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Cold Weather Riding Poll(30 posts)

Cold Weather Riding PollFez
Dec 9, 2003 7:44 AM
This is my 3rd season of winter riding. With the right gear, its really fun!

1) How many hours can you ride in temps 35F and below?
(MB1 need not answer this one).

2) What body part(s) give out on you on cold rides?
For me, its still feet, even with wool socks and fleece-windblock shoe covers. They usually get cold after the 2nd hour. Everything else feels great.

3) Why do we go so much slower? Sure winter riding gear weighs more and is less aero, but aside from that, is it the winds? Or does the cold air make our bodies less efficient for cycling?

4) Does anyone stop for coffee or tea mid-ride to warm up? I haven't done this because I don't like getting re-acclimated to the cold again, but it sounds like a good idea for the weekend.
re: Cold Weather Riding PollK-Man
Dec 9, 2003 7:52 AM
1) How many hours can you ride in temps 35F and below?
Last winter up to 3 hours with the lowest temps probably starting out just above 10 degrees, ending temps upper teens to low 20's. This winter will try to get in some 3.5-4 hr rides.

2) What body part(s) give out on you on cold rides?
Same. Feet! I bought a set of Lake winter shoes this year to see if that helps at all. Circulation is the key to keeping feet warm .

3) Why do we go so much slower? Sure winter riding gear weighs more and is less aero, but aside from that, is it the winds? Or does the cold air make our bodies less efficient for cycling? I think it's a combo of all the above. Not in as good as shape, weight of clothing, less aero, etc.

4) Does anyone stop for coffee or tea mid-ride to warm up? I don't stop riding other than to walk some circulation into the feet when necessary.

I'll ride pretty much every weekend outside throught the winter unless the roads are not ridable with snow or slush.

KMan
re: Cold Weather Riding Polldzrider
Dec 9, 2003 8:09 AM
1. Not as long as you! I seldom go past 90 mins.

2. Feet go first. Army surplus wool/polypro sox and big shoes for circulation help.

3. Not sure, but staying warm burns calories so maybe that's another factor. It also seems like the cold lessens my desire to go fast and increase the wind-chill.

4. I stop to thaw my feet. Usually at bike shops.
Yes, feet freeze first by 1.5 hours at 15F. Other than that,Spunout
Dec 9, 2003 7:52 AM
I am good to go. I'm looking for a big terry cloth wristband (like tennis players use) to wipe the snot off my face.

Feet: Polypropylene liner sock, Defeet Wooleator, Pearl Izumi Am-Fib bootie. I have chronically cold feet though.
re: Cold Weather Riding Pollc722061
Dec 9, 2003 8:15 AM
1) How many hours can you ride in temps 35F and below?
2.5 to 3 hours

2) What body part(s) give out on you on cold rides?
hands. I gave up cycling shoes and use sneakers, the shoes have enough room for thick hiking wool socks and toe warmer. I still have trouble with cold fingers after 2 hours ride

3) Why do we go so much slower?
I breath harder when its cold and my heart beats faster so I have to go slower to keep myself from exhaustion.

4) Does anyone stop for coffee or tea mid-ride to warm up? No, I just ride. If I stop my body gets cold fast and hard to start up again.
1. 28-35*F = 2-3 hrs; 27* or less = trainer time..._rt_
Dec 9, 2003 8:17 AM
2a. TOES!!! 2 weekends ago i started my ride in 27* weather and made the following observation: it takes 10 minutes for my hands to warm up and 15 minutes for my toes & feet to go numb. apparently i don't have a sufficient amount of blood to keep both sets of extremities warm at the same time!

2b. at about 90 minutes the sartorius (the muscle that goes from the inside of your knee to the top of your iliac crest) in my left leg tightens up and my left hip begins to ache. by 2.5 hrs it just downright hurts. this only happens in cold weather and is due to an old injury (shattered the iliac crest in '98 and tore all the muscles that connect in that spot....including the sartorius)

3. hybernation theory. bodies just don't like to go fast in cold weather. besides, it's the off season and time to concentrate on form and endurance, rather than speed.

4. NEVER during a ride. for me, stopping mid-ride, especially in cold weather, is the kiss of death. motivation to return from warm to cold is about zero, muscles tighten up and, if i've been going hard enough to warm up outside, stopping and restarting will just highlight all the places where clothing layers are damp (brrrrr!)

on the other hand, coffee immediately following a ride is a must. especially in the winter. there is nothing better than a toasty cafe mocha (with whipped cream) after a winter ride.

rt
I'm good until about 20*...biknben
Dec 9, 2003 8:26 AM
1.) I could ride as long as I wanted around the freezing mark. for whatever reason the deisre decreases so most of the rides are under 2 hours.

2.) My feet go first, then my hands. My feet seem like a lost cause. I've exhausted most options. I've got winter shoes on my x-mas list.
I have may pairs of gloves. Each has it's own temp. range. If my hands get cold it's because I used the wrong pair.

3.) In regard to going slow I think it's in your head. I have little reason to go faster in the winter. I'm just out doing LSD miles. I want to go slow, therefore I do.

4.) I typically don't stop. In the summer my legs don't like getting back up to speed after a stop. In the winter, my rides aren't usually long enough. When I stopped during last weekend's snow ride I ended up wet with sweat and cold when I got going again. Thankfully, I was just 15 minutes from home.
re: Cold Weather Riding PollPEDDLEFOOT
Dec 9, 2003 8:36 AM
1.I usually ride from 2 to 3 hours.This is due more to time restrictoins and a later starting time in the morning than to cold.

2. The feet and hands gave me the most problems.A nice PI winter glove and glove liners solved the hand problem.The feet haven't given me a problem lately.I've been using some Nike MTB shoes with Smartwool socks.I also use chemical toe warmers that you can get at Walmart in the outdoors dept. for around $1.25.Someone on this board suggested to put them on top of the toes instead of underneath them.That made all the difference in the world.I also use PI foot covers. My feet have'nt been cold since using this method.I have been riding in low 20's with no problems.

3. I'm glad other people are going slower to.I thought it was just me!

4.One other trick I have found is using a Camelback filled with hot tap water.It acts as a hot water bottle on your back.I wear it underneath my outer layer to insulate it.You can also take periodic sips if you don't mind drinking warm water.I usually don't stop for rests in the cold.This is due to the time restrictions also.If I do it's only a few minutes to get some Hammergel.

I think cold weather riding is really enjoyable if you dress right.It's nice to feel as if you are getting in riding that you may not have otherwise.Keep on riding.I think it was MB! who said there is no such thing as bad weather.Just bad clothes.
FYI-Toe/hand warmersCritLover
Dec 9, 2003 10:25 PM
I tried the warmers in my gloves and shoes on my last long ride- 3.5 hr at 30-35 degrees. The hands were toasty, but my feet were still a little cold, especially the last hour when they were freezing. I noticed that the hand warmers are a bit bulkier than the toe warmers (which I had over my toes). The shoe ones are a bit thinner, for comfort reasons I guess, and create less heat. At least that was my perception. Next time I'll buy two packages of hand warmers. Just thought I'd share that for anyone like me, who is desperate to keep their feet warm.
1 hour in <32 because I'm not changing a flat in the cold andDave Hickey
Dec 9, 2003 8:44 AM
15-20 miles is about the maxiumum Mrs. H will drive to pick me up:-)
re: Cold Weather Riding PollPMC
Dec 9, 2003 8:49 AM
1)How many hours can you ride in temps 35F and below? Don't really know. The longest cold weather ride of the year for me has been 3.5 hours at 12 degrees with a strong wind coming out of the northwest.

2) What body part(s) give out on you on cold rides? My toes and fingers but I'm ok if dressed for it. I've found my regular old Sidi G4s with smartwool socks, chemical toe warmers and PI AmFib shoe covers to keep me pretty comfy down to the 5-10 degree range. Take out the warmers and I'm pretty good down to around 20 degrees.

3) Why do we go so much slower? Sure winter riding gear weighs more and is less aero, but aside from that, is it the winds? Or does the cold air make our bodies less efficient for cycling? It's just a combination of everything IMO. Being bundled up and riding when the windchill is sub zero curbs my competitive juices, add in the fact that many of the guys I ride with are now on fix gear or cyclocross bikes.

4) Does anyone stop for coffee or tea mid-ride to warm up? I've been on rides where the group has been stopped for coffee or pastries. IMO it's always a bad idea in really cold temps. The next hour on the road will be by far the most painful of the day. Coffee is great but wait until the ride is over.
re: Cold Weather Riding Polltarwheel
Dec 9, 2003 8:50 AM
1. I start lots of 2-3 hour rides when the temps are in the 30s during winter, but it's unusual when it doesn't warm up to the 40s or 50s in North Carolina on sunny days. We seldom have days that stay below freezing, or even below 40.

2. I'm pretty fortunate in that I don't seem to get cold very easy (at least at NC temperatures). My biggest problem is sweating too much, and then getting cold from the sweat on downhills.

3. I think there is some physics involved with slower speeds in winter, as cold air is denser than warm. It also tends to be much windier. Finally, jackets and other weather gear tend to increase your wind resistance and slow you down.

4. I always like to stop at least on longer rides, cold weather or hot. I haven't tried drinking coffee or other hot drinks, though, because usually my cycling partners only want to stop a few minutes and it takes too long to drink coffee. I'm all for it though.
Normally I do a little over an hourbimini
Dec 9, 2003 8:52 AM
On a nice sunny weekend I might go 2 hours.

2. Last year it was my feet. I have new Look carbon shoes with insoles in them this year and my feet are staying warm. I think it is the insoles and looser fit keeping my toes warm. I wear neoprene booties. So far this year nothing has got cold but I have not been out below 25 degrees yet.

3. On the hour rides my speeds have not dropped this winter. Still average 19 MPH on the cycling computer through town and 20+ out on the roads. I got to ride up and down real mountains 2 weeks ago when visting relatives at 25 degrees, 30-40 MPH winds, snow on the shoulders and still averaged 18 MPH. (yes, I did notice the cold coming down against the headwind) I like the cold, it's temps over 90 degrees I have problems with. Winter riding gear does not have to be less aero and baggy.

4. I don't stop unless doing a long ride. Then I go in the quicky mart, grab a cup of coffee and take it outside to
drink on the down wind side of the building. I've gone inside to drink it before and was drench by the time I was done and COLD!!! when I went back out again.
My Experience.....Len J
Dec 9, 2003 9:07 AM
1.) 2 to 3 hours down to about 20 degrees.

2.) Feet. I use oversize shoes, wool docks & Windproof booties. Key for me is twofold, 1. adequate room in shoes for circulation and 2.) adequate coverage of legs to keep blood warm (It's a long way to the feet).

3.) We go much slower because in order to keep the extremities warm we need to keep the torso warmer, a few degrees of being overheated results in lower overall performance. In addition, moving your legs without tights is easier than with tights (especially warm ones). In addition, most people don't drink enough when it's cold. Dehydration is still dehydration.

4.) No stops. Once I'm warmed up, the goal is to do the time & then get the reward.

Len
re: Cold Weather Riding Pollblackhat
Dec 9, 2003 9:15 AM
1:)Im good for a little over 2 hours as long as its above 0, then if theres any wind at all staying warm is near impossible.

2:)always the toes, like everyone else.

3:)combination of factors already mentioned but Ill add another. when its absolutely frigid the lube in your hubs thickens and makes for more resistance.

4:)not lately but used to almost daily.
To answer the 3rd question first, it's the air density..Tom C
Dec 9, 2003 9:27 AM
that make for slower speeds. The moist hot air of summer is much lighter and easier to move through. As for me, I use the winter for rest which may be an old school view but it's served me well for over 25 years so although I wind up logging a lot of yearly miles, I'll seldom go more than an hour and a half Dec.-Feb. and average about 500 miles per month during the winter. As far as how long can I ride, I did do 3 hours and 15 minutes Sunday but that's an anomaly. And yes feet are the limiting factor. As far as stopping, no, but then again, there is nothing out here to stop for.
Air density makes head wind stronger (nm)spluti
Dec 9, 2003 9:27 AM
It is daylight not temps that limits our winter riding.MB1
Dec 9, 2003 9:55 AM
We don't like to ride in the dark for more than an hour or 2. That usually limits us to less than 130 miles in a day during the winter (2 weeks ago we did what will probably be our last really long ride of the year-150 miles).

2) I want my feet and hands to be somewhat cold in the winter. If my feet and hands are actually warm I am likely wearing too much clothing and will start to accumualte sweat-not a good thing. I am usually more concerned about venting off excess heat than I am about being a little cold around the edges.

3) We usually go a little slower because we are being careful not to overheat. In iffy traction situations we also slow down more in the winter to avoid the chance of crashing. It doesn't take a lot of slower riding to really reduce your average speed.

4) We don't normally stop much anyway but we try to avoid needing to warm up. I usually find the slushy gatorade in our bottles to be pretty refreshing and a nice change from the warm or tepid fluids we drink during the summer.
There's one in every group..........Len J
Dec 9, 2003 10:01 AM
damn showoff ;-). (You know it's jealosy!)

How's the knee?

Len
Want to do a fixed 200K this weekend?MB1
Dec 9, 2003 10:07 AM
Or even geared. We are likely to ride in Southern Maryland down to Point Lookout and back if the winds are no stronger than 15mph.

It will be very flat for us and only mildly hilly for you.

The knee seems to still ache but functions fine on the bike and snow shoeing. Running sucks (but it did before I hurt the knee too).
Thanks.....Len J
Dec 9, 2003 10:26 AM
for the invite, unfortunaly my wife had pretty major surgery this past Friday and I'm the housenurse. I have gained a new respect for home health and other healthcare providers. I haven't slept in 4 days and am exausted. Wouldn't feel right leaving her for that long this weekend. May try to sneak out for a couple of hours though (if she's feeling better.

Glad to hear about the knee.

Len
Hmm, now THAT'S tempting ...Humma Hah
Dec 10, 2003 7:44 AM
... It would kill me ... I have not been on a bike in almost a month, but I know either Schwinn would be happy to do it.

As I recall, the hills are very small at the beginning of the ride, but they get very steep after the first 130 miles. ;-)
Totally agree with #3Fez
Dec 9, 2003 10:13 AM
On really cold days I try to go extra easy, sit and spin, and stay dry.

Turning on the intensity on a cold day will cause me to overheat, get drenched in sweat, and get really cold afterwards.
A handy daylight plannerRoyGBiv
Dec 9, 2003 10:33 AM
http://www.sunrisesunset.com/custom_srss_calendar.asp
re: Cold Weather Riding PollORdirtydown
Dec 9, 2003 9:59 AM
1. I can do about 2-3 hours if it is dry (not raining). It is not common in western Oregon for the temps to be in that range. They tend to be more around 40-45F. If it is raining then my tolerance goes down.

2. The feet. I use Northwave Grizzlies mtb shoe. There is a little extra room for thicker wool socks and some air insulation. I have to use gaitors to keep the water out longer. In a hard rain, it eventually soaks down through the clothing into the socks.

3. I ride alone at night. I can't see my speedometer and no else is around to compare to. Sometimes I just feel fast and that is good enough for me.

4. If my toes are frozen, I will stop for coffee and thaw them out. Eventhough I hate getting going again, my feet often stay warm the remainder of the journey. It is the same for my hands. When my hands thaw ourt, it is extremely painful. It is so bad I have to stop and let them finish thawing. Once they are thawed out, I don't have a problem the rest of the day.
re: Cold Weather Riding Pollterry b
Dec 9, 2003 10:23 AM
1) How many hours can you ride in temps 35F and below?
Depends on the temperatures. I try to ride at least 2.5 hours on both Saturdays and Sundays throughout the winter. Some portion of that is below 35F, but obviously it depends on the weather. I do try to get the riding in early in the day, so sometimes it's mostly below 35F, sometimes part and sometimes none.

2) What body part(s) give out on you on cold rides?
Toes and finger tips are the weak points, but as I refine my database of what I wore under which conditions, even toe freezing is becoming a thing of the past.

3) Why do we go so much slower?
Don't know, but I see it too. I feel pretty restricted by tights and wonder if it's merely that. Also sometimes feel like my energy is dedicated more to staying warm than pushing pedals. Also, the air just feels soupier.

4) Does anyone stop for coffee or tea mid-ride to warm up? Never. I go out, I ride, I go home.
re: Cold Weather Riding PollAndy M-S
Dec 9, 2003 10:42 AM
1) 35 is warm for winter riding. At that temp, 3 hours easily, probably more. Drop into the low 20s and things get more limiting.

2) Hands and feet, if you're not careful. Good shoes with wool socks and plastic bags over the toes make a big difference, as do windblocking fleece gloves.

3) Partly it's the clothing, and partly, because we're usually riding solo and so we get a chance to look at things. There's nothing to prove.

4) I've done it. It's a nice way to ride--ride to meet friends, stretch, and then ride home.
re: Cold Weather Riding Pollkfatschor
Dec 9, 2003 12:42 PM
1) about 2-2.5 road , 3 on mtb
2) feet, thats why I ride with hiking shoes on my mtb and finger tips for what I can't find anything useful.
3) I try not to sweat much thats why I try to pace meself
4) I rarely stop on rides below 4 hrs anyway.
If I feel I will be too cold in the middle of the ride
I just ride rollers inside and save myself some pain.
re: Cold Weather Riding PollJS Haiku Shop
Dec 10, 2003 7:54 AM
1) how long under 35F? 15 hours 50 minutes
2) what body parts give out? none
3) why slower in winter? burnout
4) stop for coffee? no

it's all about the gear, and what's between your ears.
re: Cold Weather Riding PollAsiago
Dec 10, 2003 9:28 AM
1) 35F deg and below? Up to 3 hours.

2) What body part gives out first? The toes. If I can keep my feet warm, I'm pretty much good to go.

3) Fitness/Program/Significantly higher sir resistance from cold air being much denser. Somebody here a couple years ago made reference to just how much...

4) Sometimes. The Sunday Coffee ride, by nature, has a stop. If I am doing this ride, I make sure I don't go very hard prior to the stop so I am not all sweaty.

Asiago