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How cold is too cold?

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How cold is too cold?

Old 10-22-20, 01:28 PM
  #51  
JohnJ80
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Originally Posted by Iride01
You might have to enlighten me how knowing about how and why ice forms and all the different types of ice are important for actually riding at times when ice might be present.

Seems to me that seeing ice and when possible avoiding ice is most important. Also being prepared for ice with proper equipment and knowing how to deal with it.

Are you saying that if I know all about how black ice and all the other ices are formed and what weather tends to create more of one than the other that I can just go out and not have to care whether ice is or isn't in front of me?
No, Iím saying that itís important to know when ice *will* form so you can go riding when it doesnít or wonít. If you live in places where ice forms, you miss a lot of riding if you are ignorant about how it all works. I ride a lot when the temp is below freezing but itís not an issue because the ground is at 50F and there will not be any ice on the road. That is usually 100% of my riding in November, early December and often part of October.

Itís the same issue here when we get drivers from warm climates and the first time it gets cold theyíre driving with a white knuckle grip and going well below the speed limit while everyone rips past them. Of course, the corollary to that is when those same drivers decide that they can do what everyone else is doing when there is ice present and donít realize they donít know what they donít know and they wind up in the ditch facing backwards.
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Old 10-22-20, 02:57 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80
No, Iím saying that itís important to know when ice *will* form so you can go riding when it doesnít or wonít. If you live in places where ice forms, you miss a lot of riding if you are ignorant about how it all works. I ride a lot when the temp is below freezing but itís not an issue because the ground is at 50F and there will not be any ice on the road. That is usually 100% of my riding in November, early December and often part of October.

Itís the same issue here when we get drivers from warm climates and the first time it gets cold theyíre driving with a white knuckle grip and going well below the speed limit while everyone rips past them. Of course, the corollary to that is when those same drivers decide that they can do what everyone else is doing when there is ice present and donít realize they donít know what they donít know and they wind up in the ditch facing backwards.
There you go. And I agree with what you are saying about experience and knowing the correct actions to take. My reply about.....
Doesn't really matter what kind of ice it is, how it forms or why it forms.
was intended for the rash of replies where some were getting into the technicalities of how black ice formed. I thought that just as unimportant to the discussion as how the paint on my bike is applied.

I feel that what I said in the second part is pretty much what you and Hypno Toad have been saying, but with less detail.
When you are riding, you are either prepared for it or you aren't. If you see it, you'll avoid it. If you don't, you hope you make it across without ruining your day.
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Old 10-22-20, 03:07 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Iride01
There you go. And I agree with what you are saying about experience and knowing the correct actions to take. My reply about.....was intended for the rash of replies where some were getting into the technicalities of how black ice formed. I thought that just as unimportant to the discussion as how the paint on my bike is applied.

I feel that what I said in the second part is pretty much what you and Hypno Toad have been saying, but with less detail.
it just isnít that big of a deal or that hard to figure out. Iím paranoid about falling especially from ice and I ride into December on the road in below freezing temps. Itís straightforward.
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Old 10-22-20, 09:45 PM
  #54  
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Went on a 24 mile ride with Mrs RSBob today. Calculating windchill at 18MPH the ‘feels like’ temp ranged from 38* to 44*. Know that wind chill is cheating, but it did feel a bit brisk. Ride faster to get warmer? Seems almost counter productive.
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Old 10-23-20, 06:43 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Went on a 24 mile ride with Mrs RSBob today. Calculating windchill at 18MPH the Ďfeels likeí temp ranged from 38* to 44*. Know that wind chill is cheating, but it did feel a bit brisk. Ride faster to get warmer? Seems almost counter productive.
Riding harder/faster is a key for me on cold rides. Yes, you do increase the wind-chill effect, but a hot core from the effort will dump excess heat through your skin with the net effect of being warmer. ... and burn more calories.
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Old 10-23-20, 08:34 AM
  #56  
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That and you should have some wind-blocking panels on forward facing portions of your winter riding apparel, particularly the core, so "wind chill" is mostly moot.
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Old 10-23-20, 11:50 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi
I would suggest that you're a bit of an exception, then, and that most people can follow the previously mentioned rules of thumb.
That may well be, although discussions on a local site indicate thereís about half a dozen of us who have similar issues.
I mostly wanted to spread some awareness that this spread in reaction to cold and exertion does exist.
I could have saved myself considerable money and discomfort if Iíd realized earlier that for me there is no perfect balance between clothes and effort.
As it was, I kept buying and trying new jackets when carrying an extra base layer to swap to was all I needed.
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Old 10-24-20, 12:45 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
For what it's worth, this is a game changer if you overheat with exertion but still need some warmth and protection.
What I find works best are garments with dissimilar panels, highly breathable on the rear, more wind/weatherproof on the front. Most ĒproductionĒ seems to be from the back.
If I can keep a nice draft there, it helps a lot with preventing that thorough soak thatíll otherwise turn to teeth-chattering chill.
Iíve even had a jacket modified, replaced the rear panel with mesh.
Works really well.
Almost indispensable for use together with a backpack.
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Old 10-24-20, 02:23 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
For what it's worth, this is a game changer if you overheat with exertion but still need some warmth and protection.
What temperature range is that good for?
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Old 10-24-20, 03:16 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by gios
What temperature range is that good for?
There would be a HUGE variation to that, dependent on personal preference, ride intensity and weather. Moisture, wind, etc.
Closest comparable jackets I have are good for about 0/-8 deg C for my commutes, depending on what base layer I use.
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Old 10-24-20, 11:59 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by gios
What temperature range is that good for?
I dunno. Depends how hot or cold you run? It's their least warm insulated jacket, the next one up is too warm for me. I wear mine over a base layer skiing (Nordic, not downhill, more energy than cycling) from around 20F up to around 45. Also hiking, it's always in my pack because it's so versatile and even in the summer you can get chilled. I like that it doesn't turn into a furnace when I start to overheat, it's just really easy to regulate my temperature. Stays warm and dries quickly if I start to sweat. Not much wind blocking though, I bring a gtx for that on stormy days.

REI has them on clearance and a no questions asked 365 day return policy.
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Old 10-24-20, 12:07 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by dabac
What I find works best are garments with dissimilar panels, highly breathable on the rear, more wind/weatherproof on the front. Most ĒproductionĒ seems to be from the back.
If I can keep a nice draft there, it helps a lot with preventing that thorough soak thatíll otherwise turn to teeth-chattering chill.
Iíve even had a jacket modified, replaced the rear panel with mesh.
Works really well.
Almost indispensable for use together with a backpack.
To put my previous answer into context ... this is an approach I just don't trust. I have some jackets with fleece armpits to dump heat, but I want protection on my back. Not that I'm lucky enough to enjoy a tail wind very often, but you ride up a hill, break a sweat, and there's a cold wind at the top hitting you from the side, and you start to get chilled. I'm not saying this is a bad approach, it works for a lot of people, it isn't something I would do though.
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Old 10-24-20, 12:11 PM
  #63  
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I live in Phoenix, so under 45 degrees is what I call uncomfortably cold for cycling. I live car-free, so I’ll ride in any condition we have when needed, but I might not enjoy the ride.
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Old 10-25-20, 05:02 PM
  #64  
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Depends on whether it's sunny; even if the air is 40˚F in January, the sun still adds significant warmth if it's out. I'd say on a sunny day low 40s is about the limit for me, if it's overcast maybe 45. If it's overcast or rainy and 40 I'll throw the ski bag in the car and head up to Tahoe! Or go see what's up on Rouvy.
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Old 10-25-20, 07:01 PM
  #65  
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I was out yesterday and it was around 30 with a "feels like" temp of 26. That is too cold. Unfortunately, I will be doing it again every morning this week. As miserable as it is, it is better than not riding (except for the fatbike) and I have that to look forward too soon enough...My problem in cold weather is always my toes. Wish I could sort that out.
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Old 10-25-20, 07:15 PM
  #66  
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Supposed to be a high of 38ļF here Tues. after weeks of extended summer with beautiful clear skies and highs of 80-90 every day.

Too cold for me.
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Old 10-25-20, 07:34 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by sfrider
Depends on whether it's sunny; even if the air is 40˚F in January, the sun still adds significant warmth if it's out. I'd say on a sunny day low 40s is about the limit for me, if it's overcast maybe 45. If it's overcast or rainy and 40 I'll throw the ski bag in the car and head up to Tahoe! Or go see what's up on Rouvy.
yep. Here in Minnesota even in winter when the sun is pretty weak, Iíve come to the conclusions that bailing on a sunny day is about 10F warmer than a dark cloudy day. The temp ratings that Castelli uses seem to match that. I need to dress 10 degrees colder if itís cloudy. Even then their temp ratings are largely overly optimistic.
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Old 10-25-20, 07:43 PM
  #68  
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First day in the low 50s and I forgot how to dress. First time with more than a base and jersey. I took a guess and brought some additional layers to the garage. I did a 1 mile local loop and decided i needed warmer gloves.
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Old 10-26-20, 06:16 AM
  #69  
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I have lots of cycling, skiing, snowboarding and hiking/backpacking stuff, so if it's not icy I can find stuff to wear that will keep me reasonably comfortable on a ride. I think my record is around 8įF, though that required "extreme" measures (e.g. insulating wind-front tights under hiking rain pants, chemical hand warmers between my cycling bootie and the top of the toes of my shoes, etc.). Normally the greatest effect cold has on my rides is the length (time) of the ride. Riding in the cold + riding with multiple layers is just harder and slower, so 2 - 2.5 hours is about as long as I want to be out once the temp. is below 15įF or so (mid-ride).

I find riding at low temps much more draining than skiing, for some reason. I'll ski all day with no problem with the temps well below zero, but a couple of hours on the bike in temps in the teens is enough for me.
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Old 10-26-20, 07:42 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by GlennR
First day in the low 50s and I forgot how to dress. First time with more than a base and jersey. I took a guess and brought some additional layers to the garage. I did a 1 mile local loop and decided i needed warmer gloves.
I have a notecard I filled out 10 years ago to remind me as it starts getting cooler in the fall....
Let me find my notes and post...

bike wear

60-99 shorts and ss jersey (maybe arm warmers)

50-60 shorts, ss jersey, *arm warmers

45-55 shorts, *knee warmers, *medium base layer, ss jersey, *long finger gloves

40-50 *polar knickers, short sleeve jersey, *jacket, *warmer long finger gloves

35-45 *polar knickers, *long sleeve jersey, *jacket, *warmer long finger gloves

30-40 *polar tights, *thin base layer, *long sleeve jersey, jacket, winter gloves, thin wool socks, mb boots or shoe covers, hat

Note: My "jacket" is a Hincapie Team jacket - windblock polar fleece with high collars, 3 pockets, and sleeve zips. these are the absolute best jackets I have ever found anywhere. I bought additional ones for $30 on ebay (and also at the hincapie fondo warehouse sale) because they are so useful. I add various base layers, long sleeve jerseys, and neck gaiters as needed.

Last edited by nycphotography; 10-26-20 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 10-26-20, 07:51 AM
  #71  
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Some notes I made after various 11 mile commutes to/from Manhattan:

10/12 morning 53 deg - ss jersey, arm warmers, shorts - pulled arm warmers down
7pm 57 deg - same - z2 - didnt pull down

sat 10/15 45ish morning 60ish afternoon - knickers w rain ss jersey and velo arm warmers. chilly morning warm afternoon didnt pull down warmers

10/22 hincapie fondo - 45ish morning 60ish afternoon - knickers, borrowed wind block fleecy base layer, arm warmers. base layer slightly too warm, but workable.10/24 - 52 morning - shorts and jersey w warmers. head wind. about perfect. 55 evening - a little chilly in core.
10/25 - 46 morning - knickers and ls jersey. ears cold, kinda chilly. long sleeve gloves hands cold. mostly z2-z3 effort.

10/26 - 43 morning - shorts and knee warmers, hincapie jacket, long sleeve gloves. hands cold. legs cold at first but warmed up fine. mostly z2-z3 effort.

11/21 - 35 morning, 20mph head wind. two base layers and jacket about perfect. arenberg tights slightly cool, liners and gavia gloves fingers frozen, thin ski socks w northwave boots, ok. arenberg hat good.
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Old 10-26-20, 11:36 AM
  #72  
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Docs put me on Warfarin 16 months ago and now I am always cold. So 50 F is my new minimum. I kinda miss riding on sunny, cold winter days.
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Old 10-26-20, 11:53 AM
  #73  
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned:

Last winter, I made the mistake of going out on beautiful warm feeling (sunny, no wind) day where the temperature was about 20F. The problem is we have a newish indoor velodrome and I was in race shape - so I road hard and fast. End result - I froze my throat and had a sore/sensitive throat for weeks after that.

Was a beautiful winter day though.
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Old 10-26-20, 11:55 AM
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Studded tires (on a beater winter bike) have a place in my quiver. Generally I'll ride down to about 20. But, the worst riding is when it is above freezing during the day and below in the evening - as that creates ice patches (and black ice). I do have studded tires though, so those get used when ice is an issue. Gotten too many sprained ankles riding in the cold without studded tires. No matter how much experience you have, there are going to be times when the ice surprises you when you least expect it. Sometimes it is literally invisible.

I do like riding on thickly frozen lakes with studded tires - its a blast!
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Old 10-26-20, 12:18 PM
  #75  
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Iíll ride about as cold as it gets here in Colorado Springs, which isnít below 0 (F) too often. It was 6 this morning and a few inches of snow. If someone is studded tire curious, you can probably get a used set of 26Ē studded tires and a bike to put them on for the price of new studded tires.

I think I run warm compared to other folks when it comes to clothing, but a base layer and a few merino shirts with a waterproof outer layer work for my torso, and a pair of basketball shorts under my regular (dwr coated) pants is good to the teens, long johns if itís colder. I bought a pair of insulated spd shoes and they rule, but I have the studded tires on my mtb with flat pedals so itís just regular waterproof boots and merino socks.

Two snaps to the Minnesotians keeping it real!
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