Winter riding

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Jakub, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. Jakub

    Jakub New Member

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    If you live on the Northern Hemisphere in the recent days you must have noticed temperatures dropping under 40oF, strong winds, perhaps even snow.

    For me it means:
    - feeling overdressed and sweating heavily on the climbs, then freezing going down the hill
    - inhaling gallons of cold air at 170HR and getting a soar throat the next day
    - wrapping my feet in neoprene booties and still freezing my toes off after the first 10 miles.

    Do I have to stay on the rollers for the next 5 months or is there a remedy?

    Jakub:confused:
     
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  2. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    There is, and you're lucky I'm here to tell you.

    Move to Australia. ;)
     
  3. tomgaul

    tomgaul New Member

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    Well I got out for my first ride in a month today and I know what you mean about the sweating up hill and freezing going down the hills. I'm hoping to remedy my winter blues, I just got my Computrainer and it's set up so I'll be starting my winter training sessions this week.:D
     
  4. Ratface

    Ratface New Member

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    Just put my neoprene booties on this weekend for a whizz around my short circuit in -2C weather. It's only gonna get colder up here in Sweden as well.

    Fortunately it's my birthday coming up and I know I'm getting a trainer, so I'm gonna keep the interval work indoors and get out for a longer ride when it doesn't feel like my bits are going to fall off.

    Of course, you could always revert to a mountainbike where one can get away with wearing a lot more kit!
     
  5. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    I haven't had any problem yet. One ride last weekend I did was up a mountain to a ski area in Anchorage, Alaska. It was snowing at the top, about 25 F. I had a long sleeve, skin tight riding jersey underneath, and a slightly heavier (but still light) riding jersey/jacket on the outside. I also wore long pants. The fabric in pants and jacket is nylon, polyester, lycra, spandex, blend. I wore two pairs of socks designed for cross country skiing: the underneath one is very thin and designed to wick the moisture away from the foot, the one on the outside is I think a wool blend, also very thin. I was very comfortable on the way up, 20+ % grade and the way down (high speed). I unzipped the jacket to let the cool air in on the way up, and zipped it back up when I went down. The trick is to wear layers in the arctic; even thin layers are better than trying to get it all with one. I ride at as cold as 45 below F, but then I get a bit too bulky to really call it a decent workout. The breakpoint seems to be around 20 to 25 below when you really start to notice the cold, and the legs seem like they just won't get going.
     
  6. yash

    yash New Member

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    Of course ther's a remedy and it's called mountainbike. In my country (Poland) mercury often drops as low as -15C (5F) and i don't enjoy using my ergo too often, so i had to deal with it another way. Riding the road below -2C (25F) isn't very enjoyable because of windchill (-3C at 30km/h feels like -20C/-5F and the descents...). On mountainbike you don't go faster than 20km/h very often so there's no problem. And because the power is very similar you feel a lot warmer. I did ride at 5F and it was still fun! but don't forget to buy a pair of good spiked tires (or make them) or you may crash. But when you get'em it's a lot safer than riding the road (icy slicks). Once I've ridden when it even wasn't safe to walk :) And that wet, muddy tracks you always pass may at least be suitable to ride ;-)
    But when mercury keeps above 0C/30F just wear a good jacket, windstopper pants a warm pair of socks and ride. And wear yellow/red lenses - they make you feel the weather is a bit warmer:)

    cheers
    yash
     
  7. spokesgeek

    spokesgeek New Member

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    ohmigod. this must be a chick thing, it's the only thing i can figure... i look like the lycra abomitable snowman in this weather, and it's still 2 degrees celsius or so-- it's not even that cold yet!! i see guys with their pant legs rolled up, wearing shorts, while i'm wearing 2 layers on *top* of my pants. i'll resemble a big black marshmallow come january... :p
     
  8. mfallon

    mfallon New Member

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    I lived in Anchorage for three years and I remember those days well. Now I'm in Texas and it was 70F when I went for my ride today:) I do miss looking out my window and seeing nothing but mountains though.

    Matt
     
  9. stevek

    stevek New Member

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    It never gets too cold in Portland Oregon. But the weather is somewhat unpredictable. Lately it has not been below 50 degrees on my rides. But when it rains and is above about 57 degrees it is too warm to wear even a light rain jacket.
    But when it is 40 to 46 and raining I am not sure I want to ride in that. I hate waiting for a bus in that weather.
     
  10. mattyfatty

    mattyfatty New Member

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    I think the lycra layer underneath is a good idea. The lycra will act as a sort of weat suit (or sweat suit, in this case) and keep you warm underneath. A polyester over layer will keep the wind from cutting through and freezing you on those downhills.

    Anyone know whether or not I should wrap my frame with tape or some sort of insulate? I'm in Chicago (windchills are on par with alaska) and I'm afraid my made-in-taiwan steel bianchi frame might crack. Could the winter make my steel brittle or break? I dunno, maybe that's for a different thread.
     
  11. bwilkes

    bwilkes New Member

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    Don't forget about wicking, you dont want the sweat to be right next to your body. Wear a couple of layers, teh layer next to your skin should be of a material that wick teh sweat away and get absorb into the next layer, something like cotton or wool is good.
     
  12. TeleJohn

    TeleJohn New Member

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    How to attach 195cm skis to a bike?
     
  13. Jakub

    Jakub New Member

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    How is that Computrainer working for you? Where did you buy it and and how much are they asking? I looked at http://www.computrainer.com looks interesting but expensive. Are there cheaper products with similar options? Thanks, Jakub
     
  14. tomgaul

    tomgaul New Member

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    You have to buy them direct from the manufacturer. They are pricey but so far it has been great, I'm only into my second week with it. I started the Joe Freil Workout book and the real workouts begin next week and go in 4 week increments with monthly blocks, so I'll have a better idea in another month or so.
     
  15. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    I rode 6 winters over the ice every 12 hours to commute without studded snow tires. It's great to develop balance but can result in a bone fracture here or there. I wasn't convinced that the studded tires were going to help me much until I met a very pregnant woman outside WalMart who was riding a mountain bike. I asked her how she could ride without worrying about falling down. She asked me what kind of studs I was using. "None", I said. She said she never falls down with studs and rides all the time, even pregnant.

    I finally forked out the $100 per tire for Nokien studded mountain bike tires. I haven't fallen down once since. I used to fall probably 10-15 times a winter, sometimes very badly.

    You Texans (and Aussies, too) must be riding very happily now. I wouldn't even think about riding my road bike after it freezes. But yeah, it's the mountain view that appeals to me too.
     
  16. woodchuck

    woodchuck New Member

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    I did a road ride on Wednesday of this week and it was 70F. It felt like Summer with no leaves. Now it is Saturday and we have 8" of snow and it is 20F. I am putting the studded tires on today.
     
  17. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    *Zip up going downhill

    *Get a heat exchanger face mask such as the ones from Psolar

    *Still working on the shoe issue myself.
     
  18. woodchuck

    woodchuck New Member

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    I bought a pair of Lake winter riding boots for this year. I have not tried them yet below freezing. I will let you know how they turn out for the feet. I too got cold feet with the neoprene booties.
     
  19. Xsmoker

    Xsmoker New Member

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    OK, I gotta' throw a flag here. Unless you wear panties, booties will, from now on, be refered to as 'cold weather shoe covers'.
     
  20. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    I am sure bigger shoes and more socks would also work wonders. I plan to go with sub-optimal tightness just so I could use 2 pairs of wool socks and some seal skins or something.
     
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