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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 12-02-17, 11:01 AM   #1
SAR1L
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Body Temp Drop

Not sure how many of you have experienced this.
Background btw, I am a super new rider in regards to doing it for commute.

Essentially I get really hot in just t-shirt, pants, as I (walking) push my bike up hill.
When I go down hill, temperature is around 30f - 40f at night, I can feel my body heat
rapidly being pulled away from me from windchill of high speed descent.

I can deal with cold hands, cold temperatures, what concerns me though is that, it seems
to go through my helmet as well, when this occurs, I get a severe headache, and I actually
feel my ability to operate and function is severely impacted.

Like all I can do is hold onto the handlebars and try to steer a little. I had difficulty even
being able to tighten my hand to use the brakes, due to the intense cold on my face and head.

Anyone know what is going on, how to mitigate this issue?
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Old 12-02-17, 11:17 AM   #2
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Balaclava and a wool riding hat under the helmet. Vent heat elsewhere.

Not sure what is going on though.
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Old 12-02-17, 02:06 PM   #3
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Check with your doctor. Looking for medical advice on the internet is unwise. Sounds like more than just a choice-of-clothing issue.
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Old 12-03-17, 09:19 AM   #4
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+1 doctor. Could be thyroid issues.
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Old 12-03-17, 01:21 PM   #5
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Getting a "brain freeze" (the same headache you get when you gulp a slushy) isn't uncommon in the winter. The windchill effect of the air goig throigh the helmet vents will do it.In he case of the OP, it appears to be a little too severe. So talking to a doctor may not be out of the question.

In the mean time, people regularly block the front vents of their helmets in the winter. A fancy cover will work, but I have friends that just duct tape them shot
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Old 12-03-17, 03:04 PM   #6
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As I read it, the OP is riding in 30 to 40 degree temps in a cotton t-shirt without gloves or a hat.

If so then he doesn't need a doctor but a trip to the local bike shop or REI for proper old weather gear and some instruction on how to use it.

Riding without gloves or a hat in 30 degree weather is asking for trouble. getting brain freeze is proof that he needs a hat in spite of his insistence that he can do without.


-Tim-
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Old 12-03-17, 03:06 PM   #7
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As I read it, the OP is riding in 30 to 40 degree temps in a cotton t-shirt without gloves or a hat.

If so then he doesn't need a doctor but a trip to the local bike shop or REI for proper cold weather gear and some instruction on how to use it.

Getting severe headaches and inability to operate the brakes is proof that he needs a hat and gloves in spite of his insistence that he can do without.

This doesn't sound like a medical condition but a wardrobe problem.

-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 12-03-17 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 12-03-17, 08:02 PM   #8
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Carry a light windbreaker for use when going downhill.
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Old 12-03-17, 08:11 PM   #9
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Do you smell burning feathers? May be a brain tumor. To be more comfortable during what time you have left, wear a cap.
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Old 12-03-17, 10:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
As I read it, the OP is riding in 30 to 40 degree temps in a cotton t-shirt without gloves or a hat.

If so then he doesn't need a doctor but a trip to the local bike shop or REI for proper cold weather gear and some instruction on how to use it.

Getting severe headaches and inability to operate the brakes is proof that he needs a hat and gloves in spite of his insistence that he can do without.

This doesn't sound like a medical condition but a wardrobe problem.

-Tim-
At that temperature while, pushing my bike up hill I am literally sweating. I used to also comfortably run at that temperature. Higher temperatures I actually tend to
get really warm or hot and fatigue out fast it feels like. Also I would really appreciate if people reply to me, rather than reply as if talking about me in some 3rd person
reference in their conversation to everyone else in the thread.

Last edited by SAR1L; 12-03-17 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 12-03-17, 11:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SAR1L View Post
At that temperature while, pushing my bike up hill I am literally sweating. I used to also comfortably run at that temperature. Higher temperatures I actually tend to
get really warm or hot and fatigue out fast it feels like. Also I would really appreciate if people reply to me, rather than reply as if talking about me in some 3rd person
reference in their conversation to everyone else in the thread.
I was replying to the poeple who told you to go to the doctor. That's why I used the third person. No offense was meant.

I sweat too in the cold when I run or walk up hills or ride my bike up hills. Lots of sweat. Unzipping the jacket a bit and venting around the torso when climbing generally keeps me from getting swamped. I can't tell you what to do but that is what I do. I'm not talking about a heavy coat but a wicking base layer which carries moisture to the surface and a light shell or light insulating layer.

I will suggest that if your hands get to the point where you can't squeeze the brakes then you need gloves and if your head gets cold enough to get a severe headache then you need a hat. Just a suggestion. You can take it or leave it but what you are doing clearly isn't working for you.

Not trying to condescend. Just trying to offer advice as I have been riding since 1977.


-Tim
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Old 12-04-17, 12:01 AM   #12
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I'll second going to REI for some good winter clothing. If you t-shirt is cotton, that is very poor in the cold. It will get wet from sweat and have absolutely no insulating value down hill which on a bike is far colder than running. Look into modern synthetic thermal base layers next to your skin and perhaps a fleece jacket with a windbreaker layer over at least the front that you can put on at the top of the hill. Those of us who ride up often wear armwarmers we can push down to go up, then pull back up for the descent. Also easy on, easy off windbreakers. I"ve been known to wear warm mittens I store in my pockets going uphill. Slide a newspaper under my jersey to go down.

There are lots of tricks. The big one is to use them. And skip cotton. For the riding you are doing it is not good.

Ben
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Old 12-04-17, 10:31 AM   #13
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Skip cotton absolutely. The ONLY natural fiber to use in outdoor activity IMO is merino wool, which will wick moisture away, dries quickly, and even when damp, maintains some insulating properties. Cotton when damp won't dry and will suck the heat right out of your body.

Having said that, like TimotyH and 79pmooney recommended above ^^ get outfitted in some proper riding clothing. Frankly in my opinion, you SHOULD be sweating a bit even in cold weather when exerting yourself. Unzip, add/remove outer layers, vent, etc. to try to rid yourself of heat but if you are comfortable when climbing, you're likely gonna be freezing going downhill or on the flats. If you are sweating a bit, remove a layer or vent. With the right clothing, you can trap heat inside, even if you are a bit damp from sweating.

And put something over your head! There are some useful and effective head coverings that ride comfortably under your helmet & keep your noggin warm. Cheap too, get one!
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Old 12-04-17, 11:18 AM   #14
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I hadn't thought about Reynaud's until just now.

It might not hurt to speak with a doctor just to rule it out.
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Old 12-05-17, 06:41 AM   #15
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Don't overlook newspaper, the traditional cyclist's windblock base layer. One sheet, folded as delivered, gives you four layers of insulation. When you warm up, pull it out and drop it beside the road, it's biodegradable. OK, don't litter, it's easy to fold up small and save for another ride.
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Old 12-05-17, 02:05 PM   #16
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hmmm, dunno, maybe hat, coat & gloves would help?
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Old 12-18-17, 01:40 AM   #17
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I appreciate the info and feedback from everyone.

Any lack of gear isn't an attempt to avoid common sense,
simply just lack of money to afford to be properly outfitted.

Since I made this post I was able to sell my broken down truck.
I upgraded my bike from a Walmart one... to a Marin, which is a significant improvement.

I recently picked up some moisture wicking thermal base layers for my upper body, still waiting
to get some leg thermals. Hoping to see the difference this makes the next time I do a cold weather ride.
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Old 12-18-17, 06:26 AM   #18
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The wicking underwear should help...cold sweat against the torso sparks our cold warning systems (alerts the subconscious to seek shelter/warmth). Experiment to see what works best for you. A hat that fits under my helmet is key to regulating body temp...fingered gloves (and they do not need to be very thick)...and a wind vest or a windbreaker with a good functioning zipper (mine is a huge hassle) that can be zipped up or down depending on how the body feels can be a big help. Note that our perception of too hot or too cold may change as we ride more and our conditioning increases. Early on, I dressed "correctly" many days only to return to the house fifteen or twenty minutes later to revise my gear. Cheers.
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Old 12-18-17, 07:47 AM   #19
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A man selling his truck to get underwear and a new bike is dedication right there.
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Old 12-18-17, 11:57 PM   #20
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The wicking underwear should help...cold sweat against the torso sparks our cold warning systems (alerts the subconscious to seek shelter/warmth). Experiment to see what works best for you. A hat that fits under my helmet is key to regulating body temp...fingered gloves (and they do not need to be very thick)...and a wind vest or a windbreaker with a good functioning zipper (mine is a huge hassle) that can be zipped up or down depending on how the body feels can be a big help. Note that our perception of too hot or too cold may change as we ride more and our conditioning increases. Early on, I dressed "correctly" many days only to return to the house fifteen or twenty minutes later to revise my gear. Cheers.
Thank you for the extra advice. I bought some mechanix mpact gloves, I like them quiet a bit.
I have an old columbia jacket I have from Christmas a few years back. It seems to cut wind nice, and it isn't a super thick layer. Has one of those interior layers that reflects body heat back in, your thoughts on that?

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A man selling his truck to get underwear and a new bike is dedication right there.
Lol, it is either this and save $400 a month or buy a used cruddy car, risk repairs I can't afford. Easy choice.
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Old 12-19-17, 05:37 AM   #21
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Thank you for the extra advice. I bought some mechanix mpact gloves, I like them quiet a bit.
I have an old columbia jacket I have from Christmas a few years back. It seems to cut wind nice, and it isn't a super thick layer. Has one of those interior layers that reflects body heat back in, your thoughts on that?
It is worth experimenting with...I glanced back through the posts, but didn't immediately see where you are riding...some places have a completely different definition of "cold" than here in East TN (which really isn't). Just keep in mind that we can dehydrate in the cold (not just in heat), so be a bit cautious of the reflective layer until you see how it works for your metabolism...drink water before (during) and after your ride.
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Old 12-31-17, 11:18 AM   #22
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It is worth experimenting with...I glanced back through the posts, but didn't immediately see where you are riding...some places have a completely different definition of "cold" than here in East TN (which really isn't). Just keep in mind that we can dehydrate in the cold (not just in heat), so be a bit cautious of the reflective layer until you see how it works for your metabolism...drink water before (during) and after your ride.
Yeah Colorado, so dry, high elevation, elevation change everywhere, sometimes wind, sometimes cold, all 4 seasons in a day, don't like the weather wait 10 minutes.
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Old 12-31-17, 12:50 PM   #23
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Managing hot/cold can be tough with changing efforts on the bike.

Snowboard helmets can do wonders to keeping your head warm, but they will also cook the head on a hard hill climb unless it is very cold out.

I use a rain slicker (designed for cycling) over a fleece sweater, and ski gloves in the winter. If hot, unzip the slicker and open all the vents. If cold, zip it up. And, I find myself frequently reaching down to adjust the zippers a little. That is just normal.

Keep in mind that some body temperature variation is very normal, so one's temperature could easily hit 100 in the summer, and 96 in the winter. My hands are often much cooler than that.

However, you shouldn't get so cold as to experience significant physical symptoms.
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Old 12-31-17, 06:55 PM   #24
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Under armour or an equivalent polyester wicking fabric has revolutionized how I approach cold weather dressing. A light long sleeve upper and a t shirt works great.
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Old 12-31-17, 08:37 PM   #25
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I'm also doing winter cycling on the cheap, I totally understand about clothes.

Layers is the key. You could remove a layer or two before going up and put it back on before going down.

Goodwill, Walmart and Target are where I go for winter clothes, especially the clearance racks. I watch Target's Cartwheel specials for percentages off their sports apparel, they frequently have 20-30% off.

Right now my cycling closet has 2 pairs of outdoor full length socks, 3 tank tops, 3 ordinary t-shirts, 2 athletic long sleeve shirts, 2 thin jackets (so thin I'm not sure that's an accurate term), some compression leggings (3 capris and 2 full length), 2 thin sweat pants, 2 thick sweat pants and a thick hoodie that doubles as my regular jacket. Between clearance and timing my purchases with good sales, I spent $5-$10 each on most of the items and I've gotten them over a 6 month period so the cost was spread out. Yes I wash clothes frequently to have stuff to cycle in. The thick stuff is one size larger than I normally wear to accommodate layering.
Edit: And gloves. Not the knit ones, but not thick ski gloves either. Thin cold and water resistant synthetic.

For 30-40 degrees I don't even bother with the thick stuff. Thin sweats, a t-shirt, jacket and regular crew socks for 40 degrees. Depending on wind chill I might or might not wear compression leggings under the sweats at 30 degrees, but I will definitely add one of the long sleeve shirts and swap out for the outdoor socks. I will have gloves on at those degrees, even if it feels like I don't need them when I walk out the door, artificial wind chill from the bike moving always makes them needed.

I don't have the uphill and downhill you have, but if I did I would wear one additional layer on top. At least for me, legs need it less than torso and arms do. I would add the long sleeve shirt for 40 degrees, add a tank top for 30 degrees. I would take the jacket off prior to going uphill; I have both a backpack and a basket, so I could toss the jacket into one of those for the uphill trip, and then put it back on prior to going downhill. For the head, I would either buy a lightweight jacket with a hood or I would invest in a beanie cap. Either way it would be taken off with the jacket for uphill and put back on for downhill.
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