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  1. #1
    Mad scientist w/a wrench
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    My Coldest Ride Ever...

    I thought I'd start an ongoing thread for discussion between those of us entering into our first winter of cycling, and how we respond as the temps keep dropping.

    This morning was the coldest yet at 42F, with little wind and no precip. A while back I tried wearing my long-sleeve baselayer and decided I didn't need leg covering above 50, and from 50-60, I added a tank-top undershirt beneath my jersey and put a wind-breaker on top.

    This morning's ride went mostly fine, save that I'd like to trade my baselayer in for a slightly larger size. the pants are tight enough that I can't seem to pedal as fast and the padding on my shorts doesn't really pad anything because of the tension in the pants. my baselayer top on the other hand feels like its almost choking me...maybe cut a little more neck open on it?

    so far in the low 40's my fingerless gloves are still doing the job, though I've had issues with the padding since I bought them (somehow I"m more comfortable riding the bike without the gloves unless its below 55.)

    Anyone else venturing out into the cold and learning lessons?
    Proudly wearing kit that doesn't match my frame color (or itself) since 2006.

  2. #2
    Banned.
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    Coldest Ride Contest

    Granted not everyone there is a first timer, but it is wiser to learn from the experienced.

  3. #3
    meep! legot73's Avatar
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    Coldest temp I've ridden so far is about 28 deg F, but my coldest ride to date wasn't the coldest temp.

    Yesterday was one of those days where I had to be showered and someplace right after my normal home arrival time, so I get out of work a little late and start kickin' it. I'm dressed for 50 deg F, not sweating or expecting rain, when a thin streak of dark clouds roll in over my route, and I get a mix of cold rain and sleet for about 10 minutes. I had raingear and booties in my pannier, but didn't have time to stop.

    No booties, no raingear, and 4 miles to go. That was my coldest ride.
    Last edited by legot73; 09-29-06 at 07:36 PM.
    Nothing says "in good times and in bad" like a good pair of fenders

  4. #4
    Tail End Charlie Ritehsedad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    Coldest Ride Contest

    Granted not everyone there is a first timer, but it is wiser to learn from the experienced.
    I believe I posted on this thread last year.

    My coldest was 2F when I left the house. Two shirts, sweater, fleece vest, nylon jacket, polypro longjohns, shorts, wind pants, wool socks, balaclava, jacket hood up, face mask goggles, 2 pair of glove liners and ski mittens.

    My toes and thumbs got cold.
    Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one?

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I believe I've responded to several of these types of threads before, but my coldest ride ever was -40C/F ... a commute.

    My coldest ride of any significance was a century where the starting temp was -32C/-26F and reached a high of -22C/-8F. That was a chilly ride!

    This year, it hasn't been that cold yet ... maybe only down to about 2C/34F.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    My coldest was -32C/-26F commute. The greese in my hubs froze and it took a few minutes of riding before all was working properly.

  7. #7
    Dead Men Assume...
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    My coldest ride was minus 15 Celsius but that's not taking into account windchill.

  8. #8
    Elite Rep
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    Wow they are pretty cold!

    My coldest is only -3C while snowing though.

  9. #9
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    My coldest, -32C.

    Winnipeg
    Canada

  10. #10
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    My coldest was -3F last year. That is about as cold as it gets around here. Actually i believe that was the coldest recorded temp we had last year. I rode for about 1 hr 45 minutes. It was so cold that my cell phone froze and wouldn't work until i got it back in the house. I learned that i need to carry it on my body instead of in my pack.

  11. #11
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    All of my cold experience is with hunting, but I've hunted in the Yukon before, and I guess you can say it gets pretty cold there. Cycling however is much differant. I find that I have been starting to overdo it so I gotta teach myself that less is more. I'm learning what I need for biking though.

  12. #12
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    My coldest was -1/0/+1 F, depending on which source I looked at.

    I wear Underarmour Coldgear + nylon shell down to the low 20's F. then I have a leather jacket and wool sweater to add.

    I wear a Mountain Hardwear headband down to about 20F, then I switch to a Mountain Hardwear balaclava.

    I have Oakley M-Frame glasses down to 10-15F, then I switch to double paned ski goggles.

    I wear PI amfibs down to about 30F, then I add a glove liner. Below 20F, I put on OP overmitts.

    I wear PI Amfib tights down to about 10F, then I add long underwear and/or a nylon shell.

    I have insulated MTB shoes that I wear with multiple layers of wool socks.

  13. #13
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    What is this C thing? j/k

    My coldest last winter, my first winter cyclocommute, was 8F.
    I had a few oportunities for negative temps but skipped them due to a lack of confidence in my equipment. Plus, I could not convice myself to ride in short negative temps. The average longest minimum temp is 15F for several months. Very easy to work with.

  14. #14
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    -25 F. 5-6 miles. Wiped out on some sheet ice and slid under the car in front of me. Gave up and walked home. F'ing cold.
    "Where you come from is gone;
    where you are headed weren't never there;
    and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it."

  15. #15
    64 49' N Ernesto Schwein's Avatar
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    I think one weekend last December or January I went out for a toodle in the -40s. Its really not that much fun and I don't even want to think about it right now.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    I have insulated MTB shoes that I wear with multiple layers of wool socks.
    DC, what MTB shoes would those be? I bought a pair of Lake MZX300 boots last year but they are too narrow and thus limit my sock options even when I went a few sizes up. I'm looking for something new this year that will hopefully allow me to stick with clipless pedals through the winter.

  17. #17
    Banned. Ms. Tude's Avatar
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    Coldest ride I did - which wasn't long believe me - was -4F - Sun was out - but it was bitter cold.

    Love riding in the snow.

  18. #18
    Senior Member RomSpaceKnight's Avatar
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    -32"C is my coldest. Windchill was down to -40'C I think. Working aft shift ride home at night through woods in winter. Life don't get much better. Was an absolute gorgeous evening with clear cold skies. Way cool....

  19. #19
    Mad scientist w/a wrench
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    I did 273K today, my first ride through standard temperature and pressure...ok ok, /nerdiness off

    Riding around in freezing wasn't nearly as bad as I thought...certainly easier than that first morning I took off in 50F not knowing exactly what I was doing with too much on my legs and not enough on top.

    I did swap my bandana for a polar fleece headwrap to cover my ears.

    @Machka: -40! Could you breathe very well? Down here I've only been in 0F
    Proudly wearing kit that doesn't match my frame color (or itself) since 2006.

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazygluon
    @Machka: -40! Could you breathe very well? Down here I've only been in 0F

    Yeah ... breathing at -40 isn't much different than breathing at any other temp. And at -40, I was only out there for about half an hour so it was no problem at all.

    However, I did develop bronchitis from breathing so much cold air (15 hours worth) when I did the century at -32C. If I'd only been out there for a couple hours, I would have been fine.

  21. #21
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951
    DC, what MTB shoes would those be? I bought a pair of Lake MZX300 boots last year but they are too narrow and thus limit my sock options even when I went a few sizes up. I'm looking for something new this year that will hopefully allow me to stick with clipless pedals through the winter.
    Mine are the Lake Boots, too. I don't remember is they were the MZX300's or something else. I'll check the box the next time I go to the office. (I received them there, and the box never came home.) The boots work fine for my 30 minute or so commute, but I would need extraordinary socks for them to work for an all-day, single-digit F trek.

    Edit: I looked online. I'm 99% sure they are the MZX301's. One complaint--I need multiple socks, and I wish they had more arch support, but that may just be my feet. I probably need to buy $10 inserts.
    Last edited by Daily Commute; 10-13-06 at 05:45 PM.

  22. #22
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    I imagine my coldest will hit a new low each day until I hit the middle of February...

    So far, the lowest was only about -5 C.
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