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Old 12-25-10, 06:45 PM   #1
The Weak Link
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Christmas ride

So this year for Xmas I got a nice cold weather Cannondale jacket, a medieval balaclava, and some heavy-duty cycling gloves. This afternoon it was a balmy 30F with a wind chill quite a bit lower, so I went for a spin. It took about a half-hour to put all the stuff on:

After an hour my feet, ears, and nether regions were cold. I also fogged up my glasses whenever I exerted myself, ie went up a hill.

I figure PCad's trick of putting chemical heaters on the toes of the shoes would help. Other than wear a second pair of ear-warmers I don't know what else to do about them. I don't worry about the nether regions too much these days.

Any tips on the fogging issue?

PS I was surprised: on my trunk all I had was a synthetic base, a wool-blend jersey, and the jacket. It felt breezy but I never broke out in a sweat and hence didn't feel cold and miserable.

PPS I'd rather ride an hour in cold weather than 1/2 hour on the trainer.

Last edited by The Weak Link; 12-25-10 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 12-25-10, 07:02 PM   #2
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Keep the nose out of the balaclava will help with the fogging.
Also - use a little straight dish soap to clean the glasses, the soap residue will help.
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Old 12-25-10, 07:10 PM   #3
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Fleece lined winter bibs work for me. Love em.

180s earmuffs for the ears.
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Old 12-25-10, 07:19 PM   #4
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When you ride down to the bank to make a deposit...don't forget to remove that balaclava before you go inside.
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Old 12-25-10, 07:37 PM   #5
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...a medieval balaclava...
what?
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Old 12-25-10, 07:50 PM   #6
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Take off that helmet and get a proper winter hat that covers ears well, or a high tech ($$) thin one for under helmet that has a fleece-lined band for ear warmth. Chapstick on exposed facial skin helps. For feet either (1) the toe warmers between shoe and wind resistant cover, or (2) winter riding boots. I often put riding shorts on over the tights for extra warmth.

For me the fingers are always a problem with gloves, but an oversized ski mitt with warmers works for warmth but feels so clumsy.

About 35F without much wind is my lower limit, I'm not a fan of conditions that could result in ice. MTB for any snow rides. Seldom that cold in Seattle region. Missouri winters kept me off the bike a lot.

I don't have a foggy problem in the cold but a runny nose problem. Sudafed 30 min before ride helps.

Last edited by Wildwood; 12-25-10 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 12-25-10, 08:04 PM   #7
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When you ride down to the bank to make a deposit...don't forget to remove that balaclava before you go inside.
Back when I was young, and rode no matter what the temperature, I stopped off at the bank one cold day, and spent about 5 minutes peeling my balaclava out of my beard before entering. When I went in, the armed guard remarked that removing the balaclava, no matter how painful, was one of my better decisions that day.
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Old 12-25-10, 08:24 PM   #8
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I don't have a foggy problem in the cold but a runny nose problem. Sudafed 30 min before ride helps.
Learn the fine art of the snot rocket. When it gets cold I threaten my riding buddy that I will give him a free cassette lube if he gets too close.
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Old 12-25-10, 09:48 PM   #9
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Ears - use a thin headband in addition to the balaclava. Be sure that the helmet liner straps are loosened to accommodate the additional thickness(es) of the headband and balaclava in comparison to the adjustment for summer riding/wear.

Hands - try up to 2 pair of moisture-wicking glove liners and/or windproof overgloves/overmittens. I've fashioned a pair of "windscreen covers" for myself from a pair of extra-large dishwashing gloves - that is, I split them in half palm-to-back_of_the_hand and can strap these on over the top of my regular gloves covering only the back of my hands/fingers. Works pretty well down to 32F in winds gusting to the low 30mph range. Leaving the palms uncovered by these "covers" seems to allow any humidity buildup to escape, so my gloves don't get soaked from sweat/sweat doesn't soak the inside or the outside of the gloves. First used this idea when I was snow-camping/hiking in Alaska. Seemed like it should work biking and, for me, it does.

Feet - sock liners, toe covers, those hand/foot warmers others mention so often. All are valid suggestions. But ultimately it comes down to circulation issues - moving your toes around will help keep the vessels and capillaries open and moving blood. Also, any tightness or restriction on the skin surface can restrict blood flow - so use socks with looser than normal elastic at the top, loosen the shoe laces a bit more than normal, wear slightly larger shoes than normal - all these things will help. Wind-/wet-proofing the shoe surface is recommended if feasible - using an outer cover (toe or full). Obviously, shoes with mesh covers will be colder than totally leather ones; leather will be warmer than plastic (leather breathes, plastic doesn't). Fenders will help avoid cold from slush/snow and other cold materials thrown onto the toes/shoes.

Nose/eyeglass fogging: ah, the bane of a snow skier's existence! When skiing I found my glasses fogged a lot 'til I found the right set of goggles with the right venting for my face/eyeglasses. I also like the idea of the balaclava covering my nose for warmth but that resulted in warm air going into my ski mask, so now I use a mask that has a nose cut-out rather than pulling a "solid" piece of cloth in front of my nose. I'd try the same setup if I were riding in sub-freezing weather.

Last edited by drmweaver2; 12-25-10 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 12-25-10, 10:53 PM   #10
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what?

It has a front panel that can swing up and down as the circumstances require. It looks like a visor to a medieval helmet. Or something Darth Vader would wear. In fact my granddaughter ran from the room when I first wore this thing.
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Old 12-25-10, 11:34 PM   #11
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Just layer up the body but gead and I use a ski mask. Thin material but it is warm. Feet and hands and it is Seal Skinz socks and gloves. They are waterproof but also 100% windproof.
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Old 12-26-10, 06:07 AM   #12
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...Any tips on the fogging issue?...
I perenially post on this subject. This is my latest, with pictures:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...sing-your-eyes

post #19
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Old 12-26-10, 06:38 AM   #13
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Nice Christmas gifts! They look great!!

FOGGING: As others have said, uncover your nose to avoid fogging. I pull mine up and down as needed. When my nose is out, it still covers my cheeks and mouth.

BOTTOM UNDER LAYERS: Smartwool long-johns base layer are simply the best, and wear an extra pair of padded biking shorts under your biking tights. Yes, one is good, two is better.

FEET: If your biking shoe is large enough- thin biking sock as a liner, followed by thick insulated (ski sock), chemical Toe Warmers (open & shake while getting dressed), neoprene boot shoe covers.

Your gloves must be awesome, as you didn't mention cold hands.

Last edited by Bare Feet; 12-26-10 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 12-26-10, 08:04 AM   #14
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At 30 degrees, I used a neoprene face mask. It has little holes right below the nostrils and a bigger one at the mouth that prevent exhailed air from fogging the glasses. At that temp, my policy is no exposed skin.
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Old 12-26-10, 09:52 AM   #15
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Looks like you got all the stuff there TWL. I try not to go out if it's under 35 for fear of ice but for rain I tried RainX the other day and it seemed to help with fogging as well. I ditched the balaclava because it made things worse...but I use a beanie/skull cap over the ears and just tough it out on the face.
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Old 12-26-10, 10:03 AM   #16
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It has a front panel that can swing up and down as the circumstances require. It looks like a visor to a medieval helmet. Or something Darth Vader would wear. In fact my granddaughter ran from the room when I first wore this thing.
What is the brand name of that balaclava? I think I'd like to try one like that.
The one I have is lycra with a neoprene face panel, and it works fine for keeping my face warm, but I have to wear a fleace bandana to keep the top of my head, forehead and ears warm.
I also find ski goggles indespensible once the temperature drops to -3c or so.
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Old 12-26-10, 12:48 PM   #17
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My wife and I rode the club's Christmas Day ride and while it was quite cold at the start (45 deg. F) as the fog burned off and the sun came out it eventually hit 65 deg.F (maybe colder in other parts of the country).

Anyway, we were fairly bundled up, as seen in this photo taken at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, one of the first coffee shops open on Christmas day. (click on photo to enlarge).:

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Old 12-26-10, 02:50 PM   #18
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No time for a Christmas day ride. Too busy cooking and eating. Went for a boxing day ride today to make up for it a little bit. (More overeating on the way tomorrow with another family gathering.)
Temperature was running about -6c (21f), so full winter gear alert was in effect.



It's a bit chilly, but we have virtually no snow here in the GTA.
Looking out over Lake Ontario on today's venture.

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Old 12-26-10, 03:13 PM   #19
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Man, you guys are tough!!! I went for a Christmas ride..in bike shorts and a t shirt..a nice 45 miler. Temps in the 68-72's (lots of wind) but today we are in the low 30's with a howling NW wind driving the chills down to the teen's. I took my bike off my roof rack but that was about it. I'm cookin' chicken soup and have the fireplace cranked until the side vents glow. Any colder than this and I am moving to Panama!!

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Old 12-26-10, 07:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
So this year for Xmas I got a nice cold weather Cannondale jacket, a medieval balaclava, and some heavy-duty cycling gloves. This afternoon it was a balmy 30F with a wind chill quite a bit lower, so I went for a spin. It took about a half-hour to put all the stuff on:
Based on your description, I had envisioned one of these...

and wondered if your routes took you through some high risk areas.

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Old 12-26-10, 08:12 PM   #21
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Can I get some recommendations for cold weather gear for the south? I am looking for some full length wool tights, water proof gloves that aren't too bulky and some wool socks, perhaps the Seal Skinz that Stap recommended for the socks. Oh and a light weight riding jacket. Road riding only , no trails or MTB stuff for me any more. Thanks to all.

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Old 12-26-10, 08:42 PM   #22
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What is the brand name of that balaclava? I think I'd like to try one like that.
The one I have is lycra with a neoprene face panel, and it works fine for keeping my face warm, but I have to wear a fleace bandana to keep the top of my head, forehead and ears warm.
I also find ski goggles indespensible once the temperature drops to -3c or so.
It is a Cannondale product called Slice, I think. My ears still got a little cold but my face was fine, other than the fogging.

The jacket is also a Cannondale product.

I'm just learning the ropes, but it's important for a little air to be circulating about the trunk. Otherwise, you'll sweat and then get really cold.

However, the bib tights are wind-proof, as are the neoprene booties.

I'm pretty sure the gloves are also Cannondale. My fingers felt cold for about 30 minutes but after that they warmed up and were fine.

My biggest concern is ice on the road. I was pretty nervous about riding in subfreezing weather. I figure when it gets up to about 35F (those were the good old days) it'll be golden. Relatively.
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Old 12-27-10, 05:24 PM   #23
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...My biggest concern is ice on the road. I was pretty nervous about riding in subfreezing weather. I figure when it gets up to about 35F (those were the good old days) it'll be golden. Relatively.
You probably already know this, but I'll just point out that with studded tires you need not fear ice.
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Old 12-27-10, 07:38 PM   #24
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You probably already know this, but I'll just point out that with studded tires you need not fear ice.
Which would you recommend?
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Old 12-28-10, 01:18 AM   #25
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Can I get some recommendations for cold weather gear for the south? I am looking for some full length wool tights, water proof gloves that aren't too bulky and some wool socks, perhaps the Seal Skinz that Stap recommended for the socks. Oh and a light weight riding jacket. Road riding only , no trails or MTB stuff for me any more. Thanks to all.

Bill
Cold weather in Florida? ? ? ?

On the jacket- Providing you can layer up then you need a windproof to keep the cold out. I know I keep on about the material but Pertex works but only if it is dry. There must be other materials that work just aswell but I know Pertex works. Sealskinz work in a similar way in that they keep the wind out but with the added benefit of being breathable and waterproof. Legs and it has to be well below freezing for me to wear leggings but I do have KNickers that are long shorts that cover the knees. And I have found the boot covers really keep the wind and wet of of the shoes so keeping them warmer.
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