Got Questions? Need advice?
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I'm still pretty new to the world of road cycling and training for a charity ride which so far in Perth has been trying with all the rain we've been having. When we do get a sunny day it can be very very cold outside! I need to train but am unsure of what kind of clothing I should be wearing. I've looked around and I'm not sure if a cycling jacket or jersey would be best. How cold can it be that a jersy will suffice? Also I see arm warmers, leg warmers, ear warmers... I'm thinking 3 quarter pants would be ideal. I don't have a lot of money and can't really afford to run out and buy something that is less than ideal.
I want to ride early mornings, half hour before sunrise. I'm on the bike for at least 1.5 hrs so I dont want to be cold!!
I'm open to all suggestions!!
Most people use layers. On top, some kind of thermal base layer - polypropylene or wool vest cos they wick and dry fast. cotton gets cold as soon as it gets wet/sweaty. Same goes for socks.
Then a jersey with arm warmers; when the weather/day/intensity warms up you peel off the warmers. A full length zip is a bonus cos you have more temperature control.
Then a jacket. People lean different ways with jackets, depending on their riding a bit - light spray jacket or full-on rain jacket. I generally prefer light and compact cos you're more likely to take it with you if it squishes into a pocket/saddle bag. And if it rains really heavily, you get wet anyway. The technical fabrics do breathe better than cheap ones but I still think you end up wet from in the inside or outside (sweat or rain) to some extent. Bonus points for under-arm zips for ventilation, a mesh back on gillets/windbreaker styles and some reflecto.
On the bottom, lots of people use their regular knicks with unpadded longs. Again, you can wear the knicks all year so it's a flexible option (and good use for worn-out knicks). You can also team knicks with knee warmers or leg warmers but that option can leave you with a cold bum on cold days. Normal leggings work too, but aren't usually as warm or thick or wicking as longs, so it depends a bit on your weather.
Don't forget something on your head which can lose a lot of heat - a cycling cap (good in sun and rain), wicking beanie, buff or something. And good gloves with good grip are pure happiness. Aim to start off a little cold, because you'll warm up within a few minutes. Conversely, if you're fast allow for windchill. hth
I'm wearing 3 summer jerseys with a Gilet on top. Arms and legs covered with mid weight warmers.
Covering your ears/head in cold conditions is critical - and tose types of accessories are easy enough to take off and store in a jersey pocket.
Gloves are another thing - since I nearly froze my fingers off I have some real winter gloves, they suck if the day warms up but on a cold morning... bliss.
I've had LASEK eye surgery, and love it, but with wind hitting my face I end up tearing up and basically looking like I am balling my eyes out. So I got some Torpedo 7 photochromic glasses to stop that and they do tint a little (I think) when the sun pops up. Just be sure to get clear ones for when it is dark - silly to ride in the dark with any kind of tint.
Some days i ride in to work early to go for a run, on the bike you need to rug up a bit but running you can just shorts/tshirt it. Wind chill is not your friend!
G'Day enviromelza, welcome outside.
From a low budget point of view, you need to keep your hands, feet and head warm. If you can manage this you can survive pretty ordinary conditions just by keeping moving. Woolen socks, especially merino are gold for your toes and you can always wrap a freezer bag or some other lightweight plastic over your feet for a little extra help. With gloves, I've been pretty right in Melbs with Northwave gloves except for going home after nightshift a couple of days ago, but nothing worked that morning HERE'S a few ideas for you. IME, thickly padded ones lead to cramped hands but you may not have this problem of course. To keep the head warm, I swear by my Ground Effect Baked Beanie right down to the frost level and then it's a silk balaclava found on ebay, this also helps by partly warming the air as you breathe in.
Hope this helps.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I am constantly disappointed with what pass for tights these days. They are mostly products for people to train and jog in (Skins and so forth) and so are made, it seems, with the express purpose to NOT hold any heat in. It makes daggy old long johns under the riding knickes the safest option unless you can find something that IS warm.
Unicyclist's don't need a training wheel
+1 for layers and all of grasshoppers comments.
Full finger gloves on icy mornings. Shoe covers keep feet dry and toasty.
Can strongly recommend Ground Effect snakebites (thermal bib pants).
Frosty this morning (+0.8°) but they all worked!
Merida 903 from the LBS
The DHB Super Roubaix longs from Wiggle are warm enough to at least -6 degrees as I found out the other morning and are really good value. They have a Roubaix (not Super) version that aren't quite as warm, good for zero - low minuses.
Best advice is dress as if it's 10 degrees warmer outside than it is.
For me this is usually:
0-2 degrees - long tights (polypropylene) with bibs on top, long sleeve base (polypropylene) and regular jersey on top, wind proof jacket, full finger gloves
2-5 degrees - bibs with knee warmers, long sleeve base and regular jersey, full finger gloves
5-10 degrees - bibs with knee warmers, short sleeve base and regular jersey, short gloves
One other really helpful hint. If it's cold or the road is wet, tape up the vents on the underside of your shoes. I just stick a bit of duct tape over the holes. Keeps your feet that bit warmer and that bit drier.
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