What do i need for cold commuting

defy-one

Guest
This will be my first autumn on a bike and more importantly,my first commute. In terms of suitable gear,all i have are summer jerseys,padded shorts and mit gloves.
I'm thinking i need
A breathable hooded jacket that looks good off the bike. Saw a thread earlier,for a young son. I'm much older but that jacket does look good!
What should i be looking at in terms of base layers.should i wear stuff on my legs(under trousers).
Once off the bike,i need to be presentable in front of customers,so shirt and trousers is a must. Is there footwear out there suitable for cycling but still looks shoe(ish)?
Just a little confused,and i don't want to waste any money.
 

Maz

Legendary Member
Everyone's different - what I find cold, someone else might not.
I have a general rule of thumb...if the temperature is below 10C, I always wear thermal layers (base layer underneath jersey, cycling tights, gloves). Particularly important to keep the knees covered in the depths of winter (synovial fluid in knees don't like frost!)
Can you leave your work clothes at work?
 

BSRU

A Human Being
Location
Swindon
Merino wool base layers, long sleeve top, tights, socks, glove liners, make for a more pleasant commute on the colder days.
Winter tights, such as Altura night vision.
Altura night vision windproof jacket and gloves, it does not rain that much in the winter(usually).
Some winter boots, I have MW81's to keep my feet warm and dry.
Generally stuff to keep yourself warm but not too warm, remembering your extremities tend to feel the cold more.
 

Andrew_Culture

Internet Marketing bod
I'd recommend some long gloves, I have some cheapo sealskins from Halfords that are fine for a commute but get filled with sweat on longer rides.

I'm planning to wear an expensive base layer jacket for when I visited the frozen wastes of New England a few years back. For my legs it'll be some tight regatta thermal leggings and long lycra leggings.
 

sabian92

Über Member
I wear a thermal base layer below about 10c, and thermal tights below about 6c or so. I only have a 3.5 mile commute so it's no great deal if i get wet - my gym is over the road (literally) so I can nip in for a shower to warm up if I need one.

Long fingered gloves are must as well - I don't know if you're like me but I get cold hands really easily, and the wind going over them at 20mph doesn't half make them painful (I remember once when I was younger and a bit thicker I rode 10 miles at night... in December... in SNOW, with no gloves on :scratch:) and all I could do for 9 of the 10 miles is cry it was so painful. Not only that, my bloody tears froze to my face! :biggrin:

A buff is probably worth having as well.
 

Teuchter

Über Member
Everyone's different - what I find cold, someone else might not.
I have a general rule of thumb...if the temperature is below 10C, I always wear thermal layers (base layer underneath jersey, cycling tights, gloves). Particularly important to keep the knees covered in the depths of winter (synovial fluid in knees don't like frost!)
Can you leave your work clothes at work?
Exactly this - everyone's different and you have to experiment a bit to see what works best for you. The first five minutes will be colder than the rest of your ride once you've warmed up - I often find myself wrapping up warm then having to strip half of the layers off after a mile or two.

My cutoff temperature at which I switch from cycling shorts to full length (I use ronhills) is 5'C.
Probably switch to long sleeved cycling tops under a jacket below 10'C.
Add a beanie that covers my ears below freezing!
I use the same footwear for cycling all year round (Aldi SPD cycling shoes) and change them with everything else at work.
The most effective winter gloves I've had were a pair of windproof gloves from an outdoor shop... and they were cheaper than 'proper' cycling gloves. They weren't totally waterproof (but what gloves truly are?) but being windproof, seemed to stay warm even when wet. Used them downt to about -5'C with no problems.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
I quite like Sealskinz but find they're not warm enough on a real cold day. The rest of me glows like peasant from Fukashima, but my digits suffer painfully.

Does anyone use those handkebar muffs or knows where to buy them?
 

RaRa

Well-Known Member
Location
Dorset
For me the most important things to get right are your fingers and your feet. Freezing hands and toes like ice will make life miserable. I've found lobster claw gloves are better than regular gloves as they keep your fingers together and hold onto the warmth better than normal fingered gloves. For my feet in previous winters I've gone with merino wool socks and waterproof overboots (over regular trainers) but they only hold the wet and cold out for about 30 mins. This year I've splashed out on some Sealskinz winter socks that are so thick they can stand up by themseleves! I've tested them in a few inches of water in the bath and they do seem to do a good job of keeping the wet out. Will be interesting to see how they fare in a real test.
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Top to bottom:

  • Head; A thermal skull cap. Mine's an Altura one, but there's lots of others.
  • Neck; Sometimes I use a buff, but I tend not to bother.
  • Middle; long or short-sleeved Cold base layer from Canterbury. Long-sleeved jersey or a winter jacket if it's properly cold.
  • Hands; long-fingered gloves, then thermal/waterproof gloves. I've about 8 pairs - think I've got a glove fetish? :blush:
  • Legs; leg warmers and then I move onto thermal tights/bib longs when it gets colder.
  • Feet; thermal socks. I like BaaBaa ones, but then I simply follow the rest of the sheep.
  • Shoes; I don't have winter boots, so a good set of overshoes
Most of this was bought for last winter or in this spring's sales, although I'm buying some bits now before the discounts disappear. Mind you, I was still using a lot of it until June.
 

HorTs

Über Member
Location
Portsmouth
I have some Endura winter tight bibs, a merino base layer and a water & wind proof jacket.

Feet stay the same, head gets a think under helmet hat, hands need attention - I haven't found a good solution yet, will try the lobster gloves next.
 

MacB

Lover of things that come in 3's
As above. we're all different and allowing for layering up/down is probably the main thing.

For me my priority is being able to have warm hands and feet and being able to block of the wind chill. Like most of us my core body tends to get toasty and remain so. But windchill getting into hands and feet can leave you almost sobbing as you're riding.

Merino base layers are good - I have short and long sleeved ones, socks and gloves. The gloves are great for changeable days, I often wear them under a pair of fingerless mitts.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Good point DClane - I have a number zero haircut which can be painfully cold, so a silk balaclava under my helmet is the order of the day.
 

BrumJim

Forum Stalwart (won't take the hint and leave...)
Depends how hard your ride, but the following are essential:

Warm full-fingered gloves. Hands are always in the wind, and never work hard enough to get the blood flowing through them.
Thick or multiple socks. See above.
Buff or non-branded equivalent. This is an adaptable bit of kit that can be a neck warmer, a neck-ear-and-head warmer, or a neck-ear-head-mouth-and-nose warmer depending on requirements.

Other than that - shorts and t-shirt should be enough. :wacko::cold::snowball:
 

Beebo

Firm and Fruity
Location
Hexleybeef
Dont over do it though, better to be a bit too cold when you set off rather than boiling hot and sweaty for the entire ride. You will warm up within 5 mins.
 

Teuchter

Über Member
Buff or non-branded equivalent. This is an adaptable bit of kit that can be a neck warmer, a neck-ear-and-head warmer, or a neck-ear-head-mouth-and-nose warmer depending on requirements.
Totally. When it's cold but not too cold I wear one on my head. This gets moved to my neck and a woolly beanie hat goes on my head (under the helmet) when it gets properly cold. The cheap, non branded ones are just as effective as the genuine ones.
 
Top Bottom