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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 12-14-09, 08:10 PM   #1
AngrySaki
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Tips & tricks thread?

I like the tips & tricks thread in the touring forum, and I think one would be useful here.
Here's a few tricks that worked for me:

Sweaty hands:
It hasn't been extremely cold here lately, so my hands kept getting really sweaty and I'd constantly be taking my gloves on and off which was really annoying, especially in the snow. I found that if i roll my sleeves up (leaving bare skin), it keeps my hands cooler and stops them from sweating like crazy, and is much easier to control.

Cold feet:
I moved my panniers from the back of my bike to the front using a low rider rack, so they block a lot of the wind on my feet which helps keep them warm. So far it hasn't affected my stability enough to be a problem.
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Old 12-14-09, 10:07 PM   #2
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When it is cold wear mittens. When it is really cold bring your thumb into the finger compartment and make a fist. You can make a fist inside a glove as well.

Paul
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Old 12-14-09, 10:39 PM   #3
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I use a dollar-store showercap as a rain/snow cover for my helmet. When I arrive at my destination I pull it off my helmet and it doubles as a saddle cover. They seem tailor-made for the application.

Here's one on my helmet:



And again on my saddle:


Last edited by irclean; 12-15-09 at 04:19 PM. Reason: Added pics
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Old 12-15-09, 12:46 AM   #4
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I wore latex gloves under my regular gloves this morning (temperatures were around 15F). Fingers were a bit chilly at first, but very warm after the 15 minutes of riding.

I had read that the latex gloves would help by blocking wind. In my case, they worked more like a wetsuit. The warm sweat from my hands insulated my fingers perfectly.

Now, if only they made latex socks, I'd be golden.
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Old 12-15-09, 01:12 AM   #5
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I use a dollar-store showercap as a rain/snow cover for my helmet. When I arrive at my destination I pull it off my helmet and it doubles as a saddle cover. They seem tailor-made for the application.
I like that idea. I'm going to try that one. Good tip.

Dollar stores are so awesome - even though they seem be renamed to "Under $2 Store" now.
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Old 12-15-09, 08:49 AM   #6
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I liked the idea that few people mentioned in other threads: taking a small thermos of hot tea (or coffee) for the commute ride on cold days. I never occurred to me!

Speaking of sweaty hands and AngrySaki original post: I'm thinking about cutting the cuff off of a pair of winter gloves to allow for some air circulation. The top of the palm can easily be protected using oily cream, it's really the fingers that need warmth but all really warm gloves have thick cuffs and no air circulation and cause my palms to sweat too much.

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Old 12-15-09, 03:37 PM   #7
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. . .Now, if only they made latex socks. . .
Use the plastic sleeves the newspaper is delivered in bad weather. . .over the sock. . .pull on tights over 'em. . .then the shoe [well, DUH]. They last about three rides and get you a couple more cheap degrees lower temperature. Mind, over 40 degrees F. the sweat thing overcomes the cold benefit.
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Old 12-15-09, 04:17 PM   #8
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I've heard of folks using bread bags on their feet.
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Old 12-15-09, 04:17 PM   #9
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This tip isn't specific to winter cycling but it's a good one nonetheless (I borrowed it from elsewhere on this forum.) My u-lock wouldn't fit anywhere on my frame so since I only run one pannier I use the other side of the rack for my lock:




The bungee keeps it from jumping around and making a racket.
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Old 12-15-09, 09:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by irclean View Post
This tip isn't specific to winter cycling but it's a good one nonetheless (I borrowed it from elsewhere on this forum.) My u-lock wouldn't fit anywhere on my frame so since I only run one pannier I use the other side of the rack for my lock:

The bungee keeps it from jumping around and making a racket.
Yeah, and keeping the weight low and in the rear helps with pedaling and steering in the snow.
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Old 12-15-09, 09:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tero View Post
I wore latex gloves under my regular gloves this morning (temperatures were around 15F). Fingers were a bit chilly at first, but very warm after the 15 minutes of riding.

I had read that the latex gloves would help by blocking wind. In my case, they worked more like a wetsuit. The warm sweat from my hands insulated my fingers perfectly.

Now, if only they made latex socks, I'd be golden.
What you are describing is a vapour barrier layer. Water cools your skin 25x faster than air, the water is not what is keeping your warm. What is really happening is the vapour barrier(latex glove or breadbags) is preventing the insulation in your gloves/boots from becoming moist, which compromises it's insulating power.

A vapour barrier is best worn next to the skin, directly over the hands and feet, and then covered up with a wool sock or fleece glove/mitten. Extended use isn't recommended... damp feet for days=very bad.

Vapour barriers were widely used by our troops in Korean war to stop people from losing feet to the cold, the boots the army made were called "bunny boots"

Last edited by electrik; 01-28-10 at 08:31 PM. Reason: better explanation.
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Old 12-19-09, 10:40 AM   #12
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Something I have not tried: some of the car washing soaps have wax and are supposed to wash and wax your car in one step. Perhaps washing the salt off with one of these products will leave enough wax to serve as a rust preventative, without having to wax your bike and winding up with chalky dust trapped in the crevices where it may serve to hold salt.

Also, I believe the latex glove thing works because when your outer gloves get wet they lose their insulation value.

Last edited by garage sale GT; 12-21-09 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 12-19-09, 05:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Speaking of sweaty hands and AngrySaki original post: I'm thinking about cutting the cuff off of a pair of winter gloves to allow for some air circulation. The top of the palm can easily be protected using oily cream, it's really the fingers that need warmth but all really warm gloves have thick cuffs and no air circulation and cause my palms to sweat too much.
If you try this, I'd be interested in the results. The thought crossed my mind but I'm not sure I want to cut up my gloves yet.
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Old 12-19-09, 06:09 PM   #14
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Not to shill for costco or anything, but if you have a costco membership, there are some good winter clothing and gloves on sale right now.

Paradox underlayers are really good at keeping you dry even if you get sweaty.
Hotfingers 3-in-1 mitts & gloves are very warm and don't make your hands sweat profusely. get at least one size larger than a perfect fit, as it's a 2 piece sweat wicking glove & water/wind shell mitt system.
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Old 12-19-09, 06:13 PM   #15
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if you are going to cover your clothing in plastic bags to block out wind, be sure you have a sweat wicking layer on underneath and make sure you have a small cutout at the back which will act as a chimney for evaporated sweat, instead of having it condense on your clothing, chilling you further.

Quote:
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Cold feet:
I moved my panniers from the back of my bike to the front using a low rider rack, so they block a lot of the wind on my feet which helps keep them warm. So far it hasn't affected my stability enough to be a problem.
I've tried this before, and it would be better to use machka's method of keeping feet warm. On windy days with plenty of gusts, the panniers act like a wind sail and either send you into the next lane, snow bank or down to the ground. Add to this, with the extra weight on the front , it is more likely to make you endo when braking hard.


http://www.machka.net/whatworks/coldfeet.htm
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Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

Last edited by AEO; 12-19-09 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 12-21-09, 01:06 PM   #16
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someone used my motel shower cap idea. I got sky diving goggles - is that helpful? I'm hoping to use them tomorrow.

reminds me of a Groucho Marx comment/joke ...: "you want a tip? I'll give you a tip. get out of the business!" it was all in his delivery
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Old 12-21-09, 01:13 PM   #17
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When washing the salt off your bike, make sure to clean the inside of the steerer tube. I had a fork with a steel steerer and it really pitted up in a few spots. The pits were deep and large enough that I was concerned the steerer tube was going to start to crack.

Many of the higher strength steels are less resistant to corrosion than ordinary hi-ten.

When I put in a new fork, I used some leftover rustoleum to coat the inside of the steer tube.

Most steerers I have seen were open to the elements even if you run a fender.

Last edited by garage sale GT; 12-21-09 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 12-29-09, 08:09 AM   #18
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I spray my feet with anti-perspirant before "socking up". My feet do not sweat and are warmer for it.
I wear a thin pair of glove liners, beneath my winter gloves, that wick away moisture thus keeping my hands dry and warm.
I apply Vasoline Intensive Care lotion to my legs, arms, face and hands prior to kitting up and going riding or running in very cold weather...it is -1f now and I'll be running for an hour in a bit...keeps my skin from drying out.
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Old 12-30-09, 06:13 AM   #19
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I keep the seat low enough so when I coast I have one foot on a pedal and the other in front of a pedal, ready to step on the ground if I slip on some ice. This has saved me several times from tipping over.
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Old 12-30-09, 10:33 PM   #20
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During fall or winter I keep a jar lid velcro'd to my saddle rack. I rip the jar lid off before I rest the bike on the kick stand. This keep the kickstand from sinking a few inches into a mucky lawn. When towing kid trailer or loading the panniers this often keeps my bike from tipping over.
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Old 12-30-09, 11:07 PM   #21
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During fall or winter I keep a jar lid velcro'd to my saddle rack. I rip the jar lid off before I rest the bike on the kick stand. This keep the kickstand from sinking a few inches into a mucky lawn.
I for one prefer to file my kickstands to a point during the fall or winter. On one of our wet days when it's hovering around freezing and everything is covered with wet ice, it keeps the bike from blowing away if there's a wind.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:21 AM   #22
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Before parking my bike outside the office, I shift to a "universal" gear. If the gears freeze, I will at least make it back home. I do this especially in slushy weather while the temperature fluctates around the freezing point.
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Old 01-05-10, 03:42 PM   #23
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if you've ridden through a lot of slop, undo the QR on your wheels and give your fenders a good kick so that the slop won't freeze into solid blocks of ice, that weld your tires to your fenders.
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Old 01-05-10, 11:19 PM   #24
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Dont forget to regularly lube your parts in the winter.

-Repack your bottom bracket, headset, and hubs in the fall.
-Lube your cables weekly, after lubing, dab a glob of grease at each cable housing end.
-Dont forget to lube your gear shifters and brake levers.
-Lightly spray lube on the outside of your derailers, hubs, bottom bracket, seat post, quick release levers and any other exposed metal before each ride.
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Old 01-05-10, 11:23 PM   #25
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I take my 1st grader to school in the morning, about 2km, after which I have a 4km ride to the office. He usually rides his own bike but when the weather or, more to the point, road surface, is dodgy, I hook up the tag-along to the mtb. I've discovered the added benefit for me is that in mucky, fishtail-inducing snow, the tag-along acts as a drag anchor and inhibits the back end form coming around.

Oh, yeah, just installed conti ice spikers 240 as well. Very choice.
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