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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 12-30-01, 11:09 PM   #1
mike
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Any quicky hints for winter/cold riding?

Do you have any quicky hints for riding in cold weather?

Here are a couple:

1) When breathing in cold air, put your tongue on the roof of your mouth and breath through your mouth. Your tongue will warm up the air a bit and help prevent freezing your throat and lungs. Your tongue might get a little cold, but it won't freeze.

2) If your hands get cold, wrap them in a wool or other breathe-able fabric (like a knit hat or your shirt/sweater tail) and breathe warm air from your mouth into the fabric. This will hold the warm moist air on the skin longer and will warm your hands up faster.

This trick works well if you are riding with someone who get's cold ears as well.

3) Similar to the hint above, if you are riding with children who get cold, pull their collar up so that it covers the back of their necks and breathe into the fabric, then put your hand over the fabric and hold it there while you take your next breath. Be careful with this one, some kids will pee their pants because it is so warm.

4) The ultimate hand/feet warmer is a warm belly. If you love your bicycle partner enough and if the situation warrants this drastic measure, let her/him slip their cold hands under your sweater and onto your warm stomach. Of course, this is the ultimate sacrifice, but it is long remembered by the thankful recipient. I let my wife and kids do this once - all at the same time. I was the hero of the day.

Last edited by mike; 12-30-01 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 12-31-01, 11:41 AM   #2
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Breathing through the mouth is bad. When mouth breathing, the brain thinks carbon dioxide is being lost too quickly and sensing this, will stimulate the goblet cells to produce mucous, slow the breathing and cause constriction of blood vessels. Breathing
through the nose also limits air intake and forces one to SLOW down. The lungs are a primary control of our energy level. They extract oxygen from the air we breathe primarily on the exhale. Because the nostrils are smaller then the mouth, air exhaled through the nose creates back pressure when one exhales. It slows the air escape so the lungs have more time to extract oxygen from them. When there is proper oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange, the blood will maintain a balanced pH. If carbon dioxide is lost too quickly, as in mouth
breathing, oxygen absorption is decreased. I have been to races in the winter, it is so hard to breathe cold air for so long, especially from the start, I get a sore throat and everything hurts really bad. Its just really hard to breathe at all.
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Old 12-31-01, 04:57 PM   #3
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Klein, if you are from Marquette, Michigan, you know that breathing through your nose in extreme cold just isn't an option.

First, the cold air will freeze the tip of you nose and the skin around your nostrils.

Then, your sinuses will plug up.

The theory you mention is interesting, but I'll bet if we saw you sledding at Marquette Mountain on a cold Saturday in January, you would be breathing through your mouth too.
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Old 12-31-01, 05:16 PM   #4
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Klein, how much of what you say applies in really hot weather too? You have given me a lot to think about.
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Old 12-31-01, 05:54 PM   #5
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I think I would suffocate if I didn't breathe through my mouth while riding...:confused: If I drink enough water I don't get a mouth full of mucose...
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Old 12-31-01, 09:00 PM   #6
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Originally posted by mike
Do you have any quicky hints for riding in cold weather?



Dress appropriately for the wind/temperature (not overdressed), cover extremeties and...

HEAD SOUTH!

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Old 12-31-01, 10:42 PM   #7
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For the fellows: A Plastic bag down the front of the shorts in very cold weather.

I don't have to explain this one, do I?
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Old 12-31-01, 11:03 PM   #8
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Vaseline on your face will stop windburn in the winter. I have used this trick while snowboarding with great results!

Yes Fubar, you now have a reason to go purchase vaseline!
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Old 01-01-02, 07:26 AM   #9
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Big scarf around neck and lower face, ends spread out on chest
Wind vest over or newspaper under ( chest) of outer layer is a better choice than a jacket ( or newspapers) between layers if you're in need and/or away from home)
Caps
Ear muffs
(Many) Thin layers; layer hands, legs, feet and head too
Adjusting and having enough ventilation to rid EXCESS heat to Avoid sweating and resulting wetness- "Danger! Danger! Will Rogers"
Drink a LOT of water, you lose it with EACH breath in the cold
WOOL
DO NOT WEAR COTTON, especially next to your skin- see previous "Danger quote" and add 25 % to 50 %
Mitts, Lobster Gloves, loose fitting gloves
Plastic bags over sock toes in "breezy" shoes
Old socks over shoes
Big shoes w/extra socks

Ride Warm
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Old 01-01-02, 10:30 AM   #10
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Use plenty of powder on your feet, especially between the toes, and your feet will thank you.
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Old 01-01-02, 11:33 AM   #11
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If you use gore-tex or similar wind/water proof socks, avoid the use of powder. Like dirt, it can reduce the effectiveness of the pores.
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Old 01-16-02, 01:54 PM   #12
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I live in Iron Mountain MI It really gets cold. What I have done is put a layer of thermals on then a wind suit then some sweat pants and shirt then another wind suit. For shoes Iceman boots with wool socks. I also found that mittens were the best to wear to keep contact with other fingers. thermal facemask. Ive been out in -30 riding and have kept SOMEWHAT WARM . GOTTA LOVE IT PEOPLE
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Old 01-16-02, 06:20 PM   #13
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Originally posted by bikeman 1956
I live in Iron Mountain MI It really gets cold.
Wow, Iron Mountain Michigan. That IS a cold place. It even sounds cold!
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Old 02-18-02, 01:23 AM   #14
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I'm not sure if this is so much a tip as an opinion, and a possibly controversial one at that. I don't think it's that important to avoid perspiring under one's layers, even in weather well below freezing. Not that I have found myself sweating heavily in the very cold, but when it comes to moderate perspiration I've never been chilled or even uncomfortable. Nor do I think that clothing that breathes is all that important in very cold weather. In my experience, the pores on newer fabric get plugged with frozen water anyway.

Much more important, in my view, is a wind proof outer layer. If you have that, you can get away with surprisingly few layers in really cold weather. You generate so much heat on a bicycle that if you can simply reduce the rate the wind sucks heat away even a bit you can ride comfortably. A water resistant cycling windbreaker will get you through some bitter days, even with just two or three thin layers underneath. The wind resistant clothing also helps reduce problems associated with sweating in the very cold, too.

Glover liners are an excellent idea, too-- but not just because of warmth. You can handle tools with the liner if you have to make a repair, and you can touch metal without burning your skin.
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Old 02-18-02, 04:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Merriwether
I'm not sure if this is so much a tip as an opinion, and a possibly controversial one at that. I don't think it's that important to avoid perspiring under one's layers, even in weather well below freezing. ...Much more important, in my view, is a wind proof outer layer.
I have pretty much given up on breathable waterproofs. In a wet UK winter, I have been wearing Pertex windproof, and have had no problems at all. Much more comfortable than my Goretex, and cheaper too.
In colder weather you need really effective windproofing, with good seals at the cuffs , waist and a high neck (4" rather than the usual 1" neck). It's much better to have a highly permeable material, than let the cold draught in through pit zips. On really chill nights, I wear 2 windproofs for extra protection.

A pile and pertex jacket (like Buffalo ) is a great system for really cold damp conditions, or heavy cold rain.
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Old 02-18-02, 05:26 AM   #16
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Originally posted by MichaelW


I have pretty much given up on breathable waterproofs
I'm with you on that. None of the so-called breathable waterproofs (including Gore-tex and all the other hyped products) really let the moisture out if you are doing anything physical.

Wind breakers really do help, but most trap the moisture. You won't notice the ill-effects until you stop to rest and your wet clothes start to hyper-chill your body. This is a problem on longer rides where you end up stopping to rest out-of-doors.

For trips that don't require and outdoor rest-stop, though, I agree that a wind-breaker works great - almost too good; too warm.
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Old 02-18-02, 05:41 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by mike


I'm with you on that. None of the so-called breathable waterproofs (including Gore-tex and all the other hyped products) really let the moisture out if you are doing anything physical.

Has anyone tried Lowe-Alpine's triple-point ceramic (sp?) jackets?

I've heard good things about them from walkers, and have always been impressed with the quality of their packs.

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Old 02-27-02, 08:21 PM   #18
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I have used vaseline on my face before but lately I have discovered a product called FaceStick made by none other than ChapStick that REALLY does the trick, and you won't get slimy hands putting it on. It comes in a big fat tube (like your tires) and stays on even after a hard sweat. You can find it at the Evil Empire (uh, that's WalMart) or just about anywhere and still have extra deneiro for those upgrades at the shop! No more peelies!
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Old 02-27-02, 08:31 PM   #19
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Originally posted by psycholist
I have used vaseline on my face before but lately I have discovered a product called FaceStick made by none other than ChapStick that REALLY does the trick, and you won't get slimy hands putting it on. It comes in a big fat tube (like your tires) and stays on even after a hard sweat. You can find it at the Evil Empire (uh, that's WalMart) or just about anywhere and still have extra deneiro for those upgrades at the shop! No more peelies!
Tip of the week! Thanks for the heads up, i have been using vaseline forever, i'll try the FaceStick, i have never heard of it!
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Old 02-28-02, 11:46 AM   #20
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I have been wishing chapstick would come out with something for my face. Is in UV protection too? - that would be nice.
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Old 02-28-02, 11:53 AM   #21
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I have summer bike shoes and I donít want to pay for a winter pair or for booties if I can help it.

I'm using old plastic bags. I put them on after my last pair of socks and just before the shoes. I tuck the part of the bag that sticks out of the shoe into the bottoms of my tights to keep them out of the chain ring. So far my toes have stayed pretty warm but not sweaty.

I'm now grading the stores in my are based on how well their bags fit my feet.
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Old 02-28-02, 11:56 AM   #22
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Yes, this stuff is SPF 30...looks just like a big blue tube of chapstick. Put it on lips, cheeks, forehead; I've even put a dab on the tips of my ears.
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Old 02-28-02, 12:53 PM   #23
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I guess a lot depends on skin type--I have pretty oily skin and have never been bothered by cold except the lips, and for those I use Chapstick or any of the many equivalents.

Plastic bags on the feet are fine for not-too-long jaunts in the cold, I find. I used them before I got good Neoprene booties. The plastic will keep water off your shoes better than booties. You can also use them to help booties on and off your feet easier in case they fit a little too snug. The kind of booties that fasten with velcro on the sides are a lot easier to manage.
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