's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

how the heck do you ride in the cold?(14 posts)

how the heck do you ride in the cold?jfd141
Nov 4, 2002 1:09 PM
Just got in from a ride that I had to cut was just too freakin' cold (about 35 degrees and windy). I was fine riding in the mid 40's...but this just feels a whole lot colder. Are there any recommendations for booties for the shoes? I had two layers of wool socks and my toes just about fell off still.

My impression is that a lot of folks on this board try to ride outside no matter what. But even with all the right gear, do some folks just say the heck with it and train indoors when it gets around freezing (I never thought I'd consider riding on a trainer over outside but this cold is just unbearable...who knows maybe i'm just a sissy?!?!)?

re: how the heck do you ride in the cold?divve
Nov 4, 2002 1:19 PM
I always wear gloves and a thermal jacket made out of windstopper or similar material. I've found that when I keep my core body temperature warm I have no problems with cold feet...I wear the same socks and shoes in the summer and winter...could just be me though.
I've been doing this for a while now....2melow
Nov 4, 2002 2:36 PM
Socks : Defeet Woolie Boolie, shoes kept a bit looser than normal, neoprene booties under 20degrees/windstopper booties warmer than 20. The Neoprene are hot and make your feet sweat if it is any warmer than 20 for me.

Windstopper jacket, I normally layer underneath with a silk turtleneck (found cheap at Sierra Trading post), polypro long sleeve, and if it is really cold...a short sleeve fleece vest.

I'm still working on tights that actually fit lengthwise, but Craft Storm or Amfibs keep me warm except the gap that doesn't cover the rest of my leg.

Most important: Balaclava for head/neck. Turtlefur makes a really warm fleece one, found at REI. Also, I use the lobstergloves from pearl...really warm.

I commute year round here in Colorado with that setup, and occasionally take the long way home to get an extra workout in. Also, think black clothing. Not the best to be seen by cars, but if it is frigid out - that sun hitting your black clothes really makes a difference on some days!
Here's what I wore on yesterday's ride in 39 deg temps:RhodyRider
Nov 4, 2002 1:29 PM
Midweight wool socks, normal (meaning light/mesh) road shoes (hint: keep 'em a bit looser than in warm weather, it aids circulation and lets you move those toes!), Biemme "windstopper"-type booties (THESE ARE VERY EFFECTIVE, TRY TO FIND THEM IF YOU CAN), midweight tights, Voler bib shorts underneath, polypro t-shirt, fairly heavy-weight polypro zip turtleneck, then finally a Santini "Roubaix"-weight long sleeve Vini Caldirola jersey which behaves like a jacket. Thin (but effective) polartec earband under the helmet, full-finger knit cycling gloves (but I need a heavier pair) and of course sunglasses.
I was fine for my over-two-hour ride, but at times I think I should have had some type of wind-stopper layer over my midsection, just because.
re: how the heck do you ride in the cold?dickruthlynn
Nov 4, 2002 4:21 PM
1. Northwave winter shoes with wool socks. The NW shoe is a sock type shoe that fits with a very tight zipper and laces. I take out the laces. My normal shoe size is 43, but for the NW winter shoe, I go with a size 45. The trick is not to go too tight with a heavy weight wool sock. When it gets below 25-28, I also wear booties. Light weight wind stopper shoe covers are very effective in the wet and cold conditions.
2. I also use extra large gloves, whereas I would normally wear a M/L. I use the SubZero gloves by Specialized(?). I use a wool liner inside these gloves when it gets in the low 30s.
3. I wear padded briefs plus padded bib tights. When it gets into the 20s, I add non-bibed sub-zero tights. I really have no problem with cold legs.
4. I always wear a very tight L/S base layer - DeFeet. I wear Castelli jackets. In the 2002 year, they made a very warm jacket - I can not remember the name but it came in either all back or all blue. This all you would need. For 2003, that material is no longer available to them. However, they do have the STRATOULTRA jacket that probably is not quite as warm. I plan to wear this on the sub 20s rides but with a wind stopper vest. The key here is the tight base layer.
5. I wear a skull cap in the fall. A light weight Baraclava(?) for the 30-40s. A heavy weight one below 30. All under a helmut. I do not tape over the vent holes. I wear "shop" goggles over my classes for 30s and below. For below 20, I add a heavy weight neck cover. I think they call it a dicky.
I live 50 miles south of Chicago and ride all year. I do not ride when it gets colder than 10.
34 this morning.SnowBlind
Nov 4, 2002 5:28 PM
Sidi Genius 3's, smartwool mediums.
Bibshorts (y2k)
Hooded Performance jersey, hood up. Keeping your melon warm is VERY important to feeling comfortable.
Regular jersey over top.
Performance Xalt jacket, (vents open).
Defeet glove liners.
Short Castelli gloves.

Coulda used legwarmers, knees got cold, but other than that, I was just fine. As the temps get colder (sub freezing) in Jan. Feb., I might wear tights and full gloves as well.

I ride near the river, so I get the fog rolling in. Very chilly.

So.. SUCK IT UP! ;-)
re: how the heck do you ride in the cold?roadbiker
Nov 4, 2002 5:37 PM
John, the key is the right gear for the temp. I ride all winter here in the midwest, down to 0 degrees F. The thing is to dress for the conditions, what's good for zero is miserable at 35-40 degrees. Let's take feet for example. At 40-50 degrees, toe warmers and reg. socks are enough. From 35 to 40, shoe covers are better, holding in more body heat. as it get colder, first I add chemical packs under the toes then neoprene boots, then finally electric insoles when it dips below 20. The same theory applies to the rest of the body.
Nov 4, 2002 5:48 PM
Most of what you really need isn't that expensive or cycling specific (a few exceptions are noted below). Think layers and common sense (i.e. doing threshold training at 30mph in the dead of winter is not a great idea) and you can have fun and get/keep some form this winter.

Up top -
Base layer: Craft or equivalent.
Mid layer: LS wool top/jersey or equivalent.
Outer layer: Cycling specifc winter jacket. Totally worth it. I use the ExteOndo windstopper and it is toasty warm.

On the bottoms -
Performance Triflex tights: bang for the $, the best.

On your feet -
Wool socks (not too thick), TT booties over shoe and then heavy weight booties (again, Performance) over those. If really cold, chemical warmers inside your shoe do the trick

On your hands -
PI lobster gloves. I bring a light pair of fleece gloves for the way home from those longer rides when the lobsters get too warm (i.e. in the afternoon). Get one size bigger than you need. You need to wiggle your digits to stay warm

On your noggin -
Skullcap okay for above 25 or so - balaclava for when it gets colder

And if you really want to stay warm and (relatively) dry, keep the damp, cold, grimy road off your butt. Use a fender (your pals will thank you). And start your ride with a climb! Nothing like huffing and puffing your winter beater over Hill of Death first thing in the morning to get you nice and toasty.

Freezing in Seattletmguy
Nov 4, 2002 6:26 PM
Feet: Old Shimano Mt. shoes, Hicut w/ smart wool cyling socks. Keep 'em loose like they said above. I generally commute on a converted Mt. bike

Legs: Pearl Izume tights with double layer wind stopping fronts (ladies size 12; hey they were cheap.)

shortts; Nashbar bibs (or Nanlini or whatever is clean)

Top; Louis Garneau short sleeve jersey; Pearl long sleeve jersey l/s Santini with flock backing.

Gloves; PI insulated.

Granted I am warm blooded, but there is no excuse not to ride I use the same setup when the rains come.


tmguy aka OperaLover
re: how the heck do you ride in the cold?MRS
Nov 5, 2002 12:48 AM
Ok, the fashion police will arrest me for this, but anyway...Here are some cheap options to keep your feet warm:
-aluminum foil wrapped around your shoe under a bootie or inside your shoe
-put some bubble wrap (the stuff they send you your bike parts in) around the shoe and tape it up - it sure looks ugly but it keeps your feet warm
If you are going to wear booties, then choose non-neoprene ones with warm lining in dry weather, neoprene when it is wet.

I hope you will figure something out that works for you, riding in the cold is actually more fun than most people think.
26 degreesStewK
Nov 5, 2002 6:43 AM
It was 26 degrees with a light breeze (12mph according the on Sunday morning when I went out, and this is what I wore and felt comfortable.

Polypropylene skullcap under helmet (keeping your head warm is key).

Standard long underwear top, ss jersey, polartec pullover, nylon shell.

Windstopper polartec gloves under a medium weight glove shell with "gauntlets" that go part way up the arm to close the gap. I also used Crazy Creek handwarmers that wrap around your wrists and are supposed to keep the circulating in your hands.

Regular spandex shorts under regular weight tights.

Cotton calf length socks, regular road shoes and Castelli neoprene overboots.

I wouldn't say I was toasty, but I was comfortable. My toes were cool but not uncomfortable. My fingertips were a little cold but not quite uncomfortable. My core temperature was was very warm and I perspired quite a bit.

Ideally, the only things I would change would be:
A more breathatble base layer (my long underwear top was saturated when I got home).
Larger outergloves so that my fingertips aren't pushing at the gloves.
Lightweight, calf length wool socks.
XC overboot ?PatM
Nov 5, 2002 7:38 AM
Found this link a while back, have never tried the XC overboot, looks like an interesting solution. Anyone tried this solution before ?
here is a link to the overboot
re: how the heck do you ride in the cold?CHRoadie
Nov 5, 2002 11:16 AM
Move to Southern California.
re: how the heck do you ride in the cold?commuterguy
Nov 5, 2002 2:21 PM
Just to synthesize what a few earlier posters have touched on: your body has two big priorities that are relevant for cold weather riding: keeping your vital organs at an acceptable temperature, and keeping enough blood going to your brain. Your less-important extremities will lose their blood supply if your core temperature drops to unacceptably low levels. So: keeping your chest and head well-insulated is the first key to cold weather riding. Fleece insulates well while keeping your skin dry, and windstopper is very effective at mitigating windchill.

Earlier poster have also given lots of good advice about specific clothing options. I would only add that I have found a DeFeet mesh undershirt to be very useful year round, but especially in the cold. The fabric just won't let moisture hang around your skin.