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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 01-01-11, 07:40 PM   #1
jamesdak
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Problem on -2 degree ride

Ran into a new problem today. Had to keep adjusting my Baclava during the ride and my condensed breath froze the thumb and finger of the glove I was using at about 18 miles into the ride. Finished the ride with them totally froze up and slick with ice. Any suggestions for dealing with this? Main thing probably is figuring out how to keep the nose and mouth of the baclava in place.
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Old 01-02-11, 12:32 AM   #2
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I take it this was -2 degrees F. Since -2 C probably wouldn't be such a problem. I've never ridden long distances at that temperature. But I think with that problem you would be better off with one of those neoprene masks with the mouth and nose cut out. Your headgear should be such that you should rarely have to mess with it. Or at least no more than once every ten miles or so. IF you constantly have to adjust it you need another approach. Try using a fitted face mask and using a neck gator. Keeping the neck really warm will help keep your whole head warm. Use the balaclava for more moderate conditions.

My guess is that the helmet moves around a bit and pulled the balaclava around. If you using a dedicated cycling balaclava it should fit kind of tight and it should stay put. A loose fitting one will have problems. Cycling ones are not as warm but are more useful. You can use other things with them when it's really cold to help stay warm. Gore-tex helmet cover blocks out the cold wind and traps warm air. A fleece neck gator as mention previously combined with the cycling balaclava and helmet cover should work for -2. And will breath much better than a standard type. Also it won't freeze up so much. The fleece neck gator is low enough that it won't freeze up.

Last edited by Hezz; 01-02-11 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 01-02-11, 03:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hezz View Post
I take it this was -2 degrees F. Since -2 C probably wouldn't be such a problem. I've never ridden long distances at that temperature. But I think with that problem you would be better off with one of those neoprene masks with the mouth and nose cut out. Your headgear should be such that you should rarely have to mess with it. Or at least no more than once every ten miles or so. IF you constantly have to adjust it you need another approach. Try using a fitted face mask and using a neck gator. Keeping the neck really warm will help keep your whole head warm. Use the balaclava for more moderate conditions.

My guess is that the helmet moves around a bit and pulled the balaclava around. If you using a dedicated cycling balaclava it should fit kind of tight and it should stay put. A loose fitting one will have problems. Cycling ones are not as warm but are more useful. You can use other things with them when it's really cold to help stay warm. Gore-tex helmet cover blocks out the cold wind and traps warm air. A fleece neck gator as mention previously combined with the cycling balaclava and helmet cover should work for -2. And will breath much better than a standard type. Also it won't freeze up so much. The fleece neck gator is low enough that it won't freeze up.
Great advice. From your description, the problem seems to be with your headgear more than the gloves. Loose fitting Balaclavas first appear to be better since they are more adjustable - but when it comes down to practicality they just don't stay put, making them more of a nuisance than anything. Get something with a tighter fit and it should definitely help.
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Old 01-02-11, 04:14 PM   #4
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I use the Gordini Lavawool face mask. It has a velcro closure on the back to make it as tight as needed. The nose part is open underneath, and their is a mesh covering the mouth hole. I will sometimes get condensation build up on my glasses when I stop, but usually goes away once I start riding again.

Also my neck gaiter fits snugly and stays in place well. I usually pull it up when I am riding, and down past the nose when I stop.
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Old 01-09-11, 07:49 AM   #5
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I balaclava with an heat exchanger can also be a good solution, I ordered one today.
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Old 01-09-11, 08:14 AM   #6
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I've resorted to winter goggles and then wearing the balaclava so that it does not cover my mouth. The googles keep the cheeks and nose warm and don't fog up no matter what I do.
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