# Finding good pants for winter biking

Winter is soon upon us here, and I'm gearing up for the season. I currently have a pair of rain over-pants which I use during the other 3 seasons, but honestly I really dislike them. They're baggy, requiring the use of an ankle band, and not entirely warm. They do a decent job of keeping out water, but I don't know how they will perform with snow.

Can someone recommend a type of pants which are more form-fitting and will do well in both rain and snow?

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<rant>Why does everyone assume we all live in the northern hemisphere? I am looking forward to summer!</rant> –  Anthony K Oct 15 '10 at 12:09
@Anthony The joys of a more global community. He did say "upon us here". But I do see your point. At the same time, I'm not going to constantly convert from miles to km, northern to southern hemisphere, left side of road to right side of road etc. as I type questions and answers. I am, however, going to greatly enjoy the fact that pants = underwear in parts of the world and how that influenced my first read of the title of this question. –  Mike Two Oct 15 '10 at 12:15
@Mike, I took the "us" to mean the bicycles.se community. I don't think there is a need to convert units, though I have no idea about Fahrenheit. And when I say summer I am being a little facetious since today was pouring rain & only 8 degrees C where I am ;-) –  Anthony K Oct 15 '10 at 12:24
@Anthony - Good point about the "us". I was really just using that as a lead in to the pants joke. I can do C or F but I have to think the C through. a bit. –  Mike Two Oct 15 '10 at 12:33
I was using "us" poetically, because it would sound weird to say "me". No intention of discriminating against Southern Hemisphere, folks. ;) But just think -- for anyone reading this question next June, the opposite will be true! –  Nik Reiman Oct 15 '10 at 12:44

It really depends on your budget, but you should check this out (or anything similar), from Gore bike wear :

They aren't the tightest pants out there, but "real" tight pants are very rarely (trying not to say never) waterproof because of the type of fabric used to make them.

An alternative idea would be a nylon pant (waterproof, windproof, but absulutely not warm) that's relatively tight with a warm baselayer.

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I own em. They are very nice and I do endorse them. But, to me, the ideal is a pair of those for rain and a pair of insulated tights for snow. –  tplunket Oct 15 '10 at 12:25

Foxwear makes great rain pants and jackets. They're a little baggy, but they close at the ankle -- no ankle clip required. They're also good layered over tights for winter riding. I have two pair, and will use them until they fall apart (which may take some time).

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The trick to staying warm for your winter rides is layers. Keep in mind your overpants aren't there to keep you warn, per se, just to keep you dry. You can wear under them pants, long johns, long warm spandex, whatever floats your boat. That's part of why they would be baggy too.

When I used to commute in Boston through the winter, I wore thick long spandex pants under my snow pants, and that, combined with the heat generated by riding, was enough to keep me warm through -5F blizzards :)

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I have a pair of Sugoi long tights for commuting in the winter. I add or subtract a base layer depending on conditions.

I don't really care if it's Sugoi or not; other companies make bike-tights compatible with base layers.

Maybe I choose a different brand next year? Depends on what's on sale...

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I changed the link. Manufacturers constantly change product lines and websites. Just go to the Sugoi site and look for what you want. –  user313 Dec 21 '11 at 6:26

REI has a Novara brand rain pant that isn't too expensive. I use mine all year round, rain or snow. I don't wear them when it is warm, as they tend to keep moisture in as well as out, which leads to soaked clothing. However, I believe that is a problem with most rain gear.

I got my pants on sale for around $30 a few years ago. When I go to the website now, I see that the men's version is around$100 in the catalog. I'm not sure why the price difference.

www.rei.com

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Don't forget about the REI 100% satisfaction guarantee! Though, I've found the Novara brand products run on the long and large side and it's extraordinarily rare for me to find something that I would consider "form fitting". YMMV. –  James Schek Dec 25 '11 at 8:05
They aren't form fitting per-say, but I have long legs, so they work well for me. I don't have to worry about the leg ends getting stuck in the gears, as they taper and have elastic and zippers/velcrow for ease of removal over shoes. –  ananka Jan 4 '12 at 19:49
After shopping around quite a bit, I picked up a pair of the Novaras from REI (\$120 USD) last week, and I'm quite happy with them. Thanks! –  Matt Ball Jan 17 '12 at 1:27

I have a pair of Polartec tights from Col d'Lizard that are the cat's pajamas (or some such metaphor). Definitely not baggy (when you see them you'll understand -- "I'm going to fit into THOSE???"), and plenty warm down to maybe 5-10F, but they breathe well -- never get clammy.

I no longer do winter cycling, but I often use the tights when I run the snow blower. The snow doesn't stick to them and they keep me warm in the wind without overheating.

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I wear my Craft Storm Tights for my winter commuting and even some recreational longer rides (I get too hot when I wear them for an interval type of workout).

http://shop.craftsports.us/sports/bike/mens-pxc-storm-tights.html

They have a thermal liner and keep me nice and warm. I also like them for the ease of use, I just slip them over my underwear and off I go. Not skin tight but not loose around the lower legs.

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I got the MEC Roubaix Tights this year and I have found them surprisingly warm, despite that they are quite thin. I wore them down to -15 Celsius and had no problems with my legs getting cold. Depending on where you live, and what you consider "winter" something like this might be just fine.

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