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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 09-18-09, 11:53 PM   #1
subligar
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Couple questions after a test ride tonight.

Today i was out in 25C sun and tonight it's 1C . So time to test out all the kit I bought for fall/spring, my rain pants work great for blocking the wind and breathe and I have lots of upper body stuff so the basics are set all the way until snow stays.

What i'm left with are two questions:
What do you guys do for eye protection? I just recently got contacts so it's weird to be out without something protecting my eyes and I would think that any glasses would have fogging problems.
What would be best for foot gear? for 0- -5C would a rain cover work? special wool socks? neoprene bootie? I didn't have problems on my 30 min ride but I can tell that will be the weak point.

I might set up my now unused MTB for real winter riding if I can stand to be out in the cold.. or have fun out there anyways.
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Old 09-19-09, 12:11 AM   #2
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Your glasses should not fog up unless you wear a neck gaiter or balaclava over your nose. If you put it over your mouth, leave a bit of room above your mouth open so your breath doesn't shoot straight up onto your glasses. It might take a bit of experimentation to get it just right.

Here's my article on Cold Feet ... what I wear to keep my feet warm:
http://www.machka.net/whatworks/coldfeet.htm
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Old 10-01-09, 04:01 PM   #3
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ski goggles also work, but start to fog badly once it's below -25C, which about co-incides with when you'd really want to use them, go figure. I heard that a film of cooking oil on the inside will mostly prevent this, so I'll try that tip this winter.
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Old 10-01-09, 04:37 PM   #4
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Your glasses should not fog up unless you wear a neck gaiter or balaclava over your nose. If you put it over your mouth, leave a bit of room above your mouth open so your breath doesn't shoot straight up onto your glasses. It might take a bit of experimentation to get it just right.
I'll have to disagree. It depends on how much you sweat. I'm okay as long as I'm moving but when I stop my glasses fog immediately. I usually pull them a little away from my face to keep it down to a minimum but that doesn't stop it. When I start rolling, they clear very quickly.

The one time I tried a face mask, I fogged up and stayed that way. If I use a balaclava, I have to keep my nose and mouth clear or I can't see nothin'!

Wrap around glasses that fit close to the face are the worst, subligar. Get some that stand off from your face a little and allow for some air flow.
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Old 10-01-09, 09:05 PM   #5
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I'll have to disagree. It depends on how much you sweat. I'm okay as long as I'm moving but when I stop my glasses fog immediately. I usually pull them a little away from my face to keep it down to a minimum but that doesn't stop it. When I start rolling, they clear very quickly.

The one time I tried a face mask, I fogged up and stayed that way. If I use a balaclava, I have to keep my nose and mouth clear or I can't see nothin'!
I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with ... you just agreed with everything I said. You will fog up, while you ride, if you have your neck gaiter (or balaclava, or whatever) up over you nose. You reduce the chances of fogging up if you drop the neck gaiter (or balaclava, or whatever) down so that your nose is exposed and your mouth is covered. But sometimes that's not good enough either, and you've got to experiment with how much of your mouth can be covered before you'll fog up.
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Old 10-01-09, 09:37 PM   #6
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I use ski goggles, and once I figured out the correct face-mask/gaiter configuration
fogging has never been an issue, even at -28F. You just have to make sure your
exhalations don't come up under the goggles. If I get it all fine-tuned just right,
my fogbreath comes out down near my neck and helps keep my neck warmer.
I have to keep my nose and mouth covered or I get sick and my nose won't
stop running until June, plus cold(un-preheated) air feels like little razor blades in my lungs.
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Old 10-02-09, 08:28 AM   #7
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I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with ... you just agreed with everything I said. You will fog up, while you ride, if you have your neck gaiter (or balaclava, or whatever) up over you nose. You reduce the chances of fogging up if you drop the neck gaiter (or balaclava, or whatever) down so that your nose is exposed and your mouth is covered. But sometimes that's not good enough either, and you've got to experiment with how much of your mouth can be covered before you'll fog up.
I disagreed that your glasses shouldn't fog unless you are wearing a balaclava. I fog up whether I'm wearing a balaclava or not. Just a ear warmer (and <45 F) can cause my glasses to fog when I stop. More coverage on the face just makes it worse.

Like I said, it depends on whether or not you sweat heavily or not. I'm my own fog bank below freezing I've never even considered goggles (I wear glasses all the time anyway) because I fog goggles when I have to use them in the lab...and I'm not even sweating there!
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Old 10-02-09, 08:48 AM   #8
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Do yourself a favor and pick up some wool socks. IMHO there is nothing better for winter riding. I'm partial to the Costco Merino Wool socks, cheap and effective.

Winter shoes will work better than anything else. If you can swing it, pick some up. Otherwise rain covers or specific winter covers will work but not as well. I find my winter shoe covers work fine until I have to put my foot down. Then the snow packs in between the cover and my shoe and causes some cold and wetness.(here's where wool socks shine, they are warm even when they are wet) The heavier winter covers do make a difference. Of coarse you can always buy some flat pedals and winter boots.

For my face I prefer a neck gator. You can pull it up over your mouth when you need to, otherwise it keeps your neck/chin warm. Combined with a beanie or some type of head cover the combo works good. I use my regular riding sunglasses(replaceable lens) in winter as well. Everything fogs over if you're hot and sweaty when its cold out.
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Old 10-02-09, 10:10 AM   #9
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Safety/shooting glasses work well, as long as the fit in a manner that allows plenty of airflow.
When it gets REALLY cold, I have a pair of ski-goggles with the built-in fans.
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Old 10-02-09, 12:18 PM   #10
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Fogging up is a major problem up here in AK. The fog will freeze and really screw things up. I just switch to contacts for longer rides and have had no problems.
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Old 10-02-09, 02:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by subligar View Post

What would be best for foot gear? for 0- -5C would a rain cover work? special wool socks? neoprene bootie? I didn't have problems on my 30 min ride but I can tell that will be the weak point.

I might set up my now unused MTB for real winter riding if I can stand to be out in the cold.. or have fun out there anyways.
For a 30 minute ride down to freezing you might get by with some neoprene shoe covers and thick wool socks with loose fitting shoes.
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Old 10-02-09, 08:16 PM   #12
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For a 30 minute ride down to freezing you might get by with some neoprene shoe covers and thick wool socks with loose fitting shoes.
Plus baggies over the socks works really well. In fact with baggies I don't need shoe covers. The loose fitting shoe part is key though. Down to -5 f for me with two layers of wool socks with baggies in between and chemical warmers under the toes.
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Old 10-03-09, 02:49 PM   #13
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The one time I tried a face mask, I fogged up and stayed that way. If I use a balaclava, I have to keep my nose and mouth clear or I can't see nothin'!

Wrap around glasses that fit close to the face are the worst, subligar. Get some that stand off from your face a little and allow for some air flow.
I have a half balaclava/half hood thing that is easy to have below my mouth so that should work good.. My glasses are the wrap around type so I guess I will have to just try everything I have to see what works the best.

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Do yourself a favor and pick up some wool socks. IMHO there is nothing better for winter riding.
Done. I also got the MEC rain covers.

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Fogging up is a major problem up here in AK. The fog will freeze and really screw things up.
That's the kind of thing I was worried about, if i'm out shoveling snow sometimes my glasses would fog up and stay that way for a bit. Although the only moving air in that case would be the wind.


I went out just before dark the other day and got caught for about 45 mins in weather about 5c colder than i was prepared for... I won't be doing that again!

Thanks for the help.
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