Tuesday, September 19, 2006

After the Fall Comes…Part III: What’s Up?

All references to temperature are wind chills.

The torso and the arms, that’s what’s up.

Apparently I’ve got a lot of room for improvement. The data shows my perceived comfort is all over the place which is very different from my legs. Most of the time I was on the warm side which I’m pretty sure reflects a fear of being too cold…so I over dress, right?

I think it’s pretty telling that between 45 and 20 degrees I was too warm 5 times. Between 2 and 13 I was also too warm 5 times. As the temperature drops I put on too much.

The base layer – the thickest, tightest, warmest Under Armor there is. Probably this piece…although it makes me look nothing like that. Think sausage, yeah, that’s closer to reality.

The long sleeve jersey – nothing unusual here. Around the mid-50’s this lightweight jersey goes on and tends to stay on to the teens. It’s a staple.

The thermal jersey – I wear a Cannondale thermal jersey. It’s a couple years old and didn’t appear to be similar to anything they have available today. It’s made from pretty thick polyester. I don’t think it’s water or wind proof.

The windproof shell – this is the single most important piece to me. I use a Fox Storm-something jacket. It’s wind and water proof and a couple years old so I can’t point to it. Because this piece gets so much use and current versions of the jacket are on clearance I’ve added a new Fox Stormshield jacket to my collection for this year. Again, this is a shell jacket; there is no thickness to it whatsoever.

Finally, the windproof jacket – this is the matching counterpart to the tight. It’s very similar to (might actually be) this Sugoi Invertor Jacket. The front is made from a thick nylon spandex blend. The back is relatively thin to let off heat, but I think this causes it to overlap the comfort of the full coverage windproof shell.

As temperatures fall from 55 degrees the long sleeve jersey and the windproof shell is the first combination. These get me down to the mid-20’s.

From the mid-20’s to the mid-teens I go with the base layer and the windproof shell or the thermal jersey and the windproof shell.

From the mid-teens to last year’s max low of –(7) I used the base layer and thermal jersey and alternated between the windproof shell and the windproof jacket. At these temperatures both combinations were a little bit warm, which shows there’s good potential for going lower on the thermometer.


Woodog said...

UnderArmor is good stuff! I bought the long sleeve base layer and the tights last November. I used them all winter, washed the bejesus out of em, they still are like new.

Add a pair of neoprene shoe covers and a balaclava and you have a basic setup for riding in any weather.

I've found that if I leave the house feeling slightly chilly, I'm dressed just right.

You should repost this info at various times during the winter. People need to know that it's not only possible, but extremely comfortable to ride when it's cold out.

Not only that, but winter riding has a spiritual edge that summertime riding can't touch. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe it's because I'm more deliberate and thoughtful while preparing for the ride, but getting the cadence and breath dialed in just right on a chilly day is magic.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, I look forward to reading your blog each day

Nathan said...

I want to second that a wind-proof layer is probably the most important thing. I put mine on yesterday for the first time and it will take me all the way down by adjusting the zippers - front and pit vents. Well, and what else I put on, of course!

The next most important thing is when you're cold, pedal harder/faster! On a fixie it means a pretty low gear - at least for me it does. I ran 43x20 last year with 35x700C tires which is 58.5 eensie weensie gear inches.

If anyone's interested, I posted my winter clothing tactics last season.

Dang-it - now I'm starting to get excited about this winter! How can I not be after re-reading this post of mine! :D

Eric A. said...

I had a MinusCar sighting this morning.

onelegmatt said...

UnderArmor cold gear is awesome in the winter. I've used the mock for three winter riding seasons, and it it still like new. A lot of the time, it's too warm for me and sometimes, I find that I sweat a little too much if it's above 40-deg.