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How cold do you go?

Old 01-23-21, 06:00 PM
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IdahoSpud
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How cold do you go?

Just curious. I woke up this morning and it was 15F (That's -9.5 for people who use more rational measuring systems). It got all the way up to 29F (-2C) today. If it was a still day, would you ride in this? What's your minimum go/no-go temperature?

Follow-up questions that might tie in:

How far would you go? How do you keep your extremities from getting frostbite?

Last edited by IdahoSpud; 01-23-21 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Follow-up
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Old 01-23-21, 06:17 PM
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If I'm desperate, I'll got out in temps as low as 35 fahrenheit, a long as it's not rainy or icy. (Actually, I'll go out in lower temps, and in the rain, for commuting - but not for a training ride.)
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Old 01-23-21, 06:19 PM
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I'm a year round commuter, and have no minimum, though temps rarely get much below -10 F in my region. For recreational rides, I usually switch to taking long walks during the winter.
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Old 01-23-21, 06:27 PM
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A couple years ago we had an extended bout of sub zero temps for about a week without getting above zero for high temps. It bottomed out just under -30F, (and something stupid like -50 or -60F windchill). I was out commuting on bike every day. When the temps got back into single digits above zero again, it felt balmy outside riding - it is all relative, you adapt.

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Old 01-23-21, 06:34 PM
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Gonna take a ride around the National mall in DC now. If possible, that is. Not sure yet. Just got down here a couple hours ago, so have not seen the situation there up close. Can still see barriers up, though.
Anyway, it’s pretty cold. In the thirties, I’d say. A few degrees warmer’n NYC/NJ, where I am still riding two or three hours daily. If it weren’t for my being unemployed, I’d probably keep cycling/commuting by bike daily. Even in snow. That’s what fat tire bikes are for haha!

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Old 01-23-21, 06:52 PM
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I went out for 1’50” / 26.8mi today at 23F. It was sunny, so it was really nice!

Balaclava, face sheild on the Air Attack helmet, electric socks, Northwave winter cycling boots, thermal bibs, thermal jersey over a base layer T shirt, lobster claw gloves, and a Performance winter cycling jacket all kept me toasty!

I don’t think I have a no-go temp...if I have the gear, I’ll go out in any temp, and have been out in -7F not too long ago...the winter before last, maybe?
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Old 01-23-21, 07:19 PM
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Year round commute as well, so I've ridden in temperature -25*C. The windchill that morning was -29, but windchill is not really relevant when riding a bike. A tail wind negates the windchill, and a headwind amplifies it. I was out for about an hour.
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Old 01-23-21, 07:26 PM
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I don't enjoy it below about 50 degrees.
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Old 01-23-21, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
A couple years ago we had an extended bout of sub zero temps for about a week without getting above zero for high temps. It bottomed out just under -30F, (and something stupid like -50 or -60F windchill). I was out commuting on bike every day. When the temps got back into single digits above zero again, it felt balmy outside riding - it is all relative, you adapt.
LOL, I missed that week taking care of a relative.
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Old 01-23-21, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by IdahoSpud View Post
Just curious. I woke up this morning and it was 15F. It got all the way up to 29F.
That's about what it was here today. Sunny and dry, but cold and fortunately not windy. Not bad for January. I'd rather it be cold and dry than 35F and wet. So I was able to get the most riding in today so far of the month.

If it is windy I'd rather be indoors!

I worked outdoors for 19 years and am able to ignore the cold.

Last edited by Reflector Guy; 01-23-21 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 01-23-21, 07:59 PM
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GlennR
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For me it's not the body that gets cold but breathing in the cold air is an issue. So mid 20*F is my limit.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by IdahoSpud View Post
Just curious. I woke up this morning and it was 15F (That's -9.5 for people who use more rational measuring systems). It got all the way up to 29F (-2C) today. If it was a still day, would you ride in this? What's your minimum go/no-go temperature?

Follow-up questions that might tie in:

How far would you go? How do you keep your extremities from getting frostbite?
mid to upper 30s is as low as Ill go - lower than that and Im dealing with frozen roads and/or dressing like the Michelin Man, and wheres the fun in that?
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Old 01-23-21, 08:32 PM
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I'm fortunate to live in (north) Florida and have never decided not to ride because it's too cold. The coldest I've ridden is mid-30s, and with enough clothing it's OK... but my feet get really cold when the temps drop into the 30s. Fortunately, that is rare, but I'll still ride.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:34 PM
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40 degrees f if and only if there is the certainty of it hitting the low 60's at some point (preferably asap) during the ride.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:35 PM
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in 20's all weekend. today i decided to stay inside clean tune bikes..tomorrow i may ride mtb...
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Old 01-23-21, 08:49 PM
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It's all about wind for me. Raised in northern Michigan, I can stay warm. I wear ski goggles below 30 degrees, a kn95 mask, neck gaiter and a watch cap under my helmet, so there's just a small triangle of bare skin on my face that manages to stay warm on its own and I'm breathing warm air thanks to the mask. The rest of me is more often too warm and I start stripping layers off as I ride. If my core is warm, toes and fingers stay cozy. I don't know if that's a rule or just me. Only my face is vulnerable.

When it got cold I switched to knobby studded tires, so I'm good there, too. But I don't like a headwind more than 10 mph when It's cold. Before I leave the house I check the live wind map and start out into the wind, plotting a ride where I get blown back home.

With the tires and cold I can't ride as fast or as far but I can ride. But I'm never cold.

Last edited by mdarnton; 01-23-21 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 01-23-21, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I don't enjoy it below about 50 degrees.
Ditto. If Im riding in cold temps, its on a snowboard.
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Old 01-23-21, 09:38 PM
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Temps are secondary to consider with outdoor riding.
if it has snowed, rained, has a lot of leaves on the ground & the temps are less than 50F, the chances of a ride are low.
if the wind kicks up too, then I'm camping on the trainer.
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Old 01-23-21, 10:13 PM
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Below 40, no thanks. Especially with wind.
I'll just zwift.
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Old 01-23-21, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
For me it's not the body that gets cold but breathing in the cold air is an issue. So mid 20*F is my limit.

Same here, bothers my lungs. Mucus from nose goes down throat into lungs impeding my breathing. Had it happen today. I can only do farmer blows so much while riding!

Did the annual Triple D Fat Bike race today outside Dubuque Iowa. Actually due to COVID, they just did the 27-mile DD. Was 2F when I started and got up to about 22F when I was done. Breathing hard going up hills did a number in me. I was coughing up flem the rest of the day when I got home, couldnt take a deep breath. Felt a lot like athsma I had when I was younger.

Otherwise comfort while riding wasnt bad as the sun was out with little wind. I was dressed just right with multiple merino wool layers and a Gore jacket. Never got too hot or cold the whole ride.
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Old 01-23-21, 10:40 PM
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Freezing or above, I wont hesitate unless there will be enough snow and ice on roads and trails to make it impossible to pedal hard or ride safely.

In the 30s, Im using Bontrager JFW gloves and some low cut hiking boots. Thats minimally adequate, meaning my fingers and toes will be cold, but not so much that I lose feeling or am in agony. Below that, Id have to go with mittens, which are rather more cumbersome and either have colder feet or wear bigger hiking boots.

I might ride a bit below freezing if its the best chance in a string of colder or more iced up days. Today was a bit over two hours, about 37F, winds about 12-15 mph and a trail with a lot of soft, sticky muddy areas. Glorious!

Otto
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Old 01-23-21, 11:04 PM
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In the Pac NW, I ride 40F - 80F.

Prefer 50F - 65F.
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Old 01-23-21, 11:17 PM
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Like Robin Zander sez, "I'm a California man."
Anything below 30 F is a no go.
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Old 01-23-21, 11:21 PM
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For me, winter riding comes with a lot of baggage, including a bike that I'm willing to let be subjected to road salt, and all of the clothing. Plus, fewer hours of light. I'm willing to put up with those things for my daily trudge to and from work (though not during COVID due to work-from-home), but not for longer pleasure rides.
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Old 01-24-21, 12:37 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by bargo68 View Post
Like Robin Zander sez, "I'm a California man."
Anything below 30 F is a no go.
Better still - the original version, by the Move, w/Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood:

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