Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

I found my "too cold" point

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

I found my "too cold" point

Old 02-11-08, 08:19 AM
  #1  
JugglerDave
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Philadelphia PA
Posts: 467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I found my "too cold" point

OK, officially 8 degrees F (-13C) with 20mph (32 km/h) headwind on the flats and/or riding 35 mph downhill is too cold for me. Whereas 12 degrees F with no wind was perfectly fine. Even with a sweater "turtle fleece" neck and face protection, scarf, 180s for the ears, I was still cold and my goggles frosted up on the outside from my exhalation. My legs got a little cold near the end of my ride, even with me working against the wind furiously.

At least this PM it will be a balmy 24F, plus my 315ft hill climb should keep me toasty.
JugglerDave is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 08:58 AM
  #2  
Porten2
Diamondback rider
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 33

Bikes: Diamondback Century, Response; GT Karakorum

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This morning was -2F, but the 15mph wind was at my back. My toes were like ice cubes by the time I got to work. It was a 40 min. ride.
Porten2 is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 09:25 AM
  #3  
Mr. Underbridge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Reston, VA
Posts: 2,369

Bikes: 2003 Giant OCR2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Probably just need moreclothes? I've been OK in similar weather.

Head: Balaclava keeps my face very warm except the little bit exposed around my glasses. The glasses do fog up a bit when I stop, but I can just look over the top of them when necessary. Oh, and a helmet, of course.
Torso: Wicking lycra underlayer, fleece pullover, windproof shell jacket, and reflective vest. This proved to be too much even at 8F.
Legs: pair of tights, then a loose but fairly thin thermal layer, and a pair of regular running shorts. More than enough.
Feet: A pair of regular socks, then a couple pair of wool socks over that and regular running shoes. Keep the socks as loose as possible.
Hands: My thickest gloves proved insufficent, so I used a couple of oven mitts as makeshift lobster claws. I probably wouldn't try this with STI shifters.

Wearing that, I've been completely toasty even at 8F (coldest temp we've seen this year). Only thing a little chilly was some sting around my eyes where the balaclava doesn't cover (I'm not into goggles). But it wasn't bad enough to consider bailing on the ride by any means.

Biggest pain in the ass was fighting the movement resistance of all those clothes, plus a headwind.
Mr. Underbridge is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 09:28 AM
  #4  
ItsJustMe
Se˝ior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,749

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 446 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
It was -8*F this morning, but that wasn't cold enough for me to ride. My kid broke his ankle so I've been taking him to school most mornings. If the wind chill is < -20*F they call off school; I was hoping they'd do so this morning so I could ride, but it didn't happen. I haven't ridden since last Tuesday.
Last year I rode down to -25*F. I just had to toss on another layer and switch to my high top hunting boots.
You have to watch which direction you exhale in to keep your glasses from fogging.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 09:40 AM
  #5  
beingtxstate
Disgruntled grad student
 
beingtxstate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Champaign, IL
Posts: 443
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Generally speaking, I have found that if it's under 10F with wind greater than 10mph, I throw in the towel (Like this morning). I can ride in it, and have ridden down to 6F with blowing snow and wind chills ~15F below, but it wasn't pleasant, and it took several hours for me to feel normal again...just in time to turn around and head home.

It bums me out when I don't ride, and sometimes I feel wussy, but I have a certain level of comfort I wish to keep, so I try not to let it bother me. Though I really do need a trainer to keep up with my miles
__________________
1990 Trek 330
2006 Trek 7.2FX
2006 Trek 7.3FX (Wifey's Steed)
beingtxstate is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 09:40 AM
  #6  
thdave
Senior Member
 
thdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I rode yesterday up to a store. It was cold--about 8F--and very windy. Ice was everywhere. But my studs held and I did fine. Problem was when I got to the store and got off my bike, I slipped and fell. Shoe came flying off, as I hit the heel hard. Bike fell. Guess I need studded shoes... Didn't get hurt, but I still advise that you be careful out there.

Bacalava's and mittens are a must. Same with long johns, when it's below 10, imo.
thdave is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 09:41 AM
  #7  
Old Dirt Hill
Bring That Beat Back
 
Old Dirt Hill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: I lost my legs
Posts: 937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This morning's weather report: flurries, -15F with windchills around -30F.

Just another day in the great white north (or geographically close, anyway).
Old Dirt Hill is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 09:42 AM
  #8  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,268

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked 26 Times in 16 Posts
2 weeks ago today it was -46 with the wind chill... the base temp was -37 C.

I still rode.

It was evil.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 09:43 AM
  #9  
Intheloonybin
Senior Member
 
Intheloonybin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 315

Bikes: 1987 Denti w dura ace (road)/ "cheap" Jamis (mtn)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I copied this from a post I put in the winter cycling section:

Helmet
UA skull cap
balaclava
Ski goggles (double lens-they don't fog)
bird beak wrap for face/neck/up to helmet
UA wicking undershirt
2 long sleeve T-shirts
PI lobster gloves and a thin wicking liner
Craft wind break front/breathable rear jacket
3 pairs of long undies (wished for 4th here and there)
tights
Wool socks
Lake winter boots (brand new!)
hand warmer on toes
covers over boots

This took me down to -15F with a wind chill of -30 to -40. -10F this morning, and was comfortable.
Intheloonybin is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 09:43 AM
  #10  
jeff-o
Recumbent Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 2,991

Bikes: Rebel Cycles Trike, Trek 7500FX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It was -18C this morning and I was good to go, but my bike wasn't. Nearly every moving part but the wheels was frozen stiff. Time for some winter maintenance, methinks.
jeff-o is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 09:57 AM
  #11  
ghettocruiser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4,063
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
The wind was behind me this morning. I was overdressed.

I think there's water in the headset, the bearing grease alone shouldn't have been that stiff.
ghettocruiser is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 10:17 AM
  #12  
cristina
yippy skippy
 
cristina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 73

Bikes: Windsor Clockwork Plus, Raleigh Cadient i8, Scott CR1, Specialized Dolce Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
oh i just *****ed about this in the winter cycling thread. i typically ride everyday to work but today i chickened out and turned my bike around tooo cold. wind gusts of 16mph and "wind chill values as low as 9 below this morning." ugh no way!
cristina is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 10:22 AM
  #13  
rando
Senior Member
 
rando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 2,968
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
temps don't bother me (I mean, Hey, it's Arizona!) but if the wind is over 6 mph I will not ride. I hate it so much! and it is usually blowing west and I'm heading right into it on the way to work.
__________________
"Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me
rando is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 10:27 AM
  #14  
jeff-o
Recumbent Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 2,991

Bikes: Rebel Cycles Trike, Trek 7500FX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rando View Post
temps don't bother me (I mean, Hey, it's Arizona!) but if the wind is over 6 mph I will not ride. I hate it so much! and it is usually blowing west and I'm heading right into it on the way to work.
Serious? 6mph? You need a recumbent - it's like drafting a dump truck the whole way to work.
jeff-o is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 10:52 AM
  #15  
CliftonGK1
Senior Member
 
CliftonGK1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 11,375

Bikes: '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Tougher than me. My 'too cold' cutoff is now 20*F. It's just no fun (for me) below that point.

As for wind, 6mph is a daily given around here. I don't start to balk until the wind gets up to 15-18mph, and I won't pack it in until the gusts get over 40mph or the sustained wind is over 25mph.
__________________
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
- Mandi M.
CliftonGK1 is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 10:56 AM
  #16  
rando
Senior Member
 
rando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 2,968
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
yep, I have a low threshhold for wind. I will not put up with much of it!! stupid wind.
__________________
"Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me
rando is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 10:59 AM
  #17  
ItsJustMe
Se˝ior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,749

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 446 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Wow, 20*F is practically tropical. I'm not even up to a full set of layers at 20. My biggest problem with 20*F is that it's warm enough to start actually getting serious amounts of snow. The nice thing about < 0*F is that it doesn't really snow, it's too cold and there's no moisture left in the air.

I'm not even sure I'd notice a 6MPH wind. That's almost every day here, and it's always from the west, so it's always a headwind on the way home.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 11:01 AM
  #18  
ItsJustMe
Se˝ior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,749

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 446 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Wind used to really discourage me. Finally I decided that if I let it bum me out I'd always be bummed, so I just retuned my brain to think of it as my coach giving me extra training. If you're willing to screw with your own head you can put up with anything.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 11:01 AM
  #19  
Marylandnewbie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 1,701

Bikes: Fuji Supreme

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I rode last year in 7 and 8 degreee days and it does require some careful layering. I went with a Duofold base layer, a wicking long sleeved t-shirt on top of that and then a wool jersey. I pulled a rain.windshell over it all. Long underwear over bike shorts under my windproof tights generally kept my legs warm enough. I found toe warmers in my boots were a big help. A balaclava is essential to protect your face. On the worst days I also ware a headsweats type beanie under the balaclava to extra insulation. I never did find a solution to fogging goggles, other than just an occasional wipe-off.
Marylandnewbie is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 11:12 AM
  #20  
ghettocruiser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4,063
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by jeff-o View Post
You need a recumbent - it's like drafting a dump truck the whole way to work.
I was actually drafting a dump truck on the way to work this morning. Except the roads were a bit sloppy and he had missing flaps.

I was not reminded of riding a recumbent.
ghettocruiser is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 11:18 AM
  #21  
Intheloonybin
Senior Member
 
Intheloonybin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 315

Bikes: 1987 Denti w dura ace (road)/ "cheap" Jamis (mtn)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I found that dual lens ski goggles don't fog easily. You have to be careful to not breathe up through your balaclava- that will fog them.

I cut a small hole in my balaclava in front of my mouth to help get the air out further.

This has worked down to -15F. Very, very slight fogging at that temp, maybe due to wind.
Intheloonybin is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 11:25 AM
  #22  
mjw16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 1,096

Bikes: IRO Model 19, Surly Crosscheck, 1989 Arnie Nashbar, Cannondale CAADX, Niner Air 9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think my record is -1 F. I can layer up just fine, however, it's the legs that never really get loose when it's cooler than 20 or so. I try to spin as a way of generating heat but the legs just won't cooperate. I get along just fine but severe cold can really take alot out of you.
mjw16 is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 12:09 PM
  #23  
pinkrobe
DNPAIMFB
 
pinkrobe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cowtown, AB
Posts: 4,655

Bikes: Titus El Guapo, Misfit diSSent, Cervelo Soloist Carbon, Wabi Lightning, et al.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What is this "too cold" point you speak of? I hit the same temps as Sixty Fiver and didn't really have an issue. I won't say that I was really super warm, but I didn't lose a finger or toe either. With chemical enhancement [handwarmers and whatnot], I could stay out in those conditions for quite some time, as long as I didn't have a mechanical and I kept moving. My biggest issue is always my hands and feet. My core, arms and legs are always good.
pinkrobe is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 12:25 PM
  #24  
Flimflam
Raving looney
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 2,482

Bikes: 70s Leader Precision w/Shimano 600 (road), IRO Rob Roy (Fixed)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Last night I rode home at around 10pm into headwinds of ~50km/h gusting to 60km/h according to weather.com - I admittedly really wanted to just stay in, but I wasn't offered the couch at my ex's place (dropped daughter off in the trailer). Around 10 miles across urban Toronto.

I was cold for a few spells, when the wind hit me and got me around the headstrap of my helmet where I had a bit of sweat, and the tops of my thighs and my 'area' was a bit chilly to start with. Base temp was -17C without any windchill, apparently it was -30C with windchill factored in.

I got home with a layer of frozen breath/snot on my balaclava which I thought was pretty cool

It was cool to defeat it, but the wind made the ride fairly rough, not something I'd want to repeat often - I duck/dived through streets to try and mitigate the weird wind patterns caused by downtown, which seemed to stave off most of the headwind it seemed.

My fingers got cold at the end of the ride and my feet were starting to feel it - I would largely put that down to equipment choice, I was wearing regular running shoes and two pairs of socks (thermal + woollen over) and my gloves are a single layered wind/waterproof pair of Gordini gloves that I use from anything below 0C-ish.

Even on my ~15 minute commute this morning, my moustache and top lip were crisping up in the frigid air, I can only assume it's my breath vapour on there.

Pretty sure yesterday/today are the coldest temps I've ever ridden in, if not ever experienced.
Flimflam is offline  
Old 02-11-08, 12:26 PM
  #25  
jeff-o
Recumbent Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 2,991

Bikes: Rebel Cycles Trike, Trek 7500FX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
I was actually drafting a dump truck on the way to work this morning. Except the roads were a bit sloppy and he had missing flaps.

I was not reminded of riding a recumbent.
LOL.

I must agree, a face full of road slop is of no aerodynamic advantage, nor is it a metaphor for riding a recumbent.
jeff-o is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright ę 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.