Forum home Mountain biking forum Women

Winter wear

Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
edited October 2007 in Women
Winter's fast approaching, and as a noob I simply haven't a thing to wear! What would people recommend for winter riding? I was thinking of a pair of cycling tights for under my baggy shorts, and a waterproof jacket - can anyone tell me what brands are good value (or rubbish).
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  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    For good value try Decathlon. The best approach is generally using layers - a base wicking layer, a choice of mid layer depending on temp, then a waterproof, windproof breathable jacket. This mix and match apporach can be used all year round and cuts down on buying lots of specific gear.
  • layers, lots of layers - i use 3 to 5 tops on the coldest days (thin, wool & wickaway type stuff - helly hanson long sleeved base layer is pretty warm) & baggies with leg warmers (not the fame kind). i generally dont bother with a waterproof unless its raining/windy, as it can get a bit too hot and sticky. can use a buff for the head over your ears under your helmet, winter gloves & wool socks.
    down south its normally t-shirt weather until january, so luckily dont really have to buy too much.
  • HJ1976HJ1976 Posts: 205
    Would you bother with trying to get 'female' specific things - I am about 5'10, size 16 but boobie so somethings are a bit tight! Should i stick to blokes sections?
  • In my experience large in womens sport clothing is 12-14 :roll:
  • Yes, I was slightly disconcerted to learn that women's sizing was as random in cycling clothes as it is on the high street. I looked at one brand's sizing chart, and a 10 was classed as large. Of course, they have meant a US 10, which is a UK 14, but that's still medium rather than large... :?
  • nickcuknickcuk Posts: 275
    HJ1976 wrote:
    I am about 5'10, size 16 but boobie so somethings are a bit tight!

    :shock: but aerodynamic
  • no offense but why on earth would a size as large as 14 be a medium?

    what would the size 8 girls wear XXXS?
  • blurredblurred Posts: 123
    Sombrio stuff is good. And quite cool looking too, so you'll look like a freeride goddess.

    Steer clear of Altura stuff. Every piece of clothing I have bought from that company has been pooh. If you can afford the best then buy it. As you would with a bike, really.
  • what size are you?
  • ToastyToasty Posts: 2,598
    theprawn wrote:
    no offense but why on earth would a size as large as 14 be a medium?

    what would the size 8 girls wear XXXS?

    Err, perhaps because the average size for a woman in the UK is 16, classing 14 as medium would be generous and taking into account the fact that most people wearing these things will be sporty.

    Why does everything need a letter anyway? Can't size 8 women wear size 8 clothes?
  • blurred wrote:
    Sombrio stuff is good. And quite cool looking too, so you'll look like a freeride goddess.

    Steer clear of Altura stuff. Every piece of clothing I have bought from that company has been pooh. If you can afford the best then buy it. As you would with a bike, really.

    I think I've seen some of the Sombrio stuff, might have been on Wiggle - it looked cool, but they only had the men's sizing charts (even on the women specific shorts).

    Prawn, I've generally found that small = 8 - 10, medium 12 - 14, large = 16 -18. Of course, it varies so much from brand to brand and country to country, sizes are pretty much meaningless. :| I'm a UK size 8 - 10 top, but I can wear a US size 4, and a UK size 12, but I can wear a US size 6 - 8, and when it comes to s/m/l I have clothes that are XS - M.

    I wouldn't class a size 14 as large, particularly on taller women - see Liv Tyler and Kelly Brook!
  • in view of your responses i went searching a bit and found this...
    The average dress size for women in the UK is a 16, with the average female measurements being a bust of 38.5 inches (98 cm), a waist of 34 inches (86 cm) and hips of 40.5 inches (103 cm).

    Women's measurements have increased considerably since the 1950's, when the average female waist measurement was a full six inches smaller. However the change is partially explained by the fact that people in general are now somewhat taller than they were in the 1950's.

    Comparing UK women with their US counterparts, overall British women tend to be taller, lighter and slimmer than American women. This is thought to be due to differences in diet, with Americans tending to prefer larger portions of meat.

    38% of women are considered to be clinically obese, and more than 60% of people shopping for clothes say that they have difficulty finding clothes that fit.


    that's pretty shocking stats.
  • ToastyToasty Posts: 2,598
    Where are you from just out of interest prawn? Given the bike you said you had in the other thread I was just pondering if you were american, in which the dress size system is different. UK 14 is US 12 for example.
  • fenellafenella Posts: 37
    I don’t mean to offend either, but the reason the average for sportswear is smaller than the national average is because it is assumed that people who partake of regular cardiovascular excercise will generally be leaner than the average person who does not.
    If you take a group of 5’4” women who cycle hard regularly, I doubt you’ll find many size 16s, and I doubt very much that you’ll find that 38% of them are obese.
  • theprawntheprawn Posts: 116
    i'm from london.

    i'm 6'1" 14stone and have man bits, I feel qualified to comment on female riding issues as in our regular group of riders 2 are men and 2 are women. The women are size 6 and size 8 I think. Hence why I was a little shocked that medium should ever be classed as a size 16.
  • mudfacemudface Posts: 1,733
    I agree with Fenella.

    If anything, I think that generally size small in bike clothes is a bit generous.
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    Toasty wrote:
    Given the bike you said you had in the other thread I was just pondering if you were american, in which the dress size system is different. UK 14 is US 12 for example.

    Actually, a UK 14 is often a US 10 - US sizes are normally two lower than the equivalent UK size...although it varies!! :P As theprawn said, UK women tend to be taller and slimmer than our US counterparts, so the US clothing industry started implementing 'vanity sizing' - knocking down the sizes to encourage women to buy more clothes. It happened with UK sizes in the early 80s as well, but they didn't move as far away from the original system as the US industry did.
    theprawn wrote:
    i'm from london.

    i'm 6'1" 14stone and have man bits, I feel qualified to comment on female riding issues as in our regular group of riders 2 are men and 2 are women. The women are size 6 and size 8 I think. Hence why I was a little shocked that medium should ever be classed as a size 16.

    Size 6 is very small though - the big chains (Top Shop, New Look, Dorothy Perkins) stock it as their smallest size, even in the petite (under 5ft 3) ranges, and some stores don't even stock size 6 (including JJB sports, so I'm told! :? ). While I see people's point that sporty people are likely to be leaner than the average, does it really make much sense to have a completely different sizing system for 'sporty' clothes to the ones you find everywhere else? It just makes things more confusing for the consumer (particularly people new to the sport and might not yet have a sport physique).

    I suppose the question with s/m/l sizes is, do you make them the sizes people should be - in which case you'd have to make sure you had different lengths to take into account different heights (an average height size 10 would be a medium, whereas a tall size 10 would be small) - or do you make the sizes reflect the size of the population (ie the average is 16, therefore would be a medium, although is generally regarded as the start of 'large', hence most 'plus size' ranges starting at 16). Or do you just randomly tag the label onto random clothes and hope for the best? :lol:

    I remember a few months ago the Daily Mail was throwing a tantrum that the evil EU were going to steal our dress sizes and make us conform to their evil metric ways. I'd personally welcome it, it'd be nice to have a number on the label that actually directly relates to measurements, as opposed to some weird amporphus number or letter that varies according to clothing type/brand/country.

    So, back on topic...can anyone recommend some tights? :lol:
  • ToastyToasty Posts: 2,598
    theprawn wrote:
    i'm 6'1" 14stone and have man bits, I feel qualified to comment on female riding issues as in our regular group of riders 2 are men and 2 are women.

    Fair enough, I'm not sure why women sizes have got to be in 2D though, I'm 5" taller than you, also have man danglies, a good few pounds lighter and come in as "large" to "extra large" in most clothes, depending on the brand. Not sure why this has got to directly relate to cardiovascular ability exactly.
  • theprawntheprawn Posts: 116
    as for the tights i only use them on my head with an orange in my mouth on hampstead heath so don't feel i can give you a very good review.
  • ToastyToasty Posts: 2,598
    Lets be honest your friend are at the bottom end of the scale, if a garment was labled 6-8 I can't see there being much smaller for biking/athletic women. 2-4 wouldn't actually allow for any lungs or leg muscles, never mind smaller.

    Or are you proposing your friends should represent the entire scale of women? Hey, there's 2, it seems a good sample range. :P
    theprawn wrote:
    as for the tights i only use them on my head with an orange in my mouth on hampstead heath so don't feel i can give you a very good review.

    Ah well, whatever pays the bills I guess.
  • mudfacemudface Posts: 1,733
    I think what he is saying is that maybe 6-8 represents the smaller end of the scale, with perhaps 10-12 being medium and 14-16 being large. I think most tall, athletic women would fit into a 14-16. Maybe they could introduce an XL size if there was demand. As it is, there probably isn't. The amount of times I've been into a bike shop to find nothing in small at all and loads of large in the the sale rack. Most of my sporty female friends would be a small, and a couple more medium in the range I suggest.
  • As a serial lurker on the board, I thought I'd say pipe up about this. It would be nice to have a unified sizing system, but people's body shapes vary so drastically it's always going to be impossible, and there's always going to be people left disappointed. In most of my measurements I'm a size 8, except for my chest, which according to standard sizing is a 16.

    Great for my boyfriend, not so great for me. I can pretty much only wear baggy clothes (particularly sports-wise), because if I buy 'feminine' clothes that fit nicely below the bust, my top half is either in danger of spilling out in a slightly trampy, Jordan-esque fashion, or cramps my chest in an uncomfortable fashion. Size 16 fits my chest, but not the rest of me! I think even if they introduced EU dress sizes, it still wouldn't adress the problem of people who have a greater difference waist/bust/hip measurements to 'normal'.

    But the problem happens with guys too - my boyfriend is tall (6ft 4), but rail thin (32" waist) - the only clothes that fit him heightwise are massive in terms of width. But I suppose the clothing companies can't make clothes for everyone. :(

    And prawn, I don't think labelling anyone 'fatties' or 'fatty bon bons' is particularly helpful, particularly if they're getting in to biking to try and lose weight, especially when your own view of what is 'normal' is quite narrowminded.
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    Ahem...

    About tights...can anyone recommend the Endura or Adidas Climwarm varieties?
  • mudfacemudface Posts: 1,733
    You seem quite a grumps, Toasty. Maybe you should lighten up a bit. Or are you a little tetchy because it's the time of month that your moobs are a little tender? :D
  • ToastyToasty Posts: 2,598
    I just doubt that any women who come in here, of an average weight and build like being called:

    "fattie fattie bon bon"

    aside from that, no I couldn't care less what he says :P According to his BMI he's nicely in "overweight" anyway, or as you might prefer to call it "fattie fattie bon bon" :roll:
  • mudfacemudface Posts: 1,733
    How do you know it's fat? BMI doesn't take into account muscle mass, or rugby players would all be classed as obese.

    You are just as bad as theprawn with what you say. Do two wrongs make a right now?
  • fenellafenella Posts: 37
    lol @toasty… i read that to the voice of william hague.

    the so called average for the uk is a size 16. stats also tell us that nearly 60% of the uk is overweight or obese. fact.
    this kinda implies to me that the "average" (ie made up of the majority) probably IS overweight.



    BMI is of absolutely no use whatsoever, as they’ve had international rugby players coming out as obese due to muscle weight.
  • ToastyToasty Posts: 2,598
    edited October 2007
    Bah sod it :) The original post wasn't about size 16, it was talking about size 14. BMI doesn't take into account muscle but then neither does the vague "overweight" stat you've just quoted as gospel or dress size system. I give up, I was only objecting to the description of women over size 8 as being "fatties".

    You've told me my random stat is useless and quoted another equally useless one, good job. According to this he's overweight, im not saying what that weight consists of, simply he's over weight.
  • mudfacemudface Posts: 1,733
    No one said that over size 8 was fat, a tall person as a size 14 is ok, but over that were probably fat. Unless you're a midget, in which case even size 8 is fat.
  • fenellafenella Posts: 37
    i dont wear tights, as i dont like 3 layers down 'there' (tights, padded shorts & baggies).

    i prefer leg warmers (not like fame), as you can whip them off if you get too hot.
    like these --->

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/CategoryProduct ... &cat=cycle
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