Fall/Winter Cycling Gear?

The weather’s getting colder, and while I used to ride year-round in university and have done some errands-running on milder December days in the past few years, I’m starting to question the best ways of keeping warm and safe while riding during windy, cold, rainy, snowy, and/or slushy weather.

Do most of you who ride road during the summer stay with your road bike during the winter, or do you switch off to a hybrid, mountain bike, or cruiser, use an indoor trainer, or switch off to the gym’s indoor bikes and spinning classes?

If you ride outside during sub-freezing weather, what sort of clothing do you prefer, and how do you keep your hands and feet warm?

Here are the sites I usually check out to find great deals:

www.bikenashbar.com

www.pricepoint.com

www.beyondbikes.com

You can also sign up for their newsletters for additional deals on shipping as well.

My shoes fit tight w/o socks b/c that’s the way I usually ride when racing tris. I will try to wear a thin liner sock, and then I take a “Hot Hands” pouch and activate it, put it on top of my shoe (by my toes), and then put waterproof/windproof shoe covers on. That helps w/ the feet. I wear gloves on my hands but usually my hands are just cold…I’ve tried doing the same “hot hands” pouch technique on the back side of my hand, which helps some, but doesn’t completely alleviate the cold fingertips.

And then keeping warm w/ the rest of my body is all about layering. Definitely check out the sites Mike recommended to search for good deals.

I have warm booties, cycling pants, arm warmers, full fingered gloves, and a headmask. The headmask is probably the most beneficial since it prevents air from getting down the front of my jersey too.

I’ll probably get a cycling jacket soon too. maybe this winter, maybe next. Depends on how often I ride.

Those sunglasses looks really warm!!

Just kidding.
Let us know how those bibs work out, b/c they look slick.

I try to get out on the road as much as possible in the winter - maybe once or twice a week when it turns sub-freezing here in Colorado. We live where it stays pretty dry, but I ride a cyclocross bike when the roads are sloppy. I put $15.00 Freddy Fenders on it Friday, then rode in slush, wet and snow on Saturday. I was very pleased with the fenders - even though I lose all cool factor with them on.

I’ve come to realize that spending a bit on clothing designed for cold weather cycling is worth it. I wear a skin tight base, wool jersey, then a jacket with wind/rain capability. I wear full shoe covers - and they’re worth it! I need better gloves. I wear wool/synthetic bib tights with windstopper panels. When it’s really brutal I wear messenger knickers over those!

Joe

Hi I’m new here but I’ve been a winter rider for a decade. The best source I know of for winter riding is “icebike”. http://www.icebike.org/. Layers are important but the material of your clothing is even more important. Cotton is a major no-no. You want things which are wicking and or waterproof breathable. You might want to invest in a front tire with studs and get use to NOT using the front brake in slippery conditions. You’ll also need some sort of a goggle. The cold makes your eyes water.

I have three bikes. One is my road bike. The second is and old tourer with a front studded tire that can go if the weather is cold but the roads are clear. The last bike is strictly winter with studded tires, fixed gears and disc brakes. It will ride across sheer ice and through heavy snow but it is slow and heavy.

I’ve tested my clothes down to 30 below, which is about as low as most people can go because the inner tubes start to give out somewhere near 40 below. Hope this helps.

Mike

Thanks for the link! It’s still been relatively warm here (only a few days have stayed in the 40’s Fahrenheit during daylight) – until today, when the weather’s been toying around the freezing mark with all sorts of precipitation. I have been having the Devil’s own time figuring out my layering, though. Part of the problem is that near to home, it’s a lot of stop-and-go as most of my routes run through the center of town, where it can get pretty busy (and pedestrians regularly pop out of nowhere). Then depending on where I’m going, I can have stretches of several miles without a stop – enough for “stop-and-go” layering to be too warm, and then it’s stop-and-go again and I’m sweaty-and-chilled (or I have a stop to make and when I get back outside, I’m sweaty-and-chilled). Icebike has given me some options to try to rethink my approach.

Current status: my CatEye EL-400 front light is useless for seeing after dark; I have a NiteRider Mi-Newt USB (110 lumen) on order from Nashbar (should arrive Monday), as well as a Pearl Izumi InsulaTOUR jacket, a couple of long-sleeve jerseys, and a pair of padded tights. Yesterday was cool enough to work with a pair of Specialized Therminal (nonpadded) tights I got several weeks earlier; my legs were cool at start but warmed up nicely. In the interrim I found that my old pair of Nike running capris works well over padded shorts. I have an UnderArmour ColdGear compression mock for a cold base layer and HeatGear v-neck for an in-between base layer (too old for just jersey, too warm for layering). Leaving me with some intermediate- and over- layers that say they are high-tech but either don’t wick/vent the way I expected them to, or are a lot chillier than I’d expected. And then there’s that whole “visibility” issue. I’ve been playing with design a bit and (while it does need some repair) came up with a rain-jacket overlayer with a stripe of reflective trim running wrist-to-wrist aross the back, and two rings of reflective fabric around my left wrist and forearm (to indicate turns). I need to make another one with wider arms and a much longer tail to accommodate heavier layers…

I broke down and bought Giordana winter bib tights. I tried them at 28 degrees, with nothing over or under them. They were great. Any colder and I’d need another layer. The model was 2010 Giordana FormaRed Carbon Windfront Bib Tights.