Monday, December 03, 2007

CWX + 3SP = 4M

As the weather grew colder, my CW-X Pro Tights weren't warm enough. I'd grown quite fond of the support they provide, especially on the fixed gear, so I added some Sport Hill tights over them as the mercury dropped through the 30s.

At 29 F I had reached the lower limit with the average polyester tight as the outer layer. I didn't know this until I rode at 21 degrees and felt the chill bite through. So the next day, at 16 degrees, I put my Sport Hill 3SP XC Pants over the CW-X inner layer.

The 3SP fabric is a woven polypropylene. The tight weave of the outer surface deflects a surprising amount of wind. The inside is brushed to a fleecy nap that makes them a good single-layer choice for Nordic skiing down to the low 20s, or even colder on days without too much wind. Polypropylene rejects water, making the fabric more moisture resistant than a fleecier fabric would be.

Cyclists generate their own wind chill, so the cold cuts through at a higher ambient temperature for them than for skiers and runners. But for winter adventurers who might be out on snowshoes, skis or wheels, the XC pants are a convenient, versatile item.

On cold rides, CW-X plus 3SP equals mmmm....warmth.

Today we got a dump of snow, maybe as much as eight inches in my neighborhood, with snow showers and cold temperatures to follow, so I won't be out on the bike for a while. Between the schedule, short daylight and rapidly changing conditions, December is always a tough month for outdoor activity.

Come January we'll get into some sort of rhythm.

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