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For those of you who cycle all winter, I need some suggestions.

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

For those of you who cycle all winter, I need some suggestions.

Old 09-19-07, 06:36 AM
  #1  
blonduathlongrl
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For those of you who cycle all winter, I need some suggestions.

I cycled the whole winter last year and my problem is that the headband I wore sure didnt do anything for my ears, I felt as if Id lose an ear from the cold everytime and also I didnt have any booties.
So my feet and my ears get numb and painful from the cold.

Im in the process of buying booties but any of you have good suggestions for something to keep my ears warm?
Ive done a search on bf and can only find leg warmers and arms warmers( I have those) and a search on the web, there are a thousand products out there.

What works best?
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Old 09-19-07, 06:39 AM
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Check out the ear warmers at 180s.com. I use them, they fit well under a helmet, and they work great. Fairly inexpensive, also.
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Old 09-19-07, 06:42 AM
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All Pearl-Izumi for me! I'd get some Calientoes, pluse some Cyclones. You can leave the Calientoes on all winter, and you don't need to pull them off when you take your shoes off. They will help a LOT. For the really cold rides, just pull the Cyclones over the top of the Calientoes.
http://www.pearlizumi.com/product.ph...product_id=523
http://www.pearlizumi.com/product.ph...duct_id=527547

For the headband, just get one of the Pearl-Izumi Therma Fleece headbands: http://www.pearlizumi.com/product.ph...product_id=681
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Old 09-19-07, 06:47 AM
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If you bike when it is very cold the best face/ear protection by far is a Balacava! You can ride well below freezing and be comfortable.
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Old 09-19-07, 06:54 AM
  #5  
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Balacava! + 1
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Old 09-19-07, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by smitchri View Post
If you bike when it is very cold the best face/ear protection by far is a Balacava! You can ride well below freezing and be comfortable.
I actually prefer a fleece neck gaiter (like from Eddie Bauer). It's much easier to regulate heat by pulling it up or down. You can even pull it up to your ears to double-layer with your headband. Also, when you get back to the car and start cooling off, you can slide it up so it's almost a hat (crush the top onto your head).

When it gets really cold... ski goggles.

I'm from Colorado and have been on 1.5 hour training rides at 5F. I actually got someone to join me on one of those. Beats the heck out of rollers
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Old 09-19-07, 07:00 AM
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I've got the PI am/fib toe warmers (they also make a bootie). The bottom is rubberized so they supposedly last longer than their other warmers, and they've got wind/water resistance.

I used a LG skull cap last winter. Covers the ears (I pulled it tight through my ponytail holder), and there's a wind panel in front. When it gets really really cold, I definitely would've liked a balaclava.
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Old 09-19-07, 07:22 AM
  #8  
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Blondie, I use a North Face Balaclava made of 100 series fleece. It has a finish that makes it wind resistant. It's nice and thin, yet warm. It has a nice neck gaiter length that keeps that area warm too.

If you can't find a cycling specific one you like, I would recommend going to a good outdoor backpacking/camping store, they should have all the nice technical balaclavas made by names such as TNF, Marmont, Mountain Hardware, Patagonia..etc... You want something that is warm, yet thin, so it fits under your helmet and jacket with little bulk.
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Old 09-19-07, 07:56 AM
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For moderate cool days I found an Eddie Baur gore-tex headband that worked great. For colder days I wore a thin stocking cap under my helmut. I pulled out all the padding and it fit OK.
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Old 09-19-07, 07:57 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
All Pearl-Izumi for me! I'd get some Calientoes, pluse some Cyclones. You can leave the Calientoes on all winter, and you don't need to pull them off when you take your shoes off. They will help a LOT. For the really cold rides, just pull the Cyclones over the top of the Calientoes.
http://www.pearlizumi.com/product.ph...product_id=523
http://www.pearlizumi.com/product.ph...duct_id=527547

For the headband, just get one of the Pearl-Izumi Therma Fleece headbands: http://www.pearlizumi.com/product.ph...product_id=681
the headband is exactly what I was looking for.. Thank you!

and Ill check the rest of the brand/web sites you guys gave me.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:01 AM
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How cold are we talking about here though? I use a balaclava but only when it's seriously sub zero ... -15C kinda thing. I do have an cold weather cycling cap that I use for "cold" that is thicker and more wind resistant with a band for the ears that just folds down.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:03 AM
  #12  
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I wear a winter beanie under my helmet from headsweats and a PI headband to double up on the ear protection. If it gets very cold then I wear a neoprene ski mask as well.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by blonduathlongrl View Post
I cycled the whole winter last year and my problem is that the headband I wore sure didnt do anything for my ears, I felt as if Id lose an ear from the cold everytime and also I didnt have any booties.
So my feet and my ears get numb and painful from the cold.

Im in the process of buying booties but any of you have good suggestions for something to keep my ears warm?
Ive done a search on bf and can only find leg warmers and arms warmers( I have those) and a search on the web, there are a thousand products out there.

What works best?
I commute year round in Massachusetts, and for winter I usually have a balaclava for head protection and Pearl Izumi AmFib booties for my feet. The only caveat I have about the booties is that if you walk around on them (like, say, for me riding home and doing some grocery shopping w/ SPDs) then they'll got torn up fairly quickly as the bottoms are pretty fragile. PI just seems to assume that most cyclists don't walk.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:13 AM
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My booties are shredded as well. For me the zipper on the outside rear of the bootie causes some funky stretching trying to get the darned things on. I've had to replace a zipper as the girly-man zippers simply weren't up to being done up while the heel was being stretched. I want Lakes this winter.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:13 AM
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get a MTB and ride some trails...you will soon realize that this is the best combo for the winter. You'll start with a fleece jacket and headband and be riding short sleeved in 10 degree weather very quickly.

Either that or ride X.



Originally Posted by blonduathlongrl View Post
I cycled the whole winter last year and my problem is that the headband I wore sure didnt do anything for my ears, I felt as if Id lose an ear from the cold everytime and also I didnt have any booties.
So my feet and my ears get numb and painful from the cold.

Im in the process of buying booties but any of you have good suggestions for something to keep my ears warm?
Ive done a search on bf and can only find leg warmers and arms warmers( I have those) and a search on the web, there are a thousand products out there.

What works best?
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Old 09-19-07, 08:15 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer View Post
How cold are we talking about here though? I use a balaclava but only when it's seriously sub zero ... -15C kinda thing. I do have an cold weather cycling cap that I use for "cold" that is thicker and more wind resistant with a band for the ears that just folds down.
Im in NH and where I am is pretty windy so I wont go out if it's under 30.
Even now when it's 58( and even in the 60's) my ears are killing me, Ive always been like this. My face and neck were fine last winter and I didnt have to wear a balaclava it's really my ears that's the problem.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:25 AM
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If your feet get really cold, maybe a winter road shoe would be a good option for you. I got a pair last year (1 size bigger than my normal road shoes) and it really helped me enjoy colder riding-no more cold feet. My feet would still get cold with booties/road shoe probably because my feet were fairly tight in the normal road shoe with winter socks.

I just put on a thin water-proof bootie when there's grime on the road to keep the winter road shoes looking new.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by blonduathlongrl View Post
I cycled the whole winter last year and my problem is that the headband I wore sure didnt do anything for my ears, I felt as if Id lose an ear from the cold everytime and also I didnt have any booties.
So my feet and my ears get numb and painful from the cold.

Im in the process of buying booties but any of you have good suggestions for something to keep my ears warm?
Ive done a search on bf and can only find leg warmers and arms warmers( I have those) and a search on the web, there are a thousand products out there.

What works best?
They sell these ear warmers with a velcro closure on the back. I've been using one of those forever. You can take it off while you're riding if it gets too warm. I also wear a racing cap on top of my head under the helmet. I ride down to 15F with some regularity.

For my feet I tried the Sidi Toaster heated insoles (they didn't work) and after giving up on those (after several tries) I bought Sidi Hydro GTX Gore Tex winter shoes. My feet can still get cold in those when it's colder than 25, but it's bearable for rides up to 3 hours (and unless it's warming up to high 20's that's about my limit in very cold temps). I wear Pearl Izumi AmFib booties on top and ski socks underneath in temps below 35.

Last edited by patentcad; 09-19-07 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer View Post
My booties are shredded as well. For me the zipper on the outside rear of the bootie causes some funky stretching trying to get the darned things on. I've had to replace a zipper as the girly-man zippers simply weren't up to being done up while the heel was being stretched. I want Lakes this winter.
Here here!
I'm looking into Lake winter road shoes as well.
I'm also getting a winter kit from a local team that does cyclocross and Lobster Claws for my hands.

Last year I rode in 19F for 2 hours on my commute to work. My feet and hands were the only problem.
Everything else was covered well. Hopefully this year I'll be covered even "weller." (is that a word?)
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Old 09-19-07, 08:40 AM
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On extreme cold or windy days, I use a combination of a microfiber balaclava, an earband, and a neck gaiter. The microfiber balaclava I bought years ago from campmor and the ear band and neck gaiter I made by cutting off the sleeves of an old fleece pullover that I no longer wore and then cutting the sleeves into varying sized rings. The balaclava is so thin that it doesn't make the use of a helmet awkward.

For the feet, I have a wool socks, and some trek neoprene booties. I also have some sealskinz socks that I have just in case I need them.

My main problems are my fingers and the groin area. I haven't found anything yet that has worked as well for me.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by smitchri View Post
If you bike when it is very cold the best face/ear protection by far is a Balacava! You can ride well below freezing and be comfortable.
+1, keeps me out into the low '20's comfortably, upper teens survivable (sic?). Mine is all black. I kind of look like a suspicious character wearing it.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:51 AM
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I'd suggest then either the headband or a light hat that'll pull down over the ears. I've always found the wind sneaking under whatever covers the ears drives me bonkers though. The feet are my biggest drawback....once those get cold all bets are off. That's why I want winter specific shoes. I use some nice snowboard gloves in the wicked cold. Oooh almost lookin' forward to the fat knobby playing in the ice and snow........ almost.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:57 AM
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Thank God that I won't have to endure temps like the one's you folks are speaking about. Here in Seattle it's the rain, actually drizzle, that we have to worry about as winter temps rarely get lower than the 40's. Must be why the palm trees here don't die!
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Old 09-19-07, 09:15 AM
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The consistent grey would be maddening for me though. I'd rather ride in dry cold than drizzly close-to-freezing anyday.
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Old 09-19-07, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by substructure View Post
I'm also getting a winter kit from a local team that does cyclocross and Lobster Claws for my hands.
Lobster Claws FTW when it's below 30F.
Last year I rode in 19F for 2 hours on my commute to work. My feet and hands were the only problem. Everything else was covered well. Hopefully this year I'll be covered even "weller." (is that a word?)
There are 'better' words than that.
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