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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 09-22-09, 09:27 AM   #1
AcornMan
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Keeping my ears warm?

When the temperature drops below the mid-50s or so, I find that my ears often get uncomfortably cold. The worst part is the inner ear pain from having cold air rush past my ears, like being outside on a cold windy day. What are some inexpensive ways to cover my ears when riding?
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Old 09-22-09, 11:51 AM   #2
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Balaclava, if good and cold, or roll it up into a headcap when not so cold.

A most versatile piece of gear, and cheap.
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Old 09-22-09, 12:03 PM   #3
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I use a Giro G10 ski helmet during winter rides. It has built-in ear muffs.
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Old 09-22-09, 12:37 PM   #4
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There are plenty of cycling caps made for winter use that extend over your ears. Rapha has one for instance http://www.rapha.cc/winter-hat-1/
but so do a lot of others.
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Old 09-22-09, 02:07 PM   #5
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I use a Pearl Izumi headband for temps between 15F and 35F. Below 15F I use a Pearl Izumi balaclava.

Above 35F I haven't felt the need for a headband... your experience may be different. Either way, those products are two essentials for me.

By the way, the PI stuff does the trick... it seems thin, but works. You don't need much for biking and the main thing is keeping the wind out.
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Old 09-22-09, 02:11 PM   #6
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They're goofy lookin', but I love my 180's.
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Old 09-22-09, 08:36 PM   #7
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http://www.pearlizumi.com/product.ph...uct_id=1455282

Last edited by Tequila Joe; 09-22-09 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 09-22-09, 08:52 PM   #8
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Balaclavas are too warm for above-freezing temps. I use one of many thin headbands which I picked up at my local $$ store for $1 each. They're great!! And I combine them with a neck gaiter if I start to feel the breeze down my neck.

See the three photos ... these are the neck gaiter and headbands I'm talking about.

.
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Old 09-23-09, 01:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larue View Post
There are plenty of cycling caps made for winter use that extend over your ears. Rapha has one for instance http://www.rapha.cc/winter-hat-1/
but so do a lot of others.
$50 for a hat?!
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Old 09-23-09, 01:22 AM   #10
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Lou over at Foxwear makes some great and affordable cold weather gear. I use a headband if it's not too cold, and a beanie with ear flaps when the temps really drop.

http://www.foxwear.net/products_small_articles.html
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Old 09-23-09, 02:16 AM   #11
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I've got a range of hats which all cover the ears and fit under the helmet. On a bike the ears are pretty much the first bit of your head to get cold.
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Old 09-23-09, 02:27 AM   #12
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You just need a thin beanie type stocking cap.
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Old 09-23-09, 11:27 AM   #13
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In addition to all of the good ideas mentioned. You can also put cheap foam earplugs into your ear. This keeps cold air from entering the ear canal and is very light and effective when combined with the usual cycling head wear.

I would recommend doing this if you have problems with inner ear cold sensitivity.
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Old 09-23-09, 04:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon View Post
Balaclava, if good and cold, or roll it up into a headcap when not so cold.
Way too hot for anything above about 20 F. An ear warmer would do the trick. I don't wear anything else on my head until around 20F. Serius is the best one I've come across.
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Old 09-23-09, 06:25 PM   #15
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Headband works for me down to 0 F.

But I have long hair and grow a big beard in the winter.
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Old 09-23-09, 06:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by tdreyer1 View Post
They're goofy lookin', but I love my 180's.
Another vote for the 180's
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Old 09-23-09, 06:40 PM   #17
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Headband works well for me. Got a few at REI during a sale, and have used them for years. Quite cool for today's commute, and ears stayed warm the whole time.
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Old 09-24-09, 01:55 PM   #18
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cold ears

+1 for head band and or thin beanie. Below 30 F , I also use a wind and waterproof J&G helmet cover, works great.
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Old 09-25-09, 10:15 AM   #19
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Another vote for the 180's
Aother one for 180's. They keep the ears warm w/o overheating the rest of my head. Below 10F I wear them over the bavalaca.
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Old 09-25-09, 11:00 AM   #20
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This may not work for everyone, but my over-the-ear headphones
go a really long way towards keeping my ears warm. I never realized how much
until my mp3 player died on my way to work in November and I stopped to take
'em off. I stopped a few minutes later to put 'em back on. Cold ears suck.
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Old 09-27-09, 08:58 AM   #21
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V-Muffs
Cool Weather Riding Comfort ~ Maximum Warmth Without the Weight




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Old 09-28-09, 08:31 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Way too hot for anything above about 20 F. An ear warmer would do the trick. I don't wear anything else on my head until around 20F. Serius is the best one I've come across.
I vote for a very light balaclava. It allows me to get by with fewer layers on the torso and feels so comfortable in wind. Through most of the winter here (10-35F), I wear a light shell with baselayer and light wool sweater underneath. If I didn't have the balaclava, I'd be looking for another layer.

When it's colder I have a poly scarf/mask, much like Machka's, that really helps with the wind.

I have a heavier balaclava, but find it too hot for just about any weather.
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Old 09-29-09, 06:08 AM   #23
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Scoatw, those vmuffs look interesting. The approach is clever. I might have to order a set to try out. Thanks for posting the link.
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Old 09-29-09, 07:30 AM   #24
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After seeing several recommendations for the 180s, I bought a pair and tried them for the first time this morning. It was about 36 degrees, but my ears were plenty toasty. If anything they're probably overkill for that temperature, so I'm sure they'll work when it gets substantially colder. Now if I could just figure out how to keep my toes warm...
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Old 09-29-09, 07:34 AM   #25
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V-Muffs
Cool Weather Riding Comfort ~ Maximum Warmth Without the Weight




Very intriguing idea. But I'm concerned about this disclosure on their web site: "Once you pass 20 kph the effectiveness begins to diminish due to air penetration at the front of the muff.. For more "severe" riding conditions we offer a headband made from the same windblock fabric as our V-Muffs."

20 kph is less than 12.5 mph, so basically it sounds like these would have very little effectiveness. I like the idea, but I have a feeling they're just too loose to be of much use.
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