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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 02-08-07, 04:04 AM   #1
wroomwroomoops
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Rant about rapidfire shifters

Or: "How I learned to love revo (twist) shifters this winter"


So, finally winter arrived in Helsinki. And by winter, I mean -20 and below. In this sorta cold only the best winter gear will do, when you're cycling 25 Km/h and have some wind against, too. And a pair of really warm and well-insulating gloves is essential, least you want to risk to have your thumbs amputated.

So, I have this nice pair of Yoko goretex gloves - they're hardcore winter gear. And I used to have this cheap (quasi-beater) singlespeed bike, that was perfect for winter commuting. Was, I said, because the rear hub broke in ways I'd not detail right now. So, I reverted to my MTB with Schwalbe Snowstuds. Nice thing, and it worked fine for winter, or so I thought. Except, I never rode it while wearing the abovementioned gloves.

Well, I've been accidentally shifting all over the place, and with the gloves it wasn't always easy shifting back. At a certain point I was totally furious! Those stupid levers were always in the way.

So, I tried riding a revo-shifter-equipped bike for a while, just to see if it worked better when having to use thick gloves, and yes, it worked great. Essentially, I don't need to shift gears when commuting to work, it keeps me in good shape and the hills aren't too bad. And it's good when I don't shift when I don't want to. And shift when I do. And that's exactly what the revo-shifters allowed me, regardless of my winter gear.

So, I used to despise them, but now I changed my mind. Revo-shifters for the winter cycling.


The End
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Old 02-08-07, 09:15 AM   #2
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To each his own. You can get used to either type.

I have been shifting my rapid fire shifters every winter since 1994 with huge goose down insulated heavy leather mittens. You can get used to it. Another forum member has problems turning his twist shifter with heavy mittens or gloves too.
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Old 02-08-07, 10:10 AM   #3
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I couldn't work RF levers with big gloves either... well not very well.

I'd vote for shimano dual-control flippies. Much better having just one big lever.
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Old 02-08-07, 02:43 PM   #4
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Haven't had any shifter problems at all this winter.

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Old 02-08-07, 07:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
I couldn't work RF levers with big gloves either... well not very well.

I'd vote for shimano dual-control flippies. Much better having just one big lever.

Good idea, that would be the best for even mittens.
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Old 02-09-07, 08:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
So, finally winter arrived in Helsinki. And by winter, I mean -20 and below. In this sorta cold only the best winter gear will do, when you're cycling 25 Km/h and have some wind against, too. And a pair of really warm and well-insulating gloves is essential, least you want to risk to have your thumbs amputated.
That's several times I hear now that Finland is not that cold. Here in southern Ontario it was -27 C with windchill and it was quite OK. Really. I still wear my baseball cap and although I wore a winter jacket these past few days I'm really thinking of getting back to my raincoat, if only for the matter that with the raincoat there's not as much sweating.

As for gloves I wear regular, run-of-the-mill gloves that are made in two components. One fits inside the other. The inner glove is made out of cloth. the outerone (which is getting kinda shiny from the snot rockets) is a shell.

I wish to hit -35 C before winter wears out, but I doubt it very much. This is south, after all.

Cheers.
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Old 02-10-07, 01:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carcassonne
That's several times I hear now that Finland is not that cold. Here in southern Ontario it was -27 C with windchill and it was quite OK. Really. I still wear my baseball cap and although I wore a winter jacket these past few days I'm really thinking of getting back to my raincoat, if only for the matter that with the raincoat there's not as much sweating.

As for gloves I wear regular, run-of-the-mill gloves that are made in two components. One fits inside the other. The inner glove is made out of cloth. the outerone (which is getting kinda shiny from the snot rockets) is a shell.

I wish to hit -35 C before winter wears out, but I doubt it very much. This is south, after all.

Cheers.

Northern Finland gets seriously cold: -40 is not uncommon.

What makes a certain climate cold is not only the temperature that the termometer will show you: it's also about the hygrometer, i.e. relative humidity. Air with higher relative humidity will chll your body down quicker than dry air. In fact, if the air is suitably dry, it almost doesn't make any difference if it's -10 and -30. Conversely, a very high relative humidity will contribute to heat removal from your body very quickly. It's all a matter of thermal capacity - dry air has little thermal capacity, so it can make little difference in terms of temperature of solid bodies it surrounds.
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Old 02-10-07, 10:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by carcassonne
That's several times I hear now that Finland is not that cold. Here in southern Ontario it was -27 C with windchill and it was quite OK. Really. I still wear my baseball cap and although I wore a winter jacket these past few days I'm really thinking of getting back to my raincoat, if only for the matter that with the raincoat there's not as much sweating.

As for gloves I wear regular, run-of-the-mill gloves that are made in two components. One fits inside the other. The inner glove is made out of cloth. the outerone (which is getting kinda shiny from the snot rockets) is a shell.

I wish to hit -35 C before winter wears out, but I doubt it very much. This is south, after all.

Cheers.
I were thinking about this post, and I came to the conclusion that:

With your kind of disrespectful attitude towards a whether condition you know nothing about, you could get into serious trouble if/when you come to Finland in the winter, and decide to do something outdoors. Without the correct gear, you will find yourself in situations in which your limgs will freeze, fingers and toes suffering from frostbites - and pretty soon, you'd be so cold you wished you're dead. Which then becomes a distinct possibility.

Do you think I'm exaggerating? So many foreigners with the same attitude froze to death in the Finnish winter. The russian army would know a thing or two about it, too. Read up on the Winter War.
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Old 02-10-07, 10:47 AM   #9
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I use my thumb shifters with out problems Even if and when I have to don mitts.
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