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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 10-10-11, 08:20 PM   #1
chuck556
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first time riding in the winter

50 degrees this morning in sunny phx az. Have to go buy winter apparel.
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Old 10-10-11, 11:12 PM   #2
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I had the same thought the first time temperatures here in Oregon dipped to 50 (I'm from Florida), but I'm very surprised to say that its not that cold. 60 was really nice today.
At 50 I prefer my little gloves because my hands get cold easy, and those same gloves (from the Target dollar section) are good down to freezing. I usually wear just my windbreaker.
Below 40 I use a long sleeve t-shirt or thin sweater under my windbreaker, maybe 2 layers of those kid gloves. Knee socks.
Below freezing I add my scarf, but I usually just use it to keep my neck and chin warm until I work up some heat on my own. Leggings too.

I'm usually overdressing still, but thats good, in my opinion. I'd rather be ripping off my scarf than being miserable the whole ride being cold with hurting hands or feet.

We'll bike in our first winter together!
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Old 10-11-11, 12:25 AM   #3
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Below 50....might be too much for me. I couldn't imagine rain or snow. Apparently I am a fair weather cyclist.
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Old 10-11-11, 02:22 PM   #4
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50 I am still riding with shorts and t-shirt. 50 is the perfect riding weather !
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Old 10-11-11, 06:37 PM   #5
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I commute all winter outside of Kansas City. I do enjoy it most of the time.
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Old 10-11-11, 08:17 PM   #6
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50 I am still riding with shorts and t-shirt. 50 is the perfect riding weather !
You are from Michigan .it gets like -200…that doesn't count. Plus...you probably like the Michigan wolverines...so anything you say is bs.
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Old 10-11-11, 08:20 PM   #7
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I commute all winter outside of Kansas City. I do enjoy it most of the time.
I chuckled at your police saying.
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Old 10-13-11, 02:08 AM   #8
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You are from Michigan .it gets like -200…that doesn't count. Plus...you probably like the Michigan wolverines...so anything you say is bs.
...living here in between MI (-200 degrees) and MN (-2000, I think)... wondering how cold it'll get this year, and wondering how nuts I am for thinking I can do this.
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Old 10-13-11, 04:56 AM   #9
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50 I am still riding with shorts and t-shirt. 50 is the perfect riding weather !
You are from Michigan .it gets like -200…that doesn't count. Plus...you probably like the Michigan wolverines...so anything you say is bs.
It's all relative. I ride all year in DC. In 2010 the high was about 104, and the low was 15 one morning. Winter riding is great -- cars are more patient, the trail is almost completely empty, and you don't sweat. Just make sure you're cold when you first start, otherwise you'll probably over-heat.
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Old 10-13-11, 09:46 PM   #10
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Just make sure you're cold when you first start, otherwise you'll probably over-heat.
I thought of this went I went out this evening to work. 52 degrees, was comfortable in capris, merino base and hi-vis yellow jersey. Went back in, ditched the base layer. Rode in short-sleeves and lycra-ish capris, perfect for 52.
One other advantage to fall riding: no sweat! I didn't even have to shower when I got to work, that was awesome!
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Old 10-13-11, 09:48 PM   #11
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OP, how cold does it get in winter in AZ? No judgements here, I promise. I know it's all relative, I'm just a bit jealous as I know it will be bitter cold, and I'm not sure I can make it in sub-zero temps. So I just want to live vicariously through you, ok?
Someday, I'll be a snowbird, but I gotta work first
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Old 10-18-11, 08:05 AM   #12
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Real suggestions for the OP:

If you have a bunch of short sleeve jerseys already, just get arm warmers. If you have massive arms be very careful with your selection... a lot of them run quite small. I'm 6' 175 with slim arms and I can't hardly wear Nashbar's cheap-o arm warmers in size large they're so fricken tight.

It is also nice to have at least one longsleeve jersey. If you're going to ride below 50 I'd get thermal. 50-55 you can use standard jersey material. On top of that if you need you can layer a windbreaker, and I highly suggest vented or zippered armpits.

I wear tights below 50, maybe 55 if it's really windy. Anyway, I would do these things because Phoenix is too damn hot to ride during the summer, so it seems like you ought to take advantage of the mild winter.
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Old 10-28-11, 10:42 PM   #13
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20F ride today. I stop at -20F unless I am unusually motivated.
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Old 10-29-11, 06:24 AM   #14
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I would also strongly urge you to just wear stuff you already have. For most commuters, this is not an extended trip through Greenland. There's a building on both ends with space heating and shelter.

Wost case scenario for me in DC, for example - Getting a flat with 6 miles left to go when the temp is 17F and I've worked up a sweat (which I almost never do by dressing properly). I keep those hand warmers used for hunting in my panniers and a goretex shell at all times, so that helps. I could walk the bike to a business or the subway, walk to work, call my wife, etc. I could make due and not freeze.

Leopard seals will not come for me.

When you consider this, you can basically throw all the "cotton kills" BS out of the window and just wear regular stuff. Don't overdress is the main thing. There's no need to stock your closet with all new clothes just for riding a bicycle in the cold, unless you just really like doing that.

Last edited by TurbineBlade; 10-29-11 at 06:28 AM.
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