Commuting - First commute in Wintery Conditions. Help please
Bikeforums.net is a forum about nothing but bikes. Our community can help you find information about hard-to-find and localized information like bicycle tours, specialties like where in your area to have your recumbent bike serviced, or what are the best bicycle tires and seats for the activities you use your bike for.
10-29-08, 01:20 PM
So, today was my first commute that included snow and rain on a sub 35F day. I thought I was completely ready for the cold and the last two weeks have been cold and my commutes have not been bad. But, if any of you are experience with pre-winter and winter commutes I could really use some help.
Western Pennsylvania winters have become extremely wet in the last few years. Today I was getting rained and snowed on for my commute home. I was plenty warm except for my hands, which were frozen to the core when I got home. Also, my feet got soaked through my sneakers. I can live with being wet that is not really the issue when riding, the main problem I had was visibility. Snow and rain smashing into my face on the way home made it extremely difficult to see.
So I ask my fellow winter commuters, What type of glasses or goggles are applicable to winter riding? I have a pair of ski goggles and I thought about wearing them when I rode home, but I would kind of prefer something lighter I suppose. Also, are there any type of winter riding gloves you would suggest, as well as shoes (I use toeclips)?
What type of gloves, glasses/goggles/shoes do you use for winter riding?
Gloves - Grandoe downhill ski gloves
Glasses - Ray Ban Classic Aviator when it is bright; otherwise nothing.
Goggles - Don't need them. They are good for skiing at -20, though.
Shoes - Normal dress shoes with high top Totes.
Fenders - Mandatory.
10-29-08, 01:35 PM
Thanks for the advice Paul, all advice is pertinent except the glasses. When its snowing I need something to shield me from **** hitting my eyes. Dark glasses don't help when its grey and nasty :(
I find that the amber-lensed wraparound safety glasses availabe at Home Depot and similar stores work well for foul-weather riding. They're usually cheap enough to be worth a try, anyway.
10-29-08, 01:45 PM
Glasses: Safety Glasses from Lowe's or Home Depot, they have clear, yellow and sun lenses, $15-30
I have one yellow and one sun and they wrap around for decent wind protection too.
Gloves: I got these at Lowe's too $10, Thinsulate rated for some doing level activity, Have nice grips on the palm and tried them the other day it was 28 degrees and they were great.
Shoes: I have a pair of hiking shoes and I wear Performance illumiNITE Thermal Bootie over them.
10-29-08, 02:00 PM
Photochrome Glasses (http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=6000120&subcategory=60001137&brand=&sku=24919&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=Shop%20by%20Subcat%3A%20Sunglasses) from nashbar - they dont darken so much in sun, but they work during night. They have vents to prevent fogging. I dont have exact same ones, but similar, and I ALWAYS wear them. Day/Night/rain/sun
Gloves - Till now I have been using cheap Xmart gloves, but recently got Mammoth Skii gloves. Haven't tried them so dont know how good they are
Shoes - Used to wear hiking shoes last winter, with some woolen socks. This year, I am not sure what I want to do yet ... Hasn't been that cold yet ...
One bit of advice when it comes to wearing glasses in snow or rain: it generally won't take long for precip to coat your glasses to the point of them becoming too hard to see through. Wearing a cycling cap under your helmet goes a long way to keeping rain off your glasses so they remain usable much longer.
10-29-08, 02:07 PM
I use OR Prophets, ice climbing gloves, on those rare days when Seattle is cold.
Other than that, fenders, full fenders, are a must, wool is excellent for winter commuting, a cycling cap helps to keep the rain off your glasses, and booties of some sort, even a plastic bag, will keep your feet warm even if not completely dry.
10-29-08, 11:54 PM
i take you never skied in your life?
10-30-08, 11:24 AM
I got multi-lens glasses from Performance that work well. I always just uses the clear lenses. Before that, I had a cheap set of safety glasses from Home Depot designed for indoor/outdoor use.
10-30-08, 12:14 PM
Gloves, depends on the temperature:
Thin wool gloves with neoprene diving gloves over - for when raining/wet but not super cold.
same thin wool gloves with old leather driving gloves - the leather gloves have no wrist and are loose so my wrists are prone to wind exposure, they're only good in the +2-10C range, usually.
Gordini Ski gloves (MEC/mec.ca) for when it's too cold for anything else. I've yet to have cold hands in these gloves. According to a quick google, windchill went down to at least -30C last winter.
Goggles/glasses I use some Nashbar glasses with red lenses (they're interchangable) right now. I also have a visor on my helmet, which does a surprisingly good job at keeping wet stuff off my face/eyes. If visibility gets bad, my goggles will inevitably get too blurred/crudded to see, and if it's that wet, I don't bother trying to wipe, I'll just take them off and deal with the weather.
I use clipless pedals, my shoes are Cannondale Roams. If it's wet, as well as having Planet Bike Cascadia fenders, I also have MEC booties, which do a great job of keeping water/crud off my feet. They're also a little bit of extra insulation from the wind, which is nice. A cheap substitute would be plastic grocery bags - might look funny, but I'd prefer to look odd than have wet cold feet and be miserable :)
We had a pretty heavy snowfall last winter compared with the other years past - so I'm not sure what to expect this season. We've already had plenty of rain in the summer, and some very light snow already (nonsticking stuff).
Good luck, and enjoy! :)
Edit: I should note that as my body acclimatizes to being in the colder weather - my dress seems to change down a bit, I won't need so much heavy clothing once I'm more used to subzeros - right now we're still hopping around from -2/3C to +9 (apparently it'll be +15 on Saturday, bleh) - once it settles into the proper cold it gets a bit easier to deal with as well, as the huge temperature changes really screw me up.
You can get cheap goggles here. http://www.labsafety.com/store/Safety_Supplies/Eyewear/Goggles/
Alot of riders use mittens. Most will come with a glove liner. Campmor has some nice ones for around $16
For the feet I would suggest something like these. http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/SH400D01-Sidetrak+Ignite+Bootie.aspx
Check out the Winter cycling forum for more advice.
10-30-08, 07:21 PM
I use these http://www.sunglasswarehouse.com/swgost93.html, which were less than $20 with shipping. I have yellow lenses, but they also come in clear. They feel like you're wearing goggle glasses and so far they didn't fog up.
I plan to keep a soft rag in my jacket pocket to wipe them, if needed.
10-30-08, 08:56 PM
There is a whole thread about real cold weather gloves either here in this forum, or the winter forum.
The gloves I wear when it is cold (below zero to about +20F) would be TOO warm for what you described. I got them at Cabelas. Not cheap, but they actually keep my hands warm for my 10 mile commute in ANY weather.
I also wear a mask and goggles when it is cold (again, see the above temp range). I got my goggles at steepandcheap.com. It took a while for them to come up on sale, but it was worth the wait.
Nobody suggested this yet but wearing this hat (http://www.rei.com/product/758156) under my helmet provides nice long visor that you can pull down quite a bit to keep the rain/snow out of your eyes and still see quite well.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.12 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.