/ City commute layer/softshell?

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Kemics - on 28 Jan 2013
I have a 10 miles commute ever morning, my current layering system is a t-shirt and a thin cycling water proof jacket on top. Which means, im freezing for the first few miles and sweaty for the last few.

What makes a good top/outer layer? I've seen a lot of people cycling is softshells at the moment. Anyone got a lightweight jacket that's warm and breathable for cycling they would recommend?

thanks!
nniff - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Kemics:

Castelli Motirolo - windstopper on the front of the chest and front of arms, powerstretch everywhere else. Zipped vents on the front to let some more air in if you want. I just wear an ordinary jersey or baselayer underneath.

Not cheap, mind, but at least not Assos prices.
In reply to Kemics:
>my current layering system is a t-shirt and a thin cycling water proof jacket on top. Which means, im freezing for the first few miles and sweaty for the last few.

Yeah - ditch the waterproof quick as poss. I was asked to review a cycling specific one for Wiggle recently and it's a well designed jacket in many ways, the the 'waterproofness' is the fundamental issue, same problem you have - even in pretty grotty cold wet weather: http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2012/12/dhb-cycle-clothing-reviews-eq25.html

> Anyone got a lightweight jacket that's warm and breathable for cycling they would recommend?

I find that down to freezing, a long sleeve baselayer, a long sleeve cycle jersey or any old microfleece and then a cycling specific windproof vest does me find. Loads of the vests around - the type with some pertex like material on the front and mesh on the back for ultimate breathability. From Decathlon or the big web shops, they don't cost much at all and weigh next to nothing so if the sun warms things up during the day, you just stick it in your bag for the ride home. A superlight windproof jacket is another option. Again I've bought various ones down the years, often for a tenner in Decathlon. I tend not to ride on days when I know its going to be chucking it down and find pertex or similar windproof nylon gives me plenty of protection from some drizzle but breathes fine, meaning none of the disgusting sweatiness of waterproofs.


GrahamD - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Pretty much like you but budget version: Sandard long sleeved thermal, cheapy microfleece from Millets and a cheapy karrimor cycle top (added bonus of actually being visible)from sport direct work well enough
Robbo1 - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Kemics: I use my Rab Alpine Windshell over a t-shirt, which works well (but you are cold to start with). This means that I can also use it walking/climbing at the weekend. If it is cold, I start with a hat under the helment and take it off at the lights when I'm warm.
In reply to GrahamD:

> Pretty much like you but budget version:

As most of my cycling gear has been from Decathlon on sale (bought a longsleeve jersey for 4 quid there at Xmas!) I think mine is the budget system! :-) Millets and Karrimor is just posh.
paulcarey - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to nniff:

I have had a Sugoi soft shell for years and it is the best thing I have ever bought. It has a thin fleece lined windproof chest and tops of the sleeves with thinner more breathable materials on the lower back bootom of the sleeves and the sides of the body.
a lakeland climber on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Kemics:

Pretty much echoing what the others have said. For my top half I use varying combinations of the following depending on conditions:

long sleeved thermal - this is a thin thermal
short sleeved cycling top + arm warmers
long sleeved cycling top
windproof gilet (vest)
waterproof (lightweight for summer, heavier for winter)

If it's just drizzling then you are going to get as wet from perspiration wearing the waterproof as from the drizzle if you don't.

Try not to race in to work then you don't raise as much sweat so you aren't putting on clammy clothes in the evening. If you have a drying room at work then so much the better.

ALC
alan1961 - on 28 Jan 2013
As my ride is approx the same distance and I'm only on the bike for between 35 to 45mins I don't mind getting a little cold. So through the winter I wear the following:

Shorts, Helly Hansen T shirt and a RAB Vapour Rise top. My legs get a little cold but the rest is fine. I also carry a thin light weight water proof top for the rainy days.
Kemics - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:

>
> Try not to race in to work then you don't raise as much sweat so you aren't putting on clammy clothes in the evening.


For whatever reason, I am totally incapable of cycling at any speed other than 100% effort so I arrive at work gasping for air and have to wobble up the stairs with shakey legs ... I blame my speedometer, which is there constantly mocking my slow riding a poor averages :)

I appreciate the advice, slowly getting very addicted to cycling but don't really know much of the theory on kit etc.

So i think im going to go for -

Longsleeve base layer
Micro fleece
Windproof vest

Is this the sort of vest/gillet you'd recommend - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/altura-night-vision-gilet/

Thinking of upgrading to some florescent as I got a bit spooked by two cyclist getting killed in Bristol (hit and run) made me think about what I can do to make myself more visible.
a lakeland climber on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Kemics:

Take the speedometer off! :-) Use your commute to commute and beast yourself at other times.

Yes that's the sort of vest.

ALC
lost1977 - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Kemics:

winter long sleeve running top with cycling jersey on top, won't be warm when you start but you won't be a sweaty mess when you finish
In reply to Kemics:

> Is this the sort of vest/gillet you'd recommend - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/altura-night-vision-gilet/

Yep - exactly that sort of thing. You might be able to find something similar for a bit less but I wear mine so much I reckon I'd get my money's worth from one of those. When the weather is getting really lousy/cold, late autumn etc. I often chuck a superlight windproof in my bag as well, then if it really chucks it down or I get very cold, that over the vest gives me enough protection to home.

BTW, I've had one of these for years too: http://www.decathlon.co.uk/semi-membrane-red-jacket-3-id_8217672.html They are super good value but I warm up really easily so I tend to only use mine in Finnish mid-winter once the temps are well below freezing. But if you're not racing anywhere it might be good cold weather jacket for some.
andy - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to Kemics: I have an endura softshell that seems to work for an amazing range of temps.

http://www.endura.co.uk/Product.aspx?dept_id=123&prod_id=141

Expensive, but I wear it wet and dry from about October to March.
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lummox - on 28 Jan 2013
In reply to TobyA: Being a sweaty big fat beast, I just have a warm merino top and a windshirt. I find waterproofs just too sweaty unless it's absolutely lashing it down.

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