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Cold Weather Gear
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Totally not unrelated to moving to Chicago in October this year, from Florida, of all places:
what are your recommendations for cold weather gear for cycling and running?
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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Castelli makes awesome winter gear. For running I use Saucony.

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Re: Cold Weather Gear [BryanD] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, but I'm going to wait for the opinion of someone who doesn't live in Scottsdale, AZ ;-)
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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I live in NC....

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Re: Cold Weather Gear [BryanD] [ In reply to ]
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Wrong Bryan I guess :-)
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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training or racing? what temp ranges are we talking about?
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [dalava] [ In reply to ]
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Both. For Chicago in the winter. So ranges from cold to brutally cold :-)
I'm moving from north central florida, where this year, schools closed for 2 days because it was below 32F/0c...(for real)
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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For cycling, the keys are layering and gears that are wind blocking at the outer layer. Also, don't forget the hands/feet/skull/neck. A few things I have that I found to be very useful:

- Castelli Sorpasso bib tights - very warm and I wear it when it's below 35
- Assos bib knickers - good for above 35 to about 55
- Craft baselayers
- Rapha winter jersey - this is one of my go to pieces for really cold days, down to 20s. It's cut like jersey but you'd wear it like jacket
- Castelli Gabba/Perfetto LS jersey - a really versatile jersey. Pair it with short sleeve baselayer, you can ride it up to hight 50s, and with a winter baselayer, you can use it down to the 30s
- Craft winter socks
- Giro winter gloves - they have several different models for different temp ranges, and they are pretty dead on
- Specialized winter boots - I hate keep putting on booties/shoe covers whenever the temp changes so I invested in a pair of these and they've been great for really cold days. Otherwise, I just use shoe covers

For running, I think it's much easier. I have a long sleeve wool jersey (Icebreaker), a shell jacket (Mountain Hardware) and running tights (Craft), they are good for me to pretty much any temp.
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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Trainer and treadmill.
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [gmh39] [ In reply to ]
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gmh39 wrote:
Trainer and treadmill.

Beat me to it!!!

I used to cycle outside down to around 20 degrees, but just don't do that anymore. Running is a different story. Did some runs this past winter where w/windchill it was close to -30 F. Just layer up and cover up exposed skin. For running I like to wear some tri shorts under tights to keep the 'goods' from getting too cold. On an extremely cold day with wind this past winter I actually stuffed a Smartwool sock down there to fight off the wind chill (this was based on a run the day before where I thought I'd done some damage).


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Re: Cold Weather Gear [gmh39] [ In reply to ]
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gmh39 wrote:
Trainer and treadmill.

Exactly. trainer, treadmill, and a Netflix account.

It isn't just about the cold. It's all the ice on the sidewalks and the road, that can make it pretty treacherous and I don't bounce as well as I used to.

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Re: Cold Weather Gear [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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Rapha Deep Winter Base Layer (merino with a high neck that removes the need for a neck gaiter), Castelli windstopper jacket, Pearl Izumi PRO thermal bib tights, Diadora winter MTB boots with wool socks - silk liner sock if it's really cold - and Pearl Izumi gloves. Oh and a Belgian-style cap.
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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I might be the exception, but if there hasn't been any precipitation in a while, I actually really like riding in the cold.

From the bottom up: a pair of winter riding shoes, or shoe covers, add toe warmers and good wool socks. Then the Rapha winter tights are fantastic. Add a quality merino wool baselayer up top, an insulation layer and an outer wind shell or softshell. Then add a hat or headband to keep the head/ears warm. A lot of people I ride with will also wear a neck warmer. I personally can't stand neck warmers, but people love them.


There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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I lived in Gainesville for 6 years and moved to Indianapolis in 2014. Unlike what you may have been told down there, it doesn't actually snow 365 up here. Lol. I think you'll be surprised how pleasant running in the cold is. And to echo what someone else said, the cold isn't really the issue; the issue is the snow, ice and salt. And for cycling, it's the destruction of the roads via plows.
But to directly answer your question, for running 30F and above, I wear shorts, tall-ish socks, windstopper sleeves, windstopper mitts, SUNGLASSES, a polyester tech long-sleeve shirt and a nylon vest. That's it. Most of the time I'm carrying the vest in my hand after only 2 miles. Below 30F I'll wear leggings and maybe a really light hat to keep my ears from falling off. The mittens and sunglasses are probably the most important for me. I honestly can't wait for this fucking summer heat to end.
For cycling, definitely get a trainer and Zwift. That's your only option as far as I see it.


Francois wrote:
Totally not unrelated to moving to Chicago in October this year, from Florida, of all places:
what are your recommendations for cold weather gear for cycling and running?
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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I live in West Yorkshire, UK which gets pretty cold, wet and windy in the winter. The biggest revelation of my cold weather cycling career so far has been neoprene gloves.

And the good bit is that you don't need expensive cycling ones from Rapha or whoever.. kayak gloves are virtually identical and a tiny fraction of the price. That said, the Endura FS260 Pro Nemo gloves are cheaper than many other brands if you must have a cycle logo and I've kept mine for about 6 years. But my 6 quid backup kayak gloves are almost exactly the same.
Last edited by: knighty76: Jun 12, 18 14:26
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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A couple of quick incomplete thoughts. Some of the variables to consider include: temperature, snow/ice versus rain, wind speed, workout intensity, traction. I live in northern Minnesota and train outside nearly every day all year, running biking skiing.

The absolute worst situation, I think, is 30-38F precipitation on bike. Below freezing plus snow/ice, no problem. Just above freezing and dry, no problem. In this crummy weather window, I recommend either go inside and go hard or over prepare and go easy outside. Running can be pretty much okay in all winter conditions, but full intensity may not be realistic due to clothing, footing, chill during rest intervals, etc.

If you are committed to being outside all year, then slowly build an inventory of gear over a series of seasonal changes. Don't forget to have a dedicated hell bike. In the worst conditions, I ride single speed with fenders. Even if you don't ski, browse the cross country skiing gear for sub freezing. I have a variety of icebug shoes and sheet metal rigs and such. Get some mittens and a buff.

I think we have it relatively easy here. I imagine northern coastal cities have it the worst.
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Re: Cold Weather Gear [Francois] [ In reply to ]
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The proper gear can make riding rather enjoyable down to the low 20's, at that point riding is never very fun. Every 10-15 degrees for me is a different setup. Layering is critical. The most important areas are the extremeties, hands, feet, head.

Fleece lined bib shorts (Assos, Pearl izumi, Castelli, and Rapha all make great options)
Fleece lined, wind proof, bib tights (i personally think Assos has the best on the market today, its worth the cost)
Leg warmers x 2, one fleece lined pair and another that is lighter weight.
Long sleeve jersey, ideally one that is wind proof on the front like the Assos long sleeve jersey.
Arm warmers
Vest x 2, the vest is one of the most valuable winter clothing options you own, i would own a lightweight wind vest that is not insulated and also own an insulated vest. These help with breathability in cold weather compared to a full jacket. I use the vest down to mid 30's and then make the switch to a full jacket.
Jacket, insulated, for the really cold weather days. This is hard because it is always a balance between wind/rain protection and breathability. I personally went with a Gore cycling jacket and am generally happy.
Marino wool baselayer, long sleeve and short sleeve options. Marino wool stays dry and feels warm, great for the first layer on cold days. Often a marino wool long sleeve baselayer + long sleeve jersey + vest + insulated bib tights can be amazingly versitile and warm.

Craft makes very good baselayers and in addition to the marino wool baselayers i own a lightweight long and short sleeve baselayer from craft for extra layering options. Often i use a marino wool short sleeve baselayer + a craft lightweight longsleeve baselayer + vest/jacket for cold rides. The double baselayers helps with heat retention and sweat removal.

Gloves are really hit and miss. If you are doing a lot of really cold rides get the lobster gloves and a pair of the bar mitts (best option to stay warm). You can also get the electrically warmed gloves as well if you are going into the teens. You can also double glove, a slender wool glove and then the lobster glove for brutal days. I personally stick with pearl izumi or Craft for gloves. My favorite setup for cold days is the bar mitts + slender wool glove inside a lobster glove. If i really warm up i can remove the lobster gloves and use the wool gloove inside the bar mitts or the opposite.

Shoe covers are nothing special, they work until the low 30's and then the only other option that is warmer is a dedicated winter cycling shoe or heated option. As always a wool cycling sock is a must have, i really like the specialized wool cycling sock. I own a second pair of cycling shoes that are a half size larger just for winter to accomidate the larger wool sock.

For your head i suggest a few options. A sinple headband that covers the ear, the castelli thermo beanie, then a full head/neck/face cover. I also suggest a helmet cover from velotoez to keep the wind out during the winter. Oh and by the way velotoez makes a great rain shoe cover.

This may be weird sounding but for anything under 30 i use ski goggles, they keep the wind out and make the ride more enjoyable.

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