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What's your ideal bike commuting temperature?

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View Poll Results: What's your ideal commuting temperature?
<40 F (5 C)
3.23%
41-45 F (5-7 C)
1.61%
46-50 F (8-10 C)
3.23%
51-55 F (11-13 C)
12.90%
56-60 F (14-16 C)
14.52%
61-65 F (17-18 C)
16.13%
66-70 F (19-21 C)
24.19%
71-75 F (22-24 C)
11.29%
76-80 F (25-27 C)
1.61%
>80 F (27 C)
11.29%
Voters: 62. You may not vote on this poll

What's your ideal bike commuting temperature?

Old 11-02-15, 10:22 AM
  #1  
Steely Dan
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What's your ideal bike commuting temperature?

this morning it was 53 degrees (F) when i left, and as i rode i thought to myself "this has got to be the most prefect temperature in the universe for riding". warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt, but cool enough to keep the sweating to a minimum. there's just no better biking temperature for me than 53 degrees.

so where is your thermal sweet spot?

for the purposes of the poll, assume other conditions are good, ie. no precipitation, no excessive wind, etc.
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Old 11-02-15, 10:25 AM
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What about relative humidity? That's a pretty big factor.

For me, about 55 or 56 degrees F with <50% humidity.
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Old 11-02-15, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
What about relative humidity? That's a pretty big factor.
for the purposes of the poll, assume a normal amount of humidity for your area, not excessively high or low.
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Old 11-02-15, 10:34 AM
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Anywhere from around 50 to 80 with low humidity is perfect for me.
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Old 11-02-15, 10:37 AM
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I voted for 11-13C. Not cold enough to have to wear shoe covers, but enough for cooling.
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Old 11-02-15, 10:40 AM
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I wish there were more choices available below 40F. Listening to the ice breaking under the tires at -30F and nobody else outside but wilderness
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Old 11-02-15, 11:10 AM
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I like it a bit warmer than most, more like 65F-80F, regardless of humidity, although I ride in a wide range of temperature as shown below. If I had to pick a 5 degree range it'd be 70F-75F.

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Old 11-02-15, 11:39 AM
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There are some days when I get my bike out and think, "What an awesome morning". While I wouldn't go so far as to say that can happen at any temperature, it can really be any time of year. There is so much more than temp that influences that.

I prefer it to be calm, and I like having the sun out. A little humidity is welcome in the morning but not so much on a hot afternoon.

Some of my favorite moments on my commute have been in the dead of winter after working late, especially with a little bit of snow falling. In the middle of the week it can be almost silent at midnight or one in the morning. As long at it's not too cold, I love that. However, winter in general is not my favorite time to be on a bike and I'd rather not work that late very often.
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Old 11-02-15, 12:05 PM
  #9  
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I left for work later than the OP did this morning but was thinking along the same lines. Short sleeves and shorts make for ideal weather for me. It's warm enough that my muscles are as limber as they're going to be and not too warm to get all sweaty.
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Old 11-02-15, 12:06 PM
  #10  
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I voted >80F. When we get those temps, there is no real humidity. It is awesome, I fly, and I look for detours to extend the trip both ways. This morning it was in the 40s, incredibly clammy, and lots of standing water. I trudged.
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Old 11-02-15, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
There are some days when I get my bike out and think, "What an awesome morning". While I wouldn't go so far as to say that can happen at any temperature, it can really be any time of year. There is so much more than temp that influences that.
of course.

the point of this thread is not "what temperature is the only temperature that you like bike commuting in?", it's about what your personal thermal ideal is. i can enjoy a ride on a frozen january morning, or a steamy july afternoon too, but i would not describe either of those as my thermal ideal because the frozen january morning requires me to suit up like an astronaut going on an EVA (which is annoying), and the the steamy july afternoon means i turn into sweat-zilla (which is also annoying).

53 is my ideal because i can ride comfortably in my most favorite and easy riding attire (shorts and t-shirt) while also not having to deal with my body's ridiculous propensity to sweat like an open fire hydrant at the slightest hint or indication that i might be getting a tiny bit warm. it's not that other temperatures are bad or intolerable or incapable of being enjoyed for what they are, 53 is simply the temperature where every thing is the easiest and most convenient for me to ride my bike to work.

what is the temperature where you don't have to consider a single thing regarding the temperature?

Last edited by Steely Dan; 11-02-15 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 11-02-15, 12:12 PM
  #12  
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It also depends on the time of year and what I'm used to. Fifty for my morning commute would be nice this time of year but would feel a little chilly in August.

Today was a great day but not so much because of absolute temperature. It was nice because it was warmer than normal for this time of year and because DST is over and the sun was up well before I left for work.
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Old 11-02-15, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilbur Bud View Post
I like it a bit warmer than most, more like 65F-80F, regardless of humidity, although I ride in a wide range of temperature as shown below. If I had to pick a 5 degree range it'd be 70F-75F.

Way to back up your answer. I feel very inadequate. JK
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Old 11-02-15, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
of course.

the point of this thread is not "what temperature is the only temperature that you like bike commuting in?", it's about what your personal thermal ideal is. i can enjoy a ride on a frozen january morning, or a steamy july afternoon too, but i would not describe either of those as my thermal ideal because the frozen january morning requires me to suit up like an astronaut going on an EVA (which is annoying), and the the steamy july afternoon means i turn into sweat-zilla (which is also annoying).

53 is my ideal because i can ride comfortably in my most favorite and easy riding attire (shorts and t-shirt) while also not having to deal with my body's ridiculous propensity to sweat like an open fire hydrant at the slightest hint or indication that i might be getting a tiny bit warm. it's not that other temperatures are bad or intolerable or incapable of being enjoyed for what they are, 53 is simply the temperature where every thing is the easiest and most convenient for me to ride my bike to work.

what is the temperature where you don't have to consider yourself with a single thing regarding the the temperature?
I guess I don't really have a thermal ideal or it's a pretty wide range. From the 50's through the 80's depending on cloud cover, wind, and humidity. Cloud cover matters more in the 50's. 55 and sunny on a July morning would seem cool but OK. 55 and cloudy on July morning would seem cold, but I'd still dress the same. If it's not going to make it to at least 60 that day I'd probably wear a long sleeve shirt and skip the shorts.

Though it's not as true now as when I was younger, I used to love exertion on hot day. Bring on the sweat.

Last edited by tjspiel; 11-02-15 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 11-02-15, 12:53 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Some of my favorite moments on my commute have been in the dead of winter after working late, especially with a little bit of snow falling. In the middle of the week it can be almost silent at midnight or one in the morning. As long at it's not too cold, I love that. However, winter in general is not my favorite time to be on a bike and I'd rather not work that late very often.
Exactly! My FAVORITE rides are almost always that evening ride from work with the some light snow falling. Almost magical. Brings me back to my days of youth, getting off the schoolbus after school on a snowy day, and rushing to play outside in the fresh snow. It is like the world and time itself momentarily stills. Love it, then the snowplow flies by.. Wait, the snowplow bit has yet to happen, but I dread it nonetheless.
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Old 11-02-15, 01:02 PM
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To keep it really simple - the temperature I am dressed for! 70 degrees sucks if I am dressed for 50. 50 sucks if I am dressed for 30. Now, really cold temps are getting more challenging as I age. My engine doesn't generate as much heat as the power declines. My speed decreases as my willingness to chance spills lessens. And blood flow to extremities is doing it's age related stuff. 10-15 used to be not much of a deal. Now it is. -5? No more, no way.

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Old 11-02-15, 01:28 PM
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I like anything from 60 up to 80; while I regularly ride in temps up to 105, I will never prefer it that hot.
In the 60 to 80 range, I can ride in shorts, tank, and sandals. Anything cooler and this Texas boy has to put on pants or a jacket.
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Old 11-02-15, 01:33 PM
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I wanted to vote "> 32F (0 C)" but it's not an option in the poll.

I love riding my bike. The only thing that will stop me is ice being on the ground.

Yes, I know there is something called "studded tires" but I'm not going to spend money on something I'll only use 6 days a year. That's about how often we get ground ice in this area.
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Old 11-02-15, 01:40 PM
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20-40f is awesome.
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Old 11-02-15, 01:49 PM
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Well, actually 62.7357*.
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Old 11-02-15, 02:46 PM
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around 65-70 is my favorite. warm enough to not have to layer up, cool enough to not sweat much. that pretty much sums up commuting. layers and sweat.
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Old 11-02-15, 04:45 PM
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Anywhere between 45 and 80 degrees. I like 80-95 sometimes based on my mood - it feels good to sweat sometimes. That one is also largely based on humidity - 85 and little humidity is very nice, 85 and very humid is not.

I was riding home last night when it was around 50 degrees, and wearing an undershirt and a jacket it was fantastic out. Just perfect. On the way back I had to put on gloves, but it was still perfect. Had it been 30 degrees warmer it could have felt just about exactly the same, just with less warm clothing.

Everything between about 45 and 80 degrees can be made equally enjoyable and pleasant in my opinion, by changing how you're dressed and bringing an extra layer (and light windproof gloves) with you.

Warmer than that and it depends on humidity, you reach a point where you can't reduce clothing any more for comfort level, colder than that and it becomes more difficult to be totally comfortable. I bike in the winter, but it's a lot harder to avoid either "slightly cold" or "both cold and sweating a little to much", even with expensive gear.
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Old 11-02-15, 05:53 PM
  #23  
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I didn't vote, because I'm happy between 60 and 90F. Below 60, I need to wear a shirt, which creates more laundry, and above 90 is getting a little warm, but still very doable, just less comfortable, and with the problem of excessive sweat getting in my eyes. Factor in humidity and that upper end of the comfort zone fluctuates a bit.
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Old 11-02-15, 10:38 PM
  #24  
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63 to 74 with sun and a slight breeze from the east.
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Old 11-02-15, 11:19 PM
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I don't know what has changed in recent years, but I no longer handle heat well. At 85 or so, my energy plummets and my speed drops to a crawl. I grew up in LA, so dry heat is no big deal. But when the temperature dropped recently, I can really fly.
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