Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Grapevine, TX, USA
Ah the topic of gear. I could go on and on (just ask my riding pals!).
Since I ride year round, I need good cold weather gear (cold in Texas being a relative thing true, but it does get down below freezing a few times each year).
I've reached gear nirvana for me with a combination of three outfits that cover me all year long from freezing cold to blazing heat (I'll mention the latter first just for completeness).
Joe Rocket Phoenix gear for any temps above 85F. Goretex Pac-Lite rain suit to cover these in the rain (much more durable and better fitting than Frogg Toggs but twice as expensive). The new JR Phoenix 4.0 jacket is the really nice.
Now for your question about the cold: I have two cold weather outfits and pick from them depending on the type of riding and the chance of long, hard, constant, driving rain. These are an Aerostich Darien jacket and pants and an Aerostich 1 piece Roadcrafter coverall. If my ride is multi-day with many stops and there's any chance of hard rain, I wear the Darien because it's 100% waterproof and I can shed the jacket when I stop. For trips of one day or less (and my daily commute) it's the Roadcrafter because it's easier to put on, has more protection, and just feels like a custom made space suit. I love it. However, it's only 95% waterproof.
Under any and all the above I wear a Gerbing jacket liner. It's very light weight and is enough over a tee shirt down to about 40F. Below that I'll go to a long sleeve shirt which works down to the mid-20s. That Gerbing liner will fry your bacon. Their gloves are great too.
Summary: I've tried a dozen different jacket/pants combos over the years and nothing works even half as well as that 'Stich stuff. Plus it is one of the few options out there that satisifies my instistance that all non-mesh gear be waterproof WITHOUT an additional liner. I hate to have to stop to done gear when it rains and I also hate having the outside of the garment get soaked even if an interior liner keeps you dry. Also, since I hate to take along tons of extra stuff, I'm really happy that the thin Gerbing liner packs so much heat.
BTW, my legs don't get cold but I understand the Gerbing pants liner is also a win. I just use a fleese liner under the 'Stich gear and I'm good.
Grapevine, TX USA
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