Winter Commute

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by triman11427, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. jeffeasy

    jeffeasy Adventurer

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    Lol that was my go-to in college before I bought a warm one piece winter suit!
    #21
  2. Petzl

    Petzl Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    I am going into NYC every day 6 years. From east meadow. KLIM also warm n safe heated liners. only think that stinks is feet once below 0. But that doesnt happen often
    #22
  3. r60man

    r60man Long timer

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    I commuted for years, 23 miles one way in Northern VA. Yes, it gets very cold there. I do not believe in heated gear, because they break, and then you are stuck with no heat. Hypothermia will kill, so I don't rely on that tech. I do have heated grips and that makes a huge difference in the deal. Keep your hands warm, and it really helps. So here I what I wore. As a rule I would ride down to 15 degrees F as long as there was minimal ice and salt on the roads.

    1. First Gear snowmobile suit over my work clothes. Very warm but no armor. Allows great flexibility so you do not have the "baby in a snow suit" syndrome.
    2. I changed my boots at work, so I would wear oversized waterproof riding boots with wool socks. (waterproof helps keep the wind out)
    3. I have a pair of WWI (not a typo) wool aviator gloves (Actually mittens with the index finger isolated) They are simply inside out sheepskin and super warm. I have had them reconditioned because they are close to 100 years old. They were hand me downs from my Dad. No idea where you could get them.
    4. Full face Helmet
    5. My wife made me a "Turtle neck", out of fleece and some sort of insulation. Stretches over the head and you wear it on the neck and the bottom of the chin.

    Biggest issue was in the afternoon riding home if it warmed up significantly. Also there was no armor in this set up, but plenty of abrasion protection. I moved to PA and I work only 4 miles from home, not worth commuting on the bike, besides I transport two kids. Thinking about a smallish scooter for when the oldest graduates.
    #23
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  4. phuzzygnu

    phuzzygnu Been here awhile

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    Aerostich with an Aerostich soft shell over street clothes and I'm good into the 40's.

    Down into the 20's and 30's and I'll throw my Kanetsu electric vest on as my first layer over the clothes. It fits snugly- a loose fitting electric is barely better than nothing. I'll turn it off and on as needed.

    Down to 0° and teens (not common in Texas, but it happens) and I'll add a thin base layer or union suit.

    All if the above options are used with my go-to Sidi Adventure 2 boots and my Held Twin gloves (in or out of the Monkey Fur chamber as needed, usually out) plus a silk bandana and/or a balaclava.

    Even in my coldest weather gear I'm only at four thin layers under the 'Stich.
    #24
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  5. Switchglide12

    Switchglide12 Long timer

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    First Gear makes one piece it is cheap $199.95 new at RevZilla. Also Olympia makes one that is fairly inexpensive compare to Aero. I commute but not everyday. I bought merino wool base layer from Marshals top and bottom for less then $35 few years ago. I can't wear jeans to work, has to be casual Friday attire. Base layer under my dress pants or khaki's then my leather over pants. On top base layer, dress shirt then my Gerbing heated jacket over that very thin windstopper jacket on top of all my riding jacket.
    #25
  6. Commiehunter

    Commiehunter Been here awhile

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    I wear my work clothes under my riding clothes. Thin pants, and water/windproof moto pants with a quilted liner. I'm always wearing a sweater, then my windproof moto jacket with quilted liner.

    A couple keys for me:
    1. neck warmer to block wind there
    2. Pinlock so I can keep my visor and vents shut
    3. Wind protection on bike (bigger windshield, handguards)
    4. Heated grips
    #26
  7. Vermillionx

    Vermillionx Adventurer

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    I use an older first gear thermo one piece suit. I have ridden down to -6* F with only heated grips. That thing is seriously warm. I would wear my work uniform with riding boots and then change into my work shoes once I got there.
    #27
  8. Pokey89

    Pokey89 Adventurer

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    Last few years I had been carless with a 52 mile commute on a naked bike. Typical morning temps around 30-35 and as cold as 12. The hot ticket seemed to be insulated overalls with my lined riding jacket over a fleece pullover. I tried full coveralls but could not wear my riding jacket. For gloves a thin work glove and a lined horse riding glove over it. With a full fleece headsock I would stay fairly warm. While fairly bulky it can fit in a backpack easily or I would often just strap it to the bike. Overall investment under $100
    #28
  9. triman11427

    triman11427 Mud is my chrome

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    There is some really great and practical advice here. r60man I love the WWI gloves description. Puts to shame our newest high tech materials. I also respect those old school stories of riding in the frozen tundra with just a tee shirt and ski mask. (When I was your age I walked 6 miles to school. Uphill! Both ways!) I put a premium on safety, so any suggestions without protection (pads, etc) isn’t for me. I’ll take my car before commuting from Long Island to Queens on the LIE without protective riding gear. It’s not that everyone is out to kill me, but there are enough distracted drivers to not want to take the chance. Heated grips work great as do layers to adjust to a variety of temps. I can deal with taking the time to layer up when going for a longer ride, but on a 20 mile commute I’m exhausted after slipping into all the layers before getting on the bike! Granted, in traffic the 20 miles can take an hour, but in general, less is more practical. I think a 1 piece with flannel lined jeans and a heated jacket should cover most days.
    #29
  10. Berchunis

    Berchunis Been here awhile

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    My experience in riding in cold weather in S.E. Pennsylvania on a K100RS. I wore a heated vest over a Tee shirt, then regular sleeved shirt under a heavy Motorcycle COAT. Heavy gloves and wool socks under motorcycle boots. Fullface helmet with face mask. I was toasty warm for around 30 degrees on a 15 mile commute at night.
    #30
  11. Jeffb_79

    Jeffb_79 n00b

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    #31
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  12. Boatman

    Boatman Membership has it's privileges ;-) Supporter

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    #32
  13. Jeffb_79

    Jeffb_79 n00b

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    Meh,
    I bought it about 4 sizes too large and wear it over my riding pants and under my jacket. For about $150 I can ride comfortably in just about anything above 0*F. I'm not too worried about it, I also haven't found any non-electric riding suit that comes close to providing the warmth that these things do.
    #33
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  14. Sumo64c

    Sumo64c Long timer

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    I have the same and it's my cold weather rain gear solution at which it is fantastic for keeping you dry and warm. I wear a fox titan sport jacket along with fox titan knee / shin guards underneath for armor. I've ridden in 35F temps in heavy rain and the suit kept me dry and warm.
    #34
  15. r60man

    r60man Long timer

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    That material is going to be very abrasion resistant. No reason you could not add some armor gear underneath for that added protection.
    #35
  16. triman11427

    triman11427 Mud is my chrome

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    I think some riders get a bit complacent when riding in colder weather wearing layers. Going down at speed burns through the average gear pretty fast. I know how to dress warm, I ski/snowboard. IMHO every sport has unique gear designed for it's specific needs and ATGATT is a non negotiable part of my riding.
    #36
  17. triman11427

    triman11427 Mud is my chrome

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    I'm fed up with my heated gear! Works sporadically and that's no way to commute. I have purchased an Aerostich R3 and its awesome. Plenty of room to layer and still feel comfortable. The issue now is my gloves were heated by the same wiring as my jacket. They worked fine, got warm, but it was the jacket that sucked! So if I go totally non electric are there warm gloves that don't feel like I'm wearing a baseball glove on each hand. I haven't seen a nice warm glove that can be warn below 30 deg that isn't stiff and miserable to wear while riding. I'd like to be able to flex my fingers a bit. Hippo hands is a possibility but maybe there are other suggestions.
    #37
  18. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    I've considered switching from electric gloves.

    I don't really like the full coverage bar muffs I have (and only keep them for emergencies), but there are options with less coverage that allow you to see your hands.

    https://obradvgear.com/grip-mitts/
    https://www.webbikeworld.com/barkbusters-blizzard-hand-guards-review/

    Klim makes full coverage bar muffs with a clear plastic window to allow you to see your switches. Not sure if that matters: it's not like I normally look at the switches when I'm riding. But I'm not fond of having my hands buried inside a bar muff.

    As far as gloves, I guess what you need depends on if you use muffs and how well the combination of muffs and heated grips works for you. Some seem happy with Summer gloves plus muffs and heated grips in the coldest Winter. I've only used muffs a few times, but it didn't seem like Summer gloves would be ideal--maybe after everything warmed up?

    If I were looking for an unheated glove to use without muffs, I might start with the current version of the BMW Winter Pro.

    As it is, I'm thinking about a pair of Held Twin gloves, though not to replace my electric gloves for the coldest days, but hopefully to be comfortable at least down to the high 30s F with heated grips.
    #38
  19. Daboo

    Daboo Been here awhile

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    This is a subject near and dear to my heart. While I'm retired now, I commuted daily over many years in temps down to 16F. And that was without heated gear.

    Muffs were my "secret". What I found was that two things were essential to make them work well.
    1. Hold the muffs off the clutch and brake levers.
    2. Block out the air blowing through them
    To answer the first issue I had, I fashioned some simple "L" shaped brackets from scrap metal I had laying around. They attached to the screw that held the handlebar weights onto the handlebars and went forward to hold the muffs off the levers. After about 3-4 times, it was a no-brainer to slip my hands into the opening of the muffs.

    I found after installing the muffs, that I still had a lot of air coming through. You have to stop this. I had plastic covers over the metal handlebars that allowed air to flow through. To stop it, I stuffed rags into the openings between the plastic and handlebars...and then duct taped everything. Whatever your configuration is, look for air blowing through. That's where the air...and heat...is getting sucked out of.

    I don't know that you can go to "summer" gloves. But you can certainly go to a lightweight winter glove.

    I've been debating on installing the muffs I have on my F800GT , or just using the heated gloves. If I was still commuting, there would be no debate. I'd be installing the muffs. They may not look "cool", but I know they work.

    Chris
    #39
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  20. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    The bigger the windscreen, the better. I've also found mittons to be much warmer than gloves. After that, make sure all exposed skin is covered.
    #40