I have been struggling all season trying to decide wether to purchase a winter riding jacket. My background has been in hiking and backpacking with mountain biking in warm weather. Started road cycling several years ago but just got serious this past year. I wanted to continue this winter, and as of yet haven't been able to ( new baby at home.) I have been looking at GORE bike wear at REI and it looks great. I was hoping to take advantage of some end of the year close outs. I live just northeast of Atlanta, Georgia. I just came across the thread suggesting the Bicycling.com clothing selector which is awesome. I just have a hard time accepting that arm or leg warmers are enough. Are base layers for hiking good for cycling or do they breathe differently? I have a couple soft shells for hiking and a new Marmot Precip. I also have a Novara rain jacket, and just picked up a pair of Cannondale bib tights -slice w / chamois for >$50.
REI has the GORE Phantom 2.0 SO marked down to $115. I am looking for opinions.
Arm warmers are definitely a cheaper option. What is the most comfortable?
Welcome! I'm over on the west side of ATL. I'm probably not the best person to be giving winter weather riding gear as I was just complaining on FB over the weekend that I went out for a 30 mile ride Saturday morning with a starting temp of 37 and about froze my feet off. The rest of me was reasonably warm so maybe I have most of it figured out.
What I wear is a pair of Pearl iZumi unpadded thermal tights over my normal riding shorts. A long sleeve riding jersey with a cheap Performance light weight jacket. For my head I have a fleece cap that comes down over my ears. Full finger gloves and where I failed miserably is my shoes. Mountain biking it's never been a problem but on the road all of the mesh vents are not your friend. Wool socks would have gone a long way to keeping me warmer.
My 29er MTB is also an X-Cal. Sweet bike.
Cycling... If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong.
Welcome! I live in North Fulton, right above the ATL. Here's what I have done so far this year:
Electrical tape over the bottom vents of my cycling shoes
Cut a wide strip off of a sock-hat for an ear cover
I wear a tshirt under my jersey
Arm covers (not really warmers) - Bontrager brand
lightweight sweat pants with the right leg pinned tight
Two pairs of socks, or one thick pair
Full fingered gloves
Sometimes a lightweight pullover over my jersey (livestrong)
That's it, living in the Southeast I am against investing in winter cycling clothes. I kind of hacked everything together.
Under Armour's winter base layers have worked for me, just wear it under your jersey and it works nicely. They are kind of expensive at 20-30$ you can get copy's of it that are just as good from Champion (targets clothing company) and I'm sure Nike has made some. You just have to search around, essentially your just looking for a winter base layer.
I saw that you lived near Atlanta, well I live in Columbia SC. I can't imagine that the weather is too different from our 40-50 degree winter weather. Though in the low 40s-30s wear a wind breaker over that. I just basically an option cheaper than your REI jacket, anyway good luck, and welcome to the forums!