Thursday, December 20, 2007

Trial and Error

I've been thinking the last few days about what I've learned since I started commuting back in March. I started with cotton long underwear tops and bottoms, a t-shirt, my old Columbia shell and various pairs of windbreaker pants. When it was cold I would freeze and sweat super bad. My jacket would be soaked and if it rained I either was soaked or put on my full pvc rain gear which did not breath at all. I wore tennis shoes and carried my gear in a backpack.

I believe I've come a long way since then. I got to where I am today through trial and error. I would know I was too hot but didn't know what to do about it. I would buy this and that and try and see what worked better then others. I've found that some stuff you can buy on the cheap, like Champion C9 shirts from Target- they are super cheap and work very well. I've also found that some items you really do get what you paid for like my Cannondale Morphis Shell jacket with zip off sleeves. I love that thing!

This brings me to today. I tend to be impatient. I don't like to waste time so when I found it takes me about 20 minutes to get packed and changed to come home from work I decided it was time to look for something to speed up my routine.

Here's why it took a while: I would have to change from my work cloths- put on my wool base layer, then my boot liner, then my Columbia omni-tech snow pants shell, then put the gaiter of the shell pants over the boot, then put on the boot, then bla-bla-bla... Anyhow, it annoyed me each time I got dressed. I figured I'd look for some nice nordic ski pants that would work well for biking so I would theoretically only have one layer.

After reading on some different types, I set off to buy some Craft Storm Tights. I stopped by Continental Ski and Bike and they showed them to me along with the Toko Nordic Pants. They felt heavier and thicker and seemed would work better (and had a good recommendation from the staff). So I bought them.

I'll be trying them tomorrow. I'm a little apprehensive about them though. I'm used to my gore-tex like shell from Columbia, it keeps me very toasty and warm. I can always add my wools back under these pants (maybe, maybe not) but I'm always hot and sweaty in my shell so hopefully these pants will work to keep me just right on my ride.

So, like I said, it's all about trial and error. Some things work for one person and not another but in the end, if you don't try it, you'll never know. I'll let you know tomorrow how well they worked for me.


Doug said...

I was thinking the same thoughts the other day. It used to annoy me how long it took, twice a day, to get changed at work. Somehow, and I don't know how, it doesn't bother me anymore. Maybe it's thinking about the alternative....driving a car to work. It helps me appreciate how much I like my bicycle commute everyday. I hope I never have to go back to driving a car everyday. I guess the time it takes to change isn't really that much of an inconvenience when I'm doing something I really enjoy.

Bob said...

I like the Craft and Sporthill stuuf. The Craft base layers are great, but my their jackets don't fit my chest. The Sporthill jackets are just right, and their 3SP XC pants are super for not just XC, but biking as well.

Jeff C. said...

Well, I found the pants to work wonderfully! I was PLENTY warm, the craft were a bit thinner, but I would think they would have worked fine also.
I did sweat a bit where my smartwool socks come up my legs, the pants dried very very quickly. I'm mucho impressed. I forgot my boots at work so used my Scott shoes, didn't work all that well with cleats and no clips :D
I'm going to buy some hiking type insulated boots if I don't get any for x-mas.

Tone Coughlin said...

Craft Storm tights, that's what I use but I need a pair of suspenders to keep them up on the longer rides.