How Cold and Wet Does It Have To Be Before you Cancel A Bike Ride?



ponka00

New Member
Jul 9, 2010
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I have have no temperature limit really. If you do, you won't be riding a lot here in Norway :D

The worst is when it's raining and close to 0 degrees (32 F). The trick is to accept that you will get wet eventually, there is no way you will keep yourself dry. So instead of dressing to keep dry, you dress to keep yourself warm when you are wet.

One of the best rides I have had was early in the morning on Christmas eve last year. It was -24 degrees outside (-11 F) when I left and the sun had just risen. I had the road all for myself. There is nothing as beautiful as the early morning sun reflecting from the snow and the only thing you can hear is the loud noise that the cold snow makes when you ride on it.
 

bikester62

New Member
Nov 28, 2010
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Is that sort of like "nothing like the smell of napalm in the morning?" (For you who are too young, that's a reference to Apocolypse Now.)

I'm actually looking forward to my firs sub-zero day. I have ridden through snow and wind at 20 degrees and had a ball. And view the sunrise sounds awesome. My wife and I have talked about doing that on the bike path on Lakeshore Drive in Chicago. But I think she will be more of a July viewer.

:)
 

MMMhills

Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2010
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I ride in anything above 10-15F depending on the sun and wind. I ride for fun and below that and it is not fun anymore. If the roads are dry I will ride my roadie but we average near 200 inches of snow a year so for most of the winter there is no shoulder and the roads are unsafe so I hit the lakes.
Full finger gloves, arm & leg warmers, shoe covers and a windbraker is about all I need to stay warm.

A few shots from Northern Michigan.



 

davereo

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2010
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Originally Posted by SierraSlim .

[COLOR= #0000ff]I can't believe y'all ride in that kind of weather! It was only 51 degrees yesterday when I rode, and I nearly FROZE. But I learned a lesson and am shopping today for toe covers, a beanie or something for under my helmet (because my ears were so cold), and a jacket that blocks wind but has breatheable fabric for when I finally warm up, with a high neck and long back. I haven't had a lot of luck finding that in my size around here, but there has to be something out there somewhere. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Anybody who rides in weather below 40 degrees has my total admiration -- or sympathy, lol.[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Have fun, though![/COLOR]
Not sure where you are looking but sometimes you can find things in the darnest places. About three or four years ago I was out shopping in Macy's with my wife scooping up some of those after Xmas discounts. I was standing outside the womens dressing room and on the discount rack close by there was a polyester nylon blend jacket that looked like a motorcycle jacket. I was alone so I thought what the hell why dont I try on this womens jacket. Well wouldnt you know this jacket fit like a glove and had and elastic gather waist and cuff. The jacket was fleeced lined and not overly insulated so I said what the heck and picked it up for me. It is my favorite riding jacket that will be coming out in a few weeks once we fall into the lower twenties. Who would have known that DKNY made a winter riding jacket for twenty bucks.
 

SierraSlim

Active Member
Oct 4, 2010
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[COLOR= #0000ff]Hi, Dave![/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]After that post I DID go shopping at REI, and while I couldn't find anything in the women's section anywhere near my size, I saw an outer-layer jacket on a men's rack in ocean blue that I thought was really pretty. So, like you, I figured, "What the heck?" and tried it on. It fits me great, other than that It's a little tight in the hips, but that's where I'm losing weight the fastest, so I just went ahead and bought it because the next size up was way too big -- and it was only $60, which seems to be cheap in biking clothes! Then I looked in the same area under the same brand name, and found a long-sleeve high-neck jersey to go beneath it, in the same color. Now I'm stylin', lol, and I don't honestly think anybody could be sure they were men's, with the simple styling. They're both Novara products, which I will remember when I'm shopping online. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]I also found a black cozy headband that not only keeps my ears warm but looks pretty darned cool, at least until I put the helmet on, lol. At that point I couldn't spend any more money, so I don't have toe warmers or knee warmers yet -- but I seem to have solved that by wearing pantyhose under my pants. So on my last ride, the only thing still feeling really cold was my nose and cheeks. I'm not quite cold enough, now that I have the other items, to wear a balaclava yet; but I'd rather do that, if it comes to it, than not go riding. It occurs to me, though, that I bought a neck gaiter, and I'm wondering if I can pull it up over my nose when it's cold, or if it would keep sliding down. It's worth a try.[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Now, about the outer-layer jacket. It isn't fleece-lined, it's feels plastic-y. When I sweat from exertion, the jersey wicks it away from my body like it's supposed to -- but when I take the outer jacket off when I'm done, it's all wet on the inside from the sweat! Is that what supposed to happen? I wasn't ready for that, and I turned it inside out and left it where it could air dry. I thought the jackets would wick the moisture to the outside, but no? The jacket material info said it was breatheable and wickable, so I assumed it would. This is all new to me, lol. Also, I guess it doesn't really matter whether the clothes are specifically for cycling, as long as they're polyester and say they're breatheable, is that the idea? [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]I've worn the set 2 or 3 times now, and really like not freezing while I ride, lol. (But I probably STILL couldn't go out in 15 degrees!) And it takes a long time to put on all those layers! [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Happy pedaling, Dave. You and I might have to team up as Team Cross-Dresser or something, LOL. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Have fun.[/COLOR]
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
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Originally Posted by SierraSlim .
[COLOR= rgb(0, 0, 255)]Now, about the outer-layer jacket. It isn't fleece-lined, it's feels plastic-y. When I sweat from exertion, the jersey wicks it away from my body like it's supposed to -- but when I take the outer jacket off when I'm done, it's all wet on the inside from the sweat! Is that what supposed to happen? ..[/COLOR]
Well, it's not 'supposed' to happen based on the marketing materials but it's what actually does happen if you work out at a decent intensity and generate much heat heat in the process. Breathable fabrics have a pretty limited range in terms of actual keeping up with perspiration and struggle with more intense activities even if they'll wick just fine at a walking or easy cycling pace.

Not a lot you can do except work in layers and try to purchase light outer layers that can be stuffed into a jersey pocket as you warm up on rides. For a NorCal climate you can go a long ways on things like wind blocking vests with mesh backs along with perhaps a light rain jacket in a pocket to use for either rain or a drop in temperature.

You don't necessarily need cycling specific clothing so keep an eye out for running or XC ski clothing on sale at places like Sierra Trading Post: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/
The places cycling specific gear is most useful is either race fit gear for aerodynamics, pockets on jerseys or things like long tails in the rear and relatively long sleeves on rain jackets to keep some of the water off while in a riding position. Bike Nashbar: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/TopCategories_10053_10052_-1
and Jenson: http://www.jensonusa.com/
are good places to look for deals on bike specific stuff.

We get plenty of rain in Seattle and I almost always have a small compressible rain jacket in my jersey pocket while training but realistically when it really rains we get soaked regardless of what rain gear we're wearing. The real value of the rain jacket is to retain heat and keep me warm enough during 40 degree downpour. I still come home looking like a drowned rat. As far as temps, I'll ride outdoors until there's too much risk of water ice on the road. The kind of glassy black ice we get here when the temps drop after a storm are spooky in a car and deadly on the bike so then it's time to jump on the trainer. Here's some video from the storm we had a couple of weeks ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOwIxGVLXU0&feature=related

-Dave
 
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kayaspeed

New Member
Dec 6, 2010
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Hi Y'all,
I think everyone is different. Some people will ride through a blizzard. Some won't go out if it falls below 45. Here in Southern California, I would probably cancel a ride if it began to rain, or was raining at the outset. But, then again, I might just say "what the hell". Depends on motivation.
As for temperature, here in Socal it rarely drops below 40. I would still go out and ride in 40. Two winters ago, I went up to about 6500' in January, and it was around freezing, with ice slicks on the road. i froze coming down, for a while, but I'd do it again.
 

bikester62

New Member
Nov 28, 2010
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How do serious winter cyclists take care of their bikes? Like, how often to you clean/lube the chain? How do you go about it? What sort of lubricant do you use? What else does a person need to know about taking care of the machine?
 

ChrisRg

New Member
Nov 23, 2010
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Nice post! i don't mind a bit of rain its quite refreshing when your cycleing about,/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif just bit boring if your on a long journey, colds a different thing, thats not nice ! x
 

Evilbofh

New Member
Nov 26, 2009
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good winter care means washing the chain in kerosene, keeping you bike indoors but try to shake as much of the snow off it first... I give my bike a hot shower about once a week too... Dont take a wet bike out in -5'C or below make sure it is dry... you dont want your break cables to freeze...

The one thing that get me is that show sticks to my cleats and I can get my shoes into my pedal.. (crank brother with 3 hole cleats..)

One think that make -5'C and below ride more fun is a good breath-heat-exchanger, I have something called a lungplus (www.lungplus.se) even at -20'C you dont feel the cold... all you feel is the 3 or more layers of cloth...

It is probally too late to build a new winter bike for me this year but next year I plan for an alfine 11 speed disk breaks ( a must for winter riding) and a belt drive and alfine dyno front hub bike...something like this http://www.poison-bikes.de/frame.php?prodid=9911040300-306&groupid= but with STI shifter and racing bars...
 

bikester62

New Member
Nov 28, 2010
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The temp has been in the low 20's [FONT= 'times new roman']Fahrenheit all week, with winds in the low 20's. Layering has kept my temperature comfortable. I wear a balaclava and a ski mask. This is really fun. [/FONT]
 

rparedes

New Member
Jul 21, 2007
527
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Originally Posted by SierraSlim .

[COLOR= #0000ff]Hey, Y'all![/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]I got my first bike ride in the rain a couple days ago. It wasn't raining when I STARTED, mind you, but I knew it could; it was cloudy and windy and gray and gloomy and just plain ugly outside. I was hoping the actual rain would wait until after I finished my ride, lol. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]It didn't. But even before it started raining, I was so cold and miserable I was ready to quit, and did quit at only 7 miles, which is pretty minimal for me. So I got really cold and fairly damp -- and now I'm coming down with a nasty cold that really has nothing to do with the weather, but I wanted to complain about it, lol. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]It was about 60 degrees that day, and I was surprised at how cold it felt, even though I also felt hot from the exertion. I don't have real cycling clothes yet, other than a pair of capris, so I had on a 3/4 sleeve T-shirt and a nylon parka with hoodie (and probably looked like a doofus, but it's what I had to work with). [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]So I wondered... Is there a temperature/weather you won't ride in? I won't be riding in rain, even if I didn't hate it, because my glasses get wet and I can't see a darned thing. But if it hadn't been cloudy and humid and windy, I don't think the 60 degrees would have been bad at all.[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]How bout you? What's your limit?[/COLOR]
Never ride if wind chill is below 35. If it may lightly rain, I take a waterproof jacket with me (very light, so I can put in rear jersey pocket). If it's pouring outside, I don't ride...
 

rparedes

New Member
Jul 21, 2007
527
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Originally Posted by SierraSlim .

[COLOR= #0000ff]Hey, Y'all![/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]I got my first bike ride in the rain a couple days ago. It wasn't raining when I STARTED, mind you, but I knew it could; it was cloudy and windy and gray and gloomy and just plain ugly outside. I was hoping the actual rain would wait until after I finished my ride, lol. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]It didn't. But even before it started raining, I was so cold and miserable I was ready to quit, and did quit at only 7 miles, which is pretty minimal for me. So I got really cold and fairly damp -- and now I'm coming down with a nasty cold that really has nothing to do with the weather, but I wanted to complain about it, lol. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]It was about 60 degrees that day, and I was surprised at how cold it felt, even though I also felt hot from the exertion. I don't have real cycling clothes yet, other than a pair of capris, so I had on a 3/4 sleeve T-shirt and a nylon parka with hoodie (and probably looked like a doofus, but it's what I had to work with). [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]So I wondered... Is there a temperature/weather you won't ride in? I won't be riding in rain, even if I didn't hate it, because my glasses get wet and I can't see a darned thing. But if it hadn't been cloudy and humid and windy, I don't think the 60 degrees would have been bad at all.[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]How bout you? What's your limit?[/COLOR]
Never ride if wind chill is below 35. If it may lightly rain, I take a waterproof jacket with me (very light, so I can put in rear jersey pocket). If it's pouring outside, I don't ride...
 

SierraSlim

Active Member
Oct 4, 2010
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[COLOR= #0000ff]Hi, Bikester.[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]I have 7 words for you: Are you outta your cotton-pickin' MIND??? Lol. 20 degrees with 20 mph winds sounds unimaginably frigid to me. I don't think my lungs would even take in air that cold. I don't know whether to off you my admiration or my sympathy, lol. But you have my respect (Sierra said as she headed back to the fireplace). [/COLOR]


Originally Posted by bikester62 .

The temp has been in the low 20's Fahrenheit all week, with winds in the low 20's. Layering has kept my temperature comfortable. I wear a balaclava and a ski mask. This is really fun.
 

bikester62

New Member
Nov 28, 2010
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It is cold - but layering with the right materials really makes it work.

Oh, and yes, I am out of my cotton pickin mind. But then, I realize that in California, 20 degrees is really cold. In northern Indiana, it's about average for this time of year. Actually if you had told me last summer that I would be doing this I would probably have looked at you as if you were crazy!.
 

ChrisRg

New Member
Nov 23, 2010
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Cold again here but still braving it, wrap up warm, I'm ok as long as they keep the roads ice free for us, lets hope x /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
 

davereo

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2010
1,639
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We have made it all the way to 12/20 without any snow. The drought is over and we are getting our first taste of Fall snow. The roads are getting treated for the first time. I now will be switching over to my winter bike. I was hoping to get one more ride in before the holidays that may be on hold for now.