Winter clothing education thread

j-sworks

Maximum Pace
Feb 5, 2012
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Tokyo
#1
So I have a few pieces that are for cool to cold conditions, and some technical pieces for changeable weather and here is my experience plus a question.

I'm hoping that we can all lend our experience to help others (and myself) with choosing and wearing clothes for cool and cold conditions.

10 degrees or less: Gore windstopper jacket, and Gore windstopper bib tights, Castelli winter cap.

The jacket - this is a great jacket, but I find that my chest and stomach get sweaty and then the sweat gets cold and I then feel really bad. I think this is either an issue with the material or with me over dressing.

The bib tights - very functional, brushed lining, windstopper material on the front side from just above the knee and down to the bottom of the cuff, the front side has been doubled up on the material so it keeps you warm and protects you from the wind. The back of the legs and so on are single layer non-windstopper material to aid with moisture wicking. I like these a lot.

Castelli winter cap - have not worn it yet.

Changeable weather: 15 to 23 degrees ish

DHB veron roubiax knee warmers - really like these, fairly windproof on the front, nice brushed warm innards, good grippers and I can wear these all day with problems.

Gore light weight arm warmers- nice and useful, good grippers, UV 50 protection, but not enough when the mercury dips below 15.

Castelli neo vest- really nice piece, super super light, windproof and water proof on the front, mesh back, comes with a little pocket it can easily fold into making it easy to pop in your jersey pocket. I would have liked to see a pocket on the back.

Please share your advice and winter gear ideas ;)
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
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joewein.net
#2
I have yet to get myself proper leg and arm warmers, so I am interested what others will report, especially about cheaper items. On one of my recent rides I simply wore Uniqlo Heattech long johns under my cycling shorts.

I found it really helps to keep my ears warm. I have a large handkerchief (about 50 x 50 cm) which I fold diagonally so it becomes a wide strip, put it on my head and tie the two corners under my chin, then wear my helmet as usual. It really cuts down heat loss from the head.

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For my feet I use an old pair of socks on top of the shoes, with a hole cut for the cleats to go through. Inside I wear some comfortable wool socks.

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We had a good thread on shoes for winter last year:
https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=3177
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
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#4
For me it all starts with having your hands and feet warm, if they stay warm, then the rest of it you can manage, once your hands and feet are cold, you are miserable :eek:uch:

One of the best things I've done that is cheap and worked really well is my >> Hot Feet <<

Great mod to my regular shoes, my feet stayed toasty warm!

For hands, well that is harder, it seems that decent cycling gloves are hard to come by. I carry a pair of surgical gloves in my repair kit, they are good for keeping your hands clean if you have to mess with your chain on a ride, but in a pinch if you put them on under your regular gloves they do keep your hands a lot warmer.

For me a good bottom layer of the drytech type of shirt and then a nice long sleeved winter jersey with the addition of a decent wind breaker or shell is all I need here in Tokyo, but then again I've got a lot more built in insulation than most of you guys :eek: For my legs I like the bib shorts that I got from Tim, and depending on the weather one of these two items

STRETCH FLEECE EXERCISE PANTS these are very warm, and as they are unpadded I just pull them over my cycling shorts or the bibs, if I get too warm they can come off.

UNPADDED SPANDEX FITNESS TIGHTS
These are just spandex tights, they are good for a day when it is not that cold, but too cool for shorts alone.

I also have a pair of Italian wool tights, unpadded that I bought 20 years ago, they are still very warm and I find them too warm to use in Tokyo.

Cheers!
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
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Jul 26, 2008
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#5
These are great! (and ¥5370 is an excellent price)

I'm 187 and 85, and I chose the XL, someone else here about the same size (or at least the same height), preferred the X.

>>on second look, it seems they only have one size left... new revision coming soon?
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
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Tokyo
#6
One of the best things I've done that is cheap and worked really well is my >> Hot Feet
Thanks for the link! And much else above looks promising too.

I'm puzzled by the specification (in another message) of "Gore", unless it's genericspeak for "rainproof but breathable". I'd got the impression that Gore was an innovative company with excellent materials -- but that its materials now aren't much better than lower-cost materials from other companies. Although I may be very wrong, and certainly it's easier to remember the word "Gore(Tex)" when shopping than to try either to remember the alternatives, or to evaluate the claims made.

Me, I'm now looking for rainproof shoe covers. I see some shoe covers that are rainproof and heat-insulating, but they're expensive and a bit bulky. Meanwhile, I have in mind something light and simple and easily stuffed into a bag and routinely carried around and forgotten about until the clouds burst.
 

j-sworks

Maximum Pace
Feb 5, 2012
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#7
For me it all starts with having your hands and feet warm, if they stay warm, then the rest of it you can manage, once your hands and feet are cold, you are miserable :eek:uch:

One of the best things I've done that is cheap and worked really well is my >> Hot Feet <<

Great mod to my regular shoes, my feet stayed toasty warm!

For hands, well that is harder, it seems that decent cycling gloves are hard to come by. I carry a pair of surgical gloves in my repair kit, they are good for keeping your hands clean if you have to mess with your chain on a ride, but in a pinch if you put them on under your regular gloves they do keep your hands a lot warmer.

For me a good bottom layer of the drytech type of shirt and then a nice long sleeved winter jersey with the addition of a decent wind breaker or shell is all I need here in Tokyo, but then again I've got a lot more built in insulation than most of you guys :eek: For my legs I like the bib shorts that I got from Tim, and depending on the weather one of these two items

STRETCH FLEECE EXERCISE PANTS these are very warm, and as they are unpadded I just pull them over my cycling shorts or the bibs, if I get too warm they can come off.

UNPADDED SPANDEX FITNESS TIGHTS
These are just spandex tights, they are good for a day when it is not that cold, but too cool for shorts alone.

I also have a pair of Italian wool tights, unpadded that I bought 20 years ago, they are still very warm and I find them too warm to use in Tokyo.

Cheers!
Hmm I can see a few uses for those "hot feet" ski, fish, biking on and off road.

I totally agree with the dry part, I find that if I get sweaty then cold my day is ruined. I feel as though I have instantly caught a flu and/or cold.

Thanks for the tips!
 

j-sworks

Maximum Pace
Feb 5, 2012
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#9
Thanks for the link! And much else above looks promising too.

I'm puzzled by the specification (in another message) of "Gore", unless it's genericspeak for "rainproof but breathable". I'd got the impression that Gore was an innovative company with excellent materials -- but that its materials now aren't much better than lower-cost materials from other companies. Although I may be very wrong, and certainly it's easier to remember the word "Gore(Tex)" when shopping than to try either to remember the alternatives, or to evaluate the claims made.

Me, I'm now looking for rainproof shoe covers. I see some shoe covers that are rainproof and heat-insulating, but they're expensive and a bit bulky. Meanwhile, I have in mind something light and simple and easily stuffed into a bag and routinely carried around and forgotten about until the clouds burst.
Yes Gore is code for Gore Bike Wear, and I find that there stuff is ok but I am now slowly migrating toward Castelli as I find it a little better fitting, Gore gear is too big for me.

When you find something that matches what is currently on your mind why don't you share with the class.

almost all manufactures have a jacket or vest, or jacket/vest hybrid that is light and does it all, but they are also not cheap because of this.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
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Jul 26, 2008
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#10
These are versatile. (I don't have the reflective version, which for some reason is cheaper.)

One of the versatilities of this thing is that it's way better than a plastic bag or newspaper to stuff into your bib tights to keep the wind off, your, uh, private parts.

And another one... Overkill on the logos. Maybe they could be trimmed off.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
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#12
Yes Gore is code for Gore Bike Wear, and I find that there stuff is ok [...]
Ah. Sorry, I'd never heard of Gore Bike Wear. I wrongly assumed that you meant some Goretex material.

When you find something that matches what is currently on your mind why don't you share with the class.
Shall do. I can't do so now, because it's been 11 years (I think) since I last cycled in winter.

And another one... Overkill on the logos. Maybe they could be trimmed off.
Yes. The only winter wear I've got so far is a pair of "Sugoi" brand gloves. These say "Sugoi" twice on the inside and once on the outside. They're less hideous than my fingerless mitts, which shout "GOLDWIN".
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#13
It's about that time to stock up on the hot packs. I'll probably go for a new pair fo the Shimano winter shoes (Pete, etc) has them and they are great. Gloves are still my conundrum. Honestly the best I've had so far have been some crab mitts from Donki. The Pearl Izumi lasted about 3 weeks. I just want a great windstopper on the back side and something insulative in between with grip on the front.

Don't forget your EMBRO!

And - JAM ECONO! 100yen store rain jacket is as good as any 20,000 Castelli or whatever. When it's raining or you want 100% shielding , plastic is plastic. Conbini garbage bags for sock liners - check! Newspaper for front insulation - check! Rinko bag for moving bivouak - check!

I do want a GORE helmet cove though!

For non-rain cold supression it is amazing how well Belgian Shoe Covers (old socks) work. I have some fancy pantsy PI and Diadora ones - but actually the old socks work pretty much as good. Except for the rain - then the PI's are my first choice.

Lower body has been well covered by my Girodana wool tights for more than 20yrs. Honestly, nothing performs as good or lasted as long. Merino wool is amazing. No synthetic can come close to its ability to just 'feel good' regardless of the wethe conditions or temps.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#16
To be honest if you want to ride long distance and regular in the winter then I strongly suggest you invest the cash on proper layered technical clothing.

Hot packs are fine but lets face it why deal with the hassle when there is a broad range of technical clothing out there that can dispense with these.

Here are the MUST have items for winter that I personally use and can't do without:

Shoes: Shimano SH-RW80 Winter Road Shoes;

Forget neoprene covers, convience store carrier bags and old socks these are an affordable solution that will have you riding in all weathers and temperatures over the winter months.

These babies are Gore-Tex lined and insulated and when coupled with a good pair of wwinter wool socks you may find your toes too toasty I have to ride with long summer socks!

For 15,000 JPY that will last several seasons (Mine are 3 years old now and still look new.)

Base Layers;

These are probably one of the most important items of winter clothing that can make the difference between a nice ride and a ride to hospital for hyperthermia.

There are lots out there, I’ve tried the UniQlo option and I’ve tried other brands such as Under Armour and the likes but if they have any cotton blending they could potentially do more harm than good.
Last season I was sponsored by Castelli and used the Castelli Feroce Midweight Base Layer.

Several reasons why I recommend this over other is that it has a long tail meaning it will cover your butt, when you ride the fabric over your backside stretches and you lose some of the wind protection and thermal properties of the material the Castelli top compensates for this.
The other benefit is that the material on the arms is slightly thinner than the body section I over heat a lot and having a thinner layer, especially around the arm pits made for a more comfortable ride.

Polo style neck – this is a god send when descending, most riders suffer wind chills not because of lack of protective clothing but because when in the drops the air is channeled straight down the collar of the jacket and jersey. The collar on the base layer protects you from this.

For 7,000 JPY it’s another reasonably priced product that will last many seasons.

Outer Shell:

Again this is another important piece of kit – if not the most important. This is the part of the kit that protects you from the variable elements when riding. Stuffing news paper up your jersey might be the retro cool amongst some but Iets face it, there are more sensible options that are cost effect and don’t make you look destitute.
One of the most important factors when selecting a technical outer shells is as follows:

Fit; if its baggy it isn’t going to do its job. When selecting an outer shell make sure you are wearing your other layers so you can see how it interacts with them. Some brands will actually design each layer Castelli winter range for instance have aligned all the zips up in roughly the same area. This means as you heat up on a climb you can unzip each vent in your layer easily without thumbing around with your hands up your jersey looking for thee blasted zipper.

Venting: Make sure that there is venting in the arm pits and on the back, some will even have venting on the front to aid in rapid cooling.

Wind proof/water proof; this is what this layer is all about so make sure that it is exactly what it says it is. A 100Yen poncho might be ok for summer showers but when out in the winter you need to be properly prepared. Again the neck collar and arm cuffs need to be close fitting – some models now come with an awesome neoprene neck that is very close fitting but not uncomfortable and completely stops the tunneling of cold air down the front of the jersey.

Some models come with a detachable hood- these are also very good and I rode with this style outer shell last year. It was also designed so it could be pulled off the head without removing the helmet – a very nice feature when slogging it up a long climb.

These can be very pricey but again it’s something that should last you several seasons.

Other notes;

In regards to arm/leg warmers to be honest these are for spring/autumn I stopped using them about 3 years ago in place of proper winter thermal bib tights and base layers, mid layer and outer shells.

Mid layers are pretty much dependant on each rider – I have a medium weight long sleeve jersey with a Goretex windproof front to it. That I use in midwinter or on its own in spring/autumn.

Gloves;

Now this is a mystery to me – in all the years I have been riding I have never found a pair of gloves that I’m comfortable in. Either my finger tips get frozen or my hands get way to hot and sweaty. I’ve tried Assos multi-layered system, neoprene everything and I’ve yet to find a glove or combination that works for me.

Talking of Assos one bit of their kit I can highly recommend is the Rob Skull Cap, Ludwig and MOB introduced me to this excellent piece of kit and I’ve been using it for 5 years now – makes you look like something out of TRON but it works, fits very nicely under the helmet and protects your ears. I love it as it keeps my head at a nice ambient temperature rather than slow baking what’s left of my brains.

I did write a pretty comprehensive review on winter clothing and the correct way to layer clothing for optimal performance and comfort. It was written while sponsored by Castelli so its heavily promoting their products.
 
Apr 3, 2012
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Boso
#17
What do you folks do for bottoms? Are leg warmers and shorts enough to get through a Tokyo winter?

edit: Somehow missed your comment on the subject FarEast
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#18
What do you folks do for bottoms? Are leg warmers and shorts enough to get through a Tokyo winter?
NO..... Leg warmers and arm warmers really are for Autumn/Spring riding or winter racing.

I suggest a good set of Roubaix bib tights (fleece lined) with tirrups to stop them riding up the ankle. Last year I purchased the 'dhb' winter thermal bib tights with Gortex wind proof knees and I have to say I was very impressed - a little heavy on the legs but for the price and the features they are great!
 

theDude

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Oct 7, 2011
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app.strava.com
#19
I agree with FE on all that. Long sleeve/long trouser kit is what you need.

Base layers, I have used a variety of different ones. I tend to go with Merino wool stuff. I've got some nice Icebreaker gear, but that's a bit expensive, I also got some dhb merino kit which does just as well (just about, anyway :p ). Also use some Arc Teryx Phasic stuff. All this I use for motorcycling and snowboarding as well as cycling.


I've found my Gore Windstopper top to be key. I use it both as an outer layer and also a mid layer (when it gets really cold). I have a big Pearl Izumi top that I use on top of everything when it's low single digits. Mostly that cuz I got it on sale and tried it on quickly. Bigger than I would have liked for what it was meant to do.

I almost always carry one of those rain jackets, the kind that come in a stuff sack. So if it is really windy, I can put that on. I also have a Gore-tex shell (from Gore, I think), but I think that I prefer the softshell stuff. I will use the gore-tex one if it looks like it'll be cold and perhaps drizzly. I don't usually go out in those conditions, but if the forecast isn't great, it'll do. Needs to be cold tho, else will get too warm for my own liking.

Head cover is key, make sure it covers the ears. Also one of those neck things, the long stretchy ones that scrunch up. Can be used around the neck and also if it is really cold pull up around the mouth/nose if you need it.

I've got a couple diff gloves, each warmer than the other. If it looks like it might get a bit warm on a ride, or if there is a climb, i'll bring a spare with me to change. Sweaty hands in a glove is kind of miserable.

At the moment I use shoe covers. I thought they were pretty crap, my feet were always freezing. I only noticed in the spring that my shoes had vents on the bottom. Suppose taping that up would help a lot. But I'd like to get some other shoe, gore-tex is nice. The Sidi Hydro are really nice, but not cheap. I've seen some northwave one out there I might try at about 1/2 the price.


Well, that's what I've done. Just done one season in the cold. As one can never have too much gear, looking forward to trying out some other options this winter.

:bike: :bike: :bike:
 

Jayves

Speeding Up
Nov 20, 2009
115
3
38
Yokohama
jayves-rando.blogspot.jp
#20
Let the picture speaks for itself :)

- Winter cap (which covers the ears)
- Ski Goggles
- Layers and layers (base, jersey, vest, outer shell - windproof and water resistant)
- Winter bibs
- Winter Shoe (with small 'kairo' inside)
- Medium Gloves and covered with special hoods (after years of suffering frozen fingers, finally found something that is warm and toasty)
- Insulated bottle
- Neck cover (not shown)

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