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  1. #1
    Senior Member likeakidagain's Avatar
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    How cold will you go?!?

    This morning I thought it was cold out..but little did I know Little! that with the windchill, and it was blowing hard at 8 am, as well as 11 am when coming back it was -5 degrees..
    I was a bit cold, but it was still fun to ride...Though I think zero degree's is a far a si will go..windchill I will go as far as -15. Currently it is 18 degrees out here in Ohio.

    I wore 2 pairs of undies..2 socks..a boot..a scarf, coat with a insulated shirt, and a long sleeve shirt,a hat with ear muffs..long pants( yes I have seen folks riding shorts in any wheather and thinsulated gloves..I was toasty..for the most part..

    So how low will you go (weatherwise)?

    Have a great and safe winter!
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  2. #2
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Our weather was yesterday was exactly as you describe. I left the bike at home and walked instead. Less windchill. My personal all-time low is 12F with windchill near something like absolute zero.

    You should post this in the Winter Cycling forum. Those guys go pretty low.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    freezing. No lower.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I don't have much choice but to go out, whatever the temp. All you need is the right clothing and the right attitude. This year we haven't gone below 8 degrees F here in Michigan.


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    I'll go down into the upper 20's as long as there is no wind and the roads are dry. For DC that means I can bike pretty much 11 months out of the year. We're just entering the period, late January through the end of February, where we often get nights dipping into the low 20's or teens.

    I've got my eye on a few pieces of clothing, like booties, insulated socks, wool jersey and jacket that I may try to get this Spring on sale. Then I should be set for next January!

  6. #6
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Train
    I'll go down into the upper 20's as long as there is no wind and the roads are dry. For DC that means I can bike pretty much 11 months out of the year. We're just entering the period, late January through the end of February, where we often get nights dipping into the low 20's or teens.

    I've got my eye on a few pieces of clothing, like booties, insulated socks, wool jersey and jacket that I may try to get this Spring on sale. Then I should be set for next January
    !
    Did you ever try riding with regular winter clothing, instead of the cycling-specific stuff? That's what I do. I save a lot of money, and I'm always warm and toasty up here in Michigan.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Did you ever try riding with regular winter clothing, instead of the cycling-specific stuff? That's what I do. I save a lot of money, and I'm always warm and toasty up here in Michigan.
    I think I'm almost there. Maybe I should look through the winter cycling forum a bit for ideas

    For example - I have winter cycling tights. But when it gets into the 20's the cold wind still cuts through. So maybe I just need to get a pair of wind-breaking pants to wear over top of the tights?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Train
    I think I'm almost there. Maybe I should look through the winter cycling forum a bit for ideas

    For example - I have winter cycling tights. But when it gets into the 20's the cold wind still cuts through. So maybe I just need to get a pair of wind-breaking pants to wear over top of the tights?

    Cold Lizard tights rule. I have a pair of their heavyweight and lightweight. The lightweight ones have sort of a slick surface and are designed to work as a base layer. When it gets really cold I wear both. I haven't found a temp yet that was to cold.

    I wear just the heavyweights into the 20's

    -D

  9. #9
    Senior Member badger_bike's Avatar
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    Like Roody, I pretty much have no choice on going out. For the past couple of days we've had some bad cold temps -- single digits with windchill well below zero (-15 to -33), and it's a toss-up between "biking will get me there faster" and "walking will hurt less". I made the mistake of biking home from work during the lower phase of the temps. When it hits 8 or less, I'm walking.

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Train
    I think I'm almost there. Maybe I should look through the winter cycling forum a bit for ideas

    For example - I have winter cycling tights. But when it gets into the 20's the cold wind still cuts through. So maybe I just need to get a pair of wind-breaking pants to wear over top of the tights
    ?
    Tights are fine. Regular khaki pants (like cotton dockers) over them will keep you warm down to 25F or so. When it's colder, wear wool pants (from resale shop) or hiking pants like from Land's End or Duluth Trading Co. Actually, from bottom layer to top, I wear: padded cycling shorts, polypro long johns ($8 from Target) and pants (cotton, wool or hiking pants from resale shops). The reason to buy outer clothes from the resale shop--riding in this weather is really hard on pants, so it makes sense to get them second hand.

    Another thing to snap up at resale shops is cashmere and merino sweaters. They can be worn anywhere in the layering system, even right next to skin. They wick moisture and still insulate even when wet. I wear them 9 months of the year. They might cost $200 or more when new, but I often find them used for $3 or $4.

    Remember, if you're dressed right, you'll be WARM--like 80 degrees F next to your skin, and you'll sweat just as much as you do in the summer. If you are not warm--even HOT--when you're riding, you're not dressed right. That right there is the "secret" to the whole thing. Pretty simple....your body is designed to work best at 80 degrees F, so that's right where you should be. When you vent your outer layer, you literally see steam rising off your body. 99 % of people who complain about the cold just aren't dressed properly.
    Last edited by Roody; 01-28-07 at 06:56 PM.


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  11. #11
    i am batman gregtheripper's Avatar
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    i'll go as low as i can reasonable go with the gear i have. as it stands right now i think i can withstand below zero temperatures with skiing toe warmers over clipless shoes, booties, and heavy wool socks on my feet. but i think i would need some ski goggles. i'm good for pretty much anything else, though. i have a pair of flannel lined carhartt pants i can wear over warm tights, keeps me toasty. for your hands, skiing overmitts can be a good solution in super cold situations. but experiment in the cold and figure it out. everyone is different in terms of what they can tolerate and what they find comfortable. people ski in pretty cold conditions... what makes cycling any different?

    however, you have to respect the cold. a friend of mine usually dresses light, but she got 1st degree burns on her ears from riding to the waterfront a couple days ago. she didn't have anything on her ears though, it was about 24 degrees out.. also the other day i rode in like 33ish weather in freezing rain with some friends... i was soaked through but still warm when i got back. but a part of my inner thigh felt like it was burning kinda. just don't be stubborn and impulsive and i think you will be okay.
    Last edited by gregtheripper; 01-28-07 at 08:49 PM.

  12. #12
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    The lowest I've gone this winter was somewhere between -25C and -30C on my commute to work (counting wind chill it was around -40C). I haven't really felt cold while cycling, because I spent a fair amount of money on clothing for winter riding (ski goggles, fleece pants, Gore-Tex shell, windproof balaclava, etc).

    The only problems I've had are my goggles fogging up, and the pawls in my freewheel sticking (which happened once around -25C). Other than that, winter cycling hasn't been too bad.

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    keeping my feet warm is the hardest. with sandles thick wool socks and fleece lined seal skinz I can handle the 20s for atelast 10 miles. my bent with a fairing really helps too.

  14. #14
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Well, I was going to wimp out and take the bus half way the other day when it was -5F (actual, not counting the windchill) .... Well, plans changed when I got to the bus and the bike rack was frozen solid! So... I just rode the 14 miles. It wasn't too bad, though my feet were pretty cold by the time I got to work.

    -12F is my personal record... I've ridden twice at that temp, once in high school and once last winter.

    This is what I wore:

    Thermal socks ($1 from Walmart sporting goods section) over my normal socks, with a pair of Brahma boots (I like the boots because they're water proof)
    Medium weight long underwear (<$10 from Target)
    Blue jeans or Military issue Cammo pants
    Athletic works wicking under shirt (<$10 from Walmart)
    Sweat shirt
    Zippered hoodie sweat shirt
    Water resistant windbreaker ($10 from Target)
    waterproof, windproof hunting gloves ($10 from Walmart sporting goods section)
    Athletic Works neck gaiter ($3 from Walmart)
    Stocking cap for extra warmth on my ears

    If it's above 10F I drop the stocking cap and use a ball cap to keep the hoodie out of my eyes.
    Above 20F I drop the long underwear
    Above 30F and I can wear a t-shirt instead of the inner sweatshirt

    I also have a pair of windproof, water resistant pants I use if it's raining or snowing. they fit over whatever pants I'm wearing for the temps.
    Last edited by bmclaughlin807; 01-28-07 at 11:30 PM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    yesterday's ride was in the low 30's. The face shield I used kept getting in the way of nose secretions. Not fun. I like living in climates where winter only lasts a couple weeks, if that.

  16. #16
    Senior Member likeakidagain's Avatar
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    I changed my mind..Zero both actual or as a windchill is my new low..Walking is always a option, a long option..or the taxi serivce!

    Great posts fellow bikers!
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    What about those of you with children? How cold does it have to be before you put the brakes on their biking? Case in point, I have provided my son with winter gear like long johns, good gloves, etc. but when it's really cold outside, I don't feel right about having him ride. Especially if he has the sniffles. I'm terrified of making the poor child catch pneumonia! As a result, we haven't biked anywhere in quite a while. I really want to re-establish our biking routine though. What do ya'll think?

  18. #18
    Senior Member kk4df's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by likeakidagain
    So how low will you go (weatherwise)?
    I don't know. It's only been down to about 25 degF here in GA, and I haven't found my limit yet. It's something lower than 25, which felt pretty good this morning.

  19. #19
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    It's like trying to live, have childcare, and work where you can bike to. I also try to live and work where it doesn't get too cold to bike. That way, I can keep going even when it's too cold to bike, 'cause I can tell myself it won't last much longer.

  20. #20
    gwd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Train
    I'll go down into the upper 20's as long as there is no wind and the roads are dry. For DC that means I can bike pretty much 11 months out of the year. We're just entering the period, late January through the end of February, where we often get nights dipping into the low 20's or teens.

    I've got my eye on a few pieces of clothing, like booties, insulated socks, wool jersey and jacket that I may try to get this Spring on sale. Then I should be set for next January!
    Slow Train; You can cycle year round in DC weather. We're going into the teens tonight, no problem. I'm going to wear rain pants over my regular pants. A face mask and an ear band and some layers. I'll be peeling layers by the time I get downtown from Mt. Pleasant. I know I'll pull the facemask down after I'm done with the downhill on 14th street. If I get stopped at a light near the convention center I'll be unzipping the outer layer. I agree with Roody's approach. One problem isn't cold it is when they over salt the roads, and it dries up then the wind blows or the cars blow the dust up in my eyes. For the very coldest days I start out with these motorcycle gloves but always end up switching them for lighter gloves after a few miles.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwd
    Slow Train; You can cycle year round in DC weather. We're going into the teens tonight, no problem. I'm going to wear rain pants over my regular pants. A face mask and an ear band and some layers.
    Yes you're right. Right now I'm good down to 27F. If I can subtract another 10 degrees that should cover all but the most extreme weather that we get here. I need better covering for head, hands and feet but that's easy enough to find. But with the cycling tights I have really chilly air seems to leave my legs perpetually cold. That's why I'd like add a layer over top dedicated to breaking the wind.

    I like the idea of rain pants since they could serve double duty in the Spring for rainy windy days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Another thing to snap up at resale shops is cashmere and merino sweaters. They can be worn anywhere in the layering system, even right next to skin. They wick moisture and still insulate even when wet. I wear them 9 months of the year. They might cost $200 or more when new, but I often find them used for $3 or $4.
    Roody - you must be quite the budget shopper! The part of town I live in is heavily populated by the homeless but the only discount places are services run out of the basement of the churches. Can you see me in a tug-of-war over a fine Merino sweater with the corner bum?

    But I am getting turned off by synthetic and liking wool much better. I have a sweater from New Zealand that I'm wearing everywhere now. Though I don't particularly want to sweat it all up by riding in it.

    I have a lot of cycling clothing left over from the days when I was club riding. Most of it is lousy synthetic crap that doesn't work below a 40F sunny day. As this stuff wears out I'd like to replace it with just a few versatile piecse of quality gear.

  22. #22
    Guy on a Bike TreeUnit's Avatar
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    It doesn't get much colder than 10F here in C-BUS. The absolute lowest I'd go is about -273C

  23. #23
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    I've gone down to -26 degrees celcius so far this year (not counting windchill - that's for wimps ). Not sure what that is in USIAN but I can vouch that it's darn cold. I'm no martyr though - my ride is only about 30 minutes.

  24. #24
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Train
    Yes you're right. Right now I'm good down to 27F. If I can subtract another 10 degrees that should cover all but the most extreme weather that we get here. I need better covering for head, hands and feet but that's easy enough to find. But with the cycling tights I have really chilly air seems to leave my legs perpetually cold. That's why I'd like add a layer over top dedicated to breaking the wind.

    I like the idea of rain pants since they could serve double duty in the Spring for rainy windy days.
    My problem with rain pants....the cheap ones don't hold up very well, and they're hot. But they're fine in hot weather. Sturdy breathable ones are well over $100. I won't spend that much on a pair of pants! Of course, if I had a long commute to work I would bite the bullet and buy $100 pants. It all depends on what you really need.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Train
    Roody - you must be quite the budget shopper! The part of town I live in is heavily populated by the homeless but the only discount places are services run out of the basement of the churches. Can you see me in a tug-of-war over a fine Merino sweater with the corner bum?

    But I am getting turned off by synthetic and liking wool much better. I have a sweater from New Zealand that I'm wearing everywhere now. Though I don't particularly want to sweat it all up by riding in it.

    I have a lot of cycling clothing left over from the days when I was club riding. Most of it is lousy synthetic crap that doesn't work below a 40F sunny day. As this stuff wears out I'd like to replace it with just a few versatile piecse of quality gear.
    I agree that cycling specific stuff isn't very good in cold weather, probably because most cyclists don't ride in cold weather. To a lot of club riders, 50F is cold. To find good secondhand clothes, go to the nicer neighborhoods. Shop around and keep your eyes open. I went to a resale shop today and didn't see one thing, but last time I was there I found a merino sweater and a pair of nice water-resistant hiking pants. I buy good stuff when I see it, even if I don't need it right then. Oh--and one nice thing about wool is that it doesn't get smelly when you sweat in it like polyester does. Just air it out good every night and it will smell good even after a couple years. Of course you don't want to wear your nice sweater on a hard ride--that's what secondhand stuff is for.
    Last edited by Roody; 01-29-07 at 09:24 PM.


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  25. #25
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Around here I've seen younger guys wear wool knickers over cycling tights. That looks pretty cool.


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