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Discussion Starter #1
I am such a wimp when it comes to being cold. It gets worse every year.

So what cold weather gear do you use? Any item, odd or not. Weather specific items from your head to your toes. All of these can help many of us make a decision to our cold weather riding needs.

Tonight I discovered I need something for my lower face, neck, and chest. Also, I have been balking on gloves and tomorrow I am ordering waterproof gloves with Thinsulate. Thanks for your information.
 

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My rule of thumb is; I never ride when it's below 50 degrees, but ahh, sometimes 60 degrees is my limit. But if I must ride in the the 30's and 40's, I wear a TourMaster suit which is similar to a snowmobile suit. It's basically a sleeping bag with arms and legs. I've riden in below freezing temps while wearing it and still managed to be comfortable. Suits like it offer little armor and no crash protection though.
The way I see it, when it's that flippen cold, a crash is a maybe, but freezing to death is a gaurantee. So I take my chances and ride warm, looking kinda like the Michelin Man in the process.
In a worse case scenario; I eat an Oldsmobile at 65 mph and the feathers fly, at least I'll die as snug as a bug in rug.

Death is inevitable, but pain is something that I'd rather avoid. Make mine fast please, make mine very fast.
 

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go up to rei and check out the masks. i use one of their balaclavas. it takes care of the face,head and neck. take your helmet into the store and try on the masks along with your helmet until you find something that fits.

www.rei.com

i got some kewl,ski type socks from them too. my feet are always cold anyways so i had to do something.[/code][/url]
 

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Come on, it doesn't get cold in California!

When the wind is blasting down Lake Michigan and the temps are already cold, I use:

1. Rocky thinsulate hunting boots, cotton socks
2. Carhart insulated bibs over blue jeans
3. Carhart insulated jacket. This year I am trying out my new Firstgear Trekker jacket & liner.
4. T-shirt with a thick sweatshirt over it
5. Gauntlet gloves that go over the sleeves blocking the wind. Trying Hiene Gerike gloves this year.
6. Full coverage street helmet
7. Snowmobile half face mask that covers my nose, chin & neck
8. Wild Turkey adult beverage for quick warm ups when I get home :shock:

Chicago area winters are long dreary things and I refuse to quit riding just because the sane people are inside their homes with the heat cranked up.
 

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Because I ride all year long here in Central Valley Kalifornia, I can attest there are days that I should take the car. The windchill raises exponentially when on a bike. I don't like the cold either, but have learned to deal with it, and buying the correct gear is what keeps me on my bike through the cold spells.

See, the difference between "Cold" here and trying to compare it to "Cold" in the upper midwest, or back east is that... when it's "Cold" here, we can just barely ride. Whereas if it's "Cold" back east people have a hard enough time getting into their cars.

I ride with my regualr street/work clothes underneath my HT Overpants, and Kilimanjaro Jacket. I don't usually put the liners in 'til about now. (1st week of November) In the wintertime, pants go over the boots. (Summer, it's the opposite) But I always wear a windblocker neck protector... that helps a lot. I even double up with a TurtleFur neck warmer. That's used to block any extra air leaks that might come down my jacket, or up under my mouth. Buy the best gloves you can. Last year I didn't have the benefit of heated grips, and even fancy Held winter gloves where no match for windchill in the teens.

But if I was riding and not going to work, I wear mimimal layers. The key is to not wear cotton next to your skin. I bought some stuff from adventuremotorgear that's the ultimate cold weather underwear. Read about cold weather underwear here: http://www.webbikeworld.com/r2/bc/ (good article)
 

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So far my First Gear Killamanjaro II Jacket and HT Overpants with the liners have handled any cold weather I've ridden in. Have yet to have an opportunity for snow on the ground, but it's been in the 40s on my way to work. Really need to find my neck guard, for now I am using a "buff" which is alright. Mind you my commute is only 10 minutes.

My uniform includes high leather military boots, steel toed, metal shank, so with some decent socks I just ride in them. My Oxtar Infinity boots are quite warm especially with my snowboarder socks in there.

Hands are kept warm with Olympia 1310 gloves, a bit bulky but very warm.

And my new Scorpion EXO700 helmet is warm and much quieter than my old and worn, bottom of the line HJC TK-77.

Not sure when I'll take the jeep instead of the bike, mostly it's a safety concern. If the weather is bad enough for other drivers to be having issues, I'll take the cage for them to bump off of instead of ME.


TW
 

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I use a neoprene face mask, made for sking, I think. Anyway, its is small and light, and it covers nose, mouth, all the way under the chin. It just wraps around and velcro's closed at the back. I think it was 8 or 10 bucks at a local MC sporting goods store. It makes a HUGE difference!

This link shows a picture of it (online retailer) http://www.snowshack.com/seirus-fleece-mask.html
 

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I've never been able to garner the merits of an electric vest. I mean, when I'm cold, it's my extremities that are cold. My hands, the tip of my nose or air rushing up under the helmet or stinging my eyes. So far, I've never been cold around my chest, over my shoulders and back. Plus, don't you have to plug into your bike? I'll bet that looks funny when you dis-mount at the gas station and forget to unplug yourself! :mrgreen:

However, I could be convinced into heated pants or leggings of some kind. I'm thinking the heat would ratiate up though the pants and into your jacket.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Biker Scout said:
I've never been able to garner the merits of an electric vest. I mean, when I'm cold, it's my extremities that are cold. My hands, the tip of my nose or air rushing up under the helmet or stinging my eyes. So far, I've never been cold around my chest, over my shoulders and back. Plus, don't you have to plug into your bike? I'll bet that looks funny when you dis-mount at the gas station and forget to unplug yourself! :mrgreen:

However, I could be convinced into heated pants or leggings of some kind. I'm thinking the heat would ratiate up though the pants and into your jacket.
There has been too many good things said about a heated vest to not consider that as an option. When it is the least bit cold a friend's wife won't go near a motorcycle without a heated vest. They ride a Hardley with open face helmets. Go figure.
 

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I just made an impulse buy from NewEnough and got those Joe Rocket Blizzard Gloves for only $22! I'm always on the look out for new winter gloves. Yeah, they aren't Held or anything, but $22 is hard to pass up just to try out! Besides, if I don't like them, I can always sell!

 

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Biker Scout said:
I've never been able to garner the merits of an electric vest. I mean, when I'm cold, it's my extremities that are cold. My hands, the tip of my nose or air rushing up under the helmet or stinging my eyes. So far, I've never been cold around my chest, over my shoulders and back. Plus, don't you have to plug into your bike? I'll bet that looks funny when you dis-mount at the gas station and forget to unplug yourself! :mrgreen:

However, I could be convinced into heated pants or leggings of some kind. I'm thinking the heat would ratiate up though the pants and into your jacket.
The human body is an amazing thing. When our core temp drops just a little, the arteries and vessels in our extremities constrict. This allows our core to stay warmer, but makes our feet, hands, etc. feel really cold! If your core stays warm (ie. heated liner, vest,) less shunting occurs and the extremities are, in turn, warmer. My 2 cents.

Jamie
 

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Yeah, but isn't that why I would wear my Kili jacket with liner? Windproof, plus I'm wearing a thermal layer of microfiber underneath. I'm usually pretty toasty without a heated vest and for cheaper too!

I'm all about the microfiber! I'm a convert for sure!
 

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One of the things I've found helps me a lot when the temp drops is the quiet rider helmet gaiter I got about 5 years ago, blocks the wind almost completely and is vented in the front with a zipper if it gets too warm.{made by NOJ}

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for teh tip Gunny. I gotta get one of those. Friday morning I was riding to Corbin's and had to stop and make-shift a long sleeve T-shirt to fit over my chest and around my neck. It made a differnce though not enough.

Biker Scout the Blizzard gloves we purchased don't do direct cold well. I used them with silk liners and no handguards and my fingers got cold. Thye definitely were better than the thin leather gloves I would have had to use. I used the leathers later that day to ride PCH.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Biker Scout said:
Perhaps, its time you upgrade to some HotGrips!
Yep! As soon as I buy the new handlebars and HotGrips. All of the other supporting upgrades are in place.

Have you ridden in the cold with your new gloves?

I was really surprised how cold it bacame when I rode over the dam on 152 headed for Hollister. I met a couple coming in from Tracy and they said the same thing. It was nice later in the day when riding on PCH. Actually got too warm for a few minutes in Santa Cruz.
 

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I rode all last winter, so I'm kinda used to it. There were some days when the windchill almost made it unbearable to ride. But I think those days totalled maybe 5 or 6 when it was that cold.

So far the gloves are "OK" for cold weather, but the combination of Hot Grips makes all the difference in the world.
 

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First, stay away from cotton. It feels good and comfy when you put it on but, it also absorbs sweat. the problem is that it doesn't get rid of it and you can probably imagine the problems that can lead to. I have seen a freak snowstorm just east of Sac but I don't think you'll need to get too worried about your fingers falling off. If you decide to wander into the Mountains that can change fast. I've seen snow in June on top of Mt. Hamilton and been pelted with hail in Yosemite in August. Cold and clammy cotton stuck to the skin really sucks even if you'r e not in any danger. Wool or microfibre should be the only thing touching your skin.

Getting warm is the easy part. 3 layers and you're pretty much set. It's the wind that's going to give you issues on a bike. Sac is a pretty warm climate even in winter and since the rainy season is just about to start there anyway, a nice one piece rain suit will keep that wind away from your body and will also help to hold in heat. I use a cheap Frank Thomas rainsuit from Cycle Gear. For where you live, I think just waterproofing and windproofing yourself will make an amazing difference. You can wear your leathers and then put the suit on over that and you'll be all toasty. As was mentioned earlier, your hands and feet usually get cold when the core is cooling off. The body slows and restricts the blood supply to your extremeties in order to protect the more important stuff. If you can keep your hands and feet dry and keep your torso warm, you'll feel warm. When the torso is toasty, blood flows free and warms up your tootsies quite nicely.

The Eskimos (not-PC. Sue me.) have a saying, "If your feet are cold, put something on your head." There is a mountain of truth in that."

I wear Pac boots and ski gloves these days but that might be a bit extreme for Sac. :razz:

Here in the great white north, the temps are jumping up and down ranging from 0 to the low 40s. My layers and rainsuit are working great for now. When it get's down to -40, I don't know if my rainsuit will still work. I'm not sure what type of plastic it's made of but -40 might just be where it starts to freeze and shatter. Of course, I don't even know if the KLR will still run at those temps so....Anyway...

Here's my gear that keeps me comfy in below freezing weather.

Base: Expedition weight polyproylene union suit. Available from Campmor, REI, Cabelas, etc.
Second layer: US military ECWS pant and jacket liners. Really good stuff available from most Surplus stores. Try to get the latest issue because it's superior to the earlier versions though they also work well. Don't buy foreign issue copies or commercial knockoffs, they suck. The North Face makes the Denali jacket with cooler colors but you'll pay about 3 times as much for the name.
Outer layer: My leathers. They are working for now but when it get's really cold it could become a problem.
Shell: Frank Thomas aqua rainsuit. That may also be a problem in extreme cold weather.
Gloves: Careful here because waterproof and windproof are not the same thing. Ever heard of waterproof/breathable fabric? Air molecules are a bit smaller than water and can get to your hands and cause some grief by bleeding off heat really fast. Try either ski or snowmobile gloves or if money's no object, high end motorcycle gloves. If they won't stop the wind, you'll have issues.
Boots: I've never found a pair of warm motorcycle specific boots and gave up long ago. 2000 gram insulated hunting boots for cold and sunny days, Pac boots for icky days.
And a scarf. polypropylene of course about $8 at any sporting goods store.

If that doesn't keep you warm in Sac, you need to catch the first shuttle to Mercury.
 
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