38 degrees seems freakin' COLD right now.

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by GrowingStronger, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. GrowingStronger

    GrowingStronger New Member

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    In January, riding in 38 degree weather would be a treat. Sure seems cold after a long summer. Back to the full winter gear any time now - unless, this being the Midwest, it's 94 next week like it was a few years ago in early October. Damn, I wish I wasn't such a wuss.
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Global Warmingâ„¢

    55° when I started riding to the Pa. border and back and I froze.

    38° and riding...you aren't a wuss.
     
  3. GrowingStronger

    GrowingStronger New Member

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    I'd take some of that now - they claim we're going to get slammed this winter. I guess if that happens, I'll have to spend more quality time with my skis and snowshoes.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Same same. If the projected white blasts of Global Warmingâ„¢ from the Union Of Concerned Scientists hit's us as they say, the waxable and waxless XC skis come out and I hit the groomed trails for Nordic style. Never could skate-ski to save my ass!

    As long as he roads are clear and dry, I'll ride. I draw the line at about 25° nowadays. That's plenty cold enough!
     
  5. GrowingStronger

    GrowingStronger New Member

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    I'll go out to the mid-teens if there isn't wind. But I really layer up - it's hit or miss, too many variables. My problem this very early am was I didn't layer enough, and didn't turn around half mile out when I thought " hey, gonna freeze my butt off."
     
  6. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    My limit for a road bike is about 25, too. That's with wool socks, pull on tights over bibs, a thermal base layer, and a windproof jacket. Balaclava under the helmet. My wife's cousin sent me some X/C ski gloves from Finland that are great. Split mittens.

    I've ridden down to about 16F, but that was on a cruiser with ski pants and winter boots (platform pedals). And ski goggles. Day after Thanksgiving a couple of years ago.
     
  7. gs12

    gs12 New Member

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    Yeah, my first winter as a newbie. I'm already whining about temps in the 60's. What do i need to buy for winter biking?
     
  8. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by gs12 .
    Yeah, my first winter as a newbie. I'm already whining about temps in the 60's. What do i need to buy for winter biking?

    Non-absorbent thermal base layer (made from a material like polypropeline). A winter jacket that's breathable. Perhaps a long sleeved jersey if an intermediate layer is needed. You could buy chamois lined tights or bib tights, but I wear plain tights over my regular cycling shorts or bibs. Long fingered gloves. A skull cap for under the helmet. Maybe a balaclava or some other kind of face mask for when it's really cold.

    As far as feet go, I'm comfortable in wool socks and my regular cycling shoes, down to about 25F. Some people buy winter shoes, or wear booties over their regular shoes.

    Eyewear. Winter riding for me means riding after dark, as I work regular hours. I wear clear safety glasses. Both for eye protection, and to keep my eyes from drying out.

    The other winter essential is knowing how to launch snot rockets without getting mucous on the shoulder of your jacket. Your nose will run. A lot. Cover one nostril, angle your head to the side, and let loose. Beats blowing your nose into your glove. Check your 6 for another rider first. [​IMG]
     
  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "What do i need to buy for winter biking?"

    A plane ticket to Florida.

    If you're going to hang around Maryland, get yourself a fixed gear bike or singlespeed (easier/faster post-ride cleanup) or a junker derailleur bike. Salt, road grit and water are hell on bikes. Or ride only on clear, dry roads like I do. Even then, detail clean the driveline more often than summer if your roads accumulate as much berm grit as ours do in winter.

    Clothing:
    1. A couple of thin balaclavas. Dick's, Cabelas or Gander Mountain.
    2. Maybe a helmet cover (I do not use one). Nashbar
    3. Good thinsulate gloves, wool liner gloves, mittens or lobster claw mitts. Menards, WallyWorld or Gander Mountain.
    4. Tights in a material weight to suit your temperature range. I wear tights over shorts.
    5. Polypro base layer long sleeve shirts. WallyWorld Starter brand works well for me.
    6. Long sleeve jersey. Lycra or wool, your choice.
    7. Sock choice to suit. Poly, cotton or wool. Layer thin socks as an option.
    8. Shoe covers for wind protection, road crap protection and maybe a bit of insulation.
    9. Winter cycling shoes or booties...if the budget allows, they help the feet a little bit more.
    10. Electrically heated socks. My treat to myself this year. Frozen toes suck.

    For those stupid-cold rides that you just have to get in after being cooped up for days thru a blizzard, the heat packs stuffed into oversize gloves and into your shoes helps.

    Cell phone. Changing a flat with already half-numb fingers and gloves peeled off to work is a pain in the ass.
     
  10. GrowingStronger

    GrowingStronger New Member

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    Gaiters aren't a bad idea, either, to keep the slush out of your shoes and pant legs, if you're not wearing something tight around the ankles. Check out REI for good gaiters.
     
  11. gs12

    gs12 New Member

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    @ Mpre53 - i'm already a pro at the snot rocket, i have to figure everything else out tho! Thanks for the tips, going to check out gear scan and REI.
     
  12. Monte730

    Monte730 New Member

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    Good list there, Bob.
     
  13. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Monte. I was born and raised in Ohio. It's a, land of nice cycling roads, but winters can be cold and gray enough to drive folks indoors and onto trainers. Wet cold...dry cold...freezing rain and drizzle...slush...glare ice...winds howling...we have all of it from November thru March some years.

    I did not mention a jacket in the above list. I have a nice collection of high end cycling jackets and they all suck. Too little ventilation, too much insulation for the temperature range I ride in and after doing repeated climbs I sweat too much and chill off. I prefer adding one more light base layer to a jacket when I'm out in the lower end of my temperature range. Staying dry really matters in the cold and you may have to back the tempo down a little in order to keep from over-working it in the hills.

    But, everyone is different in how they ride, their terrain and how they want to deal with the bitter cold stuff. If a jacket works, by all means grab it, zip it up and ride! Comfort matters more than style points.

    For me it's my toes that limit ride lengths. My legs are fine, but my toes freeze! Two shorter workouts on weekends are preferred to one longer one if it's cold enough to make my toes numb.

    Or...that plane ticket to Florida! That works just as well!
     
  14. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Monte730 .
    Good list there

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Monte730

    Monte730 New Member

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    V, I can picture it.

    Bob, I am sure it does get cold. I am from NJ, but I am sure it is nothing here compared to what you get over there. Haha, I have never had the problem of my feet getting cold. For me, it tends to be the forearms.

    Cheers.
     
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