Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Winter Cycling
Reload this Page >

My two secret weapons: grocery bags and bubble mailers

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.

My two secret weapons: grocery bags and bubble mailers

Reply

Old 01-01-19, 08:57 PM
  #1  
Bat56
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Bat56's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: St.Paul, MN
Posts: 1,780
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
My two secret weapons: grocery bags and bubble mailers

I keep two items in my bag for extra insulation: plastic grocery bags and bubble mailers.
I cut up the grocery bags and put them over my toes before I stick my foot in my shoe. I find this adds at least 10 degrees F to my shoes. Meaning I can wear my road shoes into the 20s.
I will also shove some grocery bags down my pants on those really windy days below 20F. You know the ones that literally frost bite a penis. I have tried various solutions, including various technical underwear options, and a plastic bag does a great job of insulating, blocking wind, and staying in place.
I slip a bubble mailer between my shirt base layers and tuck the bottom into my waist band, I do this on the windy days that dip below 10F. The ones that frost bite my stomach. This is a solution born out of necessity on a particularly nasty ride that forced me to empty my bag and put everything in there on my body. The bubble mailer earned a permanent spot in the load-out that day.
Bat56 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-19, 09:39 PM
  #2  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 21,428
Mentioned: 146 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7805 Post(s)
Each person is different.

I found winter cycling shoes recently. I have a pair of Shimano MW-81 which seems well suited for northwest weather. But, there are some designed for cold weather too.

As a commuter, & rain commuter, I use a rain slicker a lot. Slicker over fleece is usually good enough down to a bit below 30. Open if I get hot, zip up if I get cold.

Slicker pants also help for cold weather riding.
CliffordK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 04:02 AM
  #3  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 5,443

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1251 Post(s)
I prefer proper clothes and proper winter boots rather than dressing in plastic bags and bubble wrap.
wolfchild is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 08:09 AM
  #4  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 4,110

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 744 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Bat56 View Post
I cut up the grocery bags and put them over my toes before I stick my foot in my shoe...I will also shove some grocery bags down my pants..I slip a bubble mailer between my shirt base layers and tuck the bottom into my waist band...
I'm sure this causes quite a scene in the checkout lane at the supermarket. Very clever, thanks for sharing.

Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I prefer proper clothes and proper winter boots rather than dressing in plastic bags and bubble wrap.
I know from experience that store-bought, purpose-made gear lacks the added warmth that comes from the self-satisfaction and smugness of designing or bodging something together yourself.
BobbyG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 08:38 AM
  #5  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
TimothyH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 12,901

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 196 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5733 Post(s)
I've used grocery bags and a piece of Tyvek house wrap across the chest in an emergency.

Castelli Sorpasso 2 Wind bib tights block wind from the knees to the lower abdomen and are warm into the teens. The Polare 2 are even heavier.

GripGrab Race Thermo or Arctic shoe covers with chemical warmers are toasty.

The word "Winter" means different things to St. Paul MN and Atlanta GA. Either way, do what you gotta do.


-Tim-
TimothyH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 08:45 AM
  #6  
Bat56
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Bat56's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: St.Paul, MN
Posts: 1,780
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I prefer proper clothes and proper winter boots rather than dressing in plastic bags and bubble wrap.
Do you leave the tags on? Thatís what the cool kids do around here.
Bat56 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 08:50 AM
  #7  
Bat56
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Bat56's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: St.Paul, MN
Posts: 1,780
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Each person is different.

I found winter cycling shoes recently. I have a pair of Shimano MW-81 which seems well suited for northwest weather. But, there are some designed for cold weather too.

As a commuter, & rain commuter, I use a rain slicker a lot. Slicker over fleece is usually good enough down to a bit below 30. Open if I get hot, zip up if I get cold.

Slicker pants also help for cold weather riding.
I only put a shell on below zero. Windproof pants below -10. I suppose that baseline makes a difference.
Bat56 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 08:50 AM
  #8  
FBOATSB 
Senior Member
 
FBOATSB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 1,469

Bikes: Old Schwinns for now

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 525 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Bat56 View Post


Do you leave the tags on? Thatís what the cool kids do around here.
No, proper gear has adverts emblazoned all over them. If your freezing to death anything will do. Kudos.
FBOATSB is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 10:11 AM
  #9  
_ForceD_
Senior Member
 
_ForceD_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 901

Bikes: Several...from old junk to new all-carbon.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 341 Post(s)
Bat -- I'm with you. An inner layer of plastic sometimes is a necessity. I've been cycling for decades and have tried all sorts of bicycling-winter-specific clothing. I've resolved that sometimes the best clothing for winter cycling isn't cycling clothing at all.

Dan

Last edited by _ForceD_; 01-02-19 at 09:08 PM.
_ForceD_ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 10:12 AM
  #10  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 22,078

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2786 Post(s)
thanks for the bubble mailer tip! very clever!
rumrunn6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 05:04 PM
  #11  
mcours2006
Senior Member
 
mcours2006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 5,547

Bikes: Giant Rapid, Bianchi Advantage, Specialized Roubaix, 1985 Gardin Quatro, Norco Threshold, Raleigh Serengheti MTB

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1655 Post(s)
Interesting ideas. If I were to design cycling wear that's suited for winter riding I'd certainly put more pudding in the front than the back. In fact, the back could be fine with minimal insulation. I haven't used bubble wrapping, but I have used a vest inside my jacket on occasion when it's super cold. Again, the problem is that the back gets sweaty because of the extra and unnecessary insulation.

As for plastic bag for the feet, I haven't had to do that. I bought a pair of Spec Defrosters. They are sufficient for most conditions.
mcours2006 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-19, 11:48 PM
  #12  
wipekitty
on the road again
 
wipekitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: organic valley
Posts: 1,776

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 472 Post(s)
My first "pogies" were old bubble mailers covered with duct tape. For extremely cold days, it was pretty effective.
wipekitty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-19, 12:11 AM
  #13  
Shimagnolo
Senior Member
 
Shimagnolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zang's Spur, CO
Posts: 8,667
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1473 Post(s)
Jump to 5:53 where he talks about ziploc bags:


BTW This is the commercial product he mentions: https://exotogg.com/
Shimagnolo is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-19, 12:54 AM
  #14  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
TimothyH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 12,901

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 196 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5733 Post(s)
Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Interesting ideas. If I were to design cycling wear that's suited for winter riding I'd certainly put more pudding in the front than the back. In fact, the back could be fine with minimal insulation. I haven't used bubble wrapping, but I have used a vest inside my jacket on occasion when it's super cold. Again, the problem is that the back gets sweaty because of the extra and unnecessary insulation.
You thinking is spot on.

Wind block and/or insulated in front with lighter or air permeable panels in the rear - this is exactly how many high end cycling garments are made.

Castelli Perfetto and Alpha, 7Mesh Synergy, some Giro gilets. Raphael Brevet garments and many Assos pieces are designed this way. These work extremely well for the exact reason you stated.


-Tim-
TimothyH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-19, 10:12 AM
  #15  
Obeast
100% Certified Beast
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
I ride the winter with vintage golf shoes (metal spikes) so as soon as my foot touches the ground, those sharp metal spikes dig deep into the ice.
Obeast is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-19, 08:50 AM
  #16  
madpogue
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 2,365
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 423 Post(s)
Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
.... I'd certainly put more pudding in the front than the back....
Sounds messy....

Originally Posted by Obeast View Post
I ride the winter with vintage golf shoes (metal spikes) so as soon as my foot touches the ground, those sharp metal spikes dig deep into the ice.
Removable option - https://stabil.implus.com .
madpogue is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service