Winter Cycling - Cold...
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11-19-08, 04:56 PM
Well, I just got back from a ride to my LBS and back (1 mile each way). it's after dark and about 24 degrees outside, which is by far the coldest weather I've ever ridden in. It was very different from my normal riding experience, that's for sure. I managed to stay warm except for my ears, which got really cold because my wool hat wouldn't fit under my helmet. It was strange how the bike handled differently-the shock was stiffer, and it didn't want to shift. Probably the weirdest thing though was that my glasses, which are designed to flex and return to shape, were very 'soft' and bent out of shape when I tried to put them on. Then I had to bend them back! Very strange, not used to cold weather...
It was really kind of neat though pedaling along through the dark and the cold, with nobody in sight due to the weather, just in my own little world. I'll have to do it again-after I get a new hat. :)
11-19-08, 05:13 PM
Welcome to the dark side.... :)
All the little comfort details will eventually fall into place
Sundown comes early. I hope you have a good strong light.
Just leaving now for my ride home from work.
11-19-08, 05:25 PM
Try a pullover cap made for cycling. Pearl Izumi is good. They are thin and allows your helmet to fit just like no cap.
The combination of a helmet cover and a thin cycling balaclava will keep you warm in most conditions. And will easily fit under your helmet. Even if you use another type of hat under your helmet I would recommend a helmet cover as they allow the hat to work more effectively. It really is a blast to cruise along in the dark cold at night on a bike. When you get everything dialed in you are not cold and are just happy in your own little world.
11-20-08, 01:06 PM
Welcome to Winter riding,
I found a nice hat at the local ski/bike shop. Thanks to the popularity of helmets for skiing there is now no shortage of thin hats available.
I found a Turtle Fur cap for around $20. The top is thinner, and then the band that goes over the forehead and over the ears is thicker and "fuzzier." Within minutes of riding I am pushing out plenty of heat so I definitely don't need a thick hat. I have a helmet cover, but I only use it in heavy rain or super cold temps (single digits F).
I foudn last year that the biggest changes start to happen when you get into the single digits. Breathing becomes a real problem. The air is so cold that it starts to hurt the lungs. I now have a PSolar face mask that pre-heats the air I breath and therefore can take deep breaths at 2F and not have it cause problems. IF there is ANY moisture on any of you lines you'll eventually end up with a derailer that won't shift or brakes that won't operate. It happens every so often. A few hours in either my office of the garage is enough the get everything working again. It is definitely part of what makes Winter commuting a bit of an adventure.
11-20-08, 03:51 PM
Get a neoprene balaclava. It velcroes in the back and doesn't cover the top of your head. THEN, get a thin skull cap for under your helmet. The Neoprene balaclava has eye holes and nose holes as well as a series of holes for breathing thru your mouth. You can get them at any reputable army surplus store brand new for about $12.
11-20-08, 04:59 PM
Hehe, 24 and that's the coldest you have biked in? Well you will be in for a treat when it actually gets cold out.
But yea if you do plan on biking longer in colder weather I would invest in a more winter friendly helmet. I use a snowboard helmet because it is insulated and even in 0f weather I don't need anything on my head except the helmet. Once it get to around -5f then I throw on a thin balaclava and i'm good down to -30f. Then after that I just add another thin layer over my ears and I am gold.
11-20-08, 08:52 PM
Cut me break here, I'm from Texas :) It doesn't really get down to 25 degrees in Houston very often. I have biked in 105 degree weather though...I'm trying to avoid buying too much cold weather gear, as come the end of the semester I will probably be moving back to warmer climes.
I did find that I had developed a cough after that ride, probably due to sucking so much cold air I'm not used to. Went through half a bag of cough drops to get rid of it.
Here you go. Get one of these. http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,56027_Wickers-Balaclava-Expedition-Weight-For-Men-and-Women.html It won't break your wallet.
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