Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    viva la v-brakes!
    Reputation: FishMan473's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    1,722

    prepairing for Susitna 2008: help with clothes

    I am planning/hoping to do the Susitna 100 in 2008. I have a fair amount of endurance experience and I will have even more by then. My problem is that I live in the midwest and it don't get as cold down here as it does up there. Most of my riding is between 15 and 30 F (above freezing) I'm not sure how I will handle -20 or so. The last couple days have been at or just below 0 F here, so I have had a chance to test out my gear a bit, and reveal some witnesses.

    First question, what can I really expect for weather conditions? The website says -40 to 40 degrees. I realized anything is possible, but what is the weather really like around Fairbanks in mid-late February? I've seen the weather stats online, but they only tell you so much, plus I understand that conditions can be pretty variable up there, so the weather in Fairbanks may be different then that at the Susitna race course.

    OK, so I have my feet and hands figured out, and I figure my torso is just a matter of getting the right combo layers. But I'm having a hard time figuring out what to wear for a baselayer and for legs.

    I find that after about 2-3 hours of riding my clothes are completely soaked with sweat I can't imagine its going to be much better after 10 hours in the cold. So I guess my goal is to keep warm despite being wet and/or to wick as much moisture as possible. What do people up that way like for baselayers? I was thinking of giving Smartwool long undies a try.

    Also I'm having trouble finding something for my leg that allow for sufficient mobility and insulation. Basically I've been piling on tights and then maybe a windproof outer layer or wind-resistant nylon pants, but I haven't been happy with the results. Suggestions?
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    I have a car. I made a choice. I ride my bike.

  2. #2
    Wood chips are stupid
    Reputation: akdeluxe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    779
    Base layer should be a wicking material...of course. Wool,capaline,polypro etc. They all work well. Cotton kills. Learn to ride without sweating so much. It can get real cold here in Alaska. You just never know. Bring something to stand around in (repairs and other non-moving activities) and stay warm in sub zero temps. Thick with feathers works best.


    akdeluxe
    "Trust me,you don't want a big baby."

    JT

  3. #3
    viva la v-brakes!
    Reputation: FishMan473's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    1,722
    Oh and I forgot my other weak link, my face!

    If I wear my balaclava up over my mouth and nose my glasses fog and I can't see. If I don't my nose and cheeks freeze. I tried some cheap goggles once, but they fogged up even faster then my sunglasses. I've tried the vasoline trick but I don't think that will keep my face warm below zero. What do you all do to keep your faces warm and vision clear?
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    I have a car. I made a choice. I ride my bike.

  4. #4
    viva la v-brakes!
    Reputation: FishMan473's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    1,722
    Quote Originally Posted by akdeluxe
    Base layer should be a wicking material...of course. Wool,capaline,polypro etc. They all work well. Cotton kills. Learn to ride without sweating so much.
    Yeah, I don't touch cotton for riding, except for bandannas in mid-summer, and I've been moving away from cotton for a while, I don't own any cotton socks anymore. Once you go wool you just never want to go back.

    As for the sweating thing, yeah I wish I could. I just sweat a ton and I have to drink about 25% more then other people. On the bright side I'm able to perform better then most people in really hot weather. I remember one race when it was 98 and humid, people were DNFing left and right, one of my teammates got heat exhaustion, but it was one of my best finishes ever.
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    I have a car. I made a choice. I ride my bike.

  5. #5
    "Its All Good"
    Reputation: Whafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    10,716
    For me there is no substitue for wool. After all I am from New Zealand, but from a non biased view point, check out his Ice Breaker kit, have used it for years, I ind it fantastic, great quality and can really cope with extremes for me...... Best of luck anyways

    http://www.icebreaker.com
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  6. #6
    Caveman
    Reputation: Bearbait's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    987
    when its really cold alot of people use a clear pair of goggles for nightriding.
    Wind-Pro (not windstopper) Fleece works really well and isnt scratchy. A big neck gaitor can keep much of your face warm without using a face mask. When it gets to the point my nose is in jeprady the face mask comes out. I have one with a big extra nose flap to direct exhaled air down preventing goggle fog up. looks pretty goofy.

    Scholler pants over patagonia R .5 works to about 0 deg F, below that another layer goes on.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    131
    Fishman 473 wrote, "I realized anything is possible, but what is the weather really like around Fairbanks in mid-late February? I've seen the weather stats online, but they only tell you so much, plus I understand that conditions can be pretty variable up there, so the weather in Fairbanks may be different then that at the Susitna race course."

    You should be checking the weather for Wasilla or Anchorage rather than Fairbanks to get an idea of what to expect. Fairbanks is north of the Alaska Range which keeps most of the lousy weather from parts south out. Fairbanks has a sub-arctic type winter with dry snow and little or no thawing unlike Anchorage and places south of the range where thawing-wet snow is a regular part of winter. I lived in parts of the Mat-Su valley and Hope for 15 years before moving to Interior Alaska in the mid 80's and a big reason for moving was the better winters up here, not to mention the summers. t

  8. #8
    viva la v-brakes!
    Reputation: FishMan473's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    1,722
    Quote Originally Posted by awinterbiker
    Fishman 473 wrote, "I realized anything is possible, but what is the weather really like around Fairbanks in mid-late February? I've seen the weather stats online, but they only tell you so much, plus I understand that conditions can be pretty variable up there, so the weather in Fairbanks may be different then that at the Susitna race course."

    You should be checking the weather for Wasilla or Anchorage rather than Fairbanks to get an idea of what to expect.
    Thanks. Now I feel dumb, I had it in my head that the race was based in Fairbanks rather then Anchorage. Guess that shows how good my Alaskian geography skills are... or my memory, I suspect the later. So I guess I'll go look up some different climate info now.
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    I have a car. I made a choice. I ride my bike.

  9. #9
    viva la v-brakes!
    Reputation: FishMan473's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    1,722
    damn, its 20 degrees warmer there now then it is here!

    Of course, I've noticed this before, when its extra warm in alaska, its extra cold in the midwest, still, my fears are somewhat reduced by the fact that for Feb 17th, the record cold temp in Wasilla is -23 and the average high is 26. Sounds like its only about 10 degrees colder then here on average(-11 record cold and 35 ave. high). Is there reason to believe that it will be colder out on the course?
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    I have a car. I made a choice. I ride my bike.

  10. #10
    Beware of Doggerel
    Reputation: Adam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    665
    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473
    damn, its 20 degrees warmer there now then it is here!

    Of course, I've noticed this before, when its extra warm in alaska, its extra cold in the midwest, still, my fears are somewhat reduced by the fact that for Feb 17th, the record cold temp in Wasilla is -23 and the average high is 26. Sounds like its only about 10 degrees colder then here on average(-11 record cold and 35 ave. high). Is there reason to believe that it will be colder out on the course?

    Yes it may be colder on the course. The rivers are the cold parts. The Yetena and Susitna rivers can just hold the cold air, sometimes it can be warmer just 50 feet up the river bank. The rivers have steep high banks in places and the cold air just sits right down on the rivers. How cold does it get on the rivers? I don't know. I've been out there at -25F a few times, and it may get a little colder than that. I don't have enough experience to really know how cold it can get on the rivers, but I think you should be prepared and comfortable in -20F.

    Honestly though the cold is not so much of a problem as the range of temperatures. I did the Su 100 in 2004 and that year we had 40F and rain in the day and then around 0F at night. One of my spare shirts froze in my frame bag the straps on my shoes froze so that I had to thaw them to change socks. Its just hard to prepare for that kind of temp range. Especially since it is a one day all or nothing race, you can't just stop for 4-6 hrs to dry out your clothes you have to keep moving. The best advice I can give you is to plan for a change of clothes so that if you get wet, whether from sweat/heat or rain and then find yourself in the extreme cold you can just put on dry clothes and keep going.

    Good luck
    Adam
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •