2 on the neoprene shoe covers, they are great for keeping the feet warm, only downside, my performance brand has zero traction on anything slick, at times making nearly impossible to walk the non-rideable sections.
I tend to pick rides that are up and down, climbing first allows me to keep the layers down and minimize the sweating, trying to keep the layers dry, and then put on a wind jacket for the way down.
Keeping my feet and hands warm are key, I forgot my heavy gloves one ride and had to stop and warm my hands, I was having a hard time working the brakes as my hands were so cold.
 

·
Now with 20% more fat!!
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
Best wool gear for riding I've found is from IceBreaker. I love their tops-hats-socks-glove liners-base layers. Quality merino that lasts and is machine washable. I use a wool glove liner from them and a Deflect specialized windproof glove over the wool liners when it is cold. Never too bulky, and always warm.

Best shoes on the planet for riding in extreme cold are the Lake winter boots. I've had one pair and this is my third winter riding in them. Still holding up great and my feet are never cold in them (with a pair of long smartwool snowboarding socks). I wear size 13 shoes, and finding XXL neoprene covers that don't take 20min to pull onto my shoes was impossible. I've tried Pearl Izumi, Performance, you name it... all of them break at the zippers or bust at the seams quickly from being stretched over the 13s. After half a season of suffering, I splurged on the Lake winter boots and fell in love. Easy to put on and take off and always warm!

If it is really cold and windy (or snowy wet) I like to use my snowboarding helmet. Keeps my head warmer and dryer on nasty days. I'll even bust out the boarding goggles. On those days a pair of snowboarding pants and a motorcycle jacket really keep you warm and dry.

Layers, as the OP said, is really the key. Good wicking layer at base... then wool layers... then breathable waterproof windproof layer on top if nec. I've been able to ride in 17 below with just a few carefully chosen layers!
 

·
hehe ...you said "member"
Joined
·
1,121 Posts
for gloves - picked up a pair of these this winter and they work great:

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...storeid=&pagename=Shop by Subcat: Full Finger

I agree with fulltrucker - I always bring a second pair of gloves and beanie to change into mid-ride. I sweat heavily so even down to 10 dgrees, I only wear two baselayer shirts and tights with baggy shorts over them. Start out cold and warm up as I ride. Even then, having dry gloves and beanie to change into is key.
For feet - mine always get cold too. Even w/ wool socks and neoprene full shoe covers. I finally broke down and bought a pair of Lake winter mtb shoes:

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/profile.cfm?SKU=26128&subcategory_ID=2120

Yes, and expensive alternative, but I'm hoping these work. Haven't got them yet - review pending.
 

·
Think Circles!
Joined
·
264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys, This helps a lot.

I think I will loose the wicking-T and find a longsleeve polypro. then cover that with some sort of wool shirt and finish with a wind proof outer.

As far as the gloves go, I wll make sure to have a second set of what ever I settle on.

I'm also a size 13 shoe, so Im guessing the neoprene booties will be a little tough for me as well. I may pick up a set anyway and see for my self.
 

·
The Notorious S.L.O
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
DaveMW said:
Thanks guys, This helps a lot.

I think I will loose the wicking-T and find a longsleeve polypro. then cover that with some sort of wool shirt and finish with a wind proof outer.

As far as the gloves go, I wll make sure to have a second set of what ever I settle on.

I'm also a size 13 shoe, so Im guessing the neoprene booties will be a little tough for me as well. I may pick up a set anyway and see for my self.
Size 13 here as well, Performance has a set that will fit.
 

·
Heathen
Joined
·
768 Posts
Ditto on the Performance show covers. I have chronically cold feet and they made a big diff.

Too much wind block will make you sweat then freeze. I just bought a bigger pack so I can carry lots of layering options with me.

My usual:

bib shorts
Assos airblock bib tights
either a windblock base layer or just a regular base layer
heavy ls jersey
light jacket
full finger gloves (my specialized have removable inserts)
smart wool socks
performance neoprene shoe covers
smart wool beenie that covers the ears
 

·
Heads up Flyboy!!
Joined
·
3,165 Posts
DaveMW said:
I'm also a size 13 shoe, so Im guessing the neoprene booties will be a little tough for me as well. I may pick up a set anyway and see for my self.
Depending on the shoe manufacturer I wear 12-13. Key is to buy a size bigger shoe cover. Performance makes a size 14 shoe cover that should fit your shoe well.
 

·
Ride Everything
Joined
·
2,913 Posts
Chainlove.com has had Swobo wool jerseys on special of late. Short sleeve, but comfy as a base layer. Sizing is kinda short, so if you're tall (or of the "more to love" variety), you may want to bump up a size.

For shoe covers/booties, check out Sidetrak. Their sizing is pretty generous, and they're pretty cheap, too (compared to Pearl Izumi).
 

·
hehe ...you said "member"
Joined
·
1,121 Posts
btadlock said:
Size 13 here as well, Performance has a set that will fit.
I wear a size 50 (15 US) and the Performance full shoe covers fit over my SIDI Dominators quite well - they are a few years old though, don't know if they've changed them.
 

·
Living the High Life
Joined
·
4,542 Posts
I use a lot of snowboard gear. REI winter 1st layers work great under jerseys. I'll also use my old snowboard gloves. I use my DH pants in place of shorts.

*Disclaimer* I grew up in norther WI, so the cold here doesn't really bother me.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top