cycling in cold weather

Discussion in 'Bike Connections' started by buzzy, Jan 27, 2003.

  1. buzzy

    buzzy New Member

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    How do you guys and gals cycle in the cool weather? I find that when I cycling in cool weather, I get a little cold no matter what clothes I wear. How can I stop this. I hate not being able to cycle in the winter.
     
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  2. maarten

    maarten New Member

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    what do you mean with cold weather?
    Which temperatures approximately?
    Wind, rain, snow?
    if you give some more info its easier to give some tips
     
  3. buzzy

    buzzy New Member

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    Sorry, I forgot to mention that. :) Well this wenter it has gotten in the low teens and that is pretty cold for this region. But during the day, it ranges between 35-60 degrees. I find that rather cold. I do have a pair of tights, but that just doesn't seem to cut the chill. I guess I could try wearing two or three pair, but then that would be going a little far wouldn't it. I don't really ride it the rain because South Carolina drives have a hard enough time driving in good weather much less poor weather.
     
  4. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    Get a jacket or vest with windstopper fabric in it.

    I had one a couple of years ago and it was absolutely the best thing for riding in the cold. You can get them from camping stores, they look like a light weight polartec jacket but they have a windproof (and mildly water proof) membrane inside.

    i don't know about tights, if its cold i generally don't worry about my legs unless its wet and then i solve the problem by staying home:D
     
  5. buzzy

    buzzy New Member

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    Thanks for the tip Duckwah! I will look for one and I agree with staying home if it's cold, but you have to try to make an effort even if you ride for 5 minutes and then come back home. :)
     
  6. Lazarus-g

    Lazarus-g New Member

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    Buzzy I'm with duckwah - keep your chest warm !

    The way I look at it your going to get cold no matter what, but if you keep your torso warm it never seems that bad. Good gloves and a good jacket are the must buys.

    I never seem to have a problem with my legs , a thin pair of tights is all I wear, but feet are something I've never worked out how to keep warm. They go numb eventually so I wait till I get home for them to thaw out:(

    I suppose the golden rule in keeping warm is to wear a hat but it's crash helmut for me (maybe there's one out there that's designed for winter weather, perhaps taping up the vents will hinder heat loss, actually I think I'll give that a go.)

    Still don't let the cold stop you riding, just look out for ice on the shaded parts of the road, it stays there all day.
     
  7. maarten

    maarten New Member

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    I suppose you use fahrenheit which means 2 degrees celsius up to 15 degrees.

    So For the 60 f a windstopper and long pants must be addequate.
    for 35f the trick is layers better 3 thin layers then one thick. use several layers of underwear under your windstopper or heavier vest. If the cold on you chest is the problem there are special vest for this they only consist of a wind thight front side(the rest is a maze, they are excellent in stopping winds.
    There is also underwear with chest protection.

    Cold feet: make shure your shoes aren't too small and use covers.
    Cold hands: ski gloves or a thin extra pair of gloves underneath your usual gloves.

    Make sure your clothes are closed to the top at your neck open area's at your neck can result in air flows and considerable heat loss.

    To cycle don't cycle near open wather(colder over there). Don't cycle in open feelds(colder windchill etc.). Maybe cycle in the forrest(always several degrees warmer between the trees.

    Cyclists use massage cream witch delivers heat, you can use this on your upper legs and the top of your feet to heat them up.
     
  8. ant evans

    ant evans New Member

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    Get to Ground Effect and get yourself a Frosty Boy.

    http://www.groundeffect.co.nz/frosty.cfm

    There is no substitute. I can't use mine when it's above zero degrees outside.... too hot. That's with nothing underneath.

    Mmmm.
     
  9. baldwin2002

    baldwin2002 New Member

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    I used to use a helmet cover and pastic wrap (for those concerned about weight) back in the early 90's. It worked just fine since all the holes were covered and body heat stayed in. I have not seen too many shops now a days that carry helmet covers. Maybe it is just me, I am re-starting to ride after 10 years off. Hope you like and try this cheap fix.



     
  10. Renderdog

    Renderdog New Member

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    Cold weather riding tips...

    Get your core temperature up before the ride by taking a very warm bath.

    Booties and wool socks, glove liners under gloves, a scull cap or balaclava under your helmet (with a helmet cover), a turtleneck to keep your neck warm.

    As others have posted, three or four layers provide enough insulation on the torso, use breathable fabrics on the base layers so your sweat doesn't cool you. On really cold days two layers of leggings, two pairs of shorts can help.

    My parents live in nearby Hartsville and you're right about the drivers; I'd suggest getting one of those LED taillights.
     
  11. JDub7

    JDub7 New Member

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    Another tip for you involves good old duct tape. One of the hardest areas for me to keep warm is my feet. I discovered that using duct tape to cover the vents in my shoes works nicely provided it is not too cold (i.e. below about 30 degrees). When the temperature really dips, it is probably better to go to a pair of the shoe covers you can buy from clothing manufacturers.



     
  12. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    Warm bath means WET, and all that evaporation.

    If it's really cold (single digits Fahrenheit) I've hopped on the trainer for 8 minutes. THat's how long it takes outside for my inner furnace to kick in, too - so if it's chilly I know I'll be okay in a little while.
    I like 3 layers on my legs, which don't get that cold but htey do just dry out and try to flake away. I'm careful not to do anything too tight 'cause that's the only time the footsies get cold (and I rotate my ankles more to keep circulation). Tights, light long-john type things and sweats on top work well. Long underwear, long T-shirt, sweatshirt, and two jackets will mean I'm sending heat out faster than the cold can get in.
     
  13. cyclopath

    cyclopath New Member

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    Good advice that has already been given.

    It isn't hard to layer and intially get warm. The challenge is to keep from sweating and getting chilled.

    below 35F

    Feet - smartwool socks, booties, and cozy feet (battery operated 6ml insert) These are the ONLY things I have found to counteract the ice cube factor that the cleat has on your feet. AFter a short time on the bike, the cleat becomes incredibly cold, transferring the cold upward from the bottom of your shoe. The sole of your foot has relatively no insulation. If your feet are cold, your ride is over.

    Core - layering. good quality baselayer (preferrably one that unzips a bit), a long sleeve jersey with full zipper, and outerlayer jacket with full zipper and windblock. The full zipper is essential. Like I said, the key isn't getting warm enough, its not getting too warm. It is easier to thermal regulate, particularly when going up hills when you have the full zipper option down to the baselayer.

    Legs - good quality baselayer (like undermour), and cold weather tights.

    Face and Head - balaclava with light wicking skull cap underneath. I will take several light wicking layers to change in order to keep my head dry and warm.

    Hope this helps
     
  14. cyclopath

    cyclopath New Member

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    Good advice that has already been given.

    It isn't hard to layer and intially get warm. The challenge is to keep from sweating and getting chilled.

    below 35F

    Feet - smartwool socks, booties, and cozy feet (battery operated 6ml insert) These are the ONLY things I have found to counteract the ice cube factor that the cleat has on your feet. AFter a short time on the bike, the cleat becomes incredibly cold, transferring the cold upward from the bottom of your shoe. The sole of your foot has relatively no insulation. If your feet are cold, your ride is over.

    Core - layering. good quality baselayer (preferrably one that unzips a bit), a long sleeve jersey with full zipper, and outerlayer jacket with full zipper and windblock. The full zipper is essential. Like I said, the key isn't getting warm enough, its not getting too warm. It is easier to thermal regulate, particularly when going up hills when you have the full zipper option down to the baselayer.

    Legs - good quality baselayer (like underarmour), and cold weather tights.

    Face and Head - balaclava with light wicking skull cap underneath. I will take several light wicking layers to change in order to keep my head dry and warm.

    Hope this helps
     
  15. dpetra

    dpetra New Member

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    That seems to be the worst part about riding when it's cold (besides the sun being further away)- -sweating that is. It's good to know that I'm not the only one with this complaint. I always thought that it was either diet, health, age, blood pressure, etc...

    Now that the clocks have been turned back, it looks like another long winter of no riding. It doesn't get too cold down here (Forida), but it gets cold enough that a jacket is necessary. There's nothing worst than having to ride 20 miles in a sweat soaked shirt with a jacket clinging to one's sticky, sweaty arms. It's also not easy to wipe sweat off your forehead with the material that these one-way breathable jackets are made from.

    Is there anything that can be done to inhibit the sweating, besides putting "Sure" or something similar on one's body. Are there certain foods that cause a person's body to sweat less?

    Please excuse the signature..its a work in progress

    Do any of you folks have any suggestions??
     
  16. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Banish all cotton from your riding gear and get wool or synthetic wicking fabrics like polypro. Investigate wicking fabrics and you will soon know what you've been doing wrong.
     
  17. Dfreeman

    Dfreeman New Member

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    I have been riding in any where from 2 degres F to about 30 degres F for a couple weeks now and I cant stand the cold weather. This advise was helpful thanks!

    Sad part is some times there is now way to get around the snow...

    -Devin
     
  18. Nukuhiva

    Nukuhiva Member

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    Wool is the way to go as a first layer, from head to toe, if possible.

    It's pretty much the only thing that'll still keep you warm even when you've soaked it in sweat.

    Sweater or sweater vest to keep your torso warm, I personally like those lobsterclaw type gloves, they're a good compromise between fingered gloves (get cold easily when it's REALLY bitter out there) and mittens (too clumsy for riding a bike).
    Wool glove liners for temps below the 20's.
    (All that would be 100% wool, btw.......)

    If you absolutely MUST ride in the winter with your cleats, you have to use extra protection for your feet, wool socks a must, 2 pairs if necessary (provided they will fit inside your cleats....), you could also employ the old bum trick of wrapping your feet in newspaper/plastic bags to further insulate them.
    Better choice: normal shoes, warm, windproof ones.......
     
  19. bicycledick

    bicycledick New Member

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    If you bike you can't wear heavy clothing. You could wear a jacket with gortex that you could unzip a little as you got hot and zip up but you could adjust it. As for your legs one pair of long johns should be sufficient
     
  20. cstheday52

    cstheday52 New Member

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    I cycle throughout the winter. I wear a gore-tex helmet cover and a pearl izumi skull cap. If it's really cold low 20's, I wear a blaclava.

    On my body I wear three layers, a wicking baselayer, a heavier fleece (thickness depends on the temps. and a breathable softshell.

    On my legs I wear a pair of Performance windproof tights.

    On my feet I wear smartwool socks and windproof booties by pearl Izumi. In addition, I put a pair of toe warmers in my shoes.

    On my hands I usually wear a pair of winter weight cycling gloves.

    I'm usually pretty toasty for about 2-3 hours. The trick is you do not want to get too wet.

    Good Luck!
     
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