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Rec.Bicycles Frequently Asked Questions Posting Part 4/5
Section - 9.11 Nancy's Cold/Wet Cycling Tips

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Top Document: Rec.Bicycles Frequently Asked Questions Posting Part 4/5
Previous Document: 9.10 Pete's Winter Cycling Tips
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge

Here are some clothing suggestions, mix and match as you wish:

Rain gear : I forked out the dollars for gore-tex when I did a week tour 
  ... and I'm real glad I did. The stuff works reasonably as claimed, 
  waterproof, and relatively breathable. (When the humidity is high, no 
  fabric will work completely at letting sweat evaporate.) Unfortunately, 
  typical prices are high. There are cheaper rainsuits, which I haven't tried.
  For short rides, or when the temperature is over about 50F, I don't
  usually wear the rain pants, as wet legs don't particularly bother me.

Waterproof shoe covers. When the weather gets icky, I give up on
  the cleats (I'm not riding for performance then, anyway) and put
  the old-style pedals back on. This is basically because of the
  shoe covers I have that work better with touring shoes. The ones
  I have are made by Burley, and are available from Adventure Cycling Association,
  though I got them at a local shop. They are just  the cover, no
  insulation. I continue to use them in winter since they are windproof,
  and get the insulation I need from warm socks. These aren't neoprene,
  but rather some high-tech waterproof fabric.
  
Gaiters that hikers and cross-country skiers wear can help keep road
  spray off your legs and feet.

Toe clip covers. I got them from Nashbar; they are insulated and fit
  over the toe clips ... another reason for  going back to those pedals.
  They help quite a bit when the temperature goes into the 30's and below;
  they are too warm above that.

  [Joshua Putnam <Joshua_Putnam@happy-man.com> reports:
   Nashbar has apparently discontinued its toe clip covers.
   
   Traditional toe clip covers, also called toe warmers, are still
   made by Kucharik Bicycle Clothing.  Kucharik's model is not
   insulated, just waterproof nylon cloth.  It may be hard to find
   a shop that carries them, but if you have a good relationship
   with your local shop, they might be interested in dealing with
   Kucharik, which also makes great wool jerseys and tights, arm and
   leg warmers, etc.
   
   The company is:
   
   Kucharik Clothing
   1745 W 182nd St
   Gardena, CA  90248
   
   Please remember that this is a manufacturer/distributor, not a
   mail order catalog.  ]
   
For temperatures in the 40's I usually find that a polypropylene shirt,
  lightweight sweater (mine is polypro) and wind shell work well; I use
  the gore-tex jacket, since I have it, but any light weight jacket
  is OK. I have a lightweight pair of nylon-lycra tights, suitable in
  the 50's, and maybe the 40's; a heavier pair of polypro tights, for
  40's, and a real warm pair of heavy, fleece-lined tights for colder
  weather. (I have been comfortable in them down to about 15-deg, which
  is about the minimum I will ride in.) My tights are several years
  old, and I think there are lots more variations on warm tights out now.
  I use thin polypro glove liners with my cycling gloves when it is a little
  cool; lightweight gloves  for a little bit cooler; gore-tex and thinsulate
  gloves for cold weather (with the glove liners in the really cold weather.)
  It is really my fingers that limit my cold weather riding, as anything
  any thicker than that limits my ability to work brake levers.
  (Note: this may change this year as I've just bought a mountain bike;
  the brake levers are much more accessible than on my road bike. It may
  be possible to ride with warm over-mitts over a wool or similar glove.)

When it gets down to the 20's, or if it's windy at warmer (!)  temperatures,
  I'll add the gore-tex pants from my rain suit, mostly as wind protection,
  rather than rain protection. Cheaper wind pants are available (either
  at bike shops or at sporting goods stores) that will work just as well
  for that use.

Warm socks. There are lots of choices; I use 1 pair of wool/polypropylene
  hiking socks (fairly thick). Then with the rain covers on my shoes to
  keep out wind, and (if necessary) the toe clip covers, I'm warm enough.
  There are also thin sock liners, like my glove liners, but I haven't
  needed them; there are also neoprene socks, which I've never tried,
  and neoprene shoe covers, which I've also never tried, and wool socks,
  and ski socks ...

I have a polypropylene balaclava which fits comfortably under my helmet;
  good to most of the temperatures I'm willing to ride in; a little too
  warm for temperatures above freezing, unless it's also windy. I also have 
  an ear-warmer band, good for 40's and  useful with the balaclava for 
  miserable weather. I also have a neoprene face mask; dorky looking, but 
  it works. It is definitely too hot until the temperature (or wind) gets 
  severe. I sometimes add ski goggles for the worst conditions, but they 
  limit peripheral vision, so I only use   them if I'm desperate.

For temperatures in the 30's, and maybe 20's, I wear a polarfleece 
  pullover thing under the outer shell. Combining that with or without
  polypro (lightweight) sweater or serious duty wool sweater gives a 
  lot of options. Sometimes I add a down vest -- I prefer it *outside*
  my shell (contrary to usual wisdom) because I usually find it too
  warm once I start moving and want to unzip it, leaving the wind
  shell closed for wind protection. I only use the down vest when it's
  below about 15 F.

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Previous Document: 9.10 Pete's Winter Cycling Tips

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