How Do You Dress for 10º Commuting?

ArleighLatest7 Comments

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Next Monday through Friday I’ll be in Minneapolis for a week’s worth of training for the new gig. I would like to commute by bike as much as possible from my humble abode to the QBP headquarters 14 miles away. Looking at the weather it seems to be in the teens most mornings, granted I am a week out so weather may change.

How would you dress for such weather? What are key things I should pack and worry about?

Sound off!

7 Comments on “How Do You Dress for 10º Commuting?”

  1. This morning it was 7F in Denver and I wore:

    Flanned lined pants over bike shorts
    Thin longsleeved baselayer
    Warm-ish winter REI jacket (puffy-style)
    Winter boots
    Windstopper hat
    ski mask
    LG Lobster gloves
    Ski goggles

    I was TOASTY. A little too toasty.

  2. I bike in København nearly every day. It rarely gets 10F, but it is 15F to 20F a lot of wind. I wear “longjohns” top and bottom with a windbreaker top and pants over my real, and loose, pants and top.. A balaclava type hat. I don’t wear a ski mask because they cut my vision too much. The lobster gloves are great! A nice trick is to use wrist bands to seal your sleeves.

    Keep your hands, feet and head warm and you can be out for hours. If you get a bit cold shift to a different gear and pedal harder.

    I just put my snow tires on the Batavus:-)

    Make sure you have great lights front and back!!! Sunrise is later and sunset earlier. (here it is 8:30 am and 3:45 pm now)

    here is a video some people made

    Bike lanes are plowed first:-)

  3. I usually go with

    2 pairs of socks – 1 thin pair, one thicker
    cycling sneakers (crank bros)
    track pants
    soccer shorts
    undies or bike shorts
    thin performance shirt, long sleeves
    cotton long sleeved t-shirt
    sweatshirt or sweater
    cycling windbreaker (endura gridlock for me)
    performance balaclava
    ski goggles

    and if i’m on a longer ride, I’ll probably end up stopping and taking off the sweater/sweatshirt layer after a couple of miles to keep from overheating.

    Above 30F and I’ll skip a layer top and bottom

    If it’s 10F and raining (oddly enough completely possible) I’ll catch a ride.

  4. Personally I’d wear a heavy wool topcoat, long underwear, hat, coat, gloves, and scarf, and travel by automobile or mass transit. Cold weather is why they invented gyms!

  5. I’m new to riding in the cold and haven’t had that low of a temp yet but I’m finding the layering thing means pile on layers — don’t have to be the perfect layers but layers. Put the good stuff on first (the technical fabrics that keep you dry) and then pile on stuff on top. Also found that I absolutely have to have earwarmers — can do without a hat but can’t STAND the ears being cold!

  6. Hey Arleigh!

    Here’s 19 deg:

    For 10 deg, just make sure you have something to cover your eyes, ears and face, and something windproof is nice. Warm shoes (vents= bad!) and windproof mittens are important. You could get by with heavier weight tights, booties and a wicking layer with a softshell.

    Lots of tips at, too! Consider visiting us while you’re in town!

    Grease Rag Ride & Wrench

  7. It depends on how hard you are planning on riding.

    Here in Boston, I ride a road bike as much as the road conditions let me. Wind chill is as much of a concern as ambient temps for me.

    At those temps, I wear a pair of wind-tights over a pair of winter bib-tights. A wind-proof base-layer, long-sleeve winter-weight jersey and an e-vent jacket. Wind-proof liners inside lobster-mits, double socks and booties are a must, as are a decent balaclava and glasses (to keep your eyes from watering up in the wind).

    You’d also be surprised how much a little saran wrap (or sandwich baggie) over the toes of your socks and make a difference when riding in road shoes in the winter.

    The most important thing is keeping the extremities (and ears) warm. For everything else, you can just pedal harder to keep warm.

    I commute about 10 miles each way. I prefer to pedal hard and get to my destination as quickly as possible as opposed to pedaling easy and arriving fresh. It also helps that I have a gym in my building. YMMV.

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