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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 09-29-06, 03:29 PM   #1
krazygluon
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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?
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Old 09-29-06, 04:16 PM   #2
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Coldest Ride Contest

Granted not everyone there is a first timer, but it is wiser to learn from the experienced.
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Old 09-29-06, 07:18 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 09-29-06, 07:45 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 09-29-06, 08:02 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 09-30-06, 02:31 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 09-30-06, 03:23 AM   #7
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My coldest ride was minus 15 Celsius but that's not taking into account windchill.
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Old 09-30-06, 03:27 AM   #8
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Wow they are pretty cold!

My coldest is only -3C while snowing though.
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Old 09-30-06, 05:47 AM   #9
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My coldest, -32C.

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Old 09-30-06, 05:49 AM   #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.
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Old 09-30-06, 07:13 AM   #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.
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Old 09-30-06, 12:21 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 09-30-06, 10:46 PM   #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.
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Old 10-01-06, 05:29 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 10-01-06, 10:16 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 10-02-06, 06:56 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 10-03-06, 12:45 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 10-05-06, 09:41 PM   #18
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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....
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Old 10-13-06, 07:34 AM   #19
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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
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Old 10-13-06, 12:12 PM   #20
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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.

Last edited by Machka; 10-13-06 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 10-13-06, 04:16 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 10-16-06, 08:57 AM   #22
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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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