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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:08 PM   #1
pilotslog
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Default Cold weather gear

We are located in Central Texas. It get pretty cold here some mornings and we would like to start doing more outdoor training. What equipment would your recommend for our kids to wear to stay warm and not interfere with skating.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:29 PM   #2
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Cold in Texas? Bwahahahaha!

State highways shutdown at the drop of a snowflake.

Seriously though, Under Armour cold gear is pretty good. It's designed to let you move, but keep you warm.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:36 PM   #3
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I'll second the Under Armour comment. Wal-mart's brand works just about as well, but at least in the stores where I went the versions they had weren't quite as insulated (and they don't survive falls quite as well). Just go into the store and find what looks like thick Spandex pants and shirts.

How cold are we talking? If it's the high 40s or low 50s it's really only cold until your blood starts flowing, then you feel fine. In those cases warm up wearing a sweatshirt and tearaway pants. Sure, they're bulky and get in the way, but you can comfortably remove them after a proper warmup because it won't feel so cold.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 04:45 PM   #4
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If you want to keep it pretty inexpensive, you can get similar (but not quite as good) versions of the Under Armor stuff from Target (Champion brand, I think). Arm warmers (from a bike shop) are good for chilly days because you can easily take them off or fold them down if it gets warm.

For skating, just some cheap thin cotton gloves seem to be fine because your hands are usually tucked behind your back or your arms are swinging and blood is circulated well (for cycling, a much more substantial glove is needed).

For ears, you can do buy thin ear covers from most department stores or sporting good stores that fit under your helmet, or you can just cut a sleeve off an old t-shirt and put that over your head (under the helmet).

Tights to keep your legs warm are easy to find for women/girls, but more difficult for men/boys. Bike shops will have plenty. Keep in mind, these are hard to take off over your skates. Some companies make full-zip tights that are much easier to remove.

Bike shops also sell wind-vests. These are pretty helpful at keeping the cold wind off of your core, and they can easily be removed or added if you get hot or cold.
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Old November 10th, 2015, 02:26 AM   #5
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Here are a few common sense tips for dealing with the cold weather.
Different persons physiology deal with cold, and adjust to it better.
From % of caloric burning brown fat in your body, to blood circulation to your fingers and toes, to metabolism. Everyone is different, and have issues they deal with.
It's easy to overdress to keep warm, but once you sweat, your clothes lose their insulation value.
So, depending on how cold it is and how hard you will be working, or if it's windy, you have to put some thought into dressing every time you work out.

Here is what I typically might do for skating at 25 F, although in winter I cross country ski. Years ago, I used to enjoy outdoor skating before they build the Pettit.
Put antiperspirant on my feet and hands. Always! One container is dedicated only to my feet, for hygiene reasons.
Wear a layer of 100% polypropylene next to my skin. Or second choice polyester. This means Polypro wind briefs. polypro socks. polypro long sleve shirt and polypro longjohn, and polypro balaklava.
If you don't sweat Under armour would probably be fine. Skiing generates a lot more heat than skating.
For skating a nice engineered wind breaker lightwight jacket, with breathable back and underarm.
When driving to the venue, turn your car heater up, to preheat your body.
Don't dally around. Go for 5 minutes, then take off your warm up layer.
Don't start out into the wind, rather do a hill to generate some body heat.
When done, change out your top right away, or you will get chilled, and increase your chance of getting sick.
Don't put Vaseline on your face. It dissipates and makes you colder. There are better choices, like Dermatone, and my choice, mink oil lanolin leather grease.
Enjoy winter!
Here is a video showing how easy it is to enjoy winter. Note the skate race going on in the background. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HBvt5Fp_aY
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Old November 10th, 2015, 09:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by journeyman View Post
It's easy to overdress to keep warm, but once you sweat, your clothes lose their insulation value.
That's true of cotton, which makes cotton a bad cold weather material (unless maybe you have another moisture wicking layer between your skin and a cotton sweathshirt). It's not nearly so true for wool or fleece. The exact opposite is true of neoprene - it gets better at insulating as it gets wet.
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Old November 10th, 2015, 10:53 AM   #7
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I want to thank all of you for the great ideas... Yes we don't get that cold here in Austin Tx but it can feel that way.
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Old November 10th, 2015, 02:04 PM   #8
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Better choice for winter is to find a local club and skate indoors.

There, someone said it.
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Old November 10th, 2015, 03:59 PM   #9
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Hello William,

Welcome to Texas

I agree with Chuck regarding the indoor club idea. Texas speed trains at Playland skating center in Austin. Sonny Felter is the coach and they have a large team from beginners to elite. The new wood floor is IMO one of the best in the country, 95'x195' smooth and fast.

As far as keeping warm? How about my old training buddy the slide board? Great for rain as well.

A baklava style head/facial garment works well in the "damp cold" Houston climate. Thinsulate gloves, cycling arm and knee warmers are usually all you'd need.

Hope this helps,
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Old November 10th, 2015, 04:05 PM   #10
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We have that.... we are part of Texas Speed Club.... I am one of the assist coaches (in training)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckboucher View Post
Better choice for winter is to find a local club and skate indoors.

There, someone said it.
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Old November 10th, 2015, 06:47 PM   #11
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I got some fleecy lined running tights off eBay and wear them with a long sleeve cycling jersey and gloves. Works fine but my climate is pretty mild.
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Old November 10th, 2015, 07:43 PM   #12
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No matter what the material, the goal should always be to be as warm as necessary but no warmer. Sweat will make you cold quickly as soon as you stop. As soon as the wind blows. As soon as you roll down hill. Ugh!

Thus you want to start with your body already warm dressed as you need for when your muscles are generating lots of heat.

This is not always feasible so the next best is clothing that be easily removed.

When the mercury drops, the first thing I put on are helmufs. http://gigishandywork.com/
(Despite the trade mark text, helmufs have been around far longer that Gigi's shop, with that name even) These are simple earmuffs typically made of felt that attach to helmet straps with velcro. Thermally, they are about as effective as a light jacket. Unlike a jacket, they can be easily removed while rolling and stashed in your pockets or hydration pack.

When the helmuffs are not enough, I put on a light close fitting cycling jacket. If the jacket gets too warm, I still have the option of removing the helmuffs and in the worst case scenario, I can stop and stuff the jacket in my camelbak.

If the jacket and helmuffs are not enough, I put on thin cycling gloves. They need to be thin to fit under the wrist guards. Gloves can also easily removed and stashed. Mostly for dexterity reasons, I'm not fond of wearing gloves but when you need them, you need them.

Next stage is a long sleeve cycling jersey under the jacket. Removing the jersey is possible, but annoying because the jacket needs to come off first (and the hydration pack if you are carrying one)

Only if all that insufficient, do I use tights. I have two pairs: one polypropylene and one wool. Here in Northern California, the polypro tights get used a handful of times for low exertion night skates in the dead of winter. Some years I don't use the wool tights at all.

Protective gear also warms. If you don't wear knee pads, you may need to break out the tights sooner. I will occasionally wear elbow pads strictly for the thermal properties.
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Old November 10th, 2015, 07:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckboucher View Post
Better choice for winter is to find a local club and skate indoors.

There, someone said it.
I'd been holding that in since I first saw the post.

People wonder why we have so many indoor rinks around Seattle. It's not cold enough to have ice, but too often too wet to skate outdoor.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 11:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJCIV View Post
The exact opposite is true of neoprene - it gets better at insulating as it gets wet.
That's interesting (I am no swimmer, so no idea about neoprene so far) and possibly a solution for my problem in cold(er) conditions.

I tend to sweat quite heavily, esp. around the core. In addition my back/neck muscles are ultra-sensitive since I had 2 slipped-disc issues. Problem is now that when I train in cold conditions, whatever I wear (usually Skins or 2XU thermal baselayer under skin suit+jacket) gets wet and eventually cold. That then tightens up my muscles.

So would some neoprene baselayer (top or even short skin suit) help with that by remaining warm and wind-tight when wet? If so, what's the appropriate thickness (I have noted you can get anything from 0.5mm up to 3mm) and is there any recommendation re. manufacturers?

THX for any feedback!
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Old November 11th, 2015, 08:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJCIV View Post
That's true of cotton, which makes cotton a bad cold weather material (unless maybe you have another moisture wicking layer between your skin and a cotton sweathshirt). It's not nearly so true for wool or fleece. The exact opposite is true of neoprene - it gets better at insulating as it gets wet.
This assertion is commonly made in scuba circles but I think it is a myth.

Neoprene gets it's insulation from sealed air filled bubbles embedded in the fabric. Since water can not penetrate the bubbles and replace the air, neoprene retains its insulating properties when wet. This is a very big deal but it does not mean that the insulation becomes more effective. Water still have zero insulating value. Certainly, my neoprene cycling gloves do not get warmer when wet.
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Old November 12th, 2015, 01:27 AM   #16
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One of the many Insulator garments offered by CW-X. We were impressed with their products from Day 1. They deliver both compression and muscle support features with 2 fabric weight tights: standard tights (of normal fabric weight), and insulator tights (light brushed fleece fabric for colder days). But, wait there is more...

Check out the CW-X Warm Stretch Fabric(tm) . Our 2 faves are the Pro Tights and Stabilyx.

from CW-X:
The Insulator Endurance Tights are the ultimate cold weather support tights for the endurance runner, skier, and all around athlete. WarmStretch™ temperature-regulation fabric is used to maintain a constant comfortable surface temperature in a variety of conditions. CW-X Pro Tights unite the major joints of the leg to offer optimum muscular support for activities with linear movement, such as running and Nordic skiing. The patented CW-X Support Web™ brings the hips, knees and ankles into proper alignment, reducing impact and load to the legs. The CW-X Support Web™ also creates a suspension system for the hamstrings and quadriceps, reducing workload in both the pull and push phase of the running motion. Combined with targeted variable compression to increase circulation and reduce fatigue, your muscles don’t have to work as hard over time and your legs will feel fresher.
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Old November 12th, 2015, 07:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ese002 View Post
This assertion is commonly made in scuba circles but I think it is a myth.

Neoprene gets it's insulation from sealed air filled bubbles embedded in the fabric. Since water can not penetrate the bubbles and replace the air, neoprene retains its insulating properties when wet. This is a very big deal but it does not mean that the insulation becomes more effective. Water still have zero insulating value. Certainly, my neoprene cycling gloves do not get warmer when wet.
I think what's intended is this: If *evaporation* is essentially eliminated, you stop a very potent second source of heat loss.

This is most true in extreme cold conditions. It's regularly seen in high-altitude mountaineering - people use vapor barrier socks and perhaps even gloves. These work for some people and not for others. [Some people sweat so much, it's quite unpleasant.] And it also causes problems if you don't dry out your feet for days and days, for example. Trench-foot etc.

But the vapor-barrier of neopreme has two actions:
1) Insulation. Just like regular gloves, it slows the transfer [convective] of heat.
2) It also stops [or mostly stops] heat loss from water evaporation.

If a lot of evaporation is occurring, those heat losses can be massive.

But again, the benefits of preventing large evaporative losses is most pronounced in very cold [and thus usually also very low relative humidity] - not something you'd be inline skating in.

---
In my experience, anything below freezing sucks - I just won't go - I used to, but no longer . Anything below 40F [5C] the wheels feel like dead pieces of wood. And, since I'm mostly a wuss these days, I just don't go out much if it's going to be below 50F [10C].

Once we're above 50F/10C then, long tights - long fingered gloves and a long-sleeve cycling jersey is usually more than adequate. The ears can and do get nippy, but I hate stuff on my ears - so I live with it.
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