Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-02-13, 05:26 PM   #1
Greg M
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: long island, NY
Bikes: 13 salsa vaya, 90 klein pinnacle 01 lemond poprad, 98 klein quantum race, 91 trek 1100
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
cold temps vs. miles

So in the thread "how cold is too cold" I mentioned the coldest I'd commuted in was 25f so far this year. Now this is on a 12 mile one way commute. I leave my house at 5:15 am so its dark, and the return trip is at 3:00pm.
The first mile is usually cold till I warm up, then comfortable for the next 6 or so.. After that I've usually broken a good sweat. so when I pull up at a stop light for any amount of time I can get a little chilled. So balancing clothing ,temp, and distance can be hard.
what I am wondering is those of you who commute in near zero to negative temps how far is that commute ? If my commute were 5-6 miles I figure I'm good to possible single digits so I might go intermodal when it gets much colder and ride to the train about 4-5 miles. Of course that means using a real beater cause the station is in not so great of an area and I'd have to leave the bike locked up outside all day.
Greg M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-13, 05:53 PM   #2
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 45,771
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
I have commuted at -40C/F. My commute was 6.7 km each way. Just short enough so I could dress warmly when I left the house and not overheat by the time I got to work.

But I've also done a century in bitterly cold temps:
http://www.machka.net/brevet/Coldest_Century.htm
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-13, 05:55 PM   #3
droy45
tougher than a boiled owl
 
droy45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Rocky Coast of Maine
Bikes: Fetish Cycles Fixation / Fuji S12S / Gary Fisher MTB / Raleigh Grand Prix / Ross Professional / Kent comfort cruiser
Posts: 1,125
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well my commute is 15.5 miles one way and if its that cold out, I will not sweat at all period. I try to always pace myself and not over do it especially in cold temps, because your body is consuming alot of energy trying to stay warm you can tire very quickly if your commute is fairly long. I will put on an extra under layer at that temperature and generally start out a little cold and quickly come up to temperature to be comfortable. In all my years of winter cycling I found that tempertures below 20degF I've needed to concentrate on staying warm and not worry about getting hot. In the mid temperatures like 30's and 40's things get pretty tricky to stay comfortable and practice makes perfect. Warmer than that then its shorts and jerseys etc so adjust that as needed.
droy45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-13, 06:19 PM   #4
Greg M
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: long island, NY
Bikes: 13 salsa vaya, 90 klein pinnacle 01 lemond poprad, 98 klein quantum race, 91 trek 1100
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think I run a little bit warmer than most . I can break a sweat standing still. I guess I also have to
work on pacing myself. I've stopped sprinting for lights , which is tough since I have 23 on my
route.
Greg M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-13, 12:24 PM   #5
Bluish Green
Bicycle Commuter
 
Bluish Green's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Springfield, IL
Bikes:
Posts: 727
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you wear merino wool as a baselayer and pace yourself, the sweat becomes less of an issue. The wool keeps much of its insulating value, even when wet.

My commute is 6 miles, and I have done it down to near zero F, with temperature not really being a problem. At bitter cold temps, and assuming you have a good wool baselayer, the hands and feet become the limiting factors. For a six mile ride, thick wool socks are good enough to get me there.

Another thing to consider in bitter cold is what your Plan B is, if you have a mechanical breakdown you can't immediately fix. Rare occurrences, sure, but know what your plan is. Carry a cellphone with a couple of emergency options, etc., or whatever is appropriate for your route.

At six miles, you are talking about 40 minutes in the bitter cold, and absolute worst case breakdown of 3 miles from home or work. At 12 miles, double both of those numbers. Perhaps carry extra warming layers in case of emergency, if appropriate.

FWIW, I've never had a breakdown strand me like that, I'm just considering possibilities.

Good luck, I wish you success. Beating bad weather while cycling can be a joyful and rewarding accomplishment.
Bluish Green is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-13, 08:28 AM   #6
MNBikeCommuter
Senior Member
 
MNBikeCommuter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Minnesota
Bikes: Cannondale '92 T600 '95 H600 '01 RT1000
Posts: 592
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Back in the days of a short 10 mile commute, I'd go down to -10F, but didn't really enjoy it. :-) The last ten years, it's been 16 miles to the light rail station, or 23 miles all the way to work. I've "gone soft" and sort of bottom out at 5F aiming for the light rail, or 10F going all the way. It's a lengthy commute time-wise under summer conditions, and the added time in the winter due to cold, roads, etc., have put it into the "not worth it" category below those temps.
MNBikeCommuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-13, 11:40 AM   #7
Wilbur Bud
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Fishers Indiana
Bikes: Longbikes Slipstream
Posts: 356
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
My commute is 13 miles in each direction. Central Indiana temperature range is 0F to 105F, plus heat index and minus windchill. I don't keep detailed weather records but probably only 1-5 days per year at 5F or below (wind chill would make that range appear lower), worse for me is the headwind as somehow it seems to switch seasonally and I generally get a strong headwind on the way into work during the colder months, which is an agonizing leg-eater, but staying warm is more related to dressing to suit conditions so it's been a few years since I arrived at work really too cold.
__________________
Longbikes Slipstream
Wilbur Bud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-13, 02:07 PM   #8
Fynn
Senior Member
 
Fynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Reports of sweating in the winter always baffle me. I am not arguing that it doesn't happen, or that it shouldn't but personally, I never have it happen. I dress just warm enough to not be unpleasant at the start of a ride. That usually involves peeling off a couple of items before the ride is over but I never let myself get hot enough to sweat.

Regardless, the length of ride shouldn't have much to do with it unless you are talking several hours. I usually ride around 20 miles in these temps and again, after warming up, few clothing adjustments are ever needed.

Then again, I never "sprint" to lights or anything else. I think maintaining a moderately hard pace is the key. Enough to stay warm, but not enough effort to sweat. If I am sweating that is a sign that I am over dressed.
Fynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-13, 02:36 PM   #9
bent-not-broken
back in the saddle
 
bent-not-broken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central WI
Bikes: Raleigh Olympian, Trek 400, 500, 1500, 6700, Madone 6.9, Sekai 2400, Schwinn Passage, KOM, Super Letour, Nishiki Sport, Vision R45, Bike E, Volae Team
Posts: 628
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When my commute was 5 miles I rode every day down to -20F. The issue was making sure I had no exposed skin, with eyes a challenge. At the end of the 20-25 minutes on the bike by finger tips and toes were reaching their limit.

I now commute 15 miles and 8F with a 12 mph headwind is my coldest. I definetly sweat and even with merino base layers I get chilled. Wind block on the front and back venting help. I find at 50 minutes my fingers and toes are reaching their limit. Any more layers and I would drown in sweat.
bent-not-broken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-13, 05:28 PM   #10
Greg M
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: long island, NY
Bikes: 13 salsa vaya, 90 klein pinnacle 01 lemond poprad, 98 klein quantum race, 91 trek 1100
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
QUOTE=bent-not-broken;16301096]When my commute was 5 miles I rode every day down to -20F. The issue was making sure I had no exposed skin, with eyes a challenge. At the end of the 20-25 minutes on the bike by finger tips and toes were reaching their limit.

I now commute 15 miles and 8F with a 12 mph headwind is my coldest. I definetly sweat and even with merino base layers I get chilled. Wind block on the front and back venting help. I find at 50 minutes my fingers and toes are reaching their limit. Any more layers and I would drown in sweat.[/QUOTE]
Glad to know Im not the only one sweating in the cold. This morning it was a balmy 36 f . Shorts , windblock legwarmers,
wool socks, wicking tshirt, windblock softshell, and bandana over baldhead under helmet and full finger gloves with minimal
insulation. By the time I got to work the bandana was soaked. I've worked outdoors all
my life and know how to dress for the elements. At least this morning I didnt feel a chill.
Forecast tomorrow am 50 and drizzle. Shorts and tshirt. Nice !!
Greg M is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:34 AM.