It's farking cold!

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by pletharoe

With winter approaching I invested in Rapha's pro team training jacket and classic winter tights. These, along with a merino base layer, gloves, hat and overshoes should keep me toasty warm - right?


At the bottom of the hills it was about 8C and at the top around 4. On the flat ride to the hill I was cold, going up just right, going down I froze!

So, what am I doing wrong? People talk about layering, but I can't find any other mid layers or jackets that are thicker.

by Weenie

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by Jhomewood

Try looking at the free flow jacket from 7mesh
L. They use polartec alpha which is incredibly warm but it allows some air permeability to make sure you dont end up super sweaty

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by TobinHatesYou

I wear a winter base, thermal skinsuit and wind jacket down at sub-zero temps and I'm very toasty until I descend. Even while descending I stay warm enough. Oh fleece liner gloves jammed inside winter gloves too. At 8C I would be burning up in thermal gear on a climb.

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by micky

Using a wind vest over a jacket can be helpful as well just for the downhills.

With temperatures of 4°C, very close to zero, there's not much you can do against cold, especially if it's cloudy/foggy.

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by Alexandrumarian

I do not think it is possible to feel perfectly good in all 3 instances. For me it is actually pretty similar to summer, trying to live in between burning up during the climb and freezing on the way down. In any case during a hard climb I try to open up as much as I can - unzip the jacket and roll down the arm warmers. I use a long sleeve merino base, short sleeve Santini windstopper and winter arm warmers. A neck buff can be useful too. If it is colder I would put a mesh layer under the wool and if even colder (close to freezing) start using a thicker fleece baselayer, but the windstopper shell is a must for me.

If it is a flat cold ride I use a long sleeve 7mesh windstopper, fitted a bit large so I can use 2 baselayers with no need to open the arms.

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by TobinHatesYou

Honestly the worst temperature range for me is around 12-14C. It's impossible to dress just right for that range especially if there is elevation involved and the temperature dips at the top. Either I freeze my ass off at the beginning of a ride or I bring too many layers and take it all off 5 minutes into the first climb.

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by sychen

One thing I found is that merino base layers are crap.

Soaks up all the sweat and keeps it for the decent to freeze you up.
Not that I live in cold climates.. But I run colder than others..

I've found a q36.5 layer 3 long sleeve base with a Rapha windproof jersey can get me down to almost 5 degrees celsius. Can add a polartec alpha vest on top of need be. A great technical base layer is important.

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by IvanZg

For such temperatures I usually run long thermo bibs with long sleeved synthetic base layer, long fleece lined jersey and goretex vest together with some thin gloves. After few minutes into the ride I just pack vest in my jersey pocket and take of the gloves when I start climbing. I sweat like crazy so for me it's important to minimize amount of sweat I produce. So I usually climb with my jersey completely unzipped. When I reach the top section and as intensity drops I put back on the vest and my gloves. During descents I do get a bit cold but it's bearable and I do not have an issues doing harder effort immediately as I am at the bottom.
When temperatures drop even lower I add shoe covers, windproof cap bellow my helmet and use combination of short/long sleeved base layers and jersey depending on how cold it gets together with Castelli Raddoppia jacket. I usually take two pair of gloves. One very thin (liner type) and thicker pair. Use both of them on descents and only thin ones while climbing. This works for me down to -5C. If it’s colder I do not ride nor do I do rides at this low temperatures while raining.

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by Butcher

A layer of Zwift helps me.

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by uraqt

While it's not that cold where I live, I can aggree with sychen, I moved from wool to q36.5, a few years ago...


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by Matt28NJ

For your specific altitude change, a vest would be your best bet. Take it off when necessary.

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by bm0p700f

THY is right about 12 to 14 degrees being impossible to dress for.

At around 8 degrees I am able to wear a long sleeve base layer (altura thermocool) and short sleeve top and feel fine with shorts and leg warmers.

When it cold i tend wear two base layers,short sleeve top and a roubaix type jacket. The ones I like are vermarc. For gloves silk gloves liners with thermal gloves keep my hand warm when its sub zero.

However I'm not going up mountains. The problem you have is you sweat going up and when coming down that sweat cools you off.

I would change you base layer to the one I suggest as it breathes well.

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by bilwit

At 0C longsleeve base, longsleeve jersey, gilet, and neckwarmer is enough for me with thermal long bibs and shoecovers. My fingers on the otherhand.. still trying to find an answer for that no matter what combination on liner and heavy glove.
Last edited by bilwit on Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by Wookski

4 - 8c is around mid winter where I live (certain descents will take you to zero). A jacket is probably overkill and agree 100% with sychen re: merino being crap. A decent winter short sleeve baselayer, arm and leg warmers, mid weight jersey and wind blocking gilet will take you from 8 to zero fairly comfortably without sweating.

by Weenie

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by robertbb

Wool is the biggest farce. Synthetics (good ones) are sooooo much better.

Look at pieces made with polartec alpha, polartec neoshell, polartec powershell and gore shakedry. These are the real deal, in that order.

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