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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 12-08-13, 12:12 PM   #1
Murray Missile 
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I've reached a new low.

Low temperature that is, my first ride as an adult under 20 deg. Fahrenheit. It was 18 Deg. with 4 Deg. wind chill (not factoring in my own wind speed ) and 14 MPH wind with blowing snow. It was great! Need to modify some of my gear a bit but I thoroughly enjoyed it. A balmy day compared to what some of you ride in I know but a milestone for me. Winter won't seem so long if I can keep the momentum going.
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Old 12-08-13, 12:20 PM   #2
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Good for you! I haven't been on a bike in two/three weeks and I feel like chit. I need to get out there.
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Old 12-08-13, 12:26 PM   #3
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Nice. I also hit a new low on Friday, 14F for a short time.



This is not normal for Seattle.
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Old 12-08-13, 12:27 PM   #4
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Had to cut my ride short today due to cold hands. I have had cold hands before but this was terrible. I was so miserable that I came back within 30 minutes. Normally after 30 mins of effort, I warm up but today seemed different and I bailed. Time for new gloves as mine see to be very ineffective now after two seasons a few times through the wash.
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Old 12-08-13, 02:30 PM   #5
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Good for you! I'm in the south, so I always have to qualify claims about a cold ride with (for me). I'll say "had a very cold (for me) ride today: 28-degrees!" And, by the way, that is my coldest ride, so to me you are pretty hardcore
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Old 12-08-13, 07:05 PM   #6
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Had to cut my ride short today due to cold hands. I have had cold hands before but this was terrible. I was so miserable that I came back within 30 minutes. Normally after 30 mins of effort, I warm up but today seemed different and I bailed. Time for new gloves as mine see to be very ineffective now after two seasons a few times through the wash.
I bought a pair of Pearl Izumi lobster claws several years ago but until today had only worn them when plowing snow with my garden tractor. Wore them today and my hands were nice and warm, only the tip of my right index finger got slightly cooler from resting it against the trigger shifter. My toes were OK-ish until I got off the bike, I was wearing my Shimano MTB shoes with 2 pair of wool socks, I think I would have done better with only one pair as my toes were a little squished and that's not good for warmth. I took my new build today with SPD's and 700 X 32's and it handled great but I think any future sub-freezing rides will be on my original beater bike which I have decided to keep and make my dedicated Winter bike. It has 26 X 1.75's; platforms with extra large Power Straps so I can wear nice warm insulated boots and it has a lot more stand over room. If I'm going to ride in much more than a dusting of snow though I think I'm going to need different tires on it. I have treaded city tires on it now with with narrow tread grooves that will pack up easily. I have a usable pair of MTB knobbies and another set of wheels I could throw on it for this season.

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Good for you! I'm in the south, so I always have to qualify claims about a cold ride with (for me). I'll say "had a very cold (for me) ride today: 28-degrees!" And, by the way, that is my coldest ride, so to me you are pretty hardcore
Until today 28 was my record. For someone who was raised in the Midwest I'm not really an "extreme" weather kind of guy. My ideal riding temps are 40 to 80 degrees, with 55 to 65 being "perfect". Once I get 10 degrees outside of the ideal range I have to force myself to get on the bike. I honestly wasn't going to go today but my wife gave me grief about buying the cold weather gear and then not using it. I'm glad she did.
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Old 12-08-13, 10:50 PM   #7
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me too 10 degrees. down from 25. MTB on a trail though so it wasn't windy as there were a lot of moments where I was spinning the rear wheel and going O MPH. my civilian winter jacket is still drenched in sweat. oUt for a solid 1.5 hours.
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Old 12-16-13, 08:04 AM   #8
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Got down to 11/-11 with 1/-17 windchill on my commute. Down from 14. I was pretty comfortable except for my toes.
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Old 12-16-13, 08:29 AM   #9
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Went to the LBS and shelled out $94 (ouch) for a set of winter gloves. Went out for a ride and came home with hot hands! At that price, no more nose wiping with my gloves anymore.
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Old 12-16-13, 09:24 PM   #10
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Went to the LBS and shelled out $94 (ouch) for a set of winter gloves. Went out for a ride and came home with hot hands! At that price, no more nose wiping with my gloves anymore.

Tie a cheap handkerchief around your glove.

I picked up a pair of Scott ski goggles for the super cold days. We had snow the past few days but I wimped out because it was the real fine powdery stuff that doesn't pack but gets pushed into piles all over the side streets and is like trying to ride on greased ball bearings. My FWD car with aggressive tread all season tires was even having traction issues and that rarely happens. I can't afford to fall and get hurt, it just wasn't worth the risk. Bummed me out not to ride but I have plenty of Winter left, heck, technically it's still Autumn!
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Old 12-18-13, 09:10 PM   #11
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Congratulations on the new low! I too have been pushing my limits this year, so far I have ridden in 0 F on my short commute. I find I am usually overdressed once I get moving.
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Old 01-10-14, 04:56 PM   #12
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The new low temp. for me was on Christmas Day 19 F for 13 miles.
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Old 01-10-14, 05:55 PM   #13
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Went to the LBS and shelled out $94 (ouch) for a set of winter gloves. Went out for a ride and came home with hot hands! At that price, no more nose wiping with my gloves anymore.
Just get a pair of terry wrist bands like they use when playing tennis or racquetball. Slip one over the wrist of your glove and you're good to go.

Kudos to those trying cold weather riding. There is no reason to stay home just because your water bottle freezes.
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Old 01-10-14, 09:26 PM   #14
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I decided I wanted to ride my bike this winter, but since I live in NH, I knew I had to prepare a bit. A ride in November in the low 40s was a learning experience, as my frozen toes in my summer shoes acted as a persuasive instructor. Who knew they were so ventilated? I splurged for some Lake mxz303 winter shoes and Nokian w106 studded tires (700cX35) and took my first really cold ride yesterday morning. Did 22 miles, starting at 16 degrees and ending at 24. My toes were ok, but did start to get cold after 90 minutes, and were a bit uncomfortable when I got home.

I thought the Lakes would be good to about 10* but evidently not in my case. I've got big feet (or at least long ones)... Normally I wear a 47 shoe, and got the Lakes in 48 (oddly they don't make a 49, but do make a 50- but that would have been nuts to consider.) The 48 is decently roomy, enough for one medium weight wool sock, but not a thick pair or certainly not two pairs. But my options were limited so I guess I'll try chemical toe warmers the next time the temps get below 30 or so.

I enjoyed the ride a lot, it's a whole other world riding in winter, and riding over icy patches with a studded tire was a great fun. Since I tend to run hot, having a super powerful air conditioner on tap was also nice. I took my lobster gloves off after 30 minutes or so to open my pit zips; my hands were a bit sweaty, which made it tricky to put the gloves on again, since the liner stuck a bit to my hands when I pulled them out and tangled the inside of the glove enough to make it a challenge to put em back on. High drama!

also I was surprised how slow I rode. I tried to put in a decent effort, but averaged only 10.5 on a route I usually do 14+ on. What gives with that? Is the winter air that thick or am I just out of practice? Of course I did try to pace myself so as not to sweat too much, but I have to admit that after two hours I was ready for a cup of cocoa and a hot shower!

great forum here guys , I'm enjoying reading about your experiences. Very impressed with the ultra cold cycling some of you are into!

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Old 01-10-14, 09:56 PM   #15
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I haven't been on the bike for 2 weeks now, I'm in a rural area where the roads don't get cleaned off all that well and we've had a lot of blowing and drifting. It finally got above freezing today but it is raining and it's a mess right now. Any road that had packed snow or ice is pretty much impassable right now. Even if I had studs and could have ridden this week I wouldn't, too many vehicles sliding around. It's been a little iffy even driving the car at times, plus the temps earlier this week would have kept me off the bike though even if it had been clear. I was outside for about an hour clearing my driveway in insulated coveralls and heavy boots and still got cold. We also had one death due to the low temps. A young man hit a snow drift and tried to walk for help in the 45 below wind chills, he didn't make it. It just hasn't been worth it trying to ride lately but it looks like we may finally get rid of some of the snow and ice on the roads in the coming week. I'm itching to get back on and ride. I was going to build a dedicated ice bike for next year but I probably wouldn't ride it enough to justify it. However, I have an extra pair of wheels and a pair of studded tires to put on them is doable for next Winter.
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Old 01-11-14, 06:34 AM   #16
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I think that my low so far was the Tour de Frost, a ride for charity. Rode 28 miles. Temp at the start was 10'F, rising to 14'F at the finish. Rode my MTB and wore what I use for snowshoeing.
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Old 01-16-14, 07:27 PM   #17
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I had a new PR last week in the Twin Cities: -19F, -45F wind chill. My commute is 9.4 miles, and I never really felt cold. I think what I was wearing is good for another 20 or so degrees!
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Old 01-21-14, 12:06 PM   #18
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A new low for me, I rode about an hour in 14 F temps this morning with North winds at 15-30 mph, and I think that is probably the limit of my cold weather gear. Prolly not going to try riding again later this week when it is supposed to get into single digits (unless maybe the winds die down).
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Old 01-21-14, 03:24 PM   #19
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And for me also. This morning, temp 11 degrees F, windchill minus 6; I rode about 33 minutes. Light blowing snow. I wore 5 layers on top, 3 on the bottom and feet in insulated boots with chemical toe warmers. It's all good.
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Old 01-23-14, 09:48 PM   #20
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New low today, -3F, -25 with wind chill. Supposed to get colder next week - new lows... records I'd rather not break
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Old 01-24-14, 01:32 PM   #21
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This has been a cold winter for everyone in the Eastern US. I set a new record low of 15 F last week and broke that record this morning at 12 F, with a windchill below zero. I've already had more bike commutes in temperatures below 20 this year than any winter in seven years of bike commute year-round.
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Old 01-24-14, 03:58 PM   #22
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This morning it was 4 F when I left the house; it shot up to 7 F by the time I got to work. On the way home it was a balmy 12 F. Yeah, winter is not my favorite time of year, but I refuse to let it keep me from riding. One good thing is that the daylight is starting to get just a bit longer each day!
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Old 01-24-14, 04:32 PM   #23
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I haven't been riding much but it isn't the temps, we keep getting just enough snow to keep all the side roads ice and snow packed with almost constant sustained winds of 15-20 MPH with gusts up to 40 MPH. I can handle the cold, I'll fight the wind, I'll venture out on snow in the right conditions but combine high winds with iffy surface conditions and severe wind chills and I'm bowing out. I went down a few days ago when we did get a halfway decent day with no wind and fortunately just bruised my pride a little. If it had been cold and windy, something happened where I couldn't get back up and my cel phone had failed me or been damaged it could have been very bad. We've had 2 weather related deaths of stranded motorists in the past month in my area, I don't plan to be number 3 and as badly as I want to ride I can't risk an injury that would cause me to miss work. Everybody be careful out there!
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Old 01-25-14, 07:42 AM   #24
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revised, yesterday is was -6F and it's official, a co-worker said, "You're f$#@in nuts!"
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Old 01-25-14, 08:22 AM   #25
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revised, yesterday is was -6F and it's official, a co-worker said, "You're f$#@in nuts!"
Your co-worker may be right but don't let that stop you. Seriously, my helmet's off to you, "You're a better man than I Gunga Din." Although I think PennytheDog holds the record in this thread. BRRRRR!!!

We're having more 40 MPH wind gusts as I type, I'm having a hard time convincing myself to even go to the Post Office to pickup bike parts I've been waiting for....IN THE CAR! Guess I'm just a fair weather rider.
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