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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 03-12-11, 07:22 PM   #1
stefank
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Winter 2010-11 equipment/gear report

Gloves: 3x unlined white leather work gloves with plain wool gloves inside.
They work great; I didn't use mittens at all this winter. I like the white
color because the cars can see my hand signals at night when I commute
(I think). I bought em from mproline.com, Minnesota. Cheap.
Shoes: Another pair of Shimano MW-80's except two sizes bigger. I think the main
requirement for warm feet is having enough space for thick socks without
compressing them and thus defeating their insulation properties. I think any
boot or shoe with enough internal volume that fits will work.
Inner tubes: Got rid of the butyl, changed to Challenge latex on the theory that the
heavy butyl tube has high hysteresis in cold weather. My commute times
with the latex are all down, but I dont have enough data to say it's
significant or not. The bike seems livelier though.
Clothing: Pearl Izumi white farmer-johns. Certainly more visible than black in the dark.
More aero than my other winter clothes (I have a long ride and it's always
upwind). This was about the only low-drag stuff I could find that isn't black.
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Old 03-13-11, 11:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefank View Post
Gloves: 3x unlined white leather work gloves with plain wool gloves inside.
They work great; I didn't use mittens at all this winter. I like the white
color because the cars can see my hand signals at night when I commute
(I think). I bought em from mproline.com, Minnesota. Cheap.

Shoes: Another pair of Shimano MW-80's except two sizes bigger. I think the main
requirement for warm feet is having enough space for thick socks without
compressing them and thus defeating their insulation properties. I think any
boot or shoe with enough internal volume that fits will work.

Inner tubes: Got rid of the butyl, changed to Challenge latex on the theory that the
heavy butyl tube has high hysteresis in cold weather. My commute times
with the latex are all down, but I dont have enough data to say it's
significant or not. The bike seems livelier though.

Clothing: Pearl Izumi white farmer-johns. Certainly more visible than black in the dark.
More aero than my other winter clothes (I have a long ride and it's always
upwind). This was about the only low-drag stuff I could find that isn't black.
That's better.

Gloves: Neon yellow w/3M reflective strip also help cars see hand signals better.

Shoes: Ankle-high hiking boots on BMX pedals.

Inner tubes: nothing special

Clothing: Old Performance 'loose' tights with windblock front. Layers on top, usually t-shirt, sweatshirt, and windbreaking shell with fuzzy-lined neoprene skull cap. Add fleece vest under shell if it's really cold.
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Old 03-14-11, 05:30 AM   #3
UnsafeAlpine
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Gloves: Lightweight fleece under homemade bar mitts.

Shoes: Cheapo insulated boots on BMX pedals.

Inner tubes: Whatever I have.

Clothing: Skull cap, layers of shirts, jeans. Soft shell jacket for warm days (above 25 degrees) and down parka for cold days.
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Old 03-14-11, 08:07 AM   #4
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Most of my rides have been in -15 to -25C weather.

Gloves: poly liners, wool with leather palm, shell mitt for colder days or strong headwinds

Head: open face stretch balaclava, respirator, ski goggles, helmet, neck gaiter

Feet: light wool socks, Lake MXZ-302 winter cycling boots

Legs: stretch thermal underwear, poly fleece thermal underwear, cycling liner shorts, wind shell pant

Upper body: long sleeve poly baselayer, poly fleece or heavy weight cycling jersey, wool sweater, scarf around stomach


I tried several balaclavas that cover my mouth and nose, but none prevented my glasses from fogging. Neither did the psolar heat exchanger mask. I like that the Gorilla Balaclava that I bought has a removable face cover. I had some velcro sewn into my stretch balaclava so I can use the face cover with it. On warmer days I'll velcro one side and let the cover dangle so I can open and close it as necessary.

I like the Lake cycling boots, but they don't have much insulation. I highly recommend trying them on first if possible as mine aren't large enough to wear a heavy sock. If you can't try them on it might be worth order two different sizes and eating the return shipping for one of them. Going with the wide instead of regular width may also help.

After getting drenched in sweat on many rides before Christmas I stopped wearing a upper body shell layer. No matter how breathable a windproof layer claims to be, they trap too much moisture. After I switched to a wool sweater as my outer layer, I was much more comfortable on my rides. I still carry a windshell in my pannier just incase I need it. My stomach gets much colder than my legs or the rest of my upper torso. Wrapping a long scarf around my waist works very well and keeps me from needed another full upperbody layer.

I'm going to keep my eyes open for thick wool thermal underwear for my legs, I think they could be quite good. I might also get a snowboard helmet, preferrably non-insulated and with large vents. I think my current bike helmet is inhibiting the airflow through my ski goggles. The vent at the top of the goggles rests against my helmet which may be resulting in some fogging.
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Old 03-14-11, 08:10 AM   #5
nelson249
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Gloves: Depending on the temperature, cheap department store ski gloves with grippy bits on the fingers and palms or an old pair of thinsulate leather gloves.

Shoes: Canadian Forces surplus combat boots with double layer socks and platform pedals.

Inner tubes: Normal ones.

Clothing: Skull cap, cheap wicking sports shirt, light weight jogging jacket and/or a fleece sweater, waterproof/windproof work jacket with pit zips (with a construction reflective safety vest). Stanfields thermal underwear and cheap waterproof rain pants. When it got really cold I wore, Sugoi Entrant thermal tights under the rain pants.

One thing in relation to wheels. I really want disc brakes and an internal geared rear hub on my next winter bike.
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Old 03-14-11, 09:39 AM   #6
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My location is Montreal Canada and temperatures here can vary tremendously so winter conditions can include driving in -30degree weather one week and driving in 6in of water the next. I`m a skier so some things do double duty. Aero and winter don`t make much sense to me because road and snow conditions are the limiting factors here.

Helmet: Carrera downhill racing helmet. Warmer and better coverage than a bicycle helmet.
Full-face balaclava (a couple that get rotated)
Ski gloves: In my case Liki and Desent but any good gloves will do
Goggles: Oakley ( only used in extreme conditions)
Boots: Sorel with felt liners. These are winter boots and do their job well.
Pedals: EVO BMX pedals with screws not pins
Tires: Nokian 240 studded tires
Pants: North Face full bib or Rip Curl snowboard pants
Jacket: Bolder Gear uninsulated shells or Rip Curl uninsulated shells. Warmth is never a problem cycling or skiing - perspiration wicking is.
Shirt: MEC nylon/spandex turtlenecks
Socks: Sport specific socks
Sunglasses: Oakley M-Frame usually with orange lenses to improve contrast.
Grips: Ergon GC-3
Brakes: Shimano cantilevers with CoolStop salmon pads. Perfectly capable of locking up a studded tire (which isn`t a good idea anyway).

Potholes and other challenging driving conditions cheerfuly provided by those fat cats at city hall.
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Old 03-14-11, 07:34 PM   #7
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I bought some Swiss Made hiking boots from Target, 1/2 size larger than usual. Cost $50. Those boots, with one pair of wool socks have kept my feet plenty warm. I won't be doing the chemical-handwarmers-in-the-running-shoes trick much anymore.
Those boots work with either platform or toe strap pedals and weight is not an issue as it is with other winter hiking boots.
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Old 03-14-11, 07:49 PM   #8
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Well the coldest I saw this winter was -7F.

Gloves: Thinsulate gloves with a foldable thinsulate mitten section that could be folded back if not needed. On really cold days I wore a thin set of nike gloves underneath.

Headgear: polartec balaclava, or lightweight fleece balaclava, knit cap with face mask worn over throat, or thin coolmax type cape

Tights: Pearl Izumi mid-weight with standard bike shorts underneath. On a few really cold days I wore a loose-fitting pair of lightweight running pants over top.

Jacket: Foxwear in all weather, snow, rain, windy, etc. Always paired with a coolmax baselayer an on cold days with a mid-weight fleece pullover mid-layer.

Shoes: Columbia winter boots paired with platform pedals or my MB SPD shoes with neoprene booties or my standard cycling shoes with booties. (Based on what bike I was on)

Socks: Normally a mixed ski sock with wool toes and heels under a heavier merino wool sock and with toe warmers on top of the toes and between the pairs of socks.

Rode two different MB this winter and can say that disc brakes do rule in the messy conditions. Also want a IGH for next winter as I had too many days of the rear cassette pretty much freezing solid.
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