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Lately the weather has been really weird in that it's both hot and cold in the same day on my rides! Part of it is due to the change in terrain, location, elevation, etc.

My favorite Adv ride, the reason I bought this bike, it's about 2 hours of freeway (Desert 100 degrees F in the summer), then I am in the mountains and twisties for an hour, then ride on foredst roads, then turn around go back. and it was about about 70 ambient when I got to the entry of the mountains, so a little chilly with my jacket with no liner. So I pull into a rest area, just sitting still for a few seconds, I'm burning hot again! Yet I got to put the liner in the jacket to deal with the cold damp humid mountain riding (with the shade from the trees on the road making it colder still).

I got frustrated and went back home; I knew darn well if I keep going I was gonna freeze my buns off on the way back, because it would have been dark by then.

So I was pretty frustrated, I had also brought 1-2 long sleeve shirts and I had it all on I was still cold. My top box can only hold so much stuff. I know "layers' is the typical answer. I'm just curious if anyone else found this to be frustrating, and how you dealt with it? It's those days when it's hot and cold both depending on where you are on the ride. If it was strictly hot or cold it's not as bad.
 

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Layers and perhaps some heated gear. Stay far away from cotton....poly works well. I find it hard above 80 degrees when I have my 3 season Gortex jacket on that can go down near freezing.

Layered mesh with a liner and a windproof rain jacket can cover a wide range of conditions including full rain and I'm good to 95F ..wetting an underlayer really helps...even the whole mesh jacket.

Heated gloves are good to just above freezing...I use heated liners so a single pair of gloves. Poly long johns or ColdPruf merino poly mix is very good and packs down very small. AN oversized ColdPruf top is my go to when I'm chilly...poly long sleeve should be what you wear underneath everything.

Then add this as needed
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=coldpruf+mens+base+layer&crid=37E4SY5N13835&sprefix=coldpruf,aps,315&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_8
 
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For me, if I'm day tripping I'll wear a wind breaker or thin rain coat (froggtoggs) over my mesh riding jacket. I tend to leave early in the morning when it's down right cool. This keeps me warm until temps rise then I'll peel off the rain coat and am comfortable for the rest of the day. If I ride into the evening I throw that puppy back on and I'm warm again.

When doing a multi day trip where I get cold mornings, warm afternoons and temperature fluctuations from riding into mountains, I wear a proper touring jacket. It does get warm in the afternoons but I find I'm more attentive being a little too warm than a little too cold.
 

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I enjoy the same variety. During the summer I have pretty much evolved to wearing body armor upper with just a t-shirt for the hot sections. Then I unfurl one of those FreezeOut shell jackets over the armor for the mild chilly part . Then when it gets plain cold I use an electric vest under the armor. Naturally, I have heated grips and a cowboy style neckerchief.
 
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This is why I used to love winter riding so much, it wasn’t uncomfortable to wear my leather and I never used to get cold at all.
That’s not the case anymore.
I can tell you my most freezing rides have always been Colorado summer mountain rides because you’re acclimatized to 90 during the day and then you can run into pockets of draining cold air from the mountains that are frigid at night. 50 degree temp swings not at all unusual in the mountains/high plains desert.
I’m not so cold resilient anymore and tour with my mesh and leather plus rain/wind layer and down vest, it’s a lot of stuff but gets me through most things comfortably. Including many hot to freezing rain days in the mountains.
 

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Merino wool base layers. Keep you warm in the cold and are cool when it is hot. Down vest when it gets really chilly.
amazing stuff!
I was going to bring up a topic about natural base layers. Wool and silk are safer they don’t melt to your skin in a slide or fire.
I like merino wool as well, silk is awesome as a base layer too.
 

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The melting point of polyester is

Melting point approximately 482°F (295°C). Tenacity up to 8.5 grams per denier
If you are in those conditions you've got other problems,

Poly blends very well with other fibers to allow controlled performance and I love how quick it dries and how well it packs down.

A poly/merino blend is my prefered material for warmth.
Poly for base layer and long sleeve riding shirts,
 
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The melting point of polyester is



If you are in those conditions you've got other problems,

Poly blends very well with other fibers to allow controlled performance and I love how quick it dries and how well it packs down.

A poly/merino blend is my prefered material for warmth.
Poly for base layer and long sleeve riding shirts,
One of those problems would be the complications of melted poly.
I know it’s worse case but burns are horrific as it is why tempt fate?
Both my parents worked extensively in burn wards for many many years, I’ve heard enough stories to make me realize it’s something to consider.
Here’s the conclusion to Federal study:


“The low melting point of the synthetic materials and
the energy they absorbed as they changed from a solid to
a liquid significantly decreased the energy transferred to
the mannequin. However, based on these tests, synthetic undergarments pose an increased risk of burn injury because of the possibility that they might melt and stick to the skin when firefighters are exposed to high heat. Undergarments of 100-percent cotton or 100-percent wool did not ignite, melt, or char. Silk undergarments weren’t readily available (only one source was found during an Internet search). A firefighter wearing the silk undergarment would have a higher predicted thermal injury than a firefighter wearing undergarments made from the other fabrics, probably because the silk fabric was so light. The silk undergarment did not melt, but it did begin to char.
Undergarments made of 50-percent polyester and 50-percent cotton showed no sign of melting.
The predicted burn injury generally relates to the weight and thickness of each undergarment. The heavier and thicker the material, the lower the burn injury predicted during these tests.”

Also, a good friend of mine competed in speed skiing in the 80’s at Velocity Peak in Silverton Co.
The injuries they were seeing with wipeouts and sliders on the ice at over 90 mph were burns with clothing melting.
Very real.

From the Marine Corps:

“”When exposed to extreme heat and flames, clothing containing some synthetic materials like polyester will melt and can fuse to the skin. This essentially creates a second skin and can lead to horrific, disfiguring burns, said Navy Capt. Lynn E. Welling, the 1st Marine Logistics Group head surgeon.

Whether on foot patrol or conducting a supply convoy while riding in an armored truck, everyone is at risk to such injuries while outside the wire.

“Burns can kill you and they’re horribly disfiguring. If you’re throwing (a melted synthetic material) on top of a burn, basically you have a bad burn with a bunch of plastic melting into your skin and that’s not how you want to go home to your family,” said Welling.””

In my time I’ve known two people who have died from tank burst fires after crashes.
Enough for me to consider it a very real possibility. Five gallons of gas between your legs is no joke.
 

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Here in Washington State it is easy to go through wide temperature/moisture variations when riding to/from/through the mountains, etc. I tend to wear a T-shirt, and take with me a warm long-sleeve shirt, flannel or wool, then my mesh riding jacket, and a Gore-Tex rain-coat as a wind barrier to go over the mesh when needed. With that I find I can go from very warm to very cool with simple layer changes at quick rest stops. But it sounds like you are already doing the layer thing.
 
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" Stay far away from cotton."
Great, now what am I supposed to do with all those long sleeve rally shirts I've acquired? I've used cotton forever. have a couple poly, they are OK. Mr Gerbing and a decent gear, Aerositch, etc.
And a good rain suit. I carry all the gear when traveling cus you never know what will happen between the desert and the mountains, sometimes in the same hour.
When it gets really shitty the rain suit can keep you alive and happy. Yeah, I know your pricey riding suit is waterproof but the rain gear blocks the wind and provides that much more protection against the elements.
 

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I carry all the gear when traveling cus you never know what will happen between the desert and the mountains, sometimes in the same hour.
I agree. Not mentioned yet, is how to carry the summertime extra layers.
I use these:

They cost about $7 and are tough. I mount them along each side at the passenger grab rails. They tuck in and slightly below so that they don't make it harder to swing a leg over.

Western 600 Denier Cantle Bag
 

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Whuzzat, some kind of horse shit? pun intended. Not familiar with the equestrian supply chain.
Always something new to learn from the forums. Like hanging out in the old time Military Surplus stores. There were items there that were perfect for a different purpose. Like gas mask bags to store stuff things in. Too bad the Gov't seems to have run out of surplus. Now it's all made in China in the funky stores.
 

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I routinely ride in conditions that have temperature variations. Even my commute can have a 10°c/18°f temperature swing on occasion.



You might not get a Roadcrafter but maybe you can find some use in layering this way:

I gave up a long time ago on things like "base layers" as I found I just overheat when I stop. Instead I wear whatever street clothes I am likely going to need when I arrive. So this particular morning I put on my shorts (that can convert to pants if I want) and a cotton t-shirt. Over that I put my heated "Warm n Safe" heated jacket and a soft shell. Over all that I put my Roadcrafter R3. In my tank bag I always have a change of gloves for different conditions so wore what I call my intermediate gloves and my mesh gloves. (I didn't need the heated ones so left them in the topcase.)


One set of extremes recently was in July on my road trip to Utah and further west. I started my day in Evanston Wyoming and it was about 50°f. I rode into the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, up mountains, down to lower ground again then up mountains on 190 and down into Salt Lake City. Lows hit in the upper 30's°f and highs in the low spots in the upper 70's°f and up to 100°f when I hit Salt Lake City.

I was comfy with that on in the 30's up to the 70's area between mountain ranges ( I opened up zippers when I came down the mountain.) When I got into the outskirts of Salt Lake City I rode about 10 minutes in the temperatures that in the 90's to a restaurant where I had lunch. After lunch I ditched the heated jacket and soft shell and rode with shorts and T-shirt under my Roadcrafter. The hotel was a about 30 minutes from where I had stopped and I was fine for that length of time as it approached 100°f. A few days later I left Salt Lake City and headed west across the Salt Flats and it was 100°f. I had my shorts and T-Shirt and a cooling vest on under the Roadcrafter and I was fine riding the rest of the day (it dropped down to the upper 80's as I headed towards my stop for the night.)

That was part of a 10,300 km/6,000+ mile trip that went across the USA, up to Vancouver Canada, and back across the prairies to Toronto, Canada area. Several times in the mountains there was snow on the side of the roads and temperatures not much above freezing. Other times it was in the 80's, 90's and up to 100. I rarely had to do much more than put on or take off one layer and change my gloves or add overgloves in heavy rain (my riding suit is waterproof.)

..Tom
 

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There are two types of bikes. Ones that you get a good bit of air flow onto you, and those that you don't. Those that you don't...would be full fairing bikes and bike with larger windshields and air deflectors.

Before you decide what gets written in these type of threads is Gospel, try some things yourself.

If you have a bike with a good bit of airflow, you can get buy with solid gear like V-Toms Aerostich suit and others with venting.

Cotton or Polyester? Yes polyester melts. It has a lot of good qualities that make it really good for things like drying quickly. But I would rather sweat in a pair of cotton jeans than polyester disco pants. Wet is wet. Find what feels good for you. Underlayers of polyester don't worry me much at all as I wear pretty good outer protective gear.

Layers in cold are going to work...But there is a price to pay. First is will your gear allow you to put that on under it? Will you look like a Michelin Man? Can you even get on and off the bike? You can stand colder conditions for 1-2 hours. Then whether you admit it or not hypothermia is already in play and it takes forever to get warm again.

In heat the evaporative vests work well. Even in humidity. I know this because I live where that is excessive. They pack pretty easy. They make a LOT of difference in how alert you stay. Don't believe what I or anyone writes about mesh vs solid gear in heat. Try them both yourself and find what works for you.

In colder conditions, especially if you ride in them often enough to justify the expense, heated clothing is simply wonderful. I have a heated jacket, pants, gloves, and insoles. Don't need anything beyond the jacket until it gets under 50 degrees. What? you cannot ride in 49 degrees? No, I cannot ride 800 miles in that temp range in COMPLETE comfort without my heated gear. I have spent over 12 hours in temps that didn't get above 38 degrees on the bike. Just sitting on a bike burns no calories, cold catches up to you.

I do cheat in hot weather. I made up an ice water cooled system that I sit on the passenger seat. I have a "Cool Shirt" with tubing that allows the ice water to circulate from the ice chest and back. I can put 20 lbs of ice in it. Run a full fuel stop of 250 miles or so or close to 4 hours. I literally don't care if it is 100 degrees when wearing it. I am addicted to it, run it when temps are in the mid 80's.
 

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Zow, the ubiquitous canvas bag. I carried a couple of those on the front of my Jeeps in the late 60's. The Jackson Brown image would have made it really too hip!
They really work too. I remember putting a wet towel around a bottle of Carlo Rossi wine to kool it down too with the evening breezes.
 

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But I would rather sweat in a pair of cotton jeans than polyester disco pants. Wet is wet.
There are signs on ski slopes that say "cotton kills" ...cotton underlayers are very dangerous in cold conditions....especially cold and wet conditions which we often encounter touring.

Poly will keep you warm even if you are wet - cotton will get you a fast track to hypothermia and that can creep up on you in a way that leaves you confused, slow reactions.
Sure cotton under heated gear is fine in the cold but proper layers you don't need heated gear except for your hands.
You actually do burn a lot of calories when riding in cool temperatures..
The biggest risk if you are wearing cotton underlayers in cold temp is getting sweaty ...you simply will get colder and colder if you don't get dry.

Silk, wool are wonderful underlayer but expensive and difficult to clean ...blends with poly work very well.

When I'm touring I like to be able to travel light and poly shirts and boxers dry super quick.
I do carry an oversize cotton Tshirt for sleeping. I prefer riding on the cooler end of the spectrum but know only too well how insidious hypothermia is.
Got near to it in the BC mountains this last June but the heated gloves were just enough to hold it off at 40 degrees or so.
Saw one sport bike rider laying out over concrete abutment trying to warm up in the sun. It was nippy up high but warmed up quickly on descent. This is the second time I did BC in June with 3 season Gortex and it worked out well without the heat of later summer.
My son got in trouble on the way along the coast ...he had the same jacket but no rain pants, and his fancy gloves were not waterproof.
He got chilled coming down the Cassiar in northern BC in light rain and 12 degrees ( C 50 ish F )....got a bit warmed at the turn to Prince George. Then it came down in buckets along the coast with nowhere to get warm ....even stopping at the park pull offs did not help as he was hypothermic to a dangerous level.
Fortunately a convenience store with a snack bar showed up and he spent a half hour getting some colour back, some hot food and liquid in him.

Our AirBnB host a little further along was a bit taken aback with our bedraggled appearance and wet gear ....as it turns out she had TWO sets of soggy riders staying that night.....front foyer was a bit of a mess.

He didn't emerge from this very welcome soaker tub for an hour.



Fortunately that was the only rain we had in 3 weeks. Next to hydration...hypothermia is a serious risk to touring riders without heated gear.
It is a very difficult condition to correct in short order.....especially when wet.
Just heated gloves alone ( I use heated glove liners ) can offer that extra bit of safety and comfort and keep your core warm.
There is a reason for those signs on ski hills.
 

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You actually do burn a lot of calories when riding in cool temperatures..
I don't agree with that. Or at least let me qualify why. Because the only way you burn a LOT of calories sitting on a bike is because your body is trying to keep your core temp in the safe range. If you start shivering that means you are very cold. That shivering is your body working your muscles to TRY to make heat.

Which points back to exactly what I wrote. Find out what works for you. Riding an hour to work and being cold when you arrive is a LOT different from being 200 miles from home, darkness setting in, and you are already too cold and know it.

If you use heated gear, or at least layers that truly keep you comfortable, you won't be burning much in the way of calories. But at least that reserve is there if you still get cold. So plan ahead and have at least extra layers if you don't have heated gear. Or, as I have done more than once, stop somewhere and buy some fleece sweatshirts and pants. These are cheap and great against the skin to trap heat if you can block the air well enough.

I have found that if you don't feel a bit too warm as you start out in cold weather, you probably will wish you had put on that extra layer unless the temps come up!
 
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