Winter training clothing

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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mike001100
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:26 am

by mike001100

Hi all,

I am looking for recommendations on clothing for intensive training in winter... does anything exist that would both let you do full out sprints without getting sweaty, and then keep you warm when you slow down? I have yet to find such a garment...

Either I start feeling toasty when pushing it... or cold when not.

Looking for things that will work around -7 to +3 C.

An interesting thing I have is with X Bionic, where I "sweat" up to temp, but then there seems to be a wide useable range, where I can both push it and not feel cold, as well as lay back and feel warm...

Thanks for any input.

jeffy
Posts: 1255
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:51 pm

by jeffy

The Assos Winter (Bonka) Skinfoil. Pricey, but the skinfoils have an amazing ability (within the bounds of their temperature ranges) to keep you cool, but not cold - and even when drench with sweat they'll keep you warm.

A bit like Bontrager's "Strong, Cheap, Light - pick two" I would say of baselayers "Wicking, Warm, Breathable, Cheap - you'll only get three out of four."

caad4rep
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:18 pm
Location: Minnesota, USA

by caad4rep

Layers are your friend. Pair a long sleeve jersey with a light jacket. The jacket will easily fit in a back pocket when riding hard.

fromtrektocolnago
Posts: 1001
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:15 pm

by fromtrektocolnago

Second the comment about layers. First layer should be merino wool. middle layer a good long sleeve jersey and the top layer a wind breaker. same thing with feet, base layer should be merino wool socks, second layer bike shoes, third layer a shoe cover. if its really cold i give up the bike shoe and switch to a really warm cycling boot. for hands you 'll never go three layers, but merino wool glove liners and a good pair of cycling gloves. on some cold days i'll add chemical warmers for hands and feet. you get the idea....
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robertbb
Posts: 304
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

The first layer should never, ever be merino wool for any high intensity application.
It's ALL about the bike.

fromtrektocolnago
Posts: 1001
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:15 pm

by fromtrektocolnago

merino does a great job of keeping the moisture away from the skin. i'd be interested to hear the theory on why merino is to be avoided its worked well for me for several years now.
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TonyM
Posts: 2155
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

Merino is warm but is not the best for transporting the humidity.

For me:

- Low intensity and cold -> merino

- High intensity and cold „regular“ first layer (but you will be cold at the beginning)


Actually in the winter you tend to go for low intensity and long outside (fat burning) so Merino is the best choice for that.

sw0513
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:01 am

by sw0513

merino is answer

cdncyclist
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 am

by cdncyclist

I echo many of the suggestions in this thread. I live in Canada, and ride down to as low as -15C (sometimes lower). Merino is a great insulator and I use it a lot, however higher intensity efforts lead to sweating and merino will not wick away moisture as well as a well constructed technical synthetic base layer.

For your specific question on intensive training without getting sweaty, I would suggest using a synthetic layer against the skin (I have started using the Rapha pro team thermal, it is great) and then ensure your jersey / jacket layer is breathable. Then having another layer that you can wear for warm up / cool down and pack for the high intensity efforts might work.

Saying this, I have worn merino as a base layer, and it has gotten wet from sweat, yet I haven't ever really gotten chilled unless I have stopped exertion (i.e. stopped riding completely).

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TonyM
Posts: 2155
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

+1


(also living now in Canada - but in BC :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: )

AJS914
Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I've been riding in this temp lately. I can't seem to wear enough clothes to sweat.

On top I'm wearing a sleeveless mesh base layer, a long sleeve Craft base layer and an old Pearl Izumi thermafleece jacket. It's kind of an old school fleece cycling jacket with nylon wind panels covering the front, shoulders, and front of the arms. I've had it forever and it still works well.

Down below I've been wearing some Pearl thermal bib knickers and on top of that my ancient Pearl wool tights. That's been a great combination.

After about an hour and half outside, my toes and fingers are starting to go numb but not too bad. There's definitely not much sweat involved at 0 degrees C.



mike001100 wrote:Hi all,

I am looking for recommendations on clothing for intensive training in winter... does anything exist that would both let you do full out sprints without getting sweaty, and then keep you warm when you slow down? I have yet to find such a garment...

Either I start feeling toasty when pushing it... or cold when not.

Looking for things that will work around -7 to +3 C.

An interesting thing I have is with X Bionic, where I "sweat" up to temp, but then there seems to be a wide useable range, where I can both push it and not feel cold, as well as lay back and feel warm...

Thanks for any input.
Last edited by AJS914 on Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fromtrektocolnago
Posts: 1001
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:15 pm

by fromtrektocolnago

Good explanation on the Merino. I typically don't exert myself in the winter I guess, but on really cold days I doubt I really could and basically I'm just happy being out there.
Colnago C-59 (Dura Ace)
Firefly(Ultegra)
Trek 5200(ultegra)

robertbb
Posts: 304
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

I'll re-post a few things I've written about Merino in another thread on this forum. Apologies if that's against forum rules, but I feel it's useful to those who read this thread.

1) Whatever you do, don't buy into the whole "merino baselayer" fad. It's hype. Yes, it wicks sweat from your skin well, but as a hydrophillic fiber, it will hold onto that sweat. This will make you cold/clammy/uncomfortable to varying degrees, depending on the fabrics you use over the top of it. The best test of a baselayer is to wash it as prescribed on the label, then check out how wet/damp it is when it comes out of the machine. Then hang it up on a line indoors and see how quickly it dries. The best layers will come out a tiny bit damp but surprisingly dry-ish, and then be totally dry in quick order on the line.

For Winter, look absolutely no further than the Assos SS.skinFoil_Spring/Fall_Evo7. I'm a textiles nut and I have absolutely no idea how they make this thing fit so well, warm so well, breathe so well and keep you dry. It's voodoo magic. I say get the short sleeve version, so you have the option of adding arm warmers *under* your jersey to give you more flexibility for changeable conditions

2) For a given jersey/jacket combination a merino baselayer will never perform as well as a synthetic one for any type of aerobic (or higher) activity. About the only thing merino does well (though still not as well as synthetics) is wick moisture, but once that moisture is absorbed into the garment it stays there. It doesn't insulate as well as modern synthetics (wet or dry), doesn't wear as well as modern synthetics, isn't as soft-touch as modern synthetics, and is usually more expensive to boot.

In regards to "warm when wet", kind of. But when you exceed 30% saturation (very easy to do on a hard ride) the already minimal exothermic (generates heat) properties drop off a cliff and just won't do as claimed anymore. Not to mention that this warmth is negated by a cold wind blowing at your body constantly from outside as you ride.

There is simply no substitute for dry when it comes to warmth retention.

There are also differences in whether the moisture hits the garment as steam (bodyheat) or liquid (sweat)... merino handles the former kind of OK... but won't be able to disburse liquid moisture anywhere near as quickly or uniformly as a synthetic textile.

The "does not retain odour" component is true but largely irrelevant - which in most cases is more misleading than false. Useful for multi-day hiking, camping, travelling but since when is odour as much of a concern for a cyclist (who isn't bike-packing)?

So hey, merino does do "stuff"... that's true, it's just that the stuff it does do isn't anywhere near as good or as useful as the "stuff" synthetics do.
It's ALL about the bike.

cdncyclist
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 am

by cdncyclist

robertbb wrote:I'll re-post a few things I've written about Merino in another thread on this forum. Apologies if that's against forum rules, but I feel it's useful to those who read this thread.

1) Whatever you do, don't buy into the whole "merino baselayer" fad. It's hype. Yes, it wicks sweat from your skin well, but as a hydrophillic fiber, it will hold onto that sweat. This will make you cold/clammy/uncomfortable to varying degrees, depending on the fabrics you use over the top of it. The best test of a baselayer is to wash it as prescribed on the label, then check out how wet/damp it is when it comes out of the machine. Then hang it up on a line indoors and see how quickly it dries. The best layers will come out a tiny bit damp but surprisingly dry-ish, and then be totally dry in quick order on the line.

For Winter, look absolutely no further than the Assos SS.skinFoil_Spring/Fall_Evo7. I'm a textiles nut and I have absolutely no idea how they make this thing fit so well, warm so well, breathe so well and keep you dry. It's voodoo magic. I say get the short sleeve version, so you have the option of adding arm warmers *under* your jersey to give you more flexibility for changeable conditions

2) For a given jersey/jacket combination a merino baselayer will never perform as well as a synthetic one for any type of aerobic (or higher) activity. About the only thing merino does well (though still not as well as synthetics) is wick moisture, but once that moisture is absorbed into the garment it stays there. It doesn't insulate as well as modern synthetics (wet or dry), doesn't wear as well as modern synthetics, isn't as soft-touch as modern synthetics, and is usually more expensive to boot.

In regards to "warm when wet", kind of. But when you exceed 30% saturation (very easy to do on a hard ride) the already minimal exothermic (generates heat) properties drop off a cliff and just won't do as claimed anymore. Not to mention that this warmth is negated by a cold wind blowing at your body constantly from outside as you ride.

There is simply no substitute for dry when it comes to warmth retention.

There are also differences in whether the moisture hits the garment as steam (bodyheat) or liquid (sweat)... merino handles the former kind of OK... but won't be able to disburse liquid moisture anywhere near as quickly or uniformly as a synthetic textile.

The "does not retain odour" component is true but largely irrelevant - which in most cases is more misleading than false. Useful for multi-day hiking, camping, travelling but since when is odour as much of a concern for a cyclist (who isn't bike-packing)?

So hey, merino does do "stuff"... that's true, it's just that the stuff it does do isn't anywhere near as good or as useful as the "stuff" synthetics do.


This is fair and speaks to the specific question posed here (high intensity work in cold weather) - I also use synthetic technical base layers for this. Saying this most of my riding in cold weather is not high intensity, and I don't sweat, I am trying to stay warm without overheating (it gets cold in Canada!) - in these circumstances I use merino base layers as I find they are warmer.

kode54
Posts: 1184
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:39 pm

by kode54

jeffy wrote:The Assos Winter (Bonka) Skinfoil. Pricey, but the skinfoils have an amazing ability (within the bounds of their temperature ranges) to keep you cool, but not cold - and even when drench with sweat they'll keep you warm.

A bit like Bontrager's "Strong, Cheap, Light - pick two" I would say of baselayers "Wicking, Warm, Breathable, Cheap - you'll only get three out of four."


agreed. the skin foils are great. all of them tend to wick very well. pair that with the Assos Bonka or Habu jacket and it beats most combos. the newer jackets have a great wind protection which blocks out cold wind...and when your core warms up...seems to expands the fabric and slowly releases moisture and heat.
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