Monday, January 24, 2011

Cycling Apparel

For cold weather commuting my apparel basically consists of what I am wearing to work for the day, my wool coat, my helmet (sometimes a band for ear cover), scarf, pant leg strap, safety glasses, and gloves.  When your commute isn't too far this all works.  If I was going further I might grab a buff to pull up around my face and throw on an extra pair of socks or shoe covers.

I've already talked in prior posts about the basic cold weather cycling gear, but there are some things I have found this season that have been beneficial.  I'd like to chat about them here...

I think I seem like a Columbia groupie (this is not the case), but they really do have some decent quality stuff.  I honestly thought they only made fishing shirts until we took a trip to Portland last year.  Anyway, I really dig this shirt for cold weather rides and really cold weather runs:
It comes equipped with a handy dandy pocket for my iPhone, ID, and some cash.  It's fleece lined and breathable.  I can't wear it running for anything above freezing, but for anything below it's fantastic.  For rides I will pair it with this shirt:

It is breathable and form fitting (also from Columbia).  It has thumb holes so your shirt stays in place while adding additional layers!  On top I add this little jacket from Pearl Izumi:
It's their W's Elite Barrier Convertible Jacket.  It's thinner than I anticipated when I ordered, but it's a great wind block and keeps me warmer than expected.  I have worn it for rides and runs.  The arms and upper back zip off for a vest when you heat up.  Or, you can do a partial unzip to just get a slight breeze.  For a 30 degree run I wore this jacket with a short sleeve tech t-shirt and was plenty warm.
On bottom I wear insulated tights for runs and rides.  On rides I just add the padded shorts on top.  I have also added these PI thermal leg warmers:
Prior I was just wearing knee warmers.  For really cold days these are great over thermal tights.  When it's a little warmer (40's) I can get away with regular tights and these.  I have also worn these with my shorts and ridden the 2 miles to spinning class.  It worked for that distance, but probably not much further in below freezing temps.

When you look at the cost of all these things (I did get most on sale), it seems crazy.  I generally only wear the really cold weather stuff a couple times a week so I only have a couple options.  Other than that I wash clothes a lot.  Between 2 of us our Saturday long rides equal at least 1 large load of laundry!  :-O

I'm just glad my real clothes still fit and that I'm not stuck buying cold weather maternity biking gear!  ;-)
By the time I'm really showing the temps should be tolerable for riding in about anything - possibly moo-moo's.  Eeek!

Till next time - ride on and stay warm!

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