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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 12-15-09, 10:12 AM   #401
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Conditions: 8F, Winds out of the north at around 5 - 10 MPH, Sunny

Head: Smart Wool Balaclava, Toque over that, Helmet over that.
Mid Section: 2 base layers, Some kind of mock turtle neck, PI Elite Jacket.
Legs: My Corona PJ Bottoms that my kids gave me for Christmas last year and a pair of wind breaker pants over that.
Hands: Glove liners and then my XXL PI gloves. Also threw in some chemical warmers. (XXL allows for lots of room in there to move my fingers around)
Feet: Smart wool socks, shoes, toe covers and then booties.

This temp is about as low as I go. My commute is 12 miles takes about 45-50 minutes and by the time I got in my toes were the only things that were suffering. Everything else was OK. Didn't need the chemical warmers. I have GOT to figure out the cold toe issue.
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Old 12-16-09, 12:42 PM   #402
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17 degrees F. light wind. 4 miles

head: under armor balaclava, under armor beanie, specialized helmet, home depot glasses

torso: nike compression ls shirt, layer 8 pullover, hooded sweatshirt

legs: bib short, saucony tights, jeans

feet: adidas breathable socks, cotton socks, vans classics

hands: 180s storm xtg gloves

notes: my first sub 20's ride. exposed areas of my face hurt for the first half of the ride.hands were cold/numb the whole time, feet were cold the second half. overall, not bad. need to fix the glove situation and maybe try vasoline on the face next time.
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Old 12-17-09, 03:30 PM   #403
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Five mile commute in Portland, Maine: 9*F, wind 10-15 MPH from north, wind chill -8*F.



Polartec fleece "headsokz" covering, Army surplus "mickey mouse" boots, mittens with homemade handwarmers (rice sewn in, heated up in microwave).

Other: work slacks, flannel shirt over t-shirt, covered with windbreaker. That's all. "If you're comfortable in the first 5 minutes, you're overdressed."


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Old 12-21-09, 11:33 PM   #404
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Conditions in Maplewood, NJ today: 36F and very windy

We got about 6 inches of snow on the ground on Saturday. It was plowed pretty well, but there are inevitable patches of ice and slush all over.

Distances, 2 miles each way then 1/4 mile each way.

I wore wool dress trousers, wool socks, regular sneakers, t-shirt, dress shirt, wool sweater, squall jacket, scarf, safety goggles, deerskin gloves, and helmet. Nothing on my head to keep me warm. My scarf is very unusual. It's 14 feet long, so I wrap it around myself many times.

I'm just getting used to winter cycling again after having barely done it for years. I can say I was definitely warm enough, though I was scared about the slippery patches. I fared just fine.

By the way, I find that wool dress trousers are great for outdoor activities. I skiied in them last year, since I forgot to bring my ski pants. The main problem is the risk of ruining a nice pair of trousers. But I get them at Costco for a mere $45 or at rummage sales for $5 or $10. Very comfy, too.
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Old 12-30-09, 08:02 AM   #405
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19F when I left the house at 5:45AM, winds ~8mph. Dark.

I wore:
- Early Winters Furnace Shirt polypro baselayer
- Performance longsleeved/hooded cycling jersey
- Performance fleece softshell jacket with windproof front panels
- Pearl Izumi cycling shorts
- Pearl Izumi Amphib bib tights
- two pairs of SmartWool socks
- Answer winter cycling boots
- Specialized two-part winter cycling gloves (inner liner + outer guantlet-style glove)
- helmet
- Optic Nerve Rodango glasses (amber lenses)

Did 20 miles before work. I was the only cyclist I saw on the road for the entire time I was out!
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Old 12-30-09, 08:11 AM   #406
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This thread is useless without ... locations! Bob Ross, where are you, and how common are cycle-commuters there?

Yesterday, it was 22F and extremely windy. I wore ... TOO LITTLE! I'm not a cycle-commuter, since I work at home, but I do as many local errands and client visits as possible. I went to my therapist who is about 1.4 miles from home. Normally, it's an easy commute, and normally the cold doesn't bother me, but man oh man. I had my wool trousers on, a dress shirt, a sweater, a gator, safety goggles, gloves, and a helmet. I should have worn something under my trousers, a second sweater, and a balaclava. I have a skull cap for under my helmet but I can't find it, and I don't own a balaclava yet. My goggles didn't work this time, and I had to close one eye and squint the other one because the wind was so strong. Also, the wind was extremely strong on my downhills on the way there, so strong that I had to pedal extremely vigorously DOWNHILL. It was so hard that it was insulting.

But lessons learned, and I have no regrets.

I do wonder how I would fare in colder climates. I don't get cold as easily as the average person, but I was really at my limit. I suppose that's mostly because I wasn't properly dressed.

Wind chill was about 1F.

Is it as windy in Canada and Minnesota as it is here? I think we had 30 mph gusts.
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Old 12-30-09, 12:59 PM   #407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
This thread is useless without ... locations! Bob Ross, where are you, and how common are cycle-commuters there?
Really, "useless"? You don't think 19F, winds ~8mph feels pretty much the same regardless of geographic location? It's not like 19F actually feels colder in Miami FL than it does in Fairbanks AK, it's just that the locals are less accustomed to it.

But I'm in New York City. Cyclo-commuters are extremely common here. (I wasn't commuting this morning, I was just out riding for fun. But I commute a couple days a week, and usually dress similarly to how I described in my previous post.)
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Old 12-30-09, 01:03 PM   #408
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The temperature and wind speed feel the same, no matter where you are, but putting them in context with what we can expect still helps. If it's 19F in South Carolina, it's different than in Minnesota, because if you're in MN, you're a wimp for complaining about it, but if you're in SC, it means you're a stoic for braving it.

I meant "useless" hyperbolically, because I was paraphrasing the saying, "this thread is useless without pictures."

I grew up in Manhattan and still ride there. It's nice that cyclo-commuting is as high as it is lately. There are a lot of ordinary people who don't love bicycles who do it merely because it makes sense. What better way to legitimize cycling is there?
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Old 12-31-09, 09:57 PM   #409
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Today I wore a T-shirt and Blue Jeans, ordinary "jogging" shoes (I DON'T DO TENNIS), lightweight wool socks. Wore light "polar" fleece, as it was a bit gusty today. 65 degrees.
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Old 01-02-10, 10:45 AM   #410
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Head:

Helmet, Halo head band with the ear warmers

Torso

C9 baselayer, Fox short sleeve jersey, Pear izumi arm warmers

Legs

Santini Bib shorts, Pearl izumi leg warmers

Feet.

Specialized road shoes, pearl toe warmers, pearl wool socks, another pair of wool cycling socks with a higher cuff to meet up with leg warmers, also taped the air vents on shoes.

Hands

Canari windproof full finger gloves, specialized gel cycling gloves.

Conditions

NW Winds 17-20mph ACK, Started at 39F and finished at 42F

Notes:
Didn't remove anything, sunny beautiful day. Only thing that was cold were my toes. When i first got on the bike everything was cold but after 20min i was good and warmed up. Any colder and i think i would invest in some bib tights, my bum was cold but was tolerable.
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Old 01-04-10, 12:59 AM   #411
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It's too cold now. We've had two days of temps around 20F and very high winds. I bundle up and walk my dogs. My face hurts almost immediately. I guess I need a balaclava. If I rode a bike, I would be in deep pain.
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Old 01-04-10, 09:57 AM   #412
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Two days ago I wore my snowboard helmet and goggles while mtn biking. Windchill was ~10 below, my ears and eyes were warm and dry. Got a few funny looks, but stayed warmer then ever.
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Old 01-04-10, 10:32 AM   #413
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Hmm, I have ski goggles. Perhaps I should get a ski helmet. How much are they?

Today the wind is much lighter. The temperature hasn't gone up, but it's tolerable now.

I don't know how you manage in colder climates than here. I guess whatever your worst weather is will be intolerable, and then the next step or two up from that is tolerable.

I heard it got down to the 20's F in Florida!
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Old 01-04-10, 02:03 PM   #414
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Rochester NY, ~15 degrees F, 10-15 mph wind, varying route conditions from clear to packed snow to a few inches of powder to a few inches of wet snow. Commute to work: About 3.5 miles.

Helmet

Thin balaclava
- Not even neoprene, just polyester

Ski goggles
- Prevents glasses fogging/icing and eyes tearing up

Ordinary cotton casual T-shirt
- Whatever shirt I'm wearing to work

Leather bomber jacket w/ Thinsulate liner
- Very effective at blocking wind, and the liner keeps me warm

Canari windproof full-finger gloves
- Purpose is obvious; thinking about trying to find something warmer

Dockers khaki pants
- Whatever pants I'm wearing to work

Marmot PreCip rain pants
- Cuts the wind, protects pants from road crud/snow/rain/etc., provides an air layer for a minimal amount of additional insulation

Ordinary cotton athletic socks

Columbia Titanium winter hiking boots
- Windproof, waterproof, Thinsulate liner, warm down to -20 degrees F but comfortable enough to wear indoors all day

I'm trying to stay warm enough, but not too warm, while minimizing the amount of stuff I have to strip off/change out of. If I were traveling farther, I'd wear a more strategically designed set of layers. Still, I'm thinking I might want to dig out my Under Armor compression pants to wear under my other stuff on the ride in.
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Old 01-11-10, 07:59 AM   #415
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Still in NYC. Commuted to work this morning, 11 miles (each way). 20F with 10mph winds (weather.com said the wind chill factor/"RealFeel" was 14)

polypro balaklava
Sahalie polypro mock turtleneck base layer
Assos 851 jacket
cycling shorts
generic "casual fit" fleece tights
SmartWool socks
Answer winter cycling boots
fleece gloves with Wombat-style finger covers
polyester glove liners
cycling glasses
helmet

My water bottle froze solid, my breath condensed on my beard and formed icycles, and the tip of my nose turned black and fell off when I touched it.

Okay, I'm kidding about the nose thing. But it was farkin' cold!
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Old 01-13-10, 05:58 AM   #416
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Nort-western Germany, Temperature this morning about 26F, light snowfall, light wind. Distance about 5 miles of hilly terrain (mostly uphill) with frequent stops, duration about 25 minutes.

Head:
Cotton balaclava (one that I got from go-kart driving.
"Thinsulate" (synthetic) beanie
Generic Polyester scarf

Torso:
Cotton T-Shirt
Cotton button-up shirt (I change at work, and then wear my work clothes on my ride the next day)
OCK softshell jacket

Hands:

Mammut "Thermostretch" gloves
windproof gloves over those

Legs:
Boxers
Jeans
wool thingies to pull over my calves

Feet:
generic wool socks
sneakers

The only part that got a bit cold were my fingers, which is mostly because my outer gloves are a bit too small.
I realize wearing cotton is not ideal, but for the duration of only 25-30 minutes it's not a problem, I might be a bit wet but it's too short to get cold, especially since the way to work is mostly uphill (though on the way back, I get substantially colder, since it's downhill of course). Also my jacket has "pit zips".

When the temps are in the teens I substitute snowboard pants for Jeans and hiking boots for sneakers, I am probably also wearing three cycling jerseys under the jacket, and possibly a sweater.

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Old 02-01-10, 05:55 AM   #417
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I may have set a personal low temp record Saturday afternoon: 16F at 2:30PM, overcast, winds ~8mph...AccuWeather said the "RealFeel" was 3. I did a 16 mile out&back just to do something on the bike, I was going stir-crazy.

Ibex short-sleeve merino wool base layer
Early Winters Furnace Shirt polypro longsleeve baselayer (middle layer?)
Performance long-sleeve waffle-knit hooded jersey
Performance fleece jacket w/ windblock front
Pearl Izumi cycling shorts
Pearl Izumi Amfib bib tights
SmartWool sock liners
SmartWool snowboarding socks
Answer winter cycling boots
polyester glove liners
big-ass Thinsulate-lined winter ski gloves
Performance polypro balaklava (yes, over the top of the jersey's hood)
helmet
glasses

I added a half-ounce of vodka to my 24 oz. water bottle so it didn't freeze. Fail. Not only did it freeze anyway, but what little water i could suck out of it tasted like vodka! Dumb idea.
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Old 02-01-10, 03:22 PM   #418
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Toronto -4C. Sunny and windy.

Head
Ski helmet (has a liner and ear covers)
sunglasses
neoprene-fleece face mask and scarf

Torso
Wool shortsleeve shirt
Long sleeve Sporthill zone 3 shirt
Fleece lined rain jacket

Legs
Bike shorts
Coldweather fleece cycling tights
Terry's cycling nylon capri pants

Feet
wool socks
-40 winter boots

Hands
waterproof thinsulate ski gloves

How was the ride? I was mostly warm except for my legs. I should have worn my Sporthill zone 3 pants but the pockets on them are terrible. Too small to hold a wallet, keys, and my cellphone. My rain jacket has crummy pockets too so I don't carry anything I'd hate to lose in them. Next time (odds are tomorrow) I'm wearing the Sporthill pants under the Terry's capris because the pockets are roomy and have wonderful zippers on them.

Future purchases:
Rain pants. Last week I was caught in the shower and my legs were soaked. At least with all of the space age fabrics on my legs I didn't feel wet or particularly cold. But I think rain pants would be a huge help.
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Old 02-03-10, 03:35 PM   #419
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This morning was 33f with dry roads. The aftn was great. 35f, nice cool weather to ride in. I wear LL Bean Snow Sneakers with toe warmers over them for extra protection. With a good pair of Wool socks they keep my feet nice and toasty down to about 15f. I wear SportHill XC pants with a Showers Pass rainjacket as my outer shell and a SportHill Traveller jacket as a base shell. That keeps me warm to -14f. Although the pockets on the Sporthills, to me, I think they're pretty generous. But I do carry a fanny pack to handle the wallet, etc. Face it. Most cycling pants aren't designed to carry all of the stuff that you mentioned. But for daily riding in Cold temperatures. You can't beat Sport Hill clothing. I use O3 Rainshield pants. Pretty reasonable price and they work.

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Old 02-07-10, 02:11 PM   #420
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Florida native, now a resident of the northern Midwest, went for my first winter ride today temp was mid 20's, very little wind and the roads were relatively clear. Wore bike shorts, long underwear (old pair from my skiiing days), sweat pants, compression shirt, sweatshirt, light goretex jacket, gloves, glasses, and helmet. Went out for about 45 mintues did about 14 miles. I was shocked to find that I was very comfortable with the exception of my feet. I wore regular low rise cotton socks and midway through the ride my feet were freezing. Not sure how much winter gear I will invest in but one thing is for sure, I will buy some better socks! Next time I'll leave the sweatshirt at home also.
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Old 02-07-10, 05:06 PM   #421
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Wear as little cotton as possible. Wool and synthetics are good. Different synthetics breathe to different degrees, so you will have to experiment.
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Old 02-14-10, 09:54 PM   #422
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Nashville, TN area. 27 feels like 16 and 2mph wind. Snowing at 1st but it turned to rain drizzle about 10 minutes in to my 25 mile ride.

Head:
Mizuno Breath Thermo Headband
REI balaclava

Torso:
Reebok Cold weather long sleeve compression shirt
Capo LE jersey
Capo LE jacket

Legs:
Reebok Cold weather compression tights
Specialized padded shorts
Cold weather jogging pants (water resistant)

Feet:
Specialized cycling shoe
Smart wool socks
Cotton socks
chemical warmer
Endura boot covers

Hands:
defeet gloves
LG wind/water resistant glove
chemical warmer

Body, feet, and head were great. Hand, fingers specifically, got cold enough I had to stop and take off gloves & clinching my chemical warmers tightly, till warm again. The jacket, jersey, and compression shirt was almost too much. I have to figure something out for my feet and hands to keep them warm without chemical warmers. My glove combo is currently crap. Shoe combo with chemical in this temp is fine, but would rather NOT have to use that.
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Old 02-17-10, 05:35 PM   #423
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Anchorage, AK. 30 degrees F this morning, about 34 F coming home this afternoon, winds less than 5 mph.

Wore the ever present wool beanie and helmet combo, but it was too warm for my sweet dayglo yellow Buff neckwarmer with the reflective stripe (love that thing).

Midweight Novara cycling gloves, still had sweaty hands.

Midweight Patagonia poly-blend long-sleeved shirt with an ultrathin dayglo REI windbreaker over that. Had to ditch the windbreaker at about 3 miles, overheated. Switched to a light, non-windproof fleece to let some heat out, instead.

Padded cycling undies, poly-blend boxers over those, then jeans (trying to look a little normal when I get to school, you know).

Thin, over-the-calf wool socks and North Face winter hiking boots.

I can dress for 15 F and lower, or 45 F and higher, comfortably. This in-between nonsense is driving me nuts, though. BRING BACK THE COLD!

I hate you, El Nino.
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Old 02-20-10, 07:15 PM   #424
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I can dress for 15 F and lower, or 45 F and higher, comfortably. This in-between nonsense is driving me nuts, though. BRING BACK THE COLD!

I hate you, El Nino.
Bow before El Nio!!
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Old 02-25-10, 05:01 PM   #425
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….I stopped on the OBP next to 161 and took a picture to show you all what I wear when it’s 6 degrees out at 4am.

We have the Wickers Expedition balaclava from Sierra Trading Post with Uvex Flex seal goggles. These goggles won’t fog up on you with your mouth and nose covered up. The Loki Mittens is what keeps the hands nice and toasty (with a cheap cotton glove liner). And the NEOS Overshoes on the feet to keep the toes warm. And of course, the Showers Pass Century jacket that is about worn out. With a Sporthill Traveller jacket as a base layer. I’ve got my work pants on with the Sporthill XC pants over those with leg warmers. And some excellent Merino Wool hunting socks from Bass Pro Shops. If you want to stay warm and comfortable out in these frigid temperatures then you got to get good gear.

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