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Riding in Winter Weather


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What is the BEST way when touring during the winter months to stay warm? What type of jacket,pants, boots,gloves are best for winter usage?

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What is the BEST way when touring during the winter months to stay warm? What type of jacket,pants, boots,gloves are best for winter usage?

 

 

 

I regularly ride in temps down to O°f ,, not real often but often enough to know that it is difficult to stay warm for extended riding at those temps..

 

I have my personal gear in order enough that I can do 3-4 hours at 20°f with little or no stopping.. A heated vest or coat is a must,, good base of thermal clothing is a must (for me anyhow).. I don’t wear heated socks or heated pants (probably should but still don’t)… I much prefer heated gloves (good ones) to the heated grips as they keep the back of my hands warm (heated grips don’t).. The heated seat is a real + as it helps keep your lower core temp up..

 

My biggest problem in cold damp weather is keeping my helmet shield clear & head warm.. I wear a high tec Bacala (sp?) that is space age material & a ski band for a stuffer between my riding jacket & lower part of my helmet (keeps the cold air out of the lower helmet).. Not too bad in the dry cold but a real pain in high humidity cold..

 

My suggestion is to work on the basics like good (re. high tec) thermal underwear,, a good name high quality heated vest or jacket,, some heated gloves,, & good high tec wicking thermal socks then see how it goes.. You can always add heated equipment or more layers of different material as you find weak spots in your cold weather armor..

 

 

Twisty

 

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Easy: The canonical setup is Gerbings. That's the short answer to your question. There's other heated gear, but Gerbings is the Standard.

 

That said, there are other avenues for less $. You can go a long way at low temps with just some high-tech long underwear, good wool socks, and decent insulated pants/jacket/gloves. To this I add a heated jacket liner (Tourmaster) and find it's all I need into freezing temps.

 

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No bare skin! Block the wind, and use heated gear.

 

At some pint, fogging becomes the biggest issues so your face is getting cold because you visor is cracked and your eyes water. There's no grat solutions for this, so I limit any occasional winter riding to around 25F since I don't have snowmobile gear.

 

 

 

HOWEVER... the OP is from Texas. so "winter" riding is "Fall riding to those of us in the Midwest, Mountains and Northeast teh rest of us.

 

Toss on a heated vest and you'll be fine down to 40F with a long sleeve T-shirt. Use a Balcava for your head/neck, and get some insulated cycling tights to wear under your jeans or riding pants.

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I use a heated jacket. But remember if you are touring, and are using heated equipment, the heated equipment can fail. So while heated equipment definitely adds to the comfort level, be sure to have a backup plan should the heated stuff fail.

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"Best" is subjective. This is my practice. I create a micro environment using multiple thin layers of clothing.

 

For my upper body this includes Body Armor top followed by a Sugoi thermal long sleeve bicycle shirt. My Gerbings liner and motorcycle jacket finish the job.

 

For my lower body I use Under Armor followed by thermal bicycle tights and my motorcycle pants.

 

Feet and hands both get thin liners. Smart Wool socks for the feet and Gerbing G3 gloves for the hands.

 

A thin balaclava (sp) goes underneath my helmet.

 

A thermos with something hot to drink during gas stops helps too.

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+1 for heated gloves, with a controller to prevent sweating

 

+1 for heated jacket, with a controller or on/off switch to prevent sweating

 

+1 for balaclava, plus a silk or wool scarf to keep the back of your neck warm

 

- buy some clear protective glasses which will allow you to open your visor wider while still offering protection

 

- nose/mouth shield to mount inside helmet and prevent fogging (HJC has these for their helmets...don't know about others)

 

- wear thermasilk underwear for longer rides

 

- if you have to ride in sub-zero temperatures or are running out of layers, stop at a coffee shop, take a small pile of the local free real-estate or Buy & Sell papers (usually by front door) and stuff them down the front of your pants and on your chest. You will not believe the insulating value (just ask any homeless person).

 

- wear heavy wool socks over silk socks for warmth

 

- sit on an inexpensive poly fleece or acrylic blanket. They warm up nicely and when the cold really starts to get to your lower regions you can fold a part of this up over your lap.

 

- consider buying a winter windshield. I went from the stock windshield to a Cee Bailey +7 and felt an immediate improvement. If you're tall, drop the seat to the lowest position so you can hunker behind the screen.

 

- eat carbs but avoid too many fluids, especially coffee. Every time you stop for a pee you end up pissing away a lot of internal heat.

 

- stay ventilated...sweat is your enemy. For this reason I would not recommend any plastic raingear since it will not breathe. You will freeze in half the time with this stuff on.

 

 

 

 

 

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Keep core and extremities warm.

Silk turtlenecks are efficient, pack small.

Feet are weak spots.

Balaclavas and neck gaiters help w/head/forhead/neck.

Anti-fog insert (al Nolan, or aftermarket Pinlock) will keep you fog free.

Keep hydrated.

Stay dry.

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It's called a Subaru Wagon. reach for the heater knob, and have another sip of joe.

 

If you must stay on the bike: ABS, Gerbings (gloves, jacket, etc.), Rain-X, Scotchguard, Fog City, heated grips, fleece lined jeans, neck gaiter, thick wool socks, O.R. Primaloft jacket (over your gerbings) and Aerostich. And don't forget the extra lighting! Kisan, piaa, hella, motolight, etc.

 

And finally: at least an hour in the HOT TUB when you get there.

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+1 Gerbing. My reasoning on the gloves is to not have the bulk.

When "very" cold (teens and twenties) I used Gerbings heated knit liners with thin outer gloves. All the heat with much less bulk.

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