Wetsuits for different Chicago seasons

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Wetsuits for different Chicago seasons

Postby ens137 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:20 pm

Looking to see what people use in the Spring/Fall and Winter months in Chicago...4/3, 6/5/4, etc
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Re: Wetsuits for different Chicago seasons

Postby 4w7s » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:29 pm

IMO it's nice to have 6/5/4 hooded and 3/2 full suit for fall-winter-spring, and shorty (summer). Just last week (early August!) the water dropped to 50f over here and we were all in our winter suits + booties.

There was a lengthy discussion about cold water suits here
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10382
(btw my Hyperflex Amp suits are stillgoing strong and are now 3 years old)

Don't mess around with the cold water. Sometimes you think you are warm enough and then when you have a problem and are in the water for a long time you start wishing you had a warmer suit. A drysuit is also an option but that's a whole debate unto itself. I've had drysuits too (still have one), but lean more heavily on neoprene these days, although there are probably a few dozen days I still wish I had the drysuit - but I have been hesitating to R&R all the seals ($200 +) because they usually only last 2 years with any reliability. At some point the question turns to keeping your hands and feet warm. So if you want to ride the cold days you need to consider good gloves and booties too
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Re: Wetsuits for different Chicago seasons

Postby snowball » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:08 am

A good 5/4/3 is great. You can always layer under it with a rashguard long underwear etc.

What robert said is true "Don't mess around with the cold water. Sometimes you think you are warm enough and then when you have a problem and are in the water for a long time you start wishing you had a warmer suit." Always play it safe when its cold and no ones there to rescue you.
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Re: Wetsuits for different Chicago seasons

Postby adseguy » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:27 am

What they mention is all good advice. I'll give you my setup. I have a 6/5/4 for anything in the 35* to 50* and a 4/3 for anything above that without going straight board shorts. A good wetsuit should be a tight fit and feel almost uncomfortable on land when brand new. In the water it will expand a little and over time it will as well. Bob from Kiteridersllc.com is local and can help you get a suit at the best prices on the interwebz
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Re: Wetsuits for different Chicago seasons

Postby 4w7s » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:15 pm

adseguy wrote:........... A good wetsuit should be a tight fit and feel almost uncomfortable on land when brand new. In the water it will expand a little and over time it will as well.


Not disagreeig, but for clarifiction - the suit should be snug but not tight. If it's too tight, especially around your arms that will be a detriment to comfort, warmth, endurance, and safety. If it's too loose the suit will get flushed too easily to provide the optimum insulation value. You can learn more from this website

http://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/

The better quality new suits have super stretch neoprene (IMO well worht a few extra dollars for this) and are actually very comfortable in comparison to the older neoprene materials that could be very stiff and restrictive. Also very important about fitting - size charts can be inaccurate and certain body shapes can add to the challenge of getting a proper fit, so do your due diligence when getting a suit. You can also get a custom suit for not that much more $ if you have trouble fitting into "average" size categories.
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Re: Wetsuits for different Chicago seasons

Postby ens137 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:30 am

Thanks for all of the advice! I would def like to get the most wind year round and I think that requires two suits. The more I research and talk to various Lake Mich riders, the more I hear that most people have a cold weather suit (6/5/4) and a spring suit (4/3). I picked up a 4/3 from a friend (should be close to my size) but I have not tried it on.
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