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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 11-16-10, 10:39 PM   #1
jungwiar
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Carry Extra Clothes?

Hey all - am going into my 4th winter commuting almost daily in Madison, WI. Am actually looking forward to it this year - something about riding on a cold, crisp night really is nice...

Anyway, one thing I have been thinking about is what would happen if I had to repair a flat on one of those single digit days. I have not (as I knock on wood) have the pleasure of repairing a flat during winter months, but have thought thru the experience and am wondering how any of you prepare for the experience.

I have gotten my winter garb down pretty good - wool layering and wind-proof jacket - just warm enough to start commute, but cool enough not to overheat. That said, I wouldn't want to spend any amount of time not moving in that setup... Do any of you pack extra clothing in case of mid-commute repairs?

Thanks...
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Old 11-17-10, 04:18 AM   #2
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Always.
I have a Golite insulated gillet that packs down fairly small. Also a woolly hat.
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Old 11-18-10, 06:24 PM   #3
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^^ more of the same. I also have some disposable warmers. Changing a tire in bitter cold is a truly horrific experience.
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Old 11-18-10, 06:33 PM   #4
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Yes, absolutely even though my commute is only four miles. Then again the likelihood of a flat with the tires I run is slim. I've only had one flat while commuting in over ten years. If necessary, I could walk those miles with the gear I carry. Better safe than sorry. And it's a negligible amount of extra weight.
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Old 11-18-10, 07:10 PM   #5
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When the temperatures reach a degrees where my riding clothing wouldn't comfortably get me back home if i walked.

Down vests are extremely compressible and quite warm.

And yes, trying to seat a tire bead with cold hands, let alone your body, is no fun(the first thing to go when body starts to fight hypothermia is the hands!! haha)
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Old 11-26-10, 08:57 PM   #6
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Park Tools sells enormous shop-quality steel tire levers. They are heavy and don't pack well, but when it's awesomely cold you can work them with your gloves on, and unlike frozen plastic levers, they don't break. If you get a flat in the winter, you will weep frozen tears of joy.

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Old 11-26-10, 09:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jungwiar View Post
Hey all - am going into my 4th winter commuting almost daily in Madison, WI. Am actually looking forward to it this year - something about riding on a cold, crisp night really is nice...

Anyway, one thing I have been thinking about is what would happen if I had to repair a flat on one of those single digit days. I have not (as I knock on wood) have the pleasure of repairing a flat during winter months, but have thought thru the experience and am wondering how any of you prepare for the experience.

I have gotten my winter garb down pretty good - wool layering and wind-proof jacket - just warm enough to start commute, but cool enough not to overheat. That said, I wouldn't want to spend any amount of time not moving in that setup... Do any of you pack extra clothing in case of mid-commute repairs?

Thanks...
I carry a packable down jacket in winter. I don't wear it when on the bike. It is for emergencies like fixing the bike or getting stranded. It weighs less than a pound and is not too bulky when stuffed in it's bag. It's really good insurance. But it's too big for the seat bag so I wear a small knapsack on my back. It has lots of room for things but I don't have much in it. Just the down jacket a bike pump and a balaclava and some energy bars. Keeping it so light it's not too uncomfortable. Also gives me room to put something in if I stop at the store or have to bring something home.
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Old 11-26-10, 11:32 PM   #8
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My strategy is really cold weather is to stay off trails (which may actually be a mile or two from a warm location...) and stay near the bus route. When I'm commuting buses normally go by every 15 minutes.
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Old 11-26-10, 11:42 PM   #9
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I carry along an extra pair of fleece gloves in case the temp goes down and my ski gloves need a boost. Also a fleece neck gaiter because those things are so cozy and help keep cold wind from sneaking into my jacket. Extra pair of heavy wool socks to pull over the toes of your boots or shoes -- especially if it turns out your foot wear isn't as waterproof as you hoped. Wet wool still insults well. Neoprene face mask for bitter wind chill mixed with downhill riding.

I like the downjacket suggestion. I have a down vest that compresses to nothing and that would be great for off bike times.
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Old 11-27-10, 11:39 AM   #10
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I carry extra clothing: field jacket liner, gloves, balaclave, long johns, wool socks, wind/rain pants. I also carry NEOS Navigators and a heat exchanger mask.
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Old 11-27-10, 09:31 PM   #11
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If its zero and dark, I don't see myself changing a tire no matter what tools I have. I'll call my wife or get a ride from someone.

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Old 11-28-10, 09:35 PM   #12
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I carry a rain jacket that cuts the windchill, and an extra layer of lycra top, bottom, hat and glove liners. My other precaution is to use tires with better flat protection in the winter.
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Old 12-01-10, 03:06 AM   #13
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When I rode my mountain bike last year, I usually wore my uniform when I road to work. I would have an extra uniform at work just in case I needed. Though when I was out and about I carried an extra pair of socks, gloves, and a towel. My mountain bike could carry a lot so it wasn't too bad, add a backpack and it's like you weren't carrying anything.

That bike was stolen a few weeks ago, so I just have my road bike to get on by for now. I can't carry as much now because the frame just wouldn't handle the stress. Currently I have a large-ish basket on the rear rack with one pannier on the drive side. So I use a backpack now and I only carry an extra pair of socks, gloves, and two hand towels. On nicer days, I will usually wear a sport jacket or blazer of some sort, with a lightweight waterproof wind jacket folded down in my pannier or backpack.
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