As the weather conditions are kind of special for a bike race in Europe under winter conditions, I assumed to already have double checked my equipment.
I try to provide an overview about the things (referred to clothes), I carried with me and comment on them, if the decision was good or it could be improved.
Base layer Active Musto
I love this piece of equipment, even I could use a new one as this one does not absord my own smell anymore after more than a day. It transports sweat so fast, and it keeps me warm. While cycling, this one is fully enough under a wind proof jacket, even in minus degree areas.
Winter Jersey Factory Five
Jersey is always an issue, if I wear a jacket on top of it. It gets sweat from the base layer and has to wait until already existing sweat has moved through the active jacket. So, in my case, the jersey is often/ usually wet somewhere. When the ride is several days long, it is even more problematic. I did not find a good solution for this issue. I could ride slower, which will bring my bpm down and I will start to get cold. My jersey dries pretty fast, even when I hung it out in the winter cold of Denmark at below zero, it was way lighter the next morning.
During last years Transcimbrica I rode most of the time, with base layer and jersey, only. The jacket was only used during the dark hours and the third day, when it was rain out there.
Jacket (Gore Power Trail)
I turely love this jacket since the first day I bought it. I wear it slightly wider, than absolutely necessary, that helps to cover the lower end of my back when riding on the tt-bars. Sometimes I have doubts if this jacket was really water proof and I will test it during the next days. But I am almost certain it it water proof and only my own sweat does not get transported out of the jacket enough. The wet outside and the wet inside are a perfect bridge to get the cold to the inside. After putting this jacket next to a running heater, it is almost dry, again. Only the long ends of the arms take a little longer.
BIB shorts with pad (Brevet ones from Rapha)
I love these pads, therefore I always use these pants. There is one difference between the first and the second version of these bibs. Your belly is less protected against cold in the older version. Although the new cut makes it harder to stop for a pee on the side of the road.
Winter tights (Winter pants without a pad from Rapha, cannot find a link)
These pants are awesome and I was never cold in them. I chose a very tight fit, almost too tight so the folds in the knee bend become uncomfortable sometimes, as they might start to cut into yourself. Pink marks at the rear end of the legs, make your visible quite well during dark winter rides. There is a zipper, so you can close the front end in front of your belly to bring even more warmth. I always leave it open. I start to sweat from here or I store sweat in this part of the equipment, which gets the belly cold, relatively fast.
Rain pants (Gore Bike Wear Active)
Absolutely happy with these pants, although it was only the second time ever, I used it. Would love to find the jacket corresponding to these pants.
Gloves (Gore Thermo <– not my version)
I bought this pair of gloves in 2016. Today I would not choose them again for several days rides in ugly weather conditions. After 1.5 days in rain, these gloves were nothing but wet. One weak point might be that they are very widely open at the end, so water can easily get in there from the wet arms of the jacket. But nevertheless, water did soak through the glove, slowly. It was heavy and no fun at all, I was likely to throw it away, during the second half of the second day. I cannot find them anywhere, anymore. Seems the straps got replaced by a velcro, not sure about other modifications. I took out my summer giro gloves then. They got wet quickly as well, but as soon as the rain stopped for some time, I could dry them back with my own body temperature within very short. Only to let them get wet again, of course. This years Transcimbrica was a tough training for my fingers, from frozen cold to cycle in the cold without any protection and feeling great.
Hat with ear protection
I only wore a winter cycling hat. It got soaked but during cylcing it was not too bad. I had a replacement with me which I only used for sleeping in dry conditions then. Needs an update, definitely.
As I packed all my stuff in about 90 minutes before my train left from home, and I did not go through my checklist, I forgot some things. Actually the only major thing were my clear view glasses from rudy. Luckily Thees could help me out with a pair of yellow glasses. It was my first time ever in yellow, and I was surprised who differently the world looks through these. My entire face was red due to temperatures, rain drops and snow flakes that acted like little sand stones hitting my skin. Without glasses, I am not sure how far I would have made it. Thank you Thees.
Base Socks (Merino socks from rapha)
I wore one pair, another one I carried with me for hard times. This war just fine.
Winter Socks (Gill socks)
A mix of plastic and merino as well to transport the sweat out smoothly.
Shoes (Wölvhammer, 45NRTH)
Usually I prefer to ride on Look pedals, for long distances. For these pedals I commonly wear Mavic’s wintershoe Ksyrium pro thermo. It is a great shoe with certain limitations that brough up the decision not to use this shoe for the third edition of Transcimbrica. The shoe feels great as I love the mavic fit. Problem is that water rinses down from the pants into the shoe. Wearing a rain pants it is very difficult to wrap the pants around the shoe so the water does not rinse into the shoe. Secondly walking on cleats in the snow, for hours, is no fun at all. I had some major experiences early this year, so I decided against these shoes. I decided for the monster heavy and comfort shoes from 45nrth. They look like tanks and are promoted as water proof, I chose them. Even though I had to change to pedals to Crank brothers which I never did before for such rides. This shoe is such a monster, I cannot release it from the pedals in any position. Initially this shoes were like carrying an oven for my feet into arctic regions, just perfect. Usually I wear 43-44 as European size for shoes. The Wölvhammer come in as a 46, so there is plenty of room for doing some gymnastics with my toes during riding.
By the second half of the second day, my right shoes felt wet inside. The right side -East- was where the strong weather was coming from. At the end of day two, when I gof off my shoes in the shelter South of Skagen, I realized my right boot did weigh in at least twice as much as my right one. Impossible to get this one dry in any way. Even I carried some dry bags with me, I can make sure to keep my foot dry, but not to keep it warm when the complete shoe was wet. I talked about this issue with Harald, who decided for the same model of shoes. And he sent me a link from Sveta Vold, who had similar issues with that model of shoes. She uses overshoes over this monster of shoe. I am not satisfied at all, we will see, how this issue settles.
I name this as one major reason for the issues that cam up with my right knee during the second day of riding. I still cannot say what has happened, first it shall get back into regular shape and then I will step ahead.
- Jacket needs to be verified in being water proof
- Continue my search of the perfect jersey
- Find water proof thermo gloves that minimize the chance of water getting in anywhere (Sealskinz) was a recommendation from Torben, will check the details
- Water proof hat or helmet cover, to keep the brain running
- Clarify with 45Nrth about the shoe issue. Got some overshoes, not looking forward to go into the belt and suspender solution
- Revelate frame bags are getting older, Maybe I will improve here as well. Mostly the stuff carried here, can get wet, or is packed into zipped dry bags
Other than that, it went perfectly fine!