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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-08-17, 06:54 AM   #1
mcours2006
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Comfort/Safety vs Convenience/Function

Seems like always a compromise, at least for me, especially in the winter. This morning, for example, it was 3*C with a slight headwind. I thought I could do without my thicker mittens and instead wore fingered gloves with a synthetic liner. I seem to recall I've done this before at this temperature. Well, apparently not. Five minutes into the ride I realized that they were sufficient, but rather than turn back to get the mittens I continued. Come on, right?

Anyway, midway I had to stop and stick my hands into my armpits to warm them up. Pretty pathetic. I hate riding with mittens, but they are the only thing that works in cold weather. I just miscalculated today.

Another example, usually around the same temperature, goggles vs glasses. Don't like the goggles, but when it's really wind or really cold they keep the eyes from tearing up, and warmer, of course.

Studded tires vs non-studs. Again, hate the studs.

Sometimes it's quite obvious what you need and you don't deliberate over it, like when it's -20, blowing snow, and ice on the ground. But the way the weather has been lately I've had to give it more careful thought before each ride.

Other examples?
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Old 03-08-17, 08:14 AM   #2
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It my area, it is a bit warmer. We struggle, in some areas, with a lot of black ice. So, it is drive or ride on some of those days. Then, it is all about the rain and rain gear. Really good rain gear does breath, so the decision is some sweat or soaking wet from the rain. Usually the right quick dry makes the rain gear worth it. My biggest struggle, then, is the right underlayer to keep warm and not sweat too much. I have thin ( both short and long sleeve), medium, and heavy weight. That makes for a lot of combinations. I am just glad I don't have the extreme cold you do.
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Old 03-08-17, 08:26 AM   #3
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Comfort/Safety vs Convenience/Function
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Seems like always a compromise, at least for me, especially in the winter....

I hate riding with mittens, but they are the only thing that works in cold weather. I just miscalculated today.

Another example, usually around the same temperature, goggles vs glasses. Don't like the goggles, but when it's really wind or really cold they keep the eyes from tearing up, and warmer, of course.

Studded tires vs non-studs. Again, hate the studs.

Sometimes it's quite obvious what you need and you don't deliberate over it, like when it's -20, blowing snow, and ice on the ground. But the way the weather has been lately I've had to give it more careful thought before each ride.

Other examples?
Just yesterday I posted:
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As a decades-long year round cycle-commuter with a 14 mile one-way route ÖMy lowest temperature has been 0 F.

Over the years I have developed a personal #1 to #6 scale of dress in approximately 10-degree increments (by ambient temperatures, not wind-chill) to decide what to wear, without even going outside beforehand.

This last Saturday was my coldest ride of the year at about 3 PM at 12
, with some radiant heat from the sun, into a north headwind. I started out with some trepidation because I didnít have my winter jacket (level 6) but was comfortable nonetheless at level 5. (Just a couple days before it was in the 50ís...level 2-3
Of course it's more comfortable to ride at level 1 than level 6 but I consider any level convenient for the appropriate temperature. For me, the inconvenience is the the additional time to dress.

In the nicest temperatures, itís less comfortable, but nonetheless more convenient to ride my aluminum beater in the rain than my pristine carbon fiber bike. Otherwise Iím usually a happy camper (hate that expression).
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Old 03-08-17, 09:00 AM   #4
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ÖIn the nicest temperatures, itís less comfortable, but nonetheless more convenient to ride my aluminum beater in the rain than my pristine carbon fiber bike. OtherwiseIím usually a happy camper (hate that expression).
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ÖThen, it is all about the rain and rain gear. Really good rain gear does breath, so the decision is some sweat or soaking wet from the rain. Usually the right quick dry makes the rain gear worth itÖ
Hi @Kindaslow,


I just noticed that you have an S-Works; thatís my pristine carbon fiber bike, never deliberately ridden in the rain, and put into storage in mid-December. That February ride described above was pleasant since that was the first one of the year on the S-Works.
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Old 03-08-17, 09:13 AM   #5
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People think that just because it's March, winter is over. Well, 3/4s of March is winter. And we in Canada know all too well, we can still get snowfall in April.

Yesterday the morning temperature was 10C, so I rode without long johns underneath my wind shield/rain pants but I took them along anyway just in case the afternoon commute would be cold.

Regardless of how good the weather is going to be, be prepared by packing the warm weather clothes with you - don't be fooled. It's still winter.
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Old 03-08-17, 09:31 AM   #6
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Hi @Kindaslow,

I just noticed that you have an S-Works; thatís my pristine carbon fiber bike, never deliberately ridden in the rain, and put into storage in mid-December. That February ride described above was pleasant since that was the first one of the year on the S-Works.
My Sworks is a MTB, and she gets beaten as hard as my old body will permit, gets covered in mud and gunk, and loves every minute of it. If my Sworks were a road bike, I might feel and act differently, maybe. 😀

I have very little mechanical sympathy for my bikes, but I do get them good service when I break them. 😀
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Old 03-09-17, 10:07 AM   #7
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Seems like always a compromise, at least for me, especially in the winter. This morning, for example, it was 3*C with a slight headwind. I thought I could do without my thicker mittens and instead wore fingered gloves with a synthetic liner. I seem to recall I've done this before at this temperature. Well, apparently not. Five minutes into the ride I realized that they were NOT sufficient, but rather than turn back to get the mittens I continued. Come on, right?
fify
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Old 03-17-17, 09:49 PM   #8
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About two weeks ago I decided to start bike commuting to work. Having transitioned a little less than a year ago from a very outdoor intensive job driving an 18 wheeler and delivering food to chain restaurants to sitting in a temperature controlled office setting, I wasn't very concerned with the weather so much as I was my clothing. I knew it'd be like 15 degrees out but I also knew not to dress like I'd be standing still in 15 degree weather. I knew to be prepared for much colder temps thanI was expecting but to dress such that I wouldn't be sweating profusely under all of clothing. For me, it isn't too cold, I'm just not dressed correctly. I did however learn that my felt z85 with its slick 25c tires does not cope well with snow and ice. Now I'm in the market for a commuter that would serve me well with 25c tires of 32c studded ones but that's a completely different thread.
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Old 03-18-17, 04:27 AM   #9
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For hand comfort, I really like bar mitts/pogies.
If it gets too warm, I ride bare handed inside the mitts. Maybe even open up the zipper. If its cold, the pogies let me get away with gloves/mittens one "step" thinner than I would otherwise have used.
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Old 03-18-17, 06:51 AM   #10
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I'd contemplated on getting the pogies a while back as well but decided against them since most, if not all, of them don't allow you to ride in the drops, which I do quite often, especially when it's windy. I just use a large set of mittens in which I put in chemical heat packs when it gets really cold. A bit cumbersome to shift, but manageable.
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Old 03-18-17, 02:23 PM   #11
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Seems like always a compromise, at least for me, especially in the winter. This morning, for example, it was 3*C with a slight headwind.
Clearly it's a metric problem. I've ridden in ski gloves at 27F, and had to swap them for lighter gloves after about three miles because my hands were sweating so much I was afraid I was going to soak through the heavy ones.
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Old 03-20-17, 08:26 AM   #12
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Clearly it's a metric problem. I've ridden in ski gloves at 27F, and had to swap them for lighter gloves after about three miles because my hands were sweating so much I was afraid I was going to soak through the heavy ones.
Absolutely. I also have ski gloves and they get soaked if I wear them in anything above the 20's F.
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Old 03-20-17, 10:19 AM   #13
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I lost a mitten a week or so ago. I have nice leather gloves, but they're not as warm. I am NOT buying mittens this late into the year, so if it gets cold, I'll just skip a day of riding. Maybe that's spiteful, but I am sick of winter, even if today is the first day of spring.
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Old 03-20-17, 11:15 AM   #14
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Winter can go die a fiery death into the pits of Hell as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 03-20-17, 11:20 AM   #15
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I lost a mitten a week or so ago. I have nice leather gloves, but they're not as warm. I am NOT buying mittens this late into the year, so if it gets cold, I'll just skip a day of riding. Maybe that's spiteful, but I am sick of winter, even if today is the first day of spring.
That's a bummer. I had a pair of thinsulate felt-ish gloves that I really liked as the next warmth level beyond the work gloves I usually wear, and years ago I lost one of them. I kept the other one around, and a few months ago my wife found the missing one deep inside the couch. Yay! (but sorry for your loss. go check the couch)
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Old 03-20-17, 11:25 AM   #16
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No, I know it fell out of my pocket while walking to the subway. I can't even remember the zig-zaggy route I took. It's OK; they weren't expensive. But I'll wait a few months.
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Old 03-20-17, 11:52 AM   #17
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I lost my favorite Shell glove and Liner out of a jacket pocket. a pair I had for years securely when I wore an Anorak..

that hand warmer pocket behind the kangaroo pouch is good for the keeping..


Being able to take the liner out and dry faster that way, was wet weather practical.




....
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Old 03-22-17, 12:07 PM   #18
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No, I know it fell out of my pocket while walking to the subway. I can't even remember the zig-zaggy route I took.
Good reason to wait until you get home to drink that heavily.
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Old 03-22-17, 12:28 PM   #19
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I am not a fan of cold weather. I really dislike being cold!

I use to keep a spreadsheet where I recorded weather (temp, wind, clouds, precipitation), what I wore, and how I felt. I still refer to it occasionally if I'm in doubt but most times I can guess pretty well. I will sometimes stick a different pair of gloves or mitts or a different hat in my basket just in case. Since I'm riding an Opafiets I'm also wearing normal clothes which makes it all a bit easier than trying to dress like a racer.
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