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Warm Gear for Cold Weather Riding

Clothing notes

  • Ibex wool Shak hoody is a fantastic choice for staying warm. The hood fits under the helmet. I am wearing it in the picture below. For warmer temps (but still on the cool side) use the Ibex Giro FZ wool jersey.
  • For descents, a jacket like the Ibex Aire which is both warm and wind-blocking.
  • Alternative to wool on wool: wear the Shak hoody over a wicking summer-weight jersey with a long-sleeve medium weight jersey over the summer jersey if it’s really cold.
  • Western Mountaineering Flash XR hooded down jacket is terrific for when it’s really cold— about 18°F here, with wind chill of ~ 5° F. Warmer, and it gets too hot, but it stuffs small and weighs only 12 ounces, so I stuff it into a daypack. Carry also the Western Mountaineering Flash pants (down), which are also very light— so if you stop your legs can stay warm.
  • A windproof pant is a must-have.
  • Inner wicking sock with thick wool sock over it.
  • IbexWear wool gloves with glove liners or the Ibex Shak Two Layer Glove for less cold temperatures.
  • Carry a daypack with a dry base layer and spare socks in case of excess perspiration.
  • A merino wool cycling cap is also excellent— soaks up sweat, keeps warmth.
  • Pearl Izumi Elite AmFib Tights are terrific. Layer them over a compression tight or summer or mid-weight tight.

See all the cool and cold weather cycling pages.

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Bike notes

  • Shimano XTR pedals are problematic with snow/ice. One pedal became a solid block of ice when I dipped it into the creek. So I had only one pedal to clip into for an 800' climb back out. The other pedal clogged several times with leaves/snow/dirt.
  • All other XTR stuff worked great in the cold.
  • YBB soft-tail is not necessary with snow making for a relatively soft trail. The Moots MootoX RSL would be a better choice for more direct power transfer and better trail feel (see my riding notes on the two choices), but the Moots FrosTi is the bike to have with real snow.
Moots MootoX YBB deep in the White Mountains, Nov 5, 2011
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