Saturday, January 20, 2007

My Winter Bike Wear

I did a bit of experimenting with my winter biking gear this year. With the exception of a February adventure race a few years ago, I've never biked in temperatures below freezing. Since I bike at a fast pace, for me anyway, I knew I'd overheat if I over dressed.

In addition to my usual bike shorts and bike jersey I wear a pair of old REI polyester lightweight long underwear. It does a good job soaking up the sweat and regulating my body heat. When it gets below 15˚, I wear Underarmor cold weather long underwear. It feels kind of plastic-ee and is really tight but in the long run it keeps me warm without overheating. When it gets below 10˚, I wear both.

As an outer layer I wear a Goretex LL Bean top and some light fleece form fitting bottoms I bought a few years ago. On my head I sport a Pearl Izumi headband in most weather. If it gets below 20˚, I wear a balaclava instead.

On my hands I wear a few pairs of old glove liners in addition to my reflective bike gloves. If it gets below 20˚, I wear Thinsulate mittens I got at a local hardware chain.

On my feet I wear Performance Neoprene booties. If it is below 20˚, I'll wear some old wool socks over my bike shoes and throw a plastic bag over each foot before I put on the booties. This combination has kept my feet pretty comfortable even near zero.

4 comments:

steve said...

My secret weapons for winter biking are cheap rain pants and gaiters. The rain pants stop the wind chill, and the gaiters stop gunk falling into my boots. The only downside is sweat freezes on the inside of the rain pants after long rides, so I have to be careful where I take the pants off!

Falon said...

hey, this is great advice. I plan on biking through the winter and I definitely need direction on what gear to wear.

Stephan said...

Thanks a lot, I'm moving to Chicago and I plan on biking through the winter and needed to know how to keep warm. Thanks for the advice.

DTAE said...

I just created this Wiki to help us track Road/Trail Conditions here in Chicago. Unless you know of some other resource which works better, I would appreciate if you could share the link:
http://bikechicago.wikia.com/wiki/Chicago_Biking_Conditions_and_Advice_Wiki