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When do you ride in winter?

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When do you ride in winter?

Old 02-01-23, 10:06 AM
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Evanston1957
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When do you ride in winter?

I'm in Chicago, and currently it's really cold (15F at the moment but that's the highest it's been in 2 days) but will warm up to my riding temperature (30F or higher) by this weekend. I'm not asking about temperature preference in this thread. Rather, I want to know how much you worry about the melted salted slop that occurs after the warm-up. Do you wait until a rain (which does wonders to clean things), or do you just ride and make sure to clean your drive train?
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Old 02-01-23, 10:18 AM
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Sunny days always make all the other things less important considerations. I wish today was sunny, it'd encourage me to get out and ride today.
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Old 02-01-23, 10:52 AM
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I dont ride outside for 3 months, from December thru February, unless the roads are dry and clear AND it is above 45.
Lower than that? Zwift or other things.
Snow/ice covered? Zwift or other things.

With that said, I am participating in 2 gravel races this month. One is this weekend in Mississippi and the other is in Iowa on the last weekend of the month. If the temps are below 35 or the roads are ice covered, I will DNS and not think twice about sleeping in.
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Old 02-01-23, 11:20 AM
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Dry/clear/sunny - anything about 30 degrees.

Damp/overcast/windy - above 40 degrees.

I did a metric a few weeks ago, 36-38 degrees, windy, damp, even with some drizzle - nope, wont do that again.
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Old 02-01-23, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Evanston1957
I'm in Chicago, and currently it's really cold (15F at the moment but that's the highest it's been in 2 days) but will warm up to my riding temperature (30F or higher) by this weekend. I'm not asking about temperature preference in this thread. Rather, I want to know how much you worry about the melted salted slop that occurs after the warm-up. Do you wait until a rain (which does wonders to clean things), or do you just ride and make sure to clean your drive train?
I don’t care about the slop as long as there isn’t active snow on the road mixed with sand /salt. Whether dry or wet, stuff gets salty- I just wash my bike after every outdoor ride in the winter. Bucket of hot soapy water and a garden sprayer works fine
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Old 02-01-23, 12:37 PM
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Do you re-lube the chain after you wash every time?
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Old 02-01-23, 12:58 PM
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I use wet lube for wet riding condition and I do not re-lube after every wash. I hate it because it gets all gunky, but it stays there longer. Water (cleaning) shouldn't affect it. However, salt and debris may.
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Old 02-01-23, 01:16 PM
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I never ride my good bikes in winter, I have a dedicated beater for when the roads get sloppy.
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Old 02-01-23, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Evanston1957
Do you re-lube the chain after you wash every time?
No- but I’m a waxer. I do clean the chains in extremely hot (not boiling) water before redoing the wax in the winter.I also have to do it more frequently in the winter than I would in the summer.

I just use care not to spray the chain and wipe it down so it’s dry after riding.
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Old 02-01-23, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Thulsadoom
I never ride my good bikes in winter, I have a dedicated beater for when the roads get sloppy.
I mad a conscious decision to go to a n=1 solution. I had a road/ summer bike and a winter/gravel bike before but found I only ever grabbed the road bike. To solve it, I bought a gravel bike that’s essentially the same and a second wheel set and sold the other two.
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Old 02-01-23, 02:26 PM
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If the weather is fair, but the ground is sloppy still, I'll ride it.
A quick detail post ride & swap the chain out for the ready to go one is my process. The cycle repeats itself after each ride under those conditions.
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Old 02-01-23, 02:56 PM
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In Rhode Island, I will ride in all temps as long as there isn’t snow/ice on the roads. I’ll do the cold, but most of the time I really just don’t care for the slop when it’s wet. But…it can be dry in my neighborhood, and then miles away the roads can be wet from melting snow. So occassionally I get back to the house with a sloppy bike. I just rinse it off with a bucket of warm water, and then re-lube as necessary.

Dan
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Old 02-01-23, 03:36 PM
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What ForceD said, though my low temp for road riding is about 35F. If theres no snow cover, I will mt. bike down to 15-20 or so, the conditions when frozen are terrific. I do 3 days per week on the mt. bike usually.
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Old 02-01-23, 04:21 PM
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The planets must be alignment - temperature, sun, wind. Any variable can keep me indoors. 35 degrees and sun with no wind, I'm out there. 40, cloudy, no wind, I'll ride. 45, cloudy, more than 12 mph wind. Nope.
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Old 02-01-23, 07:24 PM
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The trick to riding in cold weather is to warm up indoors on a trainer for fifteen minutes or until you get warm, then go for the ride outdoors. It eliminates having to warm up in freezing weather. No matter what age I was, I never liked to exercise outdoors when it goes below 20 degrees F. I don't think it is good for you to do so. I am on the great-lakes so get a lot of riding in freezing weather in as long as the roads are not too wet or slushy. I got tired of covering the bike with salty mud every ride this year already. February will be out of the way soon and in March it will improve, so I will probably be doing more on the mag trainer than usual over the next six weeks.
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Old 02-01-23, 11:10 PM
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Living in Florida, I don't have to deal with snow\ice but on the rarest of rare situations, but rain is another subject. If the temp is above 45F and sunny, I can deal with it as long as the humidity is low. If it looks like rain, I might attempt it, but won't go far from home, cold rain is a no go for me. Wind also plays a part, wind must be below 20 mph. I left home last weekend and the wind was about 10 at my place, but closer to 20 by the time I got to the beach and it was brutal going down the bridge as it was swinging me all over the place between it and the wind coming off the cars and trucks passing me.
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Old 02-02-23, 08:10 AM
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I almost never ride if the roads are wet even if that means instead riding when it's colder (IE, below 32). Within reason of course. Sunny and no wind is preferable.
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Old 02-02-23, 08:15 AM
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Depending on wind, 20 degrees up. I only ride the streets if the shoulders of the roads are clear of snow and ice. Otherwise, I ride inside the road net of a 400 acre cemetery that's well maintained. I picked up a fat bike this year so I could ride in there, regardless of snow, ice. What a difference from my road bike to the fat.
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Old 02-02-23, 08:16 AM
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rarely ride roads in winter
I'm mostly on rail trails or in the forest
plenty of cleaning required, anyway
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Old 02-03-23, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Gyro
Depending on wind, 20 degrees up. I only ride the streets if the shoulders of the roads are clear of snow and ice. Otherwise, I ride inside the road net of a 400 acre cemetery that's well maintained. I picked up a fat bike this year so I could ride in there, regardless of snow, ice. What a difference from my road bike to the fat.
Same- “feels like” has to be over 15. Actual temp doesn’t matter
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Old 02-03-23, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by phrantic09
Same- “feels like” has to be over 15. Actual temp doesn’t matter
Wind is the biggest problem.
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Old 02-03-23, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Gyro
Wind is the biggest problem.
Truth! it doesn't take much wind to make you cold, either.

The worst case is after a long climb, when your kit is wet from sweat, and you're coasting downhill. At 40F and 30mph, the wind chill temperature is a frigid 28F.

I'll dig in the trash at the summit for newspaper to stuff under my vest. One time at the top of Mt. Laguna, I got a trash bag from the general store, cut holes in the bottom and wore it as a poncho to descend the Sunrise Highway down to Pine Valley.
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Old 02-04-23, 01:12 AM
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I live in the desert southwest, so rain or snow are infrequent. Therefore, I more or less never ride when it is wet in anyway, summer or winter. So, things like road salt are not an issue for me.

In the winter I'm fighting cold and wind. Though cold here during the day is mid 30's F. So, not truly cold by northern standards. I do make a point to ride in the early afternoon when it is warmest.

It has to be windy (>15 MPH), raining or snowing, for me not to ride outdoors. I avoid indoor rides if at all possible.
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Old 02-04-23, 07:56 AM
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I don't have melted slop to ride through in Northern Colorado. The roads are well plowed and it's so dry that there's no snow left on the roads. I do have to contend with some snow melt water running across the road in a few places, due to piles of snow. My biggest problem is leaving my neighborhood due to a 5% downhill that's heavily shaded and doesn't melt quickly. I walked the last hundred feet to get onto a main road.
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Old 02-06-23, 01:04 PM
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I avoid salted roads as much as possible (wet or dry)

often use a ‘beater’ road bike or hybrid / mountain bike with smooth tires during winter months

but not a fan of riding those or any bikes on salt covered roads (breathing salt dust when cars drive by not fun)

years ago rode a Cannondale with low-end components (RX100) through the winter months (including a freak 6” snow on Halloween day) - the drivetrain was basically trash after that winter ... the hubs did not have good seals - I believe I serviced them twice and they were still junk after that winter ... (RX100 hubs were prob less than $10 at the time - so not exactly a surprise)
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