Thursday, December 15, 2005

Cold gear on the cheap(er)

I'm not the proper person to be talking about cold riding, as I am only doing a little and am more psyching myself to be ready for some longer rides in about 3 weeks when my plan calls for it.

As Mags calls it "Door Threshold training" meaning just getting out the door is the training.

But I'm trying to figure out the dressing strategy. The hip gear is of course Assos, Pi, etc. Craft is just legendary in cycling circles. But this stuff is also expensive.

I've been doing some searching for cheap alternatives in base layers. Here's what I've found.

-Craft stuff actually on sale in the $30 range.
Sierra Trading post has some Craft stuff on sale
-Craft has a Clearance section at their web page, limited sizes

-My wife got me a some T3k under armour type base at a local running store. They have cold gear and thinner wicking layers. It isn't super cheap but I'm sure it is cheaper than Assos and other high end stuff. It works really well to keep you warm as long as it isn't exposed to the air. But this and a light windproof sheel keeps me pretty warm. But if I just wear a vest and my arms are exposed with this stuff they feel pretty cold.

-Just saw a guy on ebay that sells the T3k stuff at $9.00 ($6.50 shipping $3.00 per additional item) That's pretty darn good. And you can find it at major retailers like Sportmart, etc.

-Sierra trading post has some Duofold stuff. Lots of choices from stretch underarmour type to more loose fitting stuff for really cheap around $9.00-$15.00. Campmor sometimes has Duofold on sale

-Wallymart has two lines of UnderArmour look alikes. Starter and Active something or other. They have thinner material at $9.89 and thicker material at $18.00

-Lou at Foxwear has several options in base and outer layers at decent prices for high end fabrics

-Target has the Champion line of clothes that is in the $15-$25 range.

Zyflex has stuff in the $30 range

Voler is always trusted for shorts and jerseys. They have some base stuff in the $30 range as well

For road riding I've found that this layering to work pretty well

-mid weight base
-short sleeve jersey+arm warmers or Long sleeve jersey
-Mid weight vest
-My Foxwear jacket with powershield on the front
-heavy or mid weight tights
-Light weight skull cap to cover the ears, or light polypro balaclava.
-glove liners and either wind proof shells, or insulated Goretex gloves

Now the feet is where my problem lies. I don't think it is so much keeping them warm as much as it is keeping them from sweating. I've got some Lake winter shoes
That are pretty good. 1 size big with liner socks and thick socks for off road.

I put some SPD pedals on my road bike to also use the shoes, or I've got some road shoes 1 size big that I'll try with thicker socks and some Neoprene booties.

But irregardless my feet will sweat a little and then it is all over. I read about spraying or rubbing antiperspirant on the feet to help control sweating.
Old Spice or High Karate preferred.

Actually I just did it to try out around the house, as even at home my feet will sweat and then get cold. Seems to be working. I'll have to test this out again outside.


At 4:08 PM, Blogger mags said...

I swear by Craft. Ever since I started using their stuff, I must say it's best product line I've came across. Especially for winter gear. I know it's a bit pricy, but I would say well worth the investment. As for keeping my feet comfortable - all I use is a good pair of Craft cross country socks, cycling shoes and Craft booties. It works wonders, not cold and not too warm.


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