Clothing to meet Mother Nature head on.

Finally cold weather!

Posted: Dec 31 2011

Back again after the Christmas build up and holiday! I hope everyone had a chance to get out there? I was lucky enough to get some good running and biking in and with the temperature drop, got to test a few new bits and combinations.
Sunday morning, December 17th started with temperature hovering around -1C! Brilliant! I was so happy to finally get some of the big guns out! The usual suspects came around (which I was impressed with, because it would have been very easy to jib out with some excuse about Christmas shopping etc!).
I ended up handing some gear out as gloves and hats for some did not seem up to the job!
I kitted myself out with the following:
  • Brynje Super Thermo Helmet Hat
  • Bryne Super Thermo mesh long sleeve shirt
  • Brynje Classic wool Merino long sleeve shirt (195g/m2)
  • Altura Transformer windproof
  • Sealskin winter gloves
  • Brynje Sprint boxer shorts
  • Brynje Neck warmer
  • Giordana Body Clone FR-Carbon bib tights

 We set off and instantly people were VERY aware if they had any skin exposed to the chilly wind! But the ride was all about seeing how the kit performed, where the weakness or exposure was ready for the "Hell of the Ashdown" race we are doing at the end of February. I must admit to being a little chuffed with myself as I was nice and warm with the exception of the end of my nose! Even my feet seemed ok? Wierd!
About an hour into the ride we had a good pace, and everything was working well. Legs were warm, neck was toasty, body was dry and warm, Helmet hat was working great.......but.......my feet were freezing! I had a thin cycling sock, a merino wool sock and Seal Skin socks! I could not get them warm! So I rode for the rest of the ride with two unresponsive blocks of ice in my shoes!!
However, I was very happy with the performance of the rest of the kit. I now have my cold weather outfit (except feet!) sorted. I hardly had to vent at all.....even on climbs. Everything just seem to be balanced. I was really happy with the Super Thermo Helmet Hat. I had not had a chance to wear it before due to the warmer weather. However, with temperatures around freezing, it did a great job. Pretty windproof considering it's not lauded as being windproof, and does an outstanding job of temperature regulation. My mate bought one for the ride after Christmas, and he pretty much had the same  comments as me. I have tried a few different helmet hats in my time. I thought that Merino was the answer. The problem was that it got wet just like any other solid layer, and then when the wind hits you ..BAM! Cold head! You can't vent a hat, you can't take it off and on during the ride (well you can, but I REALLY don't like to stop every 5 minutes to adjust kit....do you?). I have also used helmet hats with wind-stopper, but again, they tend to be too warm, you sweat....then your back to square one! I wore it on another ride (the one with my mate after Christmas) and it was a damp 5C. Again, I didn't notice I was wearing the helmet hat. Upper limit for me is probably around 6-8C I think. 8-10C and I'll be wearing my Buff on my head.
Happy riding and Happy New year!

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