Winter Clothing?

Funkster

New Member
Hi all,

I'm not exactly new to cycling but I am to cycling in the cold..currently I own a helly hanson base layer that I believe is made from morino wool (apparently of the range designed for cold weather) on top of that, I wear my North Face Hyvent Waterproof (simply because I wanted a jacket that I could also wear off the bike)..

Now so far..this set up has worked pretty well..but the time has come where I want to take to the road again, but wearing the two items I just mentioned really doesn't seem to cut the mustard..I realise that you heat up as you cycle but I really do need some sort of Mid-layer..my outer jacket (waterproof isn't up for compromise, because in England, the chance of getting stuck out in the rain is very very likely)..

Question to you all is..what would be your recommendations..material-wise or even specific solution..It needs to be something that will not be too bulky, should wick sweat like my base layer (or almost) and keep me warm..

So far I've had micro fleeces suggested..and one example is the Endura Polartec Fleece (link below) please please help me out with your ideas

Many many thanks in advance
http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Endura-Polartec-Fleece-2009-long-sleeve-cycling-jersey_15192.htm
 
OP
F

Funkster

New Member
one more thing..some have also suggested softshells..but it's as if they suggested them as alternatives to my North Face waterproof..

SInce I'm not up for changing my North face..for a non water proof softshell..can anyone tell me if softshells work well in cold weather as a mid-layer?

It's just that I do not think it is sensible to cycle in the UK without a waterproof jacket...(it rains ALL the time) totaly not practical if you wanna cycle to work
 
At this time of year I quite often wear a soft shell and carry the waterproof for that odd occasion but fortunately that's not to often as I'd boil in both but that's me, we're all different and I'd probably boil in a waterproof alone. In extreme weather the soft shell/ waterproof combo's fine for me. I also like to wear something with a wind proof membrane in, to keep the chill away.
 

Neilwoo123

Active Member
Location
Shropshire
For the last month or so Ive been wearing a berghaus base a long sleeved cycle jersey and my waterproof altura night vision jacket and have been comfortable even on a 3 hour ride at 2 degrees last weekend. The altura has good venting (zippable) when you get warm.

Feet were freezing tho!!
 
I am no expert but are you getting cold because you are not insulated enough or is it that as you sweat the clothing is getting wet and the wet is chilling you?

Tricky when it is raining but my problem is the latter. I have two layers on my legs and three long sleeve layers on top and find that is ok if weather is above freezing. But my back chills as it gets wet from perspiration and so that gets chilly. I tried shoving a thick folded up T shirt up my back but after an hour it was soaking wet and cold.

So air flow must be vital to keeping warm is my conclusion. So waterproof is not good when it cuts off air flow too.

Anyones thoughts on above welcome!
 

wyno70

New Member
I simply wear a helly hansen type top next to my skin, a long sleeved t shirt over the top and then either my windstopper top, or waterproof depending on whether I think I'm going to get wet or not.

Legs, well it's just normal long cycling leggings with bib shorts over the top. no problems there.

Feet - another matter, normally okay but if it's really cold, I haven't yet found a solution and have had some pretty painfully cold feet on long rides. I've pretty much tried everything. Last solution is to be a cheap pair of shoes a size to large, with extra pairs of socks, plastic bags and overshoes!!!!!! - Yet to be tested!!!!!
 

yello

Legendary Member
Sweat chills, definitely. You want to get it away from your skin. It is a case of less is more sometimes and, counter intuitively, over dressing (and boil-in-the-bag) can lead to getting cold. So, unless it is really cold, a soft shell under a waterproof is not a good idea.

You definitely want a wicking base layer at least; to get the sweat away from your skin. Merino is my fave for that but there are other fabrics that work. (I didn't know Helly's did merino btw).

Mid layers are an interesting one for me because I don't often need one but, if I do, a bulk std cycling shirt works for me; short sleeve. I'm just really after something that wicks ideally but mainly to trap a bit of warmth. I have a merino s/s shirt but find I get a bit too warm in that. But each to their own here and you'll have to experiment - but it should be breathable. Personally, I wouldn't overdo it and even a thin fleece layer would be overdoing it, imo.

Outer layers are the really clever garments and a lot depends on what you want to spend. A decent softshell is worth is weight in gold; breathable, water and wind resistant. I have a Rapha but there are others; cheaper and arguably better. If I had the cash, I'd love to try an Assos Airjack. Do a forum/google search on eVent - it's supposedly about the most versatile fabric going at the mo.

Soft shells are not masters of cold, wind or rain though so its good to have alternatives. I have a cheaper Prorace jacket that is much warmer and much less breathable but, on a well cold day, it does the job well and I don't get too sweaty.

I will also take a packable waterproof or windproof depending on conditions. A packable windproof is also useful as an extra layer in cusp season (e.g. autumn) if you're in base layer and shirt. The most I ever wear is four layers - but that's exceptional (wind or rain) and usually I find 3 adequate... so long as I get the right 3!!
 
OP
F

Funkster

New Member
Thank you all for your assistance, it is very very useful. To be clear, are those of you that say in cold weather and when it rains that you may wear a softshell and waterproof but not a baselayer? Are you saying that a softshell is to be worn on the skin?

Also can anyone recommend headwear..I shave my head (i'm at that age :smile: ) so I really really need some sort of hat that will keep me warm but also wick sweat because mycurrent hat (made of cotton I believe) gets wet with sweat very quickely and makes my head get even colder..would love some ideas?
 
At this time of year I always wear a base layer with a soft shell on top (no shirt) and only on the rare occaision wear the weather turns really bad i've got a waterproof or gilet to wear over top.

This winter I've started to occaisionally wearing a skull cap under my helmet, I picked it up cheap (£1.99 I think in Aldi) and its great for those coldest days and the commute in particular for keeping my ears warm. They're supposed to wick sweat away and keep you warm.
 

yello

Legendary Member
No, you don't wear a softshell next to the skin, unless it's a N2S (next-to-skin) one. You'd need a base layer. And that can be enough. It depends on the softshell but I personally wouldn't wear a waterproof over one. I reckon you'd cook. Besides, most softshells are water resistant. But as you're committed to a waterproof, I wouldn't be looking at a softshell at all. Save your money!

Waterproofs are, generally speaking, not particularly breathable and you tend to overheat when cycling. I can't recommend a particular mid layer because it really does depend on how energetically you cycle, how breathable (or not) your waterproof is and how prone you are to overheating. You'll have to experiment but I'd guess you'd want another wicking layer, something pretty light weight, maybe another merino layer... I think fleece of any kind would be a mistake.

As for headwear, Helly's do a pretty good skull cap kind of thing. It's close fitting (so it can be worn under a helmet), warm and wicking.
 

Bodhbh

Guru
Funkster said:
one more thing..some have also suggested softshells..but it's as if they suggested them as alternatives to my North Face waterproof..

SInce I'm not up for changing my North face..for a non water proof softshell..can anyone tell me if softshells work well in cold weather as a mid-layer?

It's just that I do not think it is sensible to cycle in the UK without a waterproof jacket...(it rains ALL the time) totaly not practical if you wanna cycle to work
I'm no expert and still figuring out what works for me, but I think the idea with softshells is you're getting wet from the inside anyhow, so might as well just keep the wind out and make sure you're warm in anycase. I've been using I think the same Helly Hanson you mention, a Gore Windstopper softshell, and either a t-shirt/M&S thermal vest to put on over the baselayer for stops or it still get too cold (tbh use an old thermal vest as a base-layer half the time for commuting seems to do the job fine). I fell off the toe path into the Union Canal over the weekend 10miles into a 60mile run and was warm despite been dripping wet for a while and the path been frozen, which I suppose was as good a test as any.
 

Bodhbh

Guru
wyno70 said:
Thats funny, nice one Bodhbh.

Apologies if you find my amusement annoying but it is funny!!
Yes, all the gear, no idea. No worries, Ithink it made my day - added variety.

Actually, on topic - nice when you spend money on gear and it actually does the job and it's not just bling. It's a bit of a minefield when starting out and you want decent kit but realise you might be being had by hype and marketing now and again. The Gore Windstoppers been a nice bit of kit even tho not cheap and pretty much kept me warm all winter - even when wet - with a baselayer under be it old t-shirt or something more cycle specific. Much better than the walking smock + fleece I was using before.

Have thought some other clothing purchases which have been less wise like MTB trousers (rip-off when you just want some non-lycra pants to bike in) and gloves (winter cycle specific gloves too tight cut even oversized and not warm enuff imo, but I have poor circulation).
 

bonj2

Guest
i just wear helly hansen ice crew base layer, bib longs and dhb long sleeve jersey. that's fine for down to about 2-4 deg c. much colder than that and i don't cycle.
 

Enso108

Formerly OselLing
I wear a Canterbury long sleeved base layer, then a standard Ron Hill long sleeved cycling jersey, then an Altura wind and waterproof jacket. Ron Hill Bikesters on the legs and Endura winter overshoes.
I'm in the Highlands and cycling regular when it's just above freezing and never feel a chill with that lot on, I think if you're wearing a waterproof outer you need a mid layer to soak up the sweat.
 
Top Bottom