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Clothes for Comfortable Cycling in 0 F Degree Weather

The temperature here in Boise has been around zero degrees F for the past week, and I have been riding my Catrike Speed to work everyday.  The combination of clothes I have keeps me warm all the way, and my only problem is my glasses and ski goggles fogging up sometimes.   My clothes are an example of the layering system.  The first layer is thick wool blend socks, polypro long underwear top and bottom, and thin polypro liner gloves, as shown below.

layers for cycling 003.25p

The next layer is an insulating layer, which is added to the base layer.  This includes Keen cycling sandals, North Face cross country ski pants which are windproof, fleece gloves where are the inner part of a pair of winter mountaineering gloves (Chouinrd winter gloves), fleece neck gaitor, head covering by Pearl Azumi, and Expedition weight Patagonia Capilene pullover. I have a down coat I could wear, but at around zero degrees it is just not needed.

layers for cycling 002.25p

The outer layer is made up of Marmot uninsulated goretex wind pants which zip all the way up the leg, Sidetrak neoprene boot covers which leave the cleat on the bottom of the shoes exposed, the nylon outer gloves of the Chouinard winter gloves, an REI goretex raincoat, a cycling helmet, and a waterproof helmet cover. Not shown are my ski goggles, which I wear over my glasses unless they fog up.

layers for cycling 00125p

3 comments to Clothes for Comfortable Cycling in 0 F Degree Weather

  • trikebldr

    I dunno, Bob. That first pic looks kinda R rated! I thought this was a family website!
    How long does it take to get all this gear in place and ready to ride? Do you tend to sweat in all of this?

  • It doesn’t take too long to get dressed. At zero degrees, I get a little warm on the uphill, but don’t sweat. At higher temps, like 20-30, I wear fewer cloths, like lighter gloves, and I ditch the neoprene shoe covers and neck gaiter.

  • Don

    I used to wear Capilene and other synthetic base layers. They work alright, but honestly, as a bike commuter myself I’d strongly encourage you look into wool base layers. The difference is incredible, IMO. Both Smartwool and Icebreakers make really good stuff. We haven’t gotten a lot of 0F weather here in Madison, WI yet this year, but wearing a mid-weight wool base layer and a wind-proof shell is more than adequate for my ~4 mile ride into work.


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