General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Cold bike gear Rss Feed  
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2013-10-05 8:55 PM

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Subject: Cold bike gear
What do you guys use to bike in the cold? I will run in the cold down to 15-20 but today it was 50, cloudy, and windy and I just walked right back inside and put on swim cloths and went to the gym instead (did a half assed 40 min trainer ride afterwards though). I can always warm up running after a mile or so but I get cold riding my bike in anything below 70. Going 20mph with numb fingers and a constant runny nose isn't my idea of fun. Well....neither is being on the training for hours (yuk!). What do you guys wear when biking? What's the lowest you'll bike in? Gloves, masks, shorts + pant layers? School me because I do not want to spend 5-6 months on the trainer.

Edited by Blastman 2013-10-05 8:55 PM


2013-10-05 9:01 PM
in reply to: Blastman

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Veteran
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Houston, TX
Subject: RE: Cold bike gear
Bike jacket, full finger gloves, and skull cap under the helmet
2013-10-05 9:05 PM
in reply to: Blastman


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Subject: RE: Cold bike gear
well it all depends on the temp, 50 degrees I might just throw on a long sleeve jersey and full finger gloves. 40 - 50 I will add in tights, 30 - 40 I will make it insulated gloves and insulated pants, and a wind shell jacket (over the long sleeve jersey), I will throw on my balaclava, however pull it off my face. 20 - 30 balaclava over my face and booties over my shoes. Below 20 I crawl back into bed. However I must say I stop riding outside the moment the first salt truck hits the road and won't get back on until the first hard rain in the spring.
2013-10-05 9:48 PM
in reply to: 0

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Phoenix AZ
Subject: RE: Cold bike gear
when it's cold here i'll wear a base layer, 2 jerseys, arm warmers, gloves, leg warmers, toe warmers, two pairs of socks, and a headband.

i have a fleece-lined jacket but i've only worn it once and i got too hot. of course it really doesnt get below 40 here, even in the winter. and if it's a particularly cold day i'll just wait until the sun comes out for a little more warmth. but there were only two days last year when it felt really cold.

Edited by Bunsbert Montcroff 2013-10-05 9:50 PM
2013-10-06 12:48 AM
in reply to: Blastman

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Master
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Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: Cold bike gear

You keep warm in cold weather by keeping the wind off your skin,staying dry, and an appropriate amount of insultation.  Cold wind on bare damp skin is a recipe for bone chilling cold.  Also in the world of cold, wet, and windy I'll only do two of the three: wet and windy, or wet and cold, or cold and windy, but never cold, wet and windy.  It's just not worth it.

Generally I layer for about 20-25 degrees colder than the air temperature.  This keeps my from sweating.  For 40-55 degrees, I generally wear Amfib insulated pants over bike shorts, long socks, and booties.  The upper body gets long finger gloves, a Nike technical undershirt, a long sleeve jersey, and a GoreTex windbreaker to stop wind and water yet breath.

For 35-40 degrees or windy, I'll use insulated gloves, add leg warmers under the Amfib pants, and add an insulated vest up top.

I won't ride under 35 degrees; too much ice equals too high of a risk of crashing. I've seen it too many times to be that statistic.

2013-10-06 6:39 AM
in reply to: 0

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Champion
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Montague Gold Mines, Nova Scotia
Subject: RE: Cold bike gear
I've found that it is very useful to experiment and then record what works for you - it will be a bit different for everyone and, if you're like me, you'll forget year to year what you had been using.

For me:

Above 15C - bibs, jersey and fingerless gloves
Below 15C - add knee warmers/leg warmers
Below 10C - leg warmers, wind jacket or fleece jersey, full finger gloves, cycling cap
Below 5C - ear warmers, wool socks, fleece jersey, toe covers
Below -5C - fleece bib tights, fleece jersey, wind jacket, balaclava (usually won't cover face until below -10C), winter cycling gloves
Below -10C - windstopper pants, nylon shoe covers
Below -15C - ski gloves, neoprene face mask
Below -20C - take the car

Shane

Edited by gsmacleod 2013-10-06 6:41 AM


2013-10-06 8:44 AM
in reply to: gsmacleod


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Subject: RE: Cold bike gear
Under 60 degrees, cover your knees. I only wear shorts when it is warmer than 60. I use leg warmers (or knee warmers) if it is going to get warmer during the ride. Lots of good tips above.
2013-10-06 9:12 AM
in reply to: Blastman

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Subject: RE: Cold bike gear
50 = 10C ... 70=21C.... If 70 is your cut off there are lots of places you would never ride. 50 is not cold by any stretch of the imagination you have to get used to being cool and use the right gear. I won't suggest a full kit combination because the other poster suggested what I wear at 3-5C and not 10C and its different... at 10 I can get away with much less kit, I make sure the hands, feet, core (light full gloves, toe covers, vest) stay warm. I ride below 0 C a lot and it's doable, but once you are below that magic freezing point you can't overdress the excess sweat will freeze.
2013-10-06 9:15 AM
in reply to: gsmacleod

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Subject: RE: Cold bike gear
Originally posted by gsmacleod

I've found that it is very useful to experiment and then record what works for you - it will be a bit different for everyone and, if you're like me, you'll forget year to year what you had been using.

For me:

Above 15C - bibs, jersey and fingerless gloves
Below 15C - add knee warmers/leg warmers
Below 10C - leg warmers, wind jacket or fleece jersey, full finger gloves, cycling cap
Below 5C - ear warmers, wool socks, fleece jersey, toe covers
Below -5C - fleece bib tights, fleece jersey, wind jacket, balaclava (usually won't cover face until below -10C), winter cycling gloves
Below -10C - windstopper pants, nylon shoe covers
Below -15C - ski gloves, neoprene face mask
Below -20C - take the car

Shane


pretty close to what I do... I start going without knees/arms a little cooler but keep toe covers longer.
2013-10-06 5:18 PM
in reply to: simpsonbo

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Subject: RE: Cold bike gear
Well 70 is not my cut off, just when I start feeling cold on the bike, depending on sun and wind temps. I just need to get used to this again. Friday it was 80-85 and sunny, and I knocked out 9 miles running without a shirt on after work. The next day (when I wrote this) it was 50 and windy and felt bone chilling cold but I would have killed for 50 in the middle of winter last year. Today it was 45-50, very windy, and drizzling but I still ran 13 miles. I think yesterday, It was just the shock of being the first "cold" day. I plan to experiment a lot on the bike. I refuse to bike in the rain anymore since no matter what I do, it's just sucks too much and I can just feel my bike crying due to the rust. I don't know what my bike cut off temp is yet, as I just got into biking last year and was on the trainer until April or so. I plan to not let that happen this time.

Thanks for the replies everyone. I need to dig out my balaclava, since I think that will really help lessen my running nose problem by keeping my face a little warmer.
2013-10-06 7:29 PM
in reply to: #4871635

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Malvern, PA
Subject: RE: Cold bike gear
It can be a ton of fun riding in the cool or even cold.

Agree you have to find what works for you but generally you want layers.

Coldest I have ridden is 15F which I think is around -10C.

That was pushing it, but I have had some of my most fun rides roughly around freezing.


2013-10-06 8:56 PM
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Master
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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Cold bike gear
Originally posted by brucemorgan

You keep warm in cold weather by keeping the wind off your skin,staying dry, and an appropriate amount of insultation.  .




Yes, people tend to get hot with appropriate amounts of this

Edited by reecealan 2013-10-06 8:58 PM
2013-10-06 10:22 PM
in reply to: datlas

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Master
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Beijing
Subject: RE: Cold bike gear

Originally posted by datlas It can be a ton of fun riding in the cool or even cold. Agree you have to find what works for you but generally you want layers. Coldest I have ridden is 15F which I think is around -10C. That was pushing it, but I have had some of my most fun rides roughly around freezing.

6F is my personal record, although it was Mountain-biking, so not the constant wind you'd have while road-biking at a higher speed.

I have some Pearl Izumi pants that are neoprene in the front, and regular stretchy cloth in the back.  Love these.  Wore them with a thin base layer.

On the top, I had a t-shirt, a long-sleeve thin baselayer, and a softshell jacket.

Smartwool socks, with toecovers on my MTB shoes. 

Windproof OR gloves, with thinner "running gloves" underneath.

This was one of my favorite rides ever.  It was COLD to start with but we warmed up quick due to climbing.   By the time we got done, there was frozen sweat on the toptube (it would freeze instantly when it dropped off my nose.) The INSIDE of my softshell had frozen sweat on it, and the outside of my hat was caked with frozen sweat and moisture from my breath.

My camelback tube froze, so I had to stop and unscrew the big filler hole to get a drink.  I was wearing it under my jacket.  Putting the tube down my sleeve did not help!

We had started riding just at dawn, and rode for a couple of hours.   A great way to spend a couple hours in the woods!

2013-10-07 9:17 PM
in reply to: moondawg14

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Bartlett, TN
Subject: RE: Cold bike gear
I think my lower limit for biking is 60F. I'll be getting the trainer out soon but may try some different outfits and see if I can ride colder.
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