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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there any functional difference between a long-sleeve jersey and a cycling jacket if it has rear pockets? Depending on the manufacturer, I'm guessing the jacket should be made of a heavier material, perhaps some wind-proofing, sized slightly larger? I'm thinking about buying a jacket and wearing it by itself like a jersey in cooler temps, or possibly with a base layer.
 

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Jackets are more likely to have windproof paneling on front facing fabric sections, whereas jerseys are usually cut from same or similar fabric. That said, the answer is: base layer.

I've had jackets, I've had LS jerseys, fall jerseys winter jerseys, mid weight jackets, heavy jackets, you name it. One thing remained constant in my search for comfortable year round wear: If I didn't layer properly with a tight form fitting base layer I would come home sopping wet, cold and miserable every single time irrespective of temperature.

If you're shopping around CRAFT makes fantastic base layers. Yes there are cheaper ones, but just one good piece will keep you dry and happy if you stay on top of your wash cycle. I wear them in the fall and winter (and as a result go out in base layer + LS jersey in lieu of base + jacket). On a sunny 45-55F degree NYC day I ride in my CRAFT active extreme base layer and a medium weight fall jersey and unzip when the wind is to my back.

Craft Active Extreme Crewneck Base Layer - Long-Sleeve - Men's | Backcountry.com

Also, and irrespective of how your body looks (I'm 6, 220lbs) this is how a base layer should fit in order to be effective:
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The jacket I'm looking at buying is something I can't try on, but I was hoping it would be similar to a thermal LS jersey I have and really like.

As for base layers, this is all I have; or some 30-year-old thermax long underwear when it gets really cold.

For me, its SS when 60º+, LS when 50-60º, and Gore wind-stopper over LS jersey, etc., when 40º and below. It's the 40-50º range where I have the most trouble dressing appropriately.
 

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You need both.

I use a jersey that has a wind block front for spring/fall, the Assos iJ Intermediate. It's pretty much the gold standard for spring/fall jerseys.

The jersey alone will go from 70 down to about 50ish with different or no base layers. Below 50 there isn't a jersey made that can help me.

As for jackets, they're purpose oriented. Some are for rain, some are for wind, some are for cold. I don't have any rain gear at all, I don't ride in the rain on purpose. However I do have a completely windproof jacket and a winter jacket. Both are indispensable.

The winter jacket of course is for when it's cold. It always has merino wool baselayers under it, usually two of them. I usually never wear a jersey under it. When it gets really cold, I will wear that wind proof jacket under it.

The windproof jacket alone is very useful for the mountains, for coming down. Also useful to add when the winter jacket soaks through with sweat.
 

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It's the 40-50º range where I have the most trouble dressing appropriately.
What after ride conditions/clues lead you to that conclusion? Sweat? Core feel/temperatures? Excessive perspiration? Chill? It sounds like you already do miles during the off season and know exactly what caused you to ask this question in the first place.

That tee, despite being made of wicking fabric, just will not insulate your body - and in turn keep you dry - as well as a second skin base layer.
 

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If you can find the Ibex Montana Long sleeve, it makes a great cooler weather jersey/jacket. 100% Merino wool. My only knock are the pockets on the back. They are zipper entry and run horizontal with a vertical zip. The Arivee Bib Knickers are also pretty nice.
 

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I have this jacket

Men's PHANTOM 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Jacket | GORE BIKE WEAR®

Once it starts to get chilly I wear it kind of like a jersey with only a base layer. It has the flexibility to either partially unzip the sleeves for ventilation or remove them if it gets warmer during a ride. As it gets colder in the winter, I wear additional layers and have worn it well into freezing temps. It has been incredibly versatile and comfortable.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What after ride conditions/clues lead you to that conclusion? Sweat? Core feel/temperatures? Excessive perspiration? Chill? It sounds like you already do miles during the off season and know exactly what caused you to ask this question in the first place.

That tee, despite being made of wicking fabric, just will not insulate your body - and in turn keep you dry - as well as a second skin base layer.
Mostly I'm too cool; the Gore windstopper jacket retains too much body warmth in temps above 40º, so finding the right weight of LS jersey, possibly adding the tee underneath, and gauging the weather (sunny/cloudy, windy/calm, damp/dry) all makes it tricky for me.
 

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Mostly I'm too cool; the Gore windstopper jacket retains too much body warmth in temps above 40º, so finding the right weight of LS jersey, possibly adding the tee underneath, and gauging the weather (sunny/cloudy, windy/calm, damp/dry) all makes it tricky for me.
Do you have a shell you can use for an outer layer -- a single-layer nylon or microfiber polyester zip jacket? For that 40-50 F range, I wear two layers (either long-sleeve base and short jersey, or vice versa) with the wind-barrier shell on the outside.

I have a cycling "jacket" (insulation plus shell in one garment) somewhere, but I haven't worn it in years. I find the layering approach is so much more versatile. With the shell and underlayers, I can unzip to ventilate if I get warm, or even take the shell off and stuff it in a jersey pocket. For different temperature conditions, I just add a thicker layer. A heavy base layer plus jersey plus shell gets me down to a little below freezing, and adding a fleece vest takes me down to about 15F.
 

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Mostly I'm too cool; the Gore windstopper jacket retains too much body warmth in temps above 40º, so finding the right weight of LS jersey, possibly adding the tee underneath, and gauging the weather (sunny/cloudy, windy/calm, damp/dry) all makes it tricky for me.
I believe I tried doing this as well. In the end, I discovered that I was cool because I was damp. I found - through expensive trial and error - that with a base layer I use lighter jersies and stay warmer.
 

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Biggest obvious difference I can think of is most jackets, at least the ones I consider jackets (not including lighter weight rain cape/jackets) have several layers to keep things warm. Most LS jerseys have 1 or 2 layers, 2 being the ones that have a windproof front. There are some jackets that are very similar to LS jerseys though.

Thermal jerseys are generally just a brushed material that's a little thicker than a normal jersey and they can be pretty warm and are usually still very breathable. If you get into a good, cold headwind, they aren't great. If it's cold and windy, jacket or winterweight jersey with wind protection (Louis garneau glaze or casetteli transparante due are my faves, not sure what replaced the castelli).

I also think every single LS jersey has just a single layer on the back so it's breathable but many jackets will have a soft shell, or at least still warmer, material on the back to keep the core temp up.

I pretty much can't we're a full jacket until temps drop to 45 or lower and that's with not baselayer or jersey underneath. I prefer a LS jersey with base and maybe a vest over top so I can adjust my temp better in case it warms up. If it drops below freezing or is snowing (because I'm in MI) then I'm usually in a jacket. I use my cycling jacket more for winter runs now than I do for winter riding as I've started using a trainer more since I moved to a more urban environment and winter riding has lost it's appeal outside of winter trail riding.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went ahead and bought the jacket, a Cuore Silver soft shell jacket. It is certainly heavier than my warmest jersey, and is also very stretchy/rubbery. This is probably part of its windproofing feature. It'll be awhile before it is cold enough to be able to wear it. A good base layer would still be a good idea.
 

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I've been thinking of making a custom jacket for late fall riding. I like the wind stopping ability that a light jacket provides. But, they also tend to hold the heat in. Too much heat at times for me.

I thought about taking one of my old jackets and perforating the back side with several hundred holes. Solid in the front, but mesh in the back. I get the wind stopping benefits, but the back side lets the heat out.

Thoughts?
 

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That's basically a wind vest then or a wind jersey. Castelli transparante, louis garneau glaze, and endura FS-260 jetstream are some examples of wind jerseys that still breath pretty well. The LG and Castelli are both lightly insulated, the FS-260 Jetstream is not insulated, at least not the short sleeve version.
 

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I've been thinking of making a custom jacket for late fall riding. I like the wind stopping ability that a light jacket provides. But, they also tend to hold the heat in. Too much heat at times for me.

I thought about taking one of my old jackets and perforating the back side with several hundred holes. Solid in the front, but mesh in the back. I get the wind stopping benefits, but the back side lets the heat out.

Thoughts?
It sounds like you want the Assos iJ Intermediate S7. I've worn it down to 45F with a warm base layer and up to 60 with a summer base layer. I love mine.

I've got a Gore Power Jacket. At 45F I start to sweat really sweat. Even light riding and I'll need to open the zipper. It is good in the low 40s and down.
 

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My Craft long sleeved base layer is my single most valuable piece of winter clothing.
It wicks extremely well and keeps me warm & dry.
FWIW, I'll wear a long sleeve jersey plus a vest right before ride temps require a jacket. I think most jackets (not wind shells) are heavier and warmer than long sleeve jerseys.
 

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Is there any functional difference between a long-sleeve jersey and a cycling jacket if it has rear pockets?
Yes.

Jerseys can't be removed and put in a jersey pocket when the temperature rises.

Jerseys almost never have a wind blocking front.

Depending on the manufacturer, I'm guessing the jacket should be made of a heavier material,
Not appreciably. My usual wind jacket is made out of 115 g/m^2 fabric except for the mesh areas, jerseys 110 g/m^2 which is essentially the same.

perhaps some wind-proofing,
Yes. While the same weight, my favorite jacket does a good job blocking wind while my jerseys are close to riding shirtless even two of my long sleeve non-thermal jerseys.

sized slightly larger?
No. You can get race-fit jackets that don't flap annoyingly.
 
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