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Winter, you embrace 100%?

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Winter, you embrace 100%?

Old 11-08-23, 02:13 PM
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Winter, you embrace 100%?

I was wondering ... Has winter already started for you? And, are you excited about winter commuting or (recreational) training again? Is it a 100% yes, or is it a "yes but"?


Autumn here still but soon.
I cycle all year round and I love winter, even though it is more challenging. (But has its unique moments of cycling happiness!) So a "yes" for me. But ...

There is always a moment when fear overtakes me (but fortunately fades away just as quickly), in particular early in the winter season. E.g. the first weather report that predicts slippery icy conditions while in reality things turn out to be manageable. Until very soon my winter reflexes return and self-confidence grows stronger.

Every winter is different; you really cannot predict it at all. (Beware it's tail!) So I dare not make a prediction for this year. Usually winter is not too harsh where I live. But in recent years there have been surprises. Sometimes more rain, more strong gusts. And I know for sure there will come a year when I'll have to search for a snow shovel.
Continous grey days of no sun are one of the worst. That, icy days, and maybe those days when you are feeling sick.
A cold winter day with sunshine, blue sky and the perfect layer of snow is what I dream of.

And, let us not forget: every day you cycle counts for double points :-)

How are you feeling for the coming winter?
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Old 11-08-23, 03:26 PM
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I tuned up my winter bike and rode it twice this week. Sorted my winter clothes. Bring it on.
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Old 11-09-23, 05:49 AM
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I convert my MTB from road/tour to winter duty every fall. Mine is all squared-away, with knobbies, gel saddle, suspension fork, etc. The only scenario that bugs me in winter is when there has been a thaw and then a freeze, with ice patches everywhere. As soon as we get at least a half-inch of snow to cover that up, I'm fine, but what gets me is when there is a spell of more than four days of cold with exposed ice. It is then that I turn to running ( seems less dangerous). Otherwise, I would tear my hair out stuck indoors.
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Old 11-09-23, 07:20 AM
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I don't ride in snow, but I'll ride down to the lower 20s F if the roads are dry.
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Old 11-09-23, 02:39 PM
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I've been cycling year round in the northeast (NYC area) for 17 years, and always looked forward to the change of seasons along with the necessary change of cycling kit. I am 100% all-in when it comes to winter cycling; I fully subscribe to the theory that There Is No Bad Weather, Only Inappropriate Apparel and so I have drawers full of all sorts of cycling kit to allow me to comfortably ride from single digits to triple digits.

But this is the first year that I will have spent most of the winter cycling in the high desert of southern Arizona, and I'm just now starting to notice how that's thrown all my previous winter cycling experience into a tizzy:

- First of all, all my go-to What To Wear Based On Temperature Range that I've codified after 17 years in the northeast goes out the window here. 40°F and overcast in the New York suburbs (sea level, >60% humidity) is a completely different sensation than 40°F and overcast in the Tucson suburbs (2,500' elevation, <10% humidity), and so I now need to re-think what I'm going to wear for any given set of circumstances.

And,

- It may be 40°F and overcast at 7:00AM when the ride starts, but there's a good chance that by 10:00AM it will be 70°F and sunny...and it is a serious PIA to try to stuff all the layers that I started out my ride wearing into the pockets of whatever layer remains on in the last half of the ride! No wonder so many cyclists around here have huge handlebar bags or wear backpacks!
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Old 11-10-23, 11:27 AM
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I embrace winter in that I bike year around, as I can't do indoor biking. I do appreciate the change in scenery, and shorter rides. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the bike too many miles during the other 5-6 months of the year (Minnesota humor).

I do tire of the added logistics with clothing, and checking out routes, and anxiety about mechanical issues out on the road. I run Schwalbe Winter Marathons and have had a couple of flats from studs wearing through the casing into the tubes. The two different tire liners I tried work for preventing that. But, they don't like the cold and the edges chafe the tubes, causing flats themselves. So I run without liners, and get paranoid about those studs, even though I do check the tires periodically.

My limit is an hour out at -5F. I've tried colder, but, well, it just wasn't fun enough without yet another splurge on equipment which will in reality see little use. We don't have THAT many really cold days around here, and a forced break isn't always bad.
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Old 11-13-23, 09:34 AM
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got out this weekend. grabbed some stuff, didn't need all the stuff. it's coming

however, the Eddie Bauer lined tech pants were perfect. wondering if I should get a 2nd pair Eddie Bauer Men's Rainier Lined Pants
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Old 11-13-23, 09:51 AM
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I live in coastal southern New England so it’s either ride in the winter, or don’t ride. (I can’t really bear indoor, stationary activity much.) So, I look at it as kind of an “embrace the suck” situation. “A necessary evil.” “What doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger.” I’m strictly a road cyclist, and over the decades I’ve finally compiled an ensemble of gear/clothing that allows me to do long-ish rides in temps sometimes even down into the teens, and even single digits. That is…as long as the roads are clear. I have to say, one of the coolest times to be riding is when the snow just begins falling, but hasn’t accumulated on the road yet.

Dan
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Old 11-13-23, 12:17 PM
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This morning was my first below freezing ride this fall. It was sunny, the air was crisp, I was dressed just right, it was awesome!

Yes it can also be horrible at times but there are some really special winter cycling days and in some ways I look forward to it.
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Old 11-13-23, 01:19 PM
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I'm not enthusiastic about cycling in the winter. I do it a bit, but it sure isn't my favorite. Mind you, I ride in conditions that make some people think I'm crazy, but I'm not the toughest. Low temperatures are sometimes OK for me as long as the ground isn't slippery. I'm afraid of falling in traffic and then being hit by a big vehicle.
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Old 11-16-23, 03:58 PM
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I mix MTB and road for most of the year. During the colder months, it's mostly mountain biking and some indoor training if I can't go for a ride on the MTB.
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Old 11-18-23, 05:20 AM
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100% ready and looking forward to another winter season. Bring it on !
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Old 11-18-23, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by MNBikeCommuter
I embrace winter in that I bike year around, as I can't do indoor biking. I do appreciate the change in scenery, and shorter rides. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the bike too many miles during the other 5-6 months of the year (Minnesota humor).

I do tire of the added logistics with clothing, and checking out routes, and anxiety about mechanical issues out on the road. I run Schwalbe Winter Marathons and have had a couple of flats from studs wearing through the casing into the tubes. The two different tire liners I tried work for preventing that. But, they don't like the cold and the edges chafe the tubes, causing flats themselves. So I run without liners, and get paranoid about those studs, even though I do check the tires periodically.

My limit is an hour out at -5F. I've tried colder, but, well, it just wasn't fun enough without yet another splurge on equipment which will in reality see little use. We don't have THAT many really cold days around here, and a forced break isn't always bad.
Yeah, that's about my limit also. I've done colder. Probably down to -10 or so.

Good bar mitts and chemical foot warmers are key down at those temperatures, but my real limitation is face covering. Ski goggles are a must down at those temperatures, and issues with glasses/fogging can be a real bummer.
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Old 11-18-23, 10:44 PM
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Not quite winter here yet, just the start of the rainy season...I don't really consider it winter here until the snow falls.

I'm currently acclimating to the colder temps. It hasn't been super cold yet(only 40's,) but the elevation/terrain. makes the temperature kinda tricky to deal with. Almost all of my local rides are above the golden climbing ratio of 100'/mile, so I'm either hot on the ascents or cold on the downhills. Of course I can shed/add layers, but that entails bringing a bunch of extra clothing. To make it worse, my house is basically the high point on many of the rides...so I descend nearly 4000' downhill in the chilly mornings and then climb back up in the afternoons. I just deal with it and recognize that a certain amount of discomfort is just part of the experience.
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Old 11-19-23, 07:39 PM
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So far our winter has been mild, today’s high was about 50F - very pleasant for bicycling .
We had very little snow and only a couple of times thus far.
I’m still using my road bikes at least on alternate days or more often. My winter bike (an old mountain bike) with 26” soft tires with tungsten carbide spikes, is ready to go!

Usually 10F below zero has been my limit for bicycling but this year, I have a feeling that I might cut that to a little higher temp. We shall see…
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Old 11-22-23, 09:09 PM
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Negative 5 Fahrenheit, oh my goodness, I can't imagine.
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Old 11-25-23, 06:41 AM
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Yes but….in my case the but is if there is chance of icy roads, then no.

Sadly, where I live this happens often in winter, once there is snow, daytime runoff from driveways etc get roads wet which then freezes. These small patches of ice are dangerous and that will prevent me from riding, not the actual temps which never get colder than about 10F which is ok if you are dressed for it.
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Old 11-25-23, 08:58 AM
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I'll ride if the roads are clear and it's in the 40's. I prefer to cross country ski in the winter and don't mind taking the time off the bike. For me that makes spring something to look forward to. I'm in Wisconsin so the winters can be pretty severe.
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Old 11-25-23, 09:18 AM
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mid 20s this morning. better embrace something!
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Old 11-25-23, 11:37 AM
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Coastal NYC area, we transition to mt. biking mid Oct or so, 35 is my low for road riding, though I often wimp out though I have clothing to 35. I can handle to 20 or so on a mt. bike. Mt. biking is more pleasant as there's no wind, you don't roll as fast and if we don't get snow as last year, we can often ride thru to Feb or March. I got a lot of mt. biking in last year.
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Old 11-25-23, 05:53 PM
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Winter commuting

Originally Posted by noglider
Negative 5 Fahrenheit, oh my goodness, I can't imagine.
One does need appropriate layers to keep warm, thin gloves and mittens over gloves, face covering to pre-warm the air you breathe, skiing googles, a helmet with insulation and ear covers etc. After all these steps, bicycling in cold/snow is exhilarating.



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Old 11-28-23, 12:59 PM
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picked up a cpl of my winter must-haves ...
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Old 11-28-23, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
picked up a cpl of my winter must-haves ...
Yes, better living through chemistry is an alternative.

My children used them while skiing but I have managed without them.
Layers and wind-blocking has worked well enough for my bicycling. There have been a few instances when rear shifting was a little stiff. A simple solution to that for me was to put the mountain bike in a mid gear where I could manage through most of the ride and to climb a hill, I would shift the chain to smaller ring in the front. The front gear shifting has never failed yet.
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Old 11-28-23, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
Yes, better living through chemistry is an alternative.

My children used them while skiing but I have managed without them.
Layers and wind-blocking has worked well enough for my bicycling. There have been a few instances when rear shifting was a little stiff. A simple solution to that for me was to put the mountain bike in a mid gear where I could manage through most of the ride and to climb a hill, I would shift the chain to smaller ring in the front. The front gear shifting has never failed yet.
yeah, I only use them for my feet. even the hand warmers. they are for my feet. I swear they can be just dead appendages sometimes. I've got my hands figured out just fine w/ other garments like you said, gloves & even barmitts. but those feet, after an hour in the very cold & they're done. most winter rides aren't much longer than an hour or two. so the warmers give me just enough boost that makes it a non issue. did an hour and a half at 25 degrees recently (w/o the warmers) & that was my limit. the feet started to complain. hands were happy as clams

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Old 11-28-23, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
yeah, I only use them for my feet. even the hand warmers. they are for my feet. I swear they can be just dead appendages sometimes. I've got my hands figured out just fine w/ other garments like you said, gloves & even barmitts. but those feet, after an hour in the very cold & they're done. most winter rides aren't much longer than an hour or two. so the warmers give me just enough boost that makes it a non issue. did an hour and a half at 25 degrees recently & that was my limit. the feet started to complain. hands were happy as clams
During very cold weather, I do not bicycle more than 2 hrs. I have learned that you must have an outer layer that prevents air from stealing your body heat otherwise it becomes a losing battle. Once the temp dips below zero, I have a pair of almost knee heigh compression socks (fully cover calf muscles), a layer of thin wool blend socks, and finally a thicker wool or one of the newer blended materials that does not trap moisture, should you get a little warm. I also use wind proof shoe covers that seal the shoes completely by a zipper and a chord at the top that goes up to ankle. The last layer has proved quite beneficial at and below zero F. Should the temp rise and I feel a little warmer, I can always unzip the shoe cover partially to ensure that moisture doesn’t condense. Without all these layers, my feet do get cold and I don’t like the idea of riding too long when my feet or fingers are beginning to approach numbness, even if I can push for a while longer.
Decades ago, when I experienced my toes going numb the first time, I found a coffee shop to get warmed up - a hot cup of coffee and a warm brioche never tasted so good. After that a number of well thought purchases were made to survive the winters.

Good luck, and keep warm!
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