Cycling in Winter

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Cycling in Winter

Postby kunalraiker » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:40 pm

I'am in my third week of cycling to work, its been great so far.
Enjoying/looking forward to it every morning.

I'am aware that we soon will be getting into the Winter and knowing me a "wuss" when it come to fighting the cold I 'am scared that I might drop the whole riding thing!

The questions really is: For someone travelling between 7am and 6pm everyday between Maidstone and Melbourne, what gear would I need to organise to ensure none of my body parts feel any different from how one feels riding in the current weather, also don't really enjoy wearing too many layers, hate carrying the extra weight.
May be we can put a list together with items to buy, and perhaps links to the cheapest place to get them.
I will definitely get the thermal jersey and Bib Kit from Monton Cycling, the rest is for you guys to suggest.

Winter on a Budget!

Things Listed So Far:
1. Full Thermal Jersey and Bib set - Cycling Monton
2. Finger Gloves - Wiggle(which ones are good?)
3. Baklava - Wiggle
4. Shoe Cover- Wiggle (Will they be ok with Clipless shoes?)
5. Wind Jacket ( Any Good Budget one?)
Last edited by kunalraiker on Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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by BNA » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:54 pm

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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby A_P » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:54 pm

some warm gloves and a skull cap are a good idea too
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby birdbrain » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:03 pm

2 pairs of socks
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby kunalraiker » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:06 pm

birdbrain wrote:2 pairs of socks



Wouldn't the full size Bib cover that?
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby coffeeandwine » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:13 pm

+1 for full finger gloves for those icy mornings.

Really good rain jacket. I have a gillet/vest for majority of year and a Groundeffect Storm Trooper jacket for more serious days.

Lights that will make you visible on cold wet dark nights/mornings. I run two rear lights (if one fails i always have the other) and Ay-ups on the front.

Shoe covers are a bit of a luxury but keep my feet warm and toasty :) and a removable plastic rear mudguard limits the worst of the spray without adding too much weight (and can be easily removed for serious bunch rides on the weekend :)

some way of keeping wallet and phone dry (zip lock lunch bag).
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:19 pm

If it's a dedicated commuter bike that you ride, just bite the bullet and fit some full length SKS chromoplastic mudguards. Very light, trouble-free, you will not regret it. Not so compatible with many carbon road bike jobs though.

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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby Summernight » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:24 pm

I live in Melbourne too. Most of the above posts cover everything already.

Last year in winter I used my normal shortsleeve jersey and then used a full sleeved windbreaker/light rain jacket. My jacket could convert to a vest if needed but I don't think that may be necessary for you.

Full-fingered gloves are a must, I also use a bandana around my head (HeadSox - a local Melbourne company that used to stock in GoldCross for $15 although they also have an online store where prices are a bit more expensive).

When the temperature was below 10 degrees in the morning on my weather app I'd also wear full length tights (compression but whatever floats your boat). Normally I wear above knee length bike shorts but on the cold days the tights go on.

But I run at a hotter temperature to most as my partner loves to tell me and I like the cold so you may layer up a bit more than me.

I've impulse bought a couple of long-sleeve jerseys and under shirts but that's because I liked the colours and wanted a bit more of a range when riding. I'll see how they go when the temperature gets colder.

Riding in the winter rain is a bit different - use a waterproof storm jacket and waterproof over booties. And get mudguards like Il Padrone has said - I have Crud Roadracers on and they work really well and the reduction in spray to the behind and clothes is noticeable.
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby kunalraiker » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:30 pm

Some great recommendations already, I have and will continue to update the OP with recommendations, guys it'll be nice to have links to the items just so others in the same boat as me can benefit too.
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby Summernight » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:41 pm

For me the usual place to get gear is Wiggle and the local bicycle stores.
I didn't buy all my gear at once but bought them over time from various places and when on sale.

Headsox: http://www.headsox.com.au/
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby barefoot » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:55 pm

Don't overdo the cold-weather gear, or you'll cook yourself once you get warmed up.

I find that the best thing for me is to layer up my body, but keep my arms, and especially armpits, relatively lightly clothed.

I only have a 6km commute so I wear my office kit (trousers and business shirt) on the bike, with extras depending on the weather.

Ballarat winters [1] are cold, wet and miserable, so my rain jacket gets a lot of use. I use it as much as a barrier to keep the cold air out as anything, so throughout winter I wear it pretty much every day regardless of whether it's rainy. IMO, an essential feature of a cycling rain jacket is armpit zips; it never hurts to keep a bit of cool air circulating in there to avoid getting sweaty.

I live in fleece vests in winter. Just cheap ones from Lowes, but more fashion conscious people could probably spend much more on something slightly more attractive.

I never wear insulation on my arms - just my shirt sleeves and rain jacket. That's enough. As long as my core is warm, I'm warm. A jacket with sleeves just feels bulky (especially under the rain jacket), and makes me get sweaty.

I have a selection of winter gloves - the end of the Northern winter is a great time to pick up some bargains from the UK shops. Again, wind-proof is more important than insulation. I usually wear Ground Effect Chipolatas, which are a funny kind of rubberised fleece fabric. I have some more insulated, but they just get hot and sweaty. A cheap and easy option is a pair of "Thinsulate" ski gloves from a disposal store, just to prove to yourself that too-hot gloves really are too hot.

Wool (or -blend) trousers are great at keeping me warm and drying quickly if they do get a bit damp. If it's actually raining, I'll put on some waterproof overpants.

Socks are sacrificial on really wet days; it doesn't take much effort to chuck a spare pair in and change if required.

I loooove my merino skull cap for really cold mornings. I clipper my head to #0 every month or so, so some kind of hair-substitute is necessary in the depths of winter.

That dress strategy sees me through the whole year, right down to a couple of -2°C mornings each year. Actually, -2°C Ballarat mornings tend to be lovely clear, still and crisp commutes. The more testing mornings are +2°C, with sheets of drizzle blowing in at 35km/h from the west (topping out at about 8°C mid afternoon). We get weeks of that at a time. Worst weather of any city in Australia :lol:

I got rid of my car a year ago (for lack of use), but on the odd occasion when I used to drive to work in winter, I found it much harder to get warm than bike commute days. I'd feel cold all day.

tim

[1] there are only two seasons in Ballarat; Winter, and February [2]
[2] Not really true. There's four seasons most days. But also, we get a truly stunning fortnight each of spring and autumn every year :mrgreen:
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:21 pm

For the bike, good lights and mudguards are a must.

For yourself, dress more for the last km than the first. It's easier to warm yourself up with some hard work than it is to try to cool an overdressed body.
Having said that, you have to keep your hands, head and feet warm. invest in good gloves and a Ground Effect Baked Beanie. If you don't want to go the galoshes route for your feet, plastic bags over your socks will do the job brilliantly.
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby DoogleDave » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:33 pm

THIS SHOP is well worth a look.
If you can get yourself to Preston to visit the store you can try on the items so you know they fit before purchasing.
Pricing is great and the service from the staff there is even better...

I purchased one of the UNO Ultima Duo jackets (which has removeable sleeves to turn into a vest) and is absolutely fantastic.
Take a look on their site first but a visit to the shop is well worth it (IMHO).

Dave

PS. I have no affiliation with the shop or the owners, other than being a very happy customer there.
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:57 pm

shoe covers to stop your feet being soaked
long finger gloves
marino base layer - I have both long & short sleeve
wind proof jacket, the sleeves come off mine if I get too hot
thin rain jacket in the back pocket just in case
I wear an old pair of insulated running tights over the bibs to cover the legs

now granted I dont commute but thats what I wear when I hit the dandenongs during winter
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:06 pm

yarravalleyplodder wrote:shoe covers to stop your feet being soaked

I am yet to find such a thing... when it rains my feet get wet no matter what. Getting wet on a ride in winter where I lives can be horrible experience :lol: .
I can recommend these to keep the feet warm... and more importantly they last. http://zerorh.com/sport/man/winter/acti ... cover.html .
Well for me that means they have lasted nearly one winter... I have worn them everyday since October and the zips are just starting to play up ( BUT I have kankles so no surprise there! ), but the seams have held up well unlike the many other types I have tried.
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby coffeeandwine » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:03 pm

barefoot wrote:Don't overdo the cold-weather gear, or you'll cook yourself once you get warmed up.

I find that the best thing for me is to layer up my body, but keep my arms, and especially armpits, relatively lightly clothed.
[snip]

tim

[1] there are only two seasons in Ballarat; Winter, and February [2]
[2] Not really true. There's four seasons most days. But also, we get a truly stunning fortnight each of spring and autumn every year :mrgreen:


+1 for layers.

I have to agree about the challenging ballarat winter (15km each way). I shower at work and change into a stash of clothes. Have remembered the underwear enough to avoid having to go commando at work :shock:

BTW Tim, between us we have just undone the last 15 years of Ballarat tourism marketing (sorry George). :D
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby DavidS » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:38 pm

I'll say 2 things at the outset: I don't feel the cold much and I occasionally wear a cycling jersey but never lycra.

Ok, that said, my advice.

Get mudguards, seriously, they really make a huge difference. I would also advise getting a mudflap for the front mudguard as that makes a big difference too.

You need very good lights in winter. I keep going through my second back light so down to one again but I always carry spare batteries. A very bright front light is a necessity.

I said I don't feel the cold, well my problem is warming up too much. I wear shorts all through winter in Melbourne and it doesn't worry me. You may be different but once you are riding you warm up pretty quick. I just wear a T shirt and jacket on top. I recently bought a better jacket so we'll see how that goes in winter. For blokes it is core temperature (chest and torso) which tends to make one feel hot or cold. You will need to experiment a bit to see how you feel riding on cold days. I am generally a bit cold at the start of the ride but this is ok as I know I will warm up.

Beware thick full fingered gloves. My hands cook in too thick gloves. I wear gloves all year round but only wear full finger when it drops below 5 degrees.

Melbourne winters aren't as cold as they used to be, fairly benign these days. You need to find comfortable clothes which work for you. Feeling a bit cold at the start of the ride or when going fast downhill is the price you pay for not overheating the rest of the time.

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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:55 pm

All really good advice from DavidS. However I might just add that riding from Maidstone to the city (10 flat kms?) you probably won't need to bother with riding gear (knicks, jersey, jacket etc) and the change/shower routine at work. It's a bit of a personal choice but I ride 10kms and just do a quick sparrow-bath wipe down with baby-wipes and deodorant and I'm good for the day. We don't have any showers or lockers at my work. Then I just change my shoes and put a jacket/jumper on.

In winter I ride in a business or casual shirt, trousers (GE Ranchsliders or Showerspass Hybrid Zip-offs), SPD shoes, and on colder days a fleece or windproof vest. My rainjacket is used on wet days, with overpants and booties if it's really dumping it down. I don't use cycle mitts at all on the commute. if the daytime temp is going to be above 20 deg I were short sleeves. Daytime temps below about 14 I will wear the vest plus long sleeve shirt. It's so easy to overheat and I try to tailor the clothing choice to arrive reasonably fresh (doesn't always work :| )
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby kunalraiker » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:03 am

Lot of you have be emphasizing getting mud guards and flaps, just wondering whether its required as I would not ride on rainy days.
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby barefoot » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:28 am

kunalraiker wrote:Lot of you have be emphasizing getting mud guards and flaps, just wondering whether its required as I would not ride on rainy days.


Are you familiar with Melbourne's winter weather? :lol:

If you rule out all the days that have a little bit of drizzle, you won't get many winter commutes in at all. And with the whole "four seasons in one day" thing, you'll get surprised by rain on days that look like they should be fine.

Even days that aren't rainy, even days that don't have fog/mist, there's often dew, so the roads and paths will be wet.

Road water is an inescapable part of riding in Victoria in winter.

I love my SKS Chromoplastics.

tim
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby kunalraiker » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:24 am

barefoot wrote:
kunalraiker wrote:Lot of you have be emphasizing getting mud guards and flaps, just wondering whether its required as I would not ride on rainy days.


Are you familiar with Melbourne's winter weather? :lol:

If you rule out all the days that have a little bit of drizzle, you won't get many winter commutes in at all. And with the whole "four seasons in one day" thing, you'll get surprised by rain on days that look like they should be fine.

Even days that aren't rainy, even days that don't have fog/mist, there's often dew, so the roads and paths will be wet.

Road water is an inescapable part of riding in Victoria in winter.

I love my SKS Chromoplastics.

tim



I guess, I overlooked this problem as I have been driving to work most of my life.
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby il padrone » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:54 am

Mudguards are a part of the Boy Scout motto - "Be Prepared"

Lots of roadie commuters don't use them, but I don't fancy the prospect of rolling into work with a semi-permanent brown wet stripe up my a#$e :roll:
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby kunalraiker » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:58 pm

il padrone wrote:Mudguards are a part of the Boy Scout motto - "Be Prepared"

Lots of roadie commuters don't use them, but I don't fancy the prospect of rolling into work with a semi-permanent brown wet stripe up my a#$e :roll:

Are they easy flip flaps install-remove ?
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby redned » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:11 pm

The most important thing on your list is baklava. Winter cycling is not the same without it. I know this little Turkish bakery in Carlton if you need get some.
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby kunalraiker » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:15 pm

redned wrote:The most important thing on your list is baklava. Winter cycling is not the same without it. I know this little Turkish bakery in Carlton if you need get some.



Thanks, Wiggle has some :)
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Re: Cycling in Winter

Postby redned » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:17 pm

Oh, you mean a balaclava, sorry.

But try the baklava anyway.
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