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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 02-18-07, 05:22 PM   #1
Stacy
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Winter iPod

Anyone have any suggestions on keeping your iPod warm during winter rides? Back in the summer I used an armnand, Now I can barely get 60 minutes of playtime before the LCD fades and the battery freezes.

Last edited by Stacy; 02-18-07 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 02-18-07, 06:25 PM   #2
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Don't know how cold your temps are but I put mine in a pocket next to my upper body core. This is enough to keep it warm. If it's really cold then make sure to put it in the under layers.

Also, another trick that helps is to put it in a very small padded digital camera case. In my situation the case, even though quite small, is twice the size of the mp3 player and weighs only a couple of ounces. This gives me room to put keys and ID and credit card or cash for long rides. It is my wallet on the bike.

I would say the case I use is about 1x2x3 inches in size. Usually I just put it in the rear jacket pouch and zip it closed with the headphone cord coming out. I set mine up to play enough music so I don't have to mess with it on the ride.

I actually prefer the non HDD version mp3 players for this as they run a lot longer and mine has replaceable AAA batteries. I carry an extra battery in the case and one battery is good for about 40 -50 hours. Mine is only 256 MB and I use higher data rate for better quality. Still I have about 9 CD's worth of music on the player. Enough for nearly any length ride. Now I could buy a 1 gig for the same money.

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Old 02-18-07, 06:27 PM   #3
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Jersey pocket keeps the cell phone from freezing. I've had it freeze before and not work, until I wised up and started keeping it on the body.
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Old 02-18-07, 07:13 PM   #4
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It was a balmy 28 f today with a wind chill factor down in the mid teens. I've been using the old 3G remote so keeping it wrapped up in a case is a possibility. On the other hand, I wonder if it might be worthwhile t get an iPod shuffle for winter use, if the shuffle actually does better in the cold
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Old 02-18-07, 07:37 PM   #5
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Well the shuffle is a lot smaller and lighter and hence is easier to carry on the bike. I, however, use a Sony unit that has a replacable battery and a very small LCD so I can select the program material easier. For me the replacable battery option works better on the bike because if the battery runs low I can put in a spare. But with an iPod shuffle you have to recharge it on the USB port which you can't do on the bike. If however, you have the Shuffle hooked up often enough so that you always go out with a high battery charge it should not be a problem. Because the shuffle has no HDD and no LCD it has very long battery life compared to the regular iPod. And since they don't cost much, I think it is a good investment for the bike.

The old Shuffles didn't have an LCD but I'm not sure if the new ones do or not. In any event, having no LCD is not as convenient but may be better in really cold conditions.

Edit:

Ya, no LCD on the shuffle but only 80 USD for a 1 gig mp3 player that last 12 hours on a charge. Sounds like a pretty good deal for a bike sound system.

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Old 02-19-07, 07:13 AM   #6
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Using a remote and keeping your IPod next to your body is probably your best bet. I've kept the one I use in an inside chest pocket of my mid-layer (insulation)
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Old 02-19-07, 08:15 AM   #7
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the flash based iPods (nano and shuffle) are pretty indifferent to the cold in my experience, compared to the hd based players.

i have an 8 gig nano and i've used it all winter in some sub zero stuff and its never failed. my daily bike time ranges bettween 2 and 3 hours, and i usually charge it a couple of times a week.
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Old 02-19-07, 11:16 AM   #8
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My sister has a Nano and it is also a lot smaller than a regular iPod. 8 gig would be awesome. Sounds like this would be close to the ideal bike mp3 player if you were willing to pay the extra cost.

One problem I see with the shuttle is that it is almost too small. Easy to misplace. The 2 gig Nano is only 150 USD. Up to 24 hours on a charge and a large colored display to help select music. With 2 gigs you can put about 40 cd's on there at a highish data rate for good sound quality. Or even more at lower data rates. With this much music the LCD becomes more important.

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Old 02-19-07, 03:23 PM   #9
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I was running into freezing problems from about 20 F down, and that was on an inner pocket on my jacket down around waist level, so I sewed a pocket on the chest of my usual inner layer to hold the ipod to, since then, no problems with freezing and I've hit 0 F and low single digits a few times before windchill.
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Old 02-19-07, 09:20 PM   #10
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Despite the fact that my little 3G turned 3 on SuperBowl Sunday I'm still quite fond of it. Getting s shuffle just for the bke seems like an extravagance but getting a Nano seems, heaven forbid, like a replacement. Maybe I just need a warmer pocket? A new battery? There are so many new iPod choices it just boggles the mind
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Old 02-19-07, 10:01 PM   #11
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Sometimes the simplest solution is also the best. In all reality putting your 3G in a warm place may solve all of your problems. But you should also be aware that rechargable batteries are only good for a few years under normal use.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hezz
Sometimes the simplest solution is also the best. In all reality putting your 3G in a warm place may solve all of your problems. But you should also be aware that rechargable batteries are only good for a few years under normal use.
I tried wrapping it in a smartwool sock over the iSkin and sticking it in one of my rear jersey pockets under a jacket with the drawstring drawn a bit tighter. Battery life has been much better. Yesterday I was able to do a two hour ride with music

Thanks to all who responded!
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Old 02-26-07, 02:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacy
Anyone have any suggestions on keeping your iPod warm during winter rides? Back in the summer I used an armnand, Now I can barely get 60 minutes of playtime before the LCD fades and the battery freezes.

I do it in pretty severe temperatures and I only have 2 suggestions

1: bury it in the layer closest to the body

2: rear pockets make a difference, the front of the torso is substantially cooler than the rear

the battery is going to go down on you more and more as it gets older, this is one of the biggest drawbacks of ipods imo, I'd much prefer something that took AAs
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Old 02-26-07, 02:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacy
I tried wrapping it in a smartwool sock over the iSkin and sticking it in one of my rear jersey pockets under a jacket with the drawstring drawn a bit tighter. Battery life has been much better. Yesterday I was able to do a two hour ride with music

Thanks to all who responded!
Good to hear of your success. Two hours of music should keep most riders happy on winters rides. If you do longer rides in the warm weather you may eventually want to get new batteries or a newer mp3 player just for the extended playing time that the newer players have.

Have fun.
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Old 02-27-07, 12:01 AM   #15
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You can as mentioned put it into a jersey pocket. Personally it sounds like the windchills are quickly dropping the chemistry power. A quick stop to the local Rat Shack (Radio Shack) and get the shortest headphone extention you can find. I think you can get one as short as 1ft butI could be wrong. Put the ipod in the pant pocket or jacket pocket and put plug the extention in then plug your headphones in.

Another option is to buy headphones with a long cord already.

My current option as I just bought this is http://www.skullcandy.com/packs.php?urlLocation=packs and look at the LINK pack. Very useful setup. Vol. +/-, Power on/off, and cellphone controls.

It will allow up to two audio players to plug into the speakers because there are two audio plugs. Consider it a failsafe if one plug does not work. It also has a headphone jack. If youplug your cellphone in on my cellphone it allows last number dialing whenI hit the phone button twice. If someone calls me I just hit the phone button once and I pick up the call. You can play your music WHILE taking the phone call. THe phone call comes out the speakers. Anyways, I seriously side tracked there.

If you put the ipod in a audio player pouch go to the local Wallyworld or store of chioce and look into the cooler section. They have gel packs that are hot/cold. They make some that are small like 2" x 1" I think which you can squish into the case after you soak it into hot water to keep it warm. There, now you can ride for hours and the ipod will be warm so the batteries keep on going.


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