Thursday, February 3, 2011

snow gear

As promised, I thought that I would share some of my winter fighting gear with the few of you that care to read this blog.  I've started above the waist for today.  

These are my "serious" gloves.  These are worn on any day that's over 30 degrees.  They're water resistant, very light and articulate well for the shifters.  They have a very burly palm section that feels like an odd canvas hybrid.  Anything under 30, and the wind rips right through these. 

The articulation point on the pointer finger works nicely for reaching the critical shiftpoints and brakes.  It also makes riding in the drops quite nice.

These are the big mama jamma's that save my life everyday under 30.  In fact, these have a rating that goes down to negative 25 degrees.  So far, I've yet to have any water, snow, wind, etc break through these.  The price is a bit steep at $76, but given the option of loosing my fingers and having a little less money, I'll buy the GIRO gloves every day of the week.  I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of the lobster claw design when it comes to the bike.  It makes it very hard to sit in the drops and to work Shimano shifters on the down-shift.  What's nice is that there is a secondary glove that works just as well as the one's above, so I can remove the shell before descents.  Also, the inside has a webbed slot  for all of the fingers, so they are just dangling around inside the shell.  These are the shit, and I'll take them to the grave.

This jacket is my 20 degrees and above jacket - its a North Face Reflex.  Its completely water/windproof and breathes rather nicely.  Sweat is something to be concerned about in these temperatures - too much, and you'll suffer.  So, this is something to feel cold in for the first 4 minutes of your ride, but it warms up and wicks nicely.  I've been using this for 1.5 years, and its my favorite - its also discontinued.  When I need a little extra warmth, I'll throw on a Columbia fleece vest, but this rarely happens.

Like the Giro gloves, this is the big gun that I pull out for days like today (-22 when I woke up this morning).  Its the Columbia Omnitech Vector Parka.  This jacket is 100% water/wind proof.  There are multiple cinch points for the waist, wrists and collar.  The hood has a wire rim so its easily wearable, and can adjust to hats/ helmets.  Its also interchangeable - the shell and liner are two different jackets.  I've never been cold in this jacket, and won't ride in it if its over 20 degrees.  Nothing beats this for warmth and at $325, its fairly affordable if you live a volatile climate. 

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