This post will be a short one, it will cover what I like to use on my lower body for cold weather riding and racing.
First off lets start with covering the important stuff, Literally.
I use smartwool wool boxers that have a windblocker panel sewn across the front. Windproof Boxers like this are an essential item for helping to not freeze your Important parts off (The Ladies could benefit from windblocker wool undies also I’m guessing). While sitting on the bike, this position leaves the area between your legs very vulnerable to the winds cold blast.
Next layer added is a thin wool 260 weight Icebreaker or similar wool long john/base layer tights.
If the temps are in the extreme low range or my pace is going to be more of a chill cruising I tend to add a thicker wool tight like the 370 weight Ibex energy free winter tights on top of the 260 weight or some combination of those pieces depending on temperature.
I cover all my base layers with a soft shell water resistant highly breathable soft shell pant/tight like my favorite pants which is the Ibex Climawool tight.
That is all I use on my lower body for layering.
I do bring along a pair of Arc’teryx Beta SL Gortex shell pants on longer adventures and races just in case I need a great fitting lower body wind and waterproof shelter.
Here’s a picture of my son Ryan at 9 yrs old ripping up some of our local trails.
My next post will be on the most talked about, asked about, all important topic of winter footwear!
Our man Adam Frederiksen shares his choices for apparel when racing an Ultra like the Arrowhead 135. Spending 20+ hours on a bike in the cold is a true test to any apparel system. These tips will help you choose the right items to layer for just about any ride and aerobic activity outdoors in winter. We are fortunate to have so many great choices for performance fabrics and insulation these days to keep you warm and dry during activity but we also love our natural fibers like Merino Wool as one of the best for next to skin dryness and warmth when wet. The key is applying the right layers for the temperature and the effort of your activity and there are likely few activities more challenging than the Arrowhead Ultra.
To recap what Adam has covered in this video, here is a list of the items he used during the Arrowhead 135, Tuscobia and the upcoming Actif Epica.
Hydration – Relevate Wompack with Hydraheater – One of the best solutions to keeping water consumable in the cold
Helmet – POC Trabec Race – You only have one head, protect it well
Goggles – Double lens vented – We like Smith IO and other helmet compatible models with an interchangable lense.
Head – Icebreaker Merino Buff/balaclava, Merino headband (worn over ears and across your nose)
Bottoms – Gore Windproof Boxers, Icebreaker wool bottoms, Ibex Climawool Pants with softshell outers
Top – Icebreaker 150 weight merino tank or T, Icebreaker 260 weight Merino wool mid layer, Ibex Climawool jacket
Feet – Polypro liner Socks, Smartwool Merino PHD midweight socks, 45nrth Wolfgar boots (these are expedition boots for long ultras and Adam who gets cold toes after 10 hours in the saddle, we recommend the Wolvhammer as the ideal boot for warmth in most use)
Hands – 45nrth Merino wool liner glove, Relevate Pogies (this is a great combination as you get the dexterity of a light glove and the supreme warmth of a Pogie. Keep food warm in your pogies and be able to easily grab those snacks or other items out of your bags)