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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 12-29-13, 06:25 AM   #1
lenA
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getting ready for -15 F

I'm gonna give it a shot for an hour or so....just because

I have my outfit picked out, and the Trucker is in good running order.

I expect everything on the bike that moves, to move reluctantly, so I'm staying out of the hills.

What are your experiences in those kind of temps?
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Old 12-29-13, 08:03 AM   #2
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My coldest is -14f. I remember actually overheating from being overdressed. I had a fleece vest on that I didn't need. And my feet were the most difficult to keep warm. I had two balaclavas on and my Visorgogs frosted up so bad I had to remove them. Despite my eyeglasses, I thought my eyeballs would freeze. They teared up alot, but everything was good. I had a pair of snowpants over the XC pants I normally wear down to zero.
Since then. I've ridden in below zero temps several times. The only changes I made were. I purchased a pair of NEOS Explorer overshoes that my snow sneakers fit inside good. I use homemade power grips to hold them in. The overshoes will handle any temperature that my area will have. The feet stay warm and toasty inside those. They're big and heavy, but a sacrifice worth taking. I bought a pair of Uvex double lens snow goggles. When I cover up my mouth and nose, the goggles don't fog up. And I'll bring along the snowpants just in case I might need them. But usually in 0f to -10 I don't need them. I use Loki convertible mittens, which are excellent in the bitter cold. I like to grease my cables inside the cable housing to keep those from freezing up. I put it on thick to help keep moisture out. It works. My derailleur rarely freezes up on me. With all I've been thru the past seven years. I feel I can handle just about any temperature thrown my way. I like to follow the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Feb/Mar. I get my clothing tips from them and other riders in Alaska and Canada.
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Old 12-29-13, 08:21 AM   #3
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Typically, around here anyways, if it's well below 0 F, there's very little wind. Which makes it much easier to ride through. Still gotta take it seriously though. Frostbite sucks.

Layers. No cotton. Cover all skin as much as possible. Take it very slow at first, try not to sweat. Resist the urge to start pounding in order to get the blood moving, you might overshoot the ideal core temperature and the next thing you know you're wet and that's liable to be trouble.
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Old 12-29-13, 10:41 AM   #4
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I can get away without wearing glasses so I'll use just goggles.

Won't venture too far from home

I've thought about getting warmed up first on the Airdyne then quickly dressing and taking off.

I have a rack to carry a goose down parka, snow pants and chopper mittens.

A thermos of my cocoa and butter concoction.

Any unique mechanical situations?

Oh...this is so exciting.....
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Old 12-29-13, 11:11 AM   #5
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Stay close to home, and experiment! I find it's best to be cold when you leave the house. If you have a slight chill when you get started, you'll be less likely to overheat. Go slow, and if anything is questionable, go home and try something else. That said....enjoy! When everything gets sorted just right, negative temps aren't very intimidating anymore.
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Old 12-29-13, 12:23 PM   #6
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Stay close to home, and experiment! I find it's best to be cold when you leave the house. If you have a slight chill when you get started, you'll be less likely to overheat. Go slow, and if anything is questionable, go home and try something else. That said....enjoy! When everything gets sorted just right, negative temps aren't very intimidating anymore.
True that.
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Old 12-29-13, 12:36 PM   #7
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It feels positively balmy in IA with a high of 14 compared to WI today (minus 15, wow). I like my lobster style gloves for really cold weather and I like my leather boots as well with nice thick socks. A good untreated wind shell (these are getting a bit harder to find) is a big plus as well.
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Old 12-29-13, 01:10 PM   #8
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Any unique mechanical situations?
.....
My experience, if the bike is well tuned and lubed and everything works before you go, the cold in and of itself, shouldn't really affect anything mechanically. It might take a little more pressure to shift gears and stuff but -15 is liable to be a dry cold. Nothing should freeze up the way it might in sloppy +30 degree weather.
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Old 12-29-13, 02:03 PM   #9
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It'll be -15F tomorrow with a 3-4 mph breeze at daybreak

My usual cutoff is 15-20 above
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Old 12-29-13, 02:50 PM   #10
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I've never gone out in anything below 0. Good luck, soldier!

In other news, I was thinking of going for a ride yesterday but it was around 42 degrees. It felt too warm to ride!
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Old 12-29-13, 08:26 PM   #11
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I was riding in -30f (wind chill included) 30-40mph wind gusts, it was kind of brutal.

This is what I wore:
1. wool socks, leather boots treated with sno-seal
2. poly long johns, khakis and thin nylon outer jogging pants
3. under armor t shirt, cotton sweatshirt, fleece jacket and nylon outer jacket.
4. wool mittens with leather outer mitten shell
5. scarf, balaclava, helmet and regular glasses

Start out a little chilly and you will soon warm up, protection from the wind is the biggest thing for me along with balance on ice.
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Old 12-29-13, 09:11 PM   #12
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A few weeks ago it was -5 for about a week straight, and I commuted every day. The first day was an experiment, and I overheated. I'd say snow pants are too much, as they are meant to keep you warm even if you're sitting in snow. For me, two pairs of gloves, two pairs of wool socks, some long johns under my pants, and a shirt, sweater, and light coat are enough. Something to cover your ears and eyes is definitely necessary, or you'll have a sharp pain at the ridge of your nose that is not fun. I don't usually cover my face, but I have a beard, so it's not needed.

Good luck! After you've done it a couple of times, anything over 0 is easy and not worth dressing fancy.
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