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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is going to be my first winter commuting by bike and I'm not sure what will be the best for my garment choices. Here's a little background commute info.
Some days I ride my bike 9 miles to work. Takes about 25 minutes.
Some days I ride a half mile to a bus stop. Ride the bus for an hour. Then ride a few miles to my work.
It depends wether I'm leaving from my house or my gf's.
I work in construction. I'm a glass guy so I need some heavy duty pants. I'm trying to keep my backpack as empty as possible. So I'd rather not carry an entire set of riding clothes in my bag.
Are there pants that are; good for winter riding, strong enough for a construction worker, not gonna make me sweat my male parts off when I'm on a bus AND not require a major investment (70-120 a pair)
I realize that's asking a lot from one pair of pants. But if I could buy 2-3 pairs of winter commute pants I could easily cycle em for a few months.
Thanks in advance!

huvia ja hyötyä
572 Posts
Define "winter".

534 Posts
I've found that the addidas climashell pants (30 bucks at filenes or modells or similar) work really, really well. They're water resistant and windproof, and I have ridden them in some s**t. If it gets really cold, throw a base layer on underneath. Mine is a DC winter, and I ride if the high is in the mid-high thirties.

1,344 Posts
I was all set to respond, but then I read your requirements about the pants.

I can't help with that.

I do ride year round in NE, Lowell Mass., similar weather.

Typical clothing depending on days:
Base layers:
- Voler long sleeve klondike tech shirt. They have a newer Thermal version, but the klondike stuff is good stuff, and less $.

- Long sleeve winter jersey...I have several different kinds, all winter/thermal weight.
- Bib tights, I have some thermal knickers too, for warmer days, but I think they are Pearl Iszumi and not Volers.
- For really cold I have some old Descent wool tights

- Merino wool sweater. You can save yourself a heap of $ if you just go to your local mens discount store and find a sweater that is merino wool, or fine cashmere or lambs wool. They all work great and are extremely breathable and warm even when wet. The cycling specific merino wool jerseys or sweaters can be $$$$
- For really cold days I will wear a boiled wool sweater instead. Think a real Irish fishermans sweater, or if you are in rural areas, your local general store will stock some sort of generic outdoor hiking/hunting sweater that will work great too.
- I do have a cycling specific winter thermal jacket. To be honest, this is pretty much all I need on top of a base layer and jersey. And on those colder or extended rides, I use the light weight merino wool v neck (I have several from past fathers day and christmas gifts.) for added insulation.

- Cold: heavy boiled wool socks
- Regular: a thinner cycling specific wool sock
- Wet days: Sidi water proof winter shoe, it is a size and a half larger to fit the thicker than normal socks, and not squeeze my foot.
- Just regular winter days: an old pair of Sidi Genius 5. They are stretched out enough to fit the thicker socks, so no issues.
-I have thermal booties, but those only come out on rare days.

Hands (I suffer here):
- my hands/fingers are always either too warm or too frick'n cold. I have used old ski gloves and those are too warm, I have used my coaches gloves (think a fleece lined leather workmans glove) those start out warm, then they get saturated and then my fingers freeze.
-I have cycle specific thermal gloves, those suck by themselves.
-I have tried lined rubber (think chemical gloves) those suck too.
-So what I do now is use chemical handwarmers with cycle gloves. Its not perfect, but I avoid frostbite.

Head (This is the biggie - you loose more heat through your head than anywhere else, so you have to keep it warm.)
[flame suit] In the winter, I ride sans helmet, and wear lined wool ski hats.[/ flame suit]
- But I used to ride with a guy who wore this ski helmet, so you could do that too.

I think that covers it.

Now that I think about the pants. I have a pair of waterproof hunting pants, I think Redline or Redball or something like that. Not ideal, but you could ride in them and they would be warm. Hell I've hunted in them all day through marshes and sat in duck blinds for hours on end with them and they were fine for the exertions and the warmth. I've had those since HS though, (past my 30th reunion), and they are still kicking, albeit a little short in length, but the boots cover that.


I ride in Wisconsin, Slinger, that is and will go out down to 30 degs. Would like warmer tights and a jacket. Can U name names and would like wind proof tights and warmer wind proof jacket. Again, name it, so we can check it out. Oh Yes, booties, cause my feet freeze.

Resident Curmudgeon
11,979 Posts
I used to commute 36 mi/day all year in N. Ohio. I'm also a cheapskate, so I don't go nuts buying things from Assos, etc. I wear Performance Triflex windproof/waterproof tights for really cold days with no long johns or other base layer. Other tights are all right above 35F. On top I wear a top from Sahalie made from Polartec. They call it butterfleece." No pockets, but they are very warm & zip up into a nice turtle neck. I wear no base layer with that unless the temp goes into the single digits. Over the jersey, I wear a Performance unlined, windproof jacket with Illuminite. I bought a pair of gloves from Sierra Trading Post. They're the warmest I've ever had...Primaloft insulation, with 2 pair of removable liners. If goes into the teens, I have a pair of Gortex mittens that I wear. I wear smart wool knee length knee socks, and below 30* I wear Performance neoprene booties. A balaclava is also a must for me, as are glasses with at least 2 sets of interchangeable lenses.
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