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Winter Gear

jae-sojae-so Posts: 85
edited September 2012 in Commuting general
So I only started commuting a few months back and with winter coming I am pretty worried as the weather will ofcourse turn. I have bad circulation to my extremities especially my fingers so I would like to know what gear to get to cope with the cold and especially the combination of cold and rain. What would you guys suggest, looking for gloves, jackets, leg wear and maybe base layers, not really sure how base layers work so will leave this to last. I have long underarmour leggings for leg wear so a couple more pairs might be suitable for winter leggings

For gloves I was thinking

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/sealskinz-extra ... le-gloves/ for £45 or
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/dhb-extreme-winter-glove/ for £23

For a jacket I wanted something rainproof but warm and preferably reflective

That's all I really have at the moment, excuse my ignorance and thank you for your help

Posts

  • I'd start with the base layers as they're your bodies first line of defence. I use a fairly close fitting long sleeve thermal T and long thermal leggings which I bought from STA for a skiing trip a few years ago then pressed into service for winter commuting. They are perfect. On top I add a breathable shirt (£25 from Lands End about 5 years ago) then a jacket. I find that the combination of a good base layer and a shirt means that the role of the jacket is simply to protect me from the wet and the wind so it can be very light; the warmth comes from the layers under the jacket. I splashed out on a Gore Alp II shell which I've found to be excellent.
  • Layers work by wicking sweat away from your skin and making it evaporate further out, more layers trap more heat closer to your body.

    For gloves I use some cheap gloves from ALDI, when temps drop to -5C is I add a thin liner.
    I find my jacket fine, SPEG Avert Mk3 OK, it's not water proof but keeps you warm which is more important. The last two days here have been extremely wet both ways and it's held up just fine, if anything it's a touch on the warm side whenever the temperature is over 10C even as the only layer. Once things go below 5C I'll add a base layer, below -5C a tee shirt as well and beyond -10C hasn't been tested in this yet.

    Your leggings are a base layer so something similar on top and a jacket will see you right for all but the coldest or wettest days.

    Legs I still don't have that sorted but I guess the same approach, base layer and water repellent top layer would be best and mud guards are the best way of keeping your legs and shoes dry.

    The thing with wet days is that if you overdress you still get wet from the inside.
    Really heavy rain, the type that will soak you through in all but the best waterproofs, usually doesn't last long so you can wait it out.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • Merino base-layers are a must for winter imo and should be first on your shopping list. Pricey but worth it. Chocolate fish are brilliant but very pricey (£60!), you can get decent merino baselayers around the £35 mark if you search around.

    Legs are working all the time and so don't seem to get too cold in my experience. I find one layer of thick lycra (roubaix) enough even when very cold; either leg warmers with usual shorts or bib tights if it's extremely cold. The DHB roubaix shorts/tights from Wiggle are good.

    I've heard negative things about sealskinz gloves, DHB stuff is usually solid. I'm going for the Prendas air tunnel gloves this winter. I would get a pair of glove liners as they're great over mitts when it gets a bit chilly and as liners under your heavier winter gloves when it gets freezing. (Yes, I like Prendas stuff :D )

    Then other than a jacket you will want a skullcap and to think about your feet so either dedicated winter shoes or some good socks and overshoes.

    Oh and a buff is always nice to have (again merino wool is good).
  • ali4390ali4390 Posts: 106
    I'm just about to start commuting by bike, it's going to be about a 20 minute commute if I'm pushing it slightly. My only worry at the moment is how to transport my suit without it getting creased or sweaty. I don't really want to wear it because I will sweat so the plan is to shower when I get to work, is there a good suit carrier that can fit on my back? I might leave a few suit jackets at work and then I just need to work out how to transport trousers and a shirt, ideas?
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    get to your local Aldi on Thursday - bike gear gets some hammer when commuting

    the winter jackets are great for the money
    the bibs are a great for the money
    I have the winter gloves and they are spot on
    the jerseys are pretty horrid as they are cheap material and a funny shape
    socks are a winner
    the shoes are ok but don't last
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Plane X are doings some clothing bundles at the moment - I think their winter gloves are fine for all but the very coldest weather.

    Seal Skinz products are fairly good too - waterproof (wool) socks are often good for commuting - especially if ear the same kit twice in one day.

    GFof roa hi Viz jacket - Endura or even Gore if you can afford it. I'd avoid waterproof trousers.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • Thanks for the replies, I think the first port of call will be to check Aldi and see what deals I can pick up. With regards to base layers does anyone know what is best in terms of drying quickly after a ride etc?
  • ali4390 wrote:
    I'm just about to start commuting by bike, it's going to be about a 20 minute commute if I'm pushing it slightly. My only worry at the moment is how to transport my suit without it getting creased or sweaty. I don't really want to wear it because I will sweat so the plan is to shower when I get to work, is there a good suit carrier that can fit on my back? I might leave a few suit jackets at work and then I just need to work out how to transport trousers and a shirt, ideas?

    i have my suit, shoes and shirts all at work.
    i get them dry cleaned by a local delivery dry cleaners so that i don't have to transport them.
    obviously underwear and towel gets taken back and forth in my bag.
  • Bought some stuff at Aldi, 2 Winter jackets, 2 witer bike trousers with the padding and 2 pairs of gloves, all for £70. They have some quality stuff for the price. So all I think I need now is base layers. Which ones are cheep yet fairly warm and quick drying
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