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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 01-01-02, 06:12 AM   #1
bikebrat
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Fatigue?

Is it my imagination, or do you find that your muscles more easily become fatigued when riding in cold weather? My last few rides, in low 20 temps, I was more tired after 30 miles than I usually am after 60 . . . Should I chalk it up to the cold, or look for another reason?
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Old 01-01-02, 06:48 AM   #2
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Yes, chalk it up to cold, I can't remember exactly why though.

Ride Warm
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Old 01-01-02, 09:03 AM   #3
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Yes.

I wonder if it might have to do with the moving parts on the bike and the cold??

Anyway, I figure ten miles in cold = 20 miles in warm as far as energy expended and fatigue level.
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Old 01-01-02, 09:08 AM   #4
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I'm no expert, but I would guess that it's due to more restistance from the bikes (stiffer lube) and slower, and more limited circulation of the blood (less oxygen transfer due to restricted capillaries).

If this is accurate, then winter riding would greatly improve your conditioning for the next "season".

Happy New Year,
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Old 01-01-02, 09:56 AM   #5
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It has a lot to do with the amount of energy your body has to epend to stay warm. You'll notice that you get hungrier faster in the cold, too.
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Old 01-01-02, 11:13 AM   #6
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Maybe I'm just different, I don't know, but I think riding longer distances in the winter is easier than the summer. But then again, I'm not that bothered by the cold weather either.

I find it easier to ride 60 miles in the winter (need those base miles!) than 60 miles in the summer. Maybe it's just the discomfort from the heat that gets to my mind quicker than the discomfort from the cold. Weird!
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Old 01-01-02, 11:51 AM   #7
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My joints move more slowly in the cold even if under a few layers.

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Old 01-01-02, 01:24 PM   #8
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I've noticed that bikes have more resistance in cold weather. My guess is that the grease in the bearings stiffens due to the cold.

I suppose it's also possible that bearings are adjusted and set at warmer temperatures. In the cold, the metal parts shrink - thus making everything tighter and taking them out of proper setting.

Of course, this is all guessing. One thing is for sure, though - bikes rider stiffer in the winter.
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Old 01-01-02, 04:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by velo
Maybe I'm just different, I don't know, but I think riding longer distances in the winter is easier than the summer. But then again, I'm not that bothered by the cold weather either.

I find it easier to ride 60 miles in the winter (need those base miles!) than 60 miles in the summer. Maybe it's just the discomfort from the heat that gets to my mind quicker than the discomfort from the cold. Weird!
Ditto. Although in saying that, it's a bit like riding in warm weather vs riding in extreme heat/humidity for me. I find my heart rate much easier to control in winter.
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Old 01-01-02, 07:35 PM   #10
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I agree with Velocipedio,

Quote:
Originally posted by velocipedio
It has a lot to do with the amount of energy your body has to epend to stay warm. You'll notice that you get hungrier faster in the cold, too.
If you dont believe this then try taking one glove off and watch your performance of down.
its best to keep all skin covered when riding in very cold weather.
and drink plenty of water. watch out for frozebite. it can happen
very quick and maynot hurt until you start to warm up.


K
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Old 01-03-02, 07:13 PM   #11
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I'm no expert either, but I used to ride with a M.D. and we talked about this a time or two. His thoughts agree with a couple of posts above:
the colder the temp.- the more energy needed to keep the body warm, therefore less fuel is available for muscles.

The colder it is, the more calories we need to consume to maintain the same workload.

If this works, I'm gonna take a large pizza and a twelve pack on my next winter ride!

Makes sense to me!

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Old 01-05-02, 05:54 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies . . . I'm glad to know it's not just me who finds cold weather riding more tiring. Just hope suffering through the cold this winter pays off in the spring!
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Old 01-10-02, 12:03 AM   #13
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Well, I have to agree with velo and ChrisL--for me the cold weather is a lot easier to ride in than the hot. I have never noticed any greater muscle fatigue in the cold. I'm talking about around freezing and slightly above.
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Old 01-10-02, 10:52 AM   #14
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could your body just be overtrained. maybe a couple days rest.
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