First Winter in the Saddle

share ideas, ask questions and talk to other women in the sport
gatenby
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:40 am

First Winter in the Saddle

Postby gatenby » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:43 am

So I'm coming into my first winter of serious road cycling and I'm looking for some decent kit (bib tights, winter jacket/ jersey etc) and like everyone else I've been greatly disappointed with the lack of variety and reviews for ladies clothing so can anyone give me any suggests?

(Also I live in Cornwall so the more waterproof the kit the better, we just love the rain down here!)

Thanks

=]

jaxf
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 19:12 pm

Re: First Winter in the Saddle

Postby jaxf » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:14 am

So pleased that you are serious, and winter riding, especially in the West, proves it!
I am Scottish, and the kit I have found that works for me, after much (and expensive) trial and error is:
* overshoes - not just toe covers - I have Sportful, but that was simply because that was all that was available in my size. I prefer the Planet X toe covers to my Assos ones btw
* winter socks - warmer! and I have some goretex ones too, not really sure about the benefit of that, as they seem to leak ....
* cheap running leggings which I wear over my bib shorts
* decent bibs - I use Assos, but NOT the ones with the stupid plastic clip that garottes you as you cycle along and it repeatedly undoes itself, and for shorts Rapha - they're £130, but wait for the sale and they go down to £80. They are both expensive, but the pads are excellent, and they last and last, so cost per mile is lowest. also, the Rapha crash repair is top notch
* base layer - I just use the cheapest which are usually UnderArmour or running, rather cycle specific
* rain jacket - after many 'boil in the bag' failures, I LOVE my Rapha rain jacket. Again, expensive, although they were on sale recently, but actually keeps me dry, even on 80 milers through driving rain and heavy winds.
* softshell - I know I sound like a Rapha bigot here ( oh, ok, I am) but I like theirs and it is showerproof and windproof
* winter gloves - for those really cold days, I need them, most of the time, especially if it's above 5 degrees, I just use cheap running gloves and my regular gel gloves over the top.
* I have never bothered with a buff, but know plenty of people who do
* I have never bothered with a skull cap that fits under my helmet, but again plenty of people do

then there are the cross over periods - arm warmers, knee warmers and leg warmers.

Knee and leg warmers are a nightmare for many women, we have shorter and so usually chunkier calves, and many brands are just not cut right. I like my Endura Equipe ones, the silicon actually works, they are not shaped in odd places. Some Rapha jerseys come with 'free' arm warmers. I prefer my sportful ones, but boy are they long on teh arm.

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rubertoe
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Re: First Winter in the Saddle

Postby rubertoe » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:27 pm

You dont need Rapha, and you dont need Rain.

What you need is stuff that keeps you warm and clothing other than rapha/assos does that (unless of course you are made of money and really want to buy rapha).

I would stay away from cheap hardshell Jackets if you must buy a rain jacket. But look into overshoes, a decent pair of gloves and some baselayers along with a wnd proog jacket and "roubaix" tights.

layering is the Key.
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills

suzyb
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Re: First Winter in the Saddle

Postby suzyb » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:38 pm

I'm also going into my first winter of (hopefully) serious road cycling. The past few winters I've gone out but only done the odd 8 mile ride. This year I'd like to keep closer to my summer mileage so am looking for new winter clothes.

There doesn't seem to be that great a selection for women though. And even less when you're limited to certain brands that do larger sizes :(

I do have a buff and a headband (think it's roubaix one) which I find necessary when it's quite frosty. Cycling downhill at 20+ mph can give your face and ears quite a chill.

jaxf
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 19:12 pm

Re: First Winter in the Saddle

Postby jaxf » Fri Sep 13, 2013 14:34 pm

lucky rubertoe - the balmy south east. Up here in Scotland and down there in Cornwall, we NEED to consider rain (weeps gently). I'm going to ride down to the start of the ToB and back at the weekend - the forecast is for a lot of rain and wind, so it will be wet and then very cold on top of that. So, yes, I absolutely concur that layering is key, but the contact points of saddle and rain jacket will be the things that make many miles bearable rather than just sitting inside looking at that weather.
Assos and Rapha are undeniably expensive, but in July, I had over 300 moving hours riding time (could be a lot less if only I were faster ;-)) , and so I tend to go on a cost per hour in the saddle rather than the cost of buying. I really like DHB, but I need a pair of bibs that last longer than 2 years. Some of my more tightfisted friends who would never consider paying for a sportive still fork out for Assos/Rapha because it works out cheap in the long run - especially with the crash repair. Our roads in south west and north are not all that, so that also brings the cost per wear down when we have the inevitable offs.
I had a horrendous day in the Alps in July with a wet descent that left me close to hypothermia.

Suzyb - did you enjoy Pedal for Scotland? Did you do the main or the Sportive? I looked at the route again, and the bit from Cramond Brig is really narrow - last year was nerve wracking pushing thousands of riders down a track just big enough for 2.

The Real Gromit
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Re: First Winter in the Saddle

Postby The Real Gromit » Fri Sep 13, 2013 17:49 pm

I'm in Yorkshire so somewhere in between Scotland and Cornwall! I have to say after fighting my way through last winter I feel at least in a small way qualified to comment here!!
I prefer the fleecy cycling leggings (with a pad). I have a pair of dhb ones that do fine as I rarely do more then 100km in a winter ride. I do prefer better shorts for the summer.
I have a larger pair of shoes for winter that will fit thick socks under as well as a disposable foot warmer (designed for skiing) if its really chilly.
On the top I prefer a few wicking layers depending on the temperature topped off with my endura winter cycling top. It is wind proof on the front and the arms but fleecy and breathable everywhere else. A decent pair of waterproof gloves and a packable waterproof and that generally does me.
I did discover skull caps last year for riding on a really cold day. I was getting a headache due to the wind on my forehead so I bought a windproof skull cap and that made a huge difference.

Everyone's different and feels the cold differently. There's only one constant to remember in the winter - Rule 5!!

suzyb
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Re: First Winter in the Saddle

Postby suzyb » Fri Sep 13, 2013 17:51 pm

I did the main, 110 miles is way too far for me. I'd probably just be finishing it if I'd did that :wink:

I did enjoy it even though I was a bit dissapointed not to manage it faster than previous times. The Cramond Brig bit wasn't too bad this year, IIRC they had cones funneling people into the narrower track instead of it suddenly going from wide to narrow. And the marshals were more vocal at telling people to slow down and be careful.

Chapeau to you for riding down to see the ToB on Sunday. I'm thinking of going although I'd be driving down :p

jaxf
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 19:12 pm

Re: First Winter in the Saddle

Postby jaxf » Fri Sep 13, 2013 18:05 pm

The Real Gromit - what a great suggestion - not sure there is space in my shoes, but I am certainly going to try those chemical hand warmers in my socks to see if that helps.
And Suzb - I keep looking at the forecast, and I have a back up plan! the wind will blow me down, and I have an injured friend who can drive me back if I panic and decide Tala is not for me ;-). I reckon PfS isn't something you can really improve times on - too many people, but there are loads of sportives up here (not so much at this time of year).

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rubertoe
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Re: First Winter in the Saddle

Postby rubertoe » Fri Sep 13, 2013 18:29 pm

I'm not dissing Rapha/Assos, I would love them... I'm more of a DHB/Enduras (gore at a push) sort of price range.

Socks - Woolie Boolies - but them you will love them, and never buy another pair of winter socks again.
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills

suzyb
Posts: 3286
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 16:26 pm

Re: First Winter in the Saddle

Postby suzyb » Fri Sep 13, 2013 19:04 pm

jaxf wrote:The Real Gromit - what a great suggestion - not sure there is space in my shoes, but I am certainly going to try those chemical hand warmers in my socks to see if that helps.
And Suzb - I keep looking at the forecast, and I have a back up plan! the wind will blow me down, and I have an injured friend who can drive me back if I panic and decide Tala is not for me ;-). I reckon PfS isn't something you can really improve times on - too many people, but there are loads of sportives up here (not so much at this time of year).

True. And with a a long stretch of east bound lane coned off to make a cycle lane for the day it's even harder.

The thing with PfS though is that you can take all day, there's no minimum speeed. Not sure the same can be said about them.

jaxf
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Re: First Winter in the Saddle

Postby jaxf » Mon Sep 16, 2013 16:08 pm

So, after the ride down to the Tour of Britain start yesterday, in some rain and winds with gusts up to 70 mph, I can say that my Altura waterproof gloves are a good call for winter.
Also, I had a reminder that rain just runs down the legs into the shoes, so always tuck as much as possible outside, but definitely gloves cuffs INSIDE jacket - every year, I forget first time out ...

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Joycie
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Re: First Winter in the Saddle

Postby Joycie » Sat Dec 14, 2013 17:25 pm

I went on this thread as I'm currently struggling to find motivation to actually get out on my bike this winter (I tend to procrastinate waiting on the forecasted bad weather coming, and it invariably does, but normally a few hours down the line so I could've gone out after all!) Anyway, on the subject of clothing, and I'm not getting any back handers for this, I just love a bargain, and like to share the love...

There's a local family-run shop in Falkirk currently selling genuine Altura Varium jackets for £39 (RRP £139). They are effectively men's jackets but what a deal!! I bought one for future purposes and it's lurvely. I don't want to mention the shop's name on here in case I'm not allowed but you can PM me if you want the details. Think they're going to list them on ebay soon but can post them out at the moment.

(and even that's not motivating me to get out on the bike!!)


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