Main TOM BIHN website
 
emailus@tombihn.com

COMMUNITY FORUMS

Welcome! We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

x

First, select your desired search engine:

  • Google Search
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Original Forum Search Engine

User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Share
    Bettendorf, IA
    Posts
    71
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Biking attire below freezing

    Hi All,

    As I've mentioned in this space previously, I have starting to commute, occasionally, by bike to work. I have about 11 miles of commuting, almost entirely flat (minus the hill I take to get down to the Mississippi River), and it's about 45 minutes door-to-door.

    We have record highs in the Midwest today, but that will change in a few hours, and it's back to normal. We had a warm November after a cooler October.

    I've been out biking in ~30 degree weather. On Friday, for example, it was upper 20's when I left around 5:15am, and mid-40's when I returned late afternoon, after dark.

    I've found that at about 30 degrees or warmer, the system that works for me, so far, is tennis shoes plus wool socks for my feet, a pair of Bontrager bibs plus an old, loose pair of Nike tights/base layer (whatnot) over it for my legs, short-sleeved dry-fit t-shirt, corresponding old, loose Nike tights/base layer for upper body, then a thin, Target workout jacket which is warm but not windproof.

    It's a bit of a mess and in need of refinement for much colder weather. I'm curious what other systems people use. The offerings at the local bike shops are either full MSRP or non-existent. I'm hoping for some Amazon-able purchases, particularly for the wind as things get really cold. I'd like to bike down to about the teens, surface conditions permitting.

    For example:

    What type of wind-breaker pants do you use? Do you use a wind-breaker jacket?
    Helmet suggestions? I've had friends get Dicks, but everything there is SO expensive.
    Would a heavy fleece layer (top or bottom) make sense, or just get bulky?

    Any other tips are appreciated. I have found that doing a heavy warm-up before I head out the door helps a LOT.

    Thanks,
    zephyr

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Share
    UK
    Posts
    238
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by zephyr View Post
    Hi All,

    As I've mentioned in this space previously, I have starting to commute, occasionally, by bike to work. I have about 11 miles of commuting, almost entirely flat (minus the hill I take to get down to the Mississippi River), and it's about 45 minutes door-to-door.

    We have record highs in the Midwest today, but that will change in a few hours, and it's back to normal. We had a warm November after a cooler October.

    I've been out biking in ~30 degree weather. On Friday, for example, it was upper 20's when I left around 5:15am, and mid-40's when I returned late afternoon, after dark.

    I've found that at about 30 degrees or warmer, the system that works for me, so far, is tennis shoes plus wool socks for my feet, a pair of Bontrager bibs plus an old, loose pair of Nike tights/base layer (whatnot) over it for my legs, short-sleeved dry-fit t-shirt, corresponding old, loose Nike tights/base layer for upper body, then a thin, Target workout jacket which is warm but not windproof.

    It's a bit of a mess and in need of refinement for much colder weather. I'm curious what other systems people use. The offerings at the local bike shops are either full MSRP or non-existent. I'm hoping for some Amazon-able purchases, particularly for the wind as things get really cold. I'd like to bike down to about the teens, surface conditions permitting.

    For example:

    What type of wind-breaker pants do you use? Do you use a wind-breaker jacket?
    Helmet suggestions? I've had friends get Dicks, but everything there is SO expensive.
    Would a heavy fleece layer (top or bottom) make sense, or just get bulky?

    Any other tips are appreciated. I have found that doing a heavy warm-up before I head out the door helps a LOT.

    Thanks,
    zephyr
    If you were UK based I'd suggest the Buffalo mountain shirt / Special 6 or the Montane equivalent, the Extreme Smock. Windproof super breathable fleece. I don't bike but I use mine for winter fieldwork in conditions around freezing, so for working harder in colder conditions it should be about right. Often available second hand on ebay, at least in the UK. You may be able to get Montane from Amazon. Be careful with the sizing as both brands have quirks - I can advise if you decide you're interested.

    Sent from my F8331 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Share
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    953
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Helmet-- whatever fits. I wear a balaclava under mine. The key to winter biking is not getting cold when your sweat starts evaporating. I like layers. A synthetic shirt, a wool shirt or hoodie over it, and a windproof shell. I have a Showers Pass shell that's pretty good. I have a pair of Novara windproof /waterproof gloves that are the best things ever.
    Fleece jackets are too warm in my experience. Ditto synthetic insulation and down.
    I hope other people chime in because I'd like to hear what works too.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Share
    Minnesota
    Posts
    184
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don’t commute by bike, but I ride often in the fall and winter when there isn’t too much ice out. If it’s really cold, below freezing or below 10F, then a pair of Nike long compression pants under a pair of track pants works fine with wool socks and tennis shoes. Then I wear a merino base layer, cheap cotton T-shirt, and a Patagonia Nano Air pullover. If that’s not warm enough, which is rare, then I might thrown on a medium fleece under the Nano Air.

    Now, I’m a fan of Patagonia but there’s a company not too far from my hometown that makes a pretty nice windbreaker from what I’ve heard. the company is Enlightened Equipment and they have quite a following of hikers/backpackers and make everything in the US. Would be worth checking out in my opinion.

    I don’t have anything from them yet, but I’m planning on one of their quilts and down jackets soon.
    Boots, Bags, and Beer. (And Coffee)

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    4
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd recommend base layer and Gore Windstopper products over.

    Sent from my YOGA Tablet 2-1050F using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Share
    Digital Nomad
    Posts
    314
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd say your bottom (pant) layer sounds fine. IMO there's also nothing wrong with a super-thin base layer (techy long johns) under jeans either.

    For your top half, I recommend you have two layers you can optionally swap out. For your warmth layer, get a down jacket. Then, for your windproof/waterproof layer, get a "shell" -- like a Goretex windbreaker or similar. You want your shell big enough to fit comfortably over your other layers and also breathable. I like the ones too that have zippers under the armpits, so you can open those up to get extra ventilation in the rain without getting wet. You want that shell layer to be super-thin. It isn't about warmth, it's about wind/rain protection. The warmth layer is your down jacket.

    To avoid breaking the bank, do try Amazon of course. Also check out REI's clearance section or their yearly garage sale. You can find some really high-quality stuff at REI, and when they move it out, they move it out. For example:

    Example on sale: Shell
    + Warmth layer

    You get those two layers on you and BAM! Instant warmth that packs down into nothing. BAM! Wink

  7. #7
    Forum Member nimikor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Share
    Orange County, CA, USA
    Posts
    215
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I suggest a nice car with a great heater Biking attire below freezingBiking attire below freezing
    DLBC, WF, S19, Pilot, DLBP, PCSB, A30, SA plus other misc goodies.
    “Not all those who wander are lost.” - Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien 1892-1973)

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Share
    New York City
    Posts
    224
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I used to bicycle commute year-round about 20 miles a day.

    I personally did not prefer to wear cycling-specific clothes because cycling clothes are on average, more expensive than similarly performing general-purpose outdoors clothes, wear out more quickly when used daily (the Lycra seems to last best when it has time to rest), and less versatile for walking around (going out to get lunch, going out after work).

    With that said, I found what works for me once it gets cold is soft shell pants with lightweight or midweight long underwear, a wicking t-shirt and a windproof soft shell jacket or synthetic insulated jacket.

    Without getting into specific brands, soft shell pants are "hard-faced" on the outside which provides substantial wind and water resistance, but "soft-faced" with a brushed interior for comfort on the inside. They provide substantial comfort in a large variety of conditions but still breathe and still let sweat soak through. A light sprinkle is nothing to soft shell but heavier rains will pierce through the fabric. Even still, it dries fast and when hung up is ready to go by the time you are ready to head back home.

    When I cycle long distances for fun in cold weather, I wear similarly billed winter soft shell bib tights. They're great for all day rides.

    For the upper I often change it up, but it comes down to two categories - fully windproof and lightly insulated, or wind resistance and warmly insulated.

    An "active insulation" like Polartec Alpha, Primaloft Silver Active or a hybrid traditional synthetic insulation like Primaloft Gold with fleece vents offers some wind protection but also allows venting of heat and sweat either directly through the fabric (active) or through breathable fleece panels (hybrid). Besides in a singular expensive jacket purchase, this can also be achieved in two pieces of cheaper clothing, a fleece jacket covered with a lightweight breathable wind breaker.

    The other way to go I found is to wear a heavy soft-shell jacket, one which is billed as windproof and hoodless works great, and tends to give sufficient insulation on its own. The downside is they tend to wick sweat more poorly and are terrible for doing townie stuff on foot, because they aren't all that warm without you cranking out heat.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •