I’d like to ride in temperatures down to 32 F, but not when there’s precipitation or ice. So, I’m looking for gear that’s warm and windproof, but not necessarily waterproof. Yesterday’s ride started at 40 F and ended at 45 F, providing a preliminary test of my gear.
Socks - Toes went numb at about 10 miles, and didn’t come back until I was home and showered. This was the biggest problem. Was wearing cyclocross shoes (some mesh in toe top) with tall summer socks. Next time I’ll try wool socks. Hopefully it won't be necessary to get overshoes.
Gloves - It was circulation, not cold, that gave problems. I wore an unpadded pair of light soft-shell gloves with a couple fingertips cut off. A couple miles in, the finger tips warmed up, but then pinkie and ring fingers started going numb. I’ll need a cold weather gel-palm glove. Here are a few options:
Pearl Cyclone Gel (Light weight)
Pearl Elite Softshell (more insulation)
Specialized Deflect - My brother has these and likes them.
Tights - My thighs and seat started out cold and stayed cold. I was wearing running tights with bike shorts over top. Those tights are good for running at 32 F, but can’t handle the wind of cycling. I’ll need a pair of thermal windproof tights. I think the Castelli is the best option:
Upper Body - Worked fine. Wore a long sleeve base layer + soft shell jacket.
Update: Bought the Pearl Cyclone gloves. The palm padding is sufficient.
Update: Bought the Castelli Meno 2 Wind. Then it got warm. Will update after testing.
Phone - Battery level at the end was much lower than expected. In airplane mode, with screen off, level was 20%. Previously on this route, out of airplane mode, screen on max brightness, level was 40%. Not sure if the difference is due to low temp diminishing battery capacity or an errant setting draining power.
Salt - I haven’t thought about this. It might wreak my drivetrain. I’d like to ride through the winter, so maybe that’s the cost of doing business. I’ll have to look into this further.
OMTM has a great collection of winter riding wisdom. Most of their advice is geared toward riding in cold and wet conditions. They say: buy good stuff.