Winter coming... oh boy...

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Dr_hush1417, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Dr_hush1417

    Dr_hush1417 New Member

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    Today was the first fairly cold day here, yesterday was bright and very warm.

    So simple question: How do you all deal with the lack of enthusiasm I seem to get in the winter, when I look out the window and see clouds and a cold environment... or is that just me?:confused:

    I'll probably be getting arm and leg warmers here soon, but still the thought of riding in wind and cold is not a very fun concept. Is it more fun than it looks?
     
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  2. jarodwinn

    jarodwinn New Member

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    I agree, winter SUCKS!!!

    One of the bike shops in my home town use to put on winter "ice" crits. It was a blast and helped the riders get through the winter time. All you need is a mountain bike and a set of studded tires. I think you can buy them for ~$40-50.
    You can make your own a lot cheaper than that if you want. If you've got a set of knobbies laying around (preferrably a set that you proabably aren't going to use again) just mark a pattern on the tread for the studs, go down to your local hardware store and buy some 1/2 inch screws and nuts. Drill the screws through the tire where you marked your pattern, screw the nut on (you may want to use some lock-tight). Then, MOST IMPORTANTLY, cover the screw head on the inside of the tire to prevent flats.
    To do this, find a pair of old tubes laying around (you may be able to talk your bike shop into giving you a set that have holes in them) cut out the valve stem, then make a cut that runs the entire inside of the tube (make sure its the inside and not the outside... the outside of the tube is what will protect your inflated tube from puntures). Wrap this tube around the inflated tube and mount as you would a regular tire.
    If you don't have a spair tube laying around you can use duct-tape: apply about 1 square inch of tape over the head of the screw (this method won't last as long as the tube method, but it should still help prevent the screw from tearing into your tube.)
    BAMMM!!! you've got yourself a set of studs! ;)
    Now ya just gotta find a bike shop or a group of friends to race against!

    P.S.
    If you're having a hard time finding a parking lot with snow and ice... bring a bunch of water to dump in the turns, wait about 30 minutes and let the fun begin!

    P.S.S.
    As fun as it is, it may result in injury or possible death! WEAR A HELMET! :D
     
  3. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I feel your pain. Here, in winter, temps can plunge into the 30's. Sometimes I can't even wear my knickers and have to instead put on full leg warmers! Of course we're continually plagued with never ending sunshine during the days. :D
     
  4. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    I'm a fair weather rider, meaning I'm not going to ride in the rain, much less when there's snow.

    I will do some rides when the temperature starts getting cool, but I start wimping out when the temp drops to 50F for the high. When you ride in those temps the wind chill drops the temp down to 30F and even wearing good cold weather gear, it always seems like my torso is too warm and my fingers, feet and knees are too cold. I used to ride in colder temps without so many issues, so it's probably an age thing.

    Having said that, enjoying (or at least building up a tolerance to seasonal temp changes ) riding in different temperatures, is just a matter of riding enough each week throughout the year that the temperature changes don't seem so dramatic.

    You can buy some cycling clothes that are good for cold weather, watch those internet sales and make sure you get a good price.

    The best time to buy cold weather gear is in the Spring time. :D
     
  5. gman0482

    gman0482 Member

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    The only thing that would bother me on a cold weather ride, is when I heat up going up a hill, get sweaty inside all the clothes, and then have to ride down feeling like it's -10*. I did buy a bunch of cycling clothes for colder temps, but I agree that after a certain temp, it doesn't matter.

    Another aspect of riding during the winter (in New England) is that the towns love to throw salt and sand on the roads as soon as the first snow flake hits the ground. So as to riding my new bike on salty/sandy roads, now way :eek:. Thank god I'm keeping my Jamis for those kind of rides. (thinking about putting back some cyclocross tires)

    -Greg
     
  6. rparedes

    rparedes New Member

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    For me, as long as the temp is above 30 degrees, I really enjoy winter riding. You'll be surprised how warm you can stay with just long tights, arm warmers and gloves (maybe a light wind breaker). We are lucky that our winter days are dry, sunny and beautiful (Atlanta area). There is nothing like a sunny, crisp, winter day. If its wet, dark and very cold (very few days), I ride indoors or do more running...
     
  7. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    The key to staying comfy in winter sports is to layer clothes and dress for the activity, not for when you're just standing outside doing nothing. Riding in winter can be a process of unzip for a while; zip back up for a while; rinse; repeat as necessary. The idea is to not end up soaked with sweat. For winter rides, if you're dressed ideally, you'll be a bit cold at the start of the ride.
     
  8. pgk

    pgk New Member

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    I hate winter riding, I ride my rollers indoors instead.
     
  9. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Well said Alienator. Being a bit cold for the first 10-15 minutes usually means you're dressed just right. It's also handy to have a place to store extra winter layers that come off later in the day, or to be prepared with a vest or rain jacket in event of a cold rain or change in temps. Several riders here use rear racks in winter for that purpose; post racks make this easy now.

    Adding a rack and an extra lb of clothing options may seem like a major travesty to the image-conscious and weight-wienies, but I've found the extra lb or two isn't noticeable vs the safety and confidence gained by being able to deal with changing winter weather.
     
  10. Beverly Stayart

    Beverly Stayart New Member

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    Gauge your rides to the weather and your expectations. Some days you will be more enthusiastic, especially if it is cold but sunny and bright. You can't expect to be able to ride every day in the winter. Follow your instincts and ride when both the weather and your mood agree.
     
  11. gman0482

    gman0482 Member

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    Good points... I am still a rookie at this so I need to try it all out. I got a pair of Canari gel tights and jacket for the colder temps (I know it's not enough). I rode 2 days ago in the morning and it was around 55*F. I hit a pretty big climb, and didn't unzip, so at the top I was soaked. You can imagine the ride down... :rolleyes:
     
  12. gman0482

    gman0482 Member

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    Alienator, I was thinking about taking a vacation sometime during the winter, and packing up my bike with me. One of the places I was thinking of was Arizona and Cali. How is the average weather there during that time, and how are the roads ?

    Thanks,
    -Greg
     
  13. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    If you have issues with freezing fingers like I, suggest you find some Vertigo gloves by Gordini. Of course, they're ski gloves but they are nothing short of AMAZING for retaining your body heat. They're individually fingered for good dexterity. Worth their weight in gold to me as my rides basically end when my fingers go numb - and that used to occur after about an hour in 50F or less temps...

    Another old standby to combat the cold and wet is to use petroleum jelly on any exposed skin surfaces. Absent leg/arm warmers, it is extremely effective for heat retention...
     
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