Winter cycling clothing advice

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Michael Fuller
Posts: 1
Joined: 27 Jan 2020, 9:38pm

Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby Michael Fuller » 27 Jan 2020, 9:43pm

I’m just getting back on the bike after investing in a bike in the summer and getting out and enjoying it. Looking at purchasing some winter clothing but looking for some advice. It seems there are lots of options on the market. What are people’s tips on what to and what not to get. I’m not looking at breaking the bank.

Thank you in advance


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whoof
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Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby whoof » 27 Jan 2020, 11:02pm

For best value buy winter clothing in the Spring whilst it's on sale. Numbers of thinner layers are more effective and adaptable than one thick layer. Gloves, over shoes, hats and a buff are useful. Edit start off feeling a little under dressed you'll warm up after about 10 minutes.

mattsccm
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Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby mattsccm » 28 Jan 2020, 7:14am

Advice 1. You will not get it right so don't try to. Keeping all the rain out means keeping sweat in. Your own balence point has to be found. (I never have)
2. Buy a jacket that is long and narrow. Hoods are up to you.
3 Waterproof trousers are less popular.
4 Try to keep hands and feet dry.
5. Specific items that suit me, Fred, Tom, Dick et al won't suit you for reasons of fit, price colour, availability, political persuasion, whether you wear a helmet, black or flouro, or take the train or ride back from JOG.
Helpful aren't I :o

PhilD28
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Joined: 26 Sep 2016, 8:31am

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby PhilD28 » 28 Jan 2020, 7:23am

You could do worse than start with a decent quality merino mix base layer, it doesn't need to be cycling specific, outdoor shops have plenty, check out Alpkit online.
A Merino winter weight cycling vest with back pockets is useful but not essential, again hiking kit for a mid layer works fine.

A good waterproof Jacket, I like "Showers pass" stuff, a pair of warm winter weight cycling tights is essential and good merino socks along with overshoes.

As has been previously pointed out, the bits that really suffer are hands and feet, choose well there, warm and waterproof is the key.

Oh, put mudguards on your bike, your backside, feet and drivetrain will appreciate it.

eileithyia
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Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby eileithyia » 28 Jan 2020, 8:42am

As others have said, it is sometimes trial and error.....

Layers of baselayers, I often wear 2-3 depending on temps.

A cycle top of some sort.

A windproof outer layer, better if it has some showerproof properties.

Often teamed with a gilet, that can be removed.

I am not into heavy jackets, I sweat far too heavily inside them.

Socks and Gloves are personal preferences. I don't over do them but have friends who suffer seriously. I usually just wear cheap pound shop gloves with track mitts over the top. I have tried cycle specific ones but find them too cold..... mainly cos of the composition and space around fingers.... the air has to warm up first before my hands are warm inside them.

Socks again I just wear some thick ski socks in the winter months and an oversized pair of shoes. My son and partner want over shoes and all sorts of additional wind proofing. We did recently some lads wearing an item called 'Spatz' a search online will find the company and they did seem a good idea if you suffer with cold / wet feet.

You might want to ensure an outer layer has enough space to accommodate extra layers underneath. I

I generally find once I am out and riding as I warm up so the warmer blood flows to extremities such as hands.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

Stradageek
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Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby Stradageek » 28 Jan 2020, 8:59am

I echo the 'many thinner layers' mantra, what the layers are matters surprisingly little. However I do have a precious ultra-thin, clingy, loose weave, polyester base layer (ex-Nordic skiers stock) that I swear by. +1 for merino wool on top of this base layer.

'Wrap the gaps' is the other key, buff around the neck, long cuff gloves, and woolen 'ballet-dancers' leg warmers around the ankles.

Being an 'almost baldy' I also need to lift the buff up over the back of my head and hold in place with a head band. A woolly hot tops this off.

I've suffered with cold feet for years (a topic often discussed on the forum) and caused, in my case, by having long skinny legs. The solution has been some expensive, non-ventilated winter cycling shoes a size bigger than normal, 'heat-holder' fluffy socks and shoes significantly under-tightened.

With this lot I an cycle for three hours in sub-zero temperatures and come home pretty warm

Hope this helps

Stradageek

Oldjohnw
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Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby Oldjohnw » 28 Jan 2020, 9:21am

Broad advice from a hill walker: wear wool, use windproof, keep dry, permit movement, look after extremities.
John

Carlton green
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Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby Carlton green » 28 Jan 2020, 9:47am

Of course it’s nice to have specialist cycling clothes and be part of the gang with the special gear but IMV you mostly don’t need it and can get by with remarkably ordinary items.

I no longer cycle in all weathers but have done some long runs in winter and had to commute then too - wasn’t discretionary, needed to get to work and back and it was the only way. If it’s cold and raining then over-trousers are a good idea and likewise shoe covers and waterproof gloves/mitts. If it’s just cold then layers is the thing and storage for removed layers. I have some thermal insulation on my head, a scarf/tube/buff around my neck - mouth and nose if bad too - and gloves on my hands (type depends on temperature). Extra socks on feet are a good idea too and if it’s really cold then I’ll find some extra layer to go under my trousers (pyjamas for me but I hear that the Marines use tights and nobody passes comment on them).
A light coat works for me but any used needs to properly cover your lower back and a bit beyond when cycling (leave no gaps for the cold to get in) but not restrict peddling - shaped/longer backs and double ended zips at the front can be helpful.

I hope that my alternative view helps.

eileithyia
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Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby eileithyia » 28 Jan 2020, 5:43pm

Indeed while out today I was pondering that when I first started cycling I had no specific cycle kit, just old trackie bottoms, an old shirt and a couple of old sweatshirts with windproof jacket over... with, what were known as, 'Cagjacs' in those days. Extremely bulky to carry but rolled up and got stuffed into the carradice bag cape roll. As an impoverished student the cagjac sufficed for on the bike and for walking.

Gradually started acquiring a variety of cycling specific layers...

Have loads of Helly Hansen base layers but have recently discovered Bamboo as an alternative to polyester / plastics... which is wonderfully soft and warm next to the skin (can't wear wool directly next to the skin).

https://bambooclothing.co.uk/category/m ... aselayers/
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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foxyrider
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Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby foxyrider » 28 Jan 2020, 10:28pm

bib tights will ensure you don't get cold kidneys, avoid anything cotton and don't try to be waterproof.

I use Spesh Defroster winter boots and i still get cold feet, a short stop and just walking a few paces gets the blood going through them again and offers a temporary reprieve. I've got a range of gloves from mitts to arctic which i can mix and match as required, warm hands are essential for control and safety. i use a ski band and beanie on my head - enough to keep the chill off without over heating. if its desperately cold i've got a silk balaclava which goes on first.

If it looks like being damp all day i wear the Goretex jacket, otherwise its a thermal jacket with a race cape in a pocket - bit of protection if it rains but also a good insulation layer if its colder.

Personally i dom't like riding with stuff too tight around my neck, i feel choked and tend to overheat quickly. Don't dress for how cold you are before the ride but for your warmed state fifteen minutes in.

Often overlooked are glasses. coloured or clear lenses is up to you but they keep the crud out of your peepers and also deflect the frigid air. i go as far as wearing ski goggles if it gets really cold, they steam up less and keep more face covered from the elements and as an added bonus you look stupid! :lol:

With this approach i'm happy riding in pretty much anything UK winters can throw at you.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

colin146
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Joined: 21 Jan 2009, 4:53pm
Location: South Derbyshire

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby colin146 » 29 Jan 2020, 6:51pm

Pre warm all the kit first. This morning 2’C, wind chill -5’C? so put on boots, gloves etc which had been in the airing cupboard overnight. Takes the sting I find out of the first hour or two.

PaulS
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Joined: 26 Jan 2012, 6:45am
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby PaulS » 21 Jun 2020, 3:14pm

eileithyia wrote:We did recently some lads wearing an item called 'Spatz' a search online will find the company and they did seem a good idea if you suffer with cold / wet feet.



OK, it is not winter, but I just tried my new Spatz overshoes today. Spatz Roadman 2, over a pair of Specialized Defroster waterproof boots (the older model with no insulation), and a pair of thin, short socks. After a couple of hours of light rain my feet were soaked. An expensive way to keep my boots clean. Back to the drawing board and the elusive search for dry feet.

NickWi
Posts: 121
Joined: 28 Apr 2011, 8:14pm

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby NickWi » 21 Jun 2020, 5:50pm

Expensive, but the best investment I've ever made for winter riding.
https://www.northwave.com/uk-GB-en/prod ... 83001.aspx

PaulS
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Joined: 26 Jan 2012, 6:45am
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby PaulS » 21 Jun 2020, 7:28pm

Nice. I need a change. The Defrosters are not really good for the cold, despite the name. How did you find the sizing? Do you wear thick socks? And what temperatures have you used them for? Thanks.

NickWi
Posts: 121
Joined: 28 Apr 2011, 8:14pm

Re: Winter cycling clothing advice

Postby NickWi » 21 Jun 2020, 8:27pm

I take a UK 12 for normal shoes and they tend to have to be wide fitting ones as well, (big I know, but I'm good at swimming) so ordered a 48. Perfect and with a pair of ordinary Merino cycling socks underneath I've done rides of 30 or so miles on a frosty morning. My toes have remained toasty as could be. The Gore-Tex lining also works a treat and combined with the neoprene cuff, my feet have remained dry. The dial tightening is also easy to use. And no, I'm not a salesman for them.

The downside, they a right [rude word removed] to get on and off. The neoprene cuff is a tight fit with not much elastic in it. I guess that’s necessary to make the shoe as waterproof as they can, but it also makes getting them your feet in and out of them very awkward indeed (but that could also be down to the size of my flippers). You do learn, but they’re never going to be an easy slip on shoe, Once on though, they are supremely comfortable.