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  1. #1
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    Is Winter making me slower (or is it just me)?

    i've been cycling 5-6 times per week for about 8-10 weeks. Before it got cold, i was able to maintain a pace of about 16.5mph for 60-120 minutes with hills and all.

    I know it's not "Fast" but not bad for a 245 pound clyde who just got started (or so i tell myself). I lost 10 pounds since September, so I can't complain.

    Now, in the last few days it's gotten cold and i've piled on the clothes: 3 shorts, leg warmers, arm warmers, 3 shirts and gloves. I've noticed that I can only do about 14-15mph.

    Granted, it's been pretty windy, but I'm wondering is it me, the cold, or the effect of wearing leg warmers etc.

    Do you get slower before you get faster sometimes? What gives? I want to blame it on the wind and temp, but I wonder if I'm doing something wrong

  2. #2
    Senior Member gunner65's Avatar
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    Wind really puts the brakes on. So how cold does it get in Winter Garden FL? I have to ride in 33F averages this time of year (thats at night though when I ride) But my cycling shorts and tights underarmor thermal shirt and fleece vest wind breaker jacket on top and full finger gloves. I also use a burka under my helmet. I am cold at first but quickly warm up enough to ride an hour or so. I also rock wool socks in my cycling shoes.

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    Are you wearing 3 pairs of shorts and 3 shirts at the same time? What was the temp of this ride?

    My guess is wind, if you use a HR monitor you can get an idea of how your effort compares to past rides. If it is a ride you are familiar with, you'll know if you have a tailwind or a headwind based on your speed over that section vs your HR.

  4. #4
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malux View Post
    i've been cycling 5-6 times per week for about 8-10 weeks. Before it got cold, i was able to maintain a pace of about 16.5mph for 60-120 minutes with hills and all.

    I know it's not "Fast" but not bad for a 245 pound clyde who just got started (or so i tell myself). I lost 10 pounds since September, so I can't complain.

    Now, in the last few days it's gotten cold and i've piled on the clothes: 3 shorts, leg warmers, arm warmers, 3 shirts and gloves. I've noticed that I can only do about 14-15mph.

    Granted, it's been pretty windy, but I'm wondering is it me, the cold, or the effect of wearing leg warmers etc.

    Do you get slower before you get faster sometimes? What gives? I want to blame it on the wind and temp, but I wonder if I'm doing something wrong
    1. wind is a factor

    2. you are wearing more clothing in the 50s/60s than I wore for a metric yesterday that started out in the low 30s and only got up to 49 by the time I was done!

    shed some of that clothing...decent socks, full-finger gloves, warm cap, a pair of tights/pants, a long sleeve base, ss shirt and a wind jacket/vest should do you fine for the coldest of your "normal" winter temps
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    Cold weather slows me down in general. I find it hard to get my heart rate up when it is below about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. I notice the my legs and lungs feel like my heartbeat should be about 10-20 beats faster per minute than what I see on my heart rate monitor. I think that it is more the cold air in my chest, than whether or not my legs are warmed up.

    Tights and jackets don't really slow me down that much, but heavy shoe covers can. So can the additional 3-4 pounds of gear that I carry during my commute during the winter (trunk bag with more tools, extra tubes, heavier clothes for work, etc.).
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  6. #6
    Cute, fluffy, and illegal gotls1's Avatar
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    I notice that I'm slower when it's cold. I don't have a good logical reason for it, but that has been my observation.
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  7. #7
    Rain, rain go away john423's Avatar
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    When do y'all typically move indoors for the winter? Is there a date or temperature threshold where you say "no sir, not biking" and do something else?

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    Weather is always a concern for me. Last week, I went on a ride after work and had to carefully consider clothing, hydration, and route due to the weather.













    It was 100 degrees, so I waited for it to cool down a little
    Year round riding for me here! The worst so far was 25 degrees and freezing rain coming down Palomar Mountain once. That was cold.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by john423 View Post
    When do y'all typically move indoors for the winter? Is there a date or temperature threshold where you say "no sir, not biking" and do something else?
    If the gods wanted us to bike in the winter, they wouldn't have given us skis and snowboards. When there is enough snow to slide acrossed, my bike goes on the hook for most of the winter.

  10. #10
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john423 View Post
    When do y'all typically move indoors for the winter? Is there a date or temperature threshold where you say "no sir, not biking" and do something else?
    I commute year round. For the last year or two I missed approximately 10 days. Most of the time off was not because of the weather, but because I had something else to do right after work.

    I also believe I am slower during the winter. But thats mostly because of wind. I seem to have a headwind no matter what direction I am travelling.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member gunner65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john423 View Post
    When do y'all typically move indoors for the winter? Is there a date or temperature threshold where you say "no sir, not biking" and do something else?
    I dont like to do anything in the rain or snow that is where I draw the line. The cold temps well that just depends on how I feel at the moment. I can bike down to the low 30sF but much colder than that and it is just not enjoyable for me... and that is the point right?.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    Please do tell us just how cold is it in sunny Fl?

    PLEASE!!!

    It's you. So HTFU and get ot there and ride more.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member gunner65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
    Please do tell us just how cold is it in sunny Fl?

    PLEASE!!!

    It's you. So HTFU and get ot there and ride more.
    LOL I think everyone from the cold areas were trying to be kind but thinking the same!!!! Hey I once flew into FL in April and they had an unexpected cold snap that sent them into the low 60s at night and mid 70s daytime. I am pretty sure that I was the only one in a 100 mile radius wearing shorts. I guess it is all in the perspective and what you are used too.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bloodhawke83's Avatar
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    it feels like i am moving slower i the mornings but i still get to work 5 minutes early....maybe its just uphill for me. i have to climb a hill off the bat when i start off to work then i get about 1 degree downhill and then 2 bridges and then 1 degree uphill to work.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by john423 View Post
    When do y'all typically move indoors for the winter? Is there a date or temperature threshold where you say "no sir, not biking" and do something else?
    Below zero (Fahrenheit)

    20-40 degrees in the sun can be fairly pleasant with booties, wind resistant pants, shell with open pit zipps, gloves, and ear warmer.

  16. #16
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john423 View Post
    When do y'all typically move indoors for the winter? Is there a date or temperature threshold where you say "no sir, not biking" and do something else?
    Nope.. but I have a really hard time in anything much over 3" of snow on the roads. I supplement my lessened riding with a treadmill in the winter (sometimes), but I never move inside. I commute every day, as we are a 1 car family and that car belongs to my wife.

    To answer the OP, yes I'm slower in the cold (below about 40), but I don't know why. When I switch to my MTB commuter, I'm really slow.
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  17. #17
    Rain, rain go away john423's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm gonna try to keep commuting - have the gear to do it - but I dunno if I'm gonna have the constitution for one-hour exercise rides on my road bike when the weather gets colder. I figure I gotta belong to a gym, even just to get some weightlifting in, so I can always exercise there. Most of the times, I can commute to the gym for added benefit.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john423 View Post
    When do y'all typically move indoors for the winter? Is there a date or temperature threshold where you say "no sir, not biking" and do something else?
    For me it's when the temperature is below freezing, but I find this time of year much below about 5C/40F and I move indoors. Right now there is one bike on the trainer, and another bike in the shed, so I can go either/or. The wifes bike will move to the celler next week, the mountain bike will stay in the shed until after Christmas, when I'll haul it to the celler and give it a go over, then switch it with the road bike while I give the road bike it's go-over before spring. Now it's time to jump on the bike on the trainer...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
    Please do tell us just how cold is it in sunny Fl?

    PLEASE!!!

    It's you. So HTFU and get ot there and ride more.
    A couple of you asked about the temps here in FL, so here's the skinny I live in Central Florida and ride 6 days a week (25+ miles per day) for about 1.5-2 hrs. I've lost almost 15 pounds in the last couple of months and I have no plans on slowing down. "It's me" as you said, but I'm trying as hard as I can and being consistent. I have seen my speeds and distance increase since I started and I'm happy with my progress (for now)

    It may be Florida here but it does get relatively cold compared to South Florida. This morning, it got down to 45 or 46 degrees (i don't remember). Yesterday, it was about 49. Today, was "colder" but there was no wind so riding was a lot more comfortable. Last year, we had a few weeks in the upper 30's (those will be weights days this year for me)

    Yesterday, however, the wind was blowing so hard that I could actually feel it push me around a time or two while riding. So even if it was warmer, the windchill made it feel way colder. I could also feel my toes and finger tips getting numb (i have LG full fingered gloves)

    Without the wind today, my speed went back to where it was. I did shed one pair of shorts, but I don't think the slow-down was due to clothing, just wind (I didn't think it would have such a huge effect...noob!).

    Thanks everyone!

  20. #20
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
    Please do tell us just how cold is it in sunny Fl?

    PLEASE!!!

    It's you. So HTFU and get ot there and ride more.

    That is what I was thinking. I was in Florida in late December and went to a water park. Shorts and a long sleeve jersey in 50's is plenty of clothing. Shorts and a long sleeve jersey is fine in the 60's

    But to the OP not only does the wind slow you down, so does all of that restrictive clothing. I notice a drop in speed/need for more effort in winds starting at about 7-8 mph. A 20 mph wind is like dragging an anchor. It was 25 mph winds on Sunday. I was on a slight downhill and actually was struggling just to maintain my speed on the downhill. On the flat, I could feel the wind rapidly slowing me down the second I attempted to coast.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner65 View Post
    LOL I think everyone from the cold areas were trying to be kind but thinking the same!!!! Hey I once flew into FL in April and they had an unexpected cold snap that sent them into the low 60s at night and mid 70s daytime. I am pretty sure that I was the only one in a 100 mile radius wearing shorts. I guess it is all in the perspective and what you are used too.
    Last March I went to Key West after about 2 weeks of not being able to see the ground back home. We were walking around Key West, with the temp at a frigid 60 F, and saw someone wearing a SCARF!

    I definitely feel slower in winter, and attribute a lot of it to the wind and my jacket being less than optimal in terms of wind resistance. Not only that but the wheels feel harder at the same tire pressure. There is also the discouragement of knowing the faster I go, the colder the wind chill will be.

  22. #22
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    I notice that my legs just don't seem as strong in temps below 50, and the colder it is below 50 the slower I seem to feel. I have all the winter gear to wear...I suspect that the issue is related to the chemistry of power production in our muscles and the chill factor of 15 to 25 mph cold air on our legs.

  23. #23
    Descends like a rock pallen's Avatar
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    Wind is a huge factor. I can normally maintain 26-28 on flats, but the other day I was riding into a north wind and was having trouble hitting 15 and working a LOT harder than usual. Of course, I also had a large side pannier attached that acts like a parachute and weighed about 6-8lbs. I also find in the cold that I tend to not push my speed as hard because subconsciously I know the wind chill will kick in the faster I go.

  24. #24
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pallen View Post
    I can normally maintain 26-28 on flats
    Imagine what you could do if you fixed those flats!


    and changed your computer from kph to mph
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  25. #25
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

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