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Thread: Suggestions on a good wind layer in cold weather?

  1. #1
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    Default Suggestions on a good wind layer in cold weather?

    I'm struggling a bit with the wind blocking layer. As the temps dip below 40 I usually add a wind layer on top. I've tried a super-breathable e-Vent running jacket (too swampy, short in back), transparent ultra-light climbing shell (not enough vents) and even a regular pit-zipped rain shell (back gets too hot).

    I have almost no cycling-specific clothing, but maybe there's something out there that's just for wind on the front of my torso and arms only? The stuff I've seen claims to be water proof and doesn't have enough vents in the back for me.

    Any suggestions on something that might work?

    Thanks,

    Tom (aka Fairfax Hinterlands)

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    Have you considered bicycling-specific winter vests as an option? They would then leave your arms "exposed" but do most of the work in terms of wind blocking.

    You could even consider vests that have a portion of the back as mesh - you still get the wind-breaking bits on the front but without the sauna effect.
    Last edited by Powerful Pete; 11-21-2014 at 01:34 PM. Reason: Typo.

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    Gore Windstopper with pit zips. Not as hot as the waterproof stuff -- particularly with the zips. My Gore jacket works from ~5-35F depending on base layer(s).

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    I personally run my Endura cycling shell when it gets cool as a wind blocking layer. I find that if I'm sweating excessively inside its because I layered too many insulation layers underneath. FWIW, I run the jacket with just a basic short sleeve base layer down to 40-45 degrees or so, and add a lightweight long sleeve base layer down to 20 degrees or so. I'm cold for the first 5-10 minutes until my body warms up and then I'm comfy.

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    After 2 yrs of year round cycling this is my only cycling jacket.
    http://blog.centurycycles.com/2013/0...umi-elite.html

    Just layer wool or under armor underneath as needed and you'll be set in any temp. The vents are great and the only real way for a jacket to be breathable.

    It is NOT water proof. But as most comments seem to indicate nothing is breathable and waterproof, so you're getting wet either way. It's OK in a light mist and I've replenished the waterproofing with Nik wax, but don't expect it to keep you dry in the rain.

    It has zip off sleeves that I've probably fully unzipped twice. But I do open them up for extra venting pretty regularly.

    Plus it comes in my color.

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    I know folks' ability to withstand colder temps isn't something one can comment on across the board (and what might be adequate breathability depends on how hard you're riding), but maybe this can help - here's what i typically wear at different temperatures:

    60+ = cycling bib + shortsleeve jersey
    50-60 = cycling bib + shortsleeve jersey + armwarmers
    40-50 = cycling bib + kneewarmers + wool baselayer jersey + shortsleeve jersey + armwarmers
    30-40 = cycling bib + kneewarmers + wool baselayer jersey + shortsleeve jersey + windproof armwarmers + windproof vest
    20-30 = windproof knickers + wool baselayer jersey + heavy longsleeve winter jersey (if it's windy, sometimes I'll add windproof armwarmers over the wool baselayer)
    10-20 = windproof leggings + windproof knickers + 2 wool baselayer jerseys + softshell (windproof) jacket
    0-10 = same as above, but pedal faster
    below 0 = no data yet...

    As far as specific clothing manufacturers, I've had no major issues with Gore Windstopper fabric for any softshell layer, i.e., for the most part, anywhere i say "windproof" above, i'm using Gore Windstopper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    Gore Windstopper with pit zips. Not as hot as the waterproof stuff -- particularly with the zips. My Gore jacket works from ~5-35F depending on base layer(s).
    Yeah, Windstopper is nice, and my preferred top layer is a Gore Windstopper softshell. But you don't have to go cycling-specific to get Windstopper (Gore licenses it to a ton of apparel companies), so you may be able to find non-cycling stuff cheaper.

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    This is probably an area where it makes sense to go cycle-specific because in most other activities there isn't much call for a jacket that's different on the front vs the back. I've got an older jacket from REI that has some kind of wind-proof material on the front and a completely non-windproof material on the back. It's not particularly heavy, so I just keep adding layers as it gets colder. If there's a strong tailwind it'll go right through the back of the jacket, in which case I'll throw on one of those lightweight neon yellow rain shells as a windbreaker. It'll steam up fast in that case, but who cares--there's a tailwind! That doesn't happen often, and most days you can assume a strong headwind both ways.

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    Thanks, all! I'll keep an eye out for one of these suggested jackets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GB View Post
    After 2 yrs of year round cycling this is my only cycling jacket.
    http://blog.centurycycles.com/2013/0...umi-elite.html

    Just layer wool or under armor underneath as needed and you'll be set in any temp. The vents are great and the only real way for a jacket to be breathable.

    It is NOT water proof. But as most comments seem to indicate nothing is breathable and waterproof, so you're getting wet either way. It's OK in a light mist and I've replenished the waterproofing with Nik wax, but don't expect it to keep you dry in the rain.

    It has zip off sleeves that I've probably fully unzipped twice. But I do open them up for extra venting pretty regularly.

    Plus it comes in my color.
    I have one of these as well. I love it. I wore it today over a light wool short sleeve base layer and a wool jersey. I had wool arm warmer but took them off after about 3 miles b/c I was too warm. I have worn it many times w/o the sleeves when the weather is in the 40's.

    Btw, this is my new favorite place for inexpensive wool stuff. Wool arm warmers (that I love) for $12. About the same for legs. Wool socks great price too. It is in the UK so expect to pay about $15 in shipping but it doesn't take more than a week and is a great bargain if you order a few things at once.

    http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CLPXMAR...ss-arm-warmers

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