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  1. #1
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    What do you do to keep your bikepacking legs in Winter?

    Most mtn bikes used to haul camping gear usually runs in the 25 to 31# range then you add your camping kit and you can be peddling 40 to 60# along the trail.
    Needless to say this takes a bit more effort and leg power than the typical afternoon paved bike path ride.

    Do you do anything to help you keep your legs and lungs thru the winter?
    I asked this question on another BP forum but did not get much of a discussion going.

    All I have planned so far is to purchase a set of studded tires and dug out my XC ski clothing. I hope to continue my conditioning rides 4-5 times a week.


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  2. #2
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    business as usual all winter.

    when it's cold dress warm.
    when it rains, rain clothes and fenders
    when it snows all of the above.
    when it's sunny, smile and ride.

  3. #3
    Trail Rider
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    I build up my fuel tank with turkey legs and hams to burn off during the summer.


    I really am not a big fan of riding at night and its dark by the time I get off of work, so only weekend rides. The cold isn't a problem(almost ever) in Florida.

  4. #4
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    I fatbike. Keeps me active. I plan to ride the Trans Canada Trail next year on it too

  5. #5
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    Telemark skiing is a great equalizer for my legs, skate skiing keeps my cardio way, way up, and commuting to work every day keeps muscle memory well in hand. Have to trudge through, long winters in northern NH. Come to think of it, I don't bike pack, but I do race mostly endurance events, I would think it to be similar. Have a good cold spell, hope it's shorter than mine.

  6. #6
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    Living in Colorado I'll snoeshoe, and if it doesn't snow this year, I'll just keep riding!

  7. #7
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    Keep on riding regardless of the weather. Just switch up the equipment a little. Maybe stay a little closer to home, or avoid some of the less safe routes (only attempt 25% hills in the uphill direction, for example).

  8. #8
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    ahh, you just keep riding, that's all...
    Winter City Riding

  9. #9
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuPrBuGmAn;9925121[B
    ]I build up my fuel tank [/B]with turkey legs and hams to burn off during the summer.
    HaHa as I get older fuel tank building has become so easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schott View Post
    Telemark skiing is a great equalizer for my legs, skate skiing keeps my cardio way, way up, and commuting to work every day keeps muscle memory well in hand. Have to trudge through, long winters in northern NH. Come to think of it, I don't bike pack, but I do race mostly endurance events, I would think it to be similar. Have a good cold spell, hope it's shorter than mine.
    Quote Originally Posted by roliryka View Post
    Living in Colorado I'll snoeshoe, and if it doesn't snow this year, I'll just keep riding!
    I also ski and snowshoe but find it does not work the same muscles in the legs.
    It does help the lungs though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    ahh, you just keep riding, that's all...
    Winter City Riding
    Wow beautiful picture. I am looking forward to a day in the snow like that.

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  10. #10
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    Nothing that hasn't been mentioned already as I have a Surly Moonlander, ride year-round with little to no limitations!

    Now that I am 80lbs lighter I will add some snowshoeing to the mix though. Might even get a harness and tire pull some singletrack areas when it snows. I NEED to stay fit throughout the winter months so biking, leg workouts and cardio are all necessary to do so.

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr View Post
    ...
    Do you do anything to help you keep your legs and lungs thru the winter?
    I asked this question on another BP forum but did not get much of a discussion going.
    ...
    I continue riding through the winter. Winter isn't worse or (much) better for riding than summer.




    My bike blog: www.yetirides.com

  13. #13
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    Yeah, forgot to mention decent tires help. As in, not the 700x28's I have in this photo. :P

  14. #14
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    WOW! All these pictures of bikes in the snow is getting me psyched. I can't wait.

    Thanks for the tips and photo's guys.
    All my local rides will be a new challenge and a wonderful change of pace with all the snow.

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  15. #15
    I Ride for Donuts
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    Cool thread
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What do you do to keep your bikepacking legs in Winter?-picture4.jpg  

    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  16. #16
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    ....keep riding....

    [IMG]C:\Users\Ken\Desktop\0-Lap-Projects\My Dropbox\Camera Uploads[/IMG]

    If it gets too deep I have an indoor trainer

    Cycling training videos - never be bored on the turbo trainer again!

  17. #17
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    Keep pedaling...

    Plenty cold. Could use more snow...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What do you do to keep your bikepacking legs in Winter?-anvil-mt.-1.jpg  

    The older I get the better I was...

  18. #18
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    Hands And Feet?

    For those of you that said "keep riding"

    What do you do to keep your hands and feet warm? Sub 35 Degrees I can't seem for find anything that is warm enough to keep me out there and give me the dexterity I need to operate the bike.

    The only way I can keep my hands warm is to use my ski mittens with air activated hand warmers stuffed inside. As you can imagine it is kind of hard to brake let alone shift...

    For feet I usually do the tape on the shoe vents and a plastic bag around my wool socks and that does ok but it doesn't let my feet breathe so if I manage to get overheated then they stay wet. I tried the boot covers thing, but they don't stop enough air, if they get wet they stay wet forever, and they rip easy and are expensive. . .


    So,
    When it is cold I either take up running (and destroy my knees), hike/walk (which gets old when I see the same exact sights for the 10th time because I can't go very far with the time I'm usually allowed) or watch you tube videos and read this forum (read: get fat).

  19. #19
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    I like to keep riding all winter. Spoiled that I have fatbike and cyclecross playthings to make it more enjoyable. I am planning a bikepacking trip on the C&O / GAP (Washinton DC to Pittsburgh) in late December, so it will be a different twist for my first winter packing tour.

    Hands -- bar mitts or moose mitts are worth their weight in gold. Your hands will be too hot!

    Feet -- I splurged on a pair of Lake cycling boots two years ago. Never had cold feet since. Yes, they are expensive but I live in a cold enough climate they become necessary for 3 months of the year; that's 3 months I can mostly avoid the trainer. 45 North has some new boots called WolvHammers that look to be really good too, but I can't vouch for them personally.

    A good light system is another not-insignificant investment that allows me to get out on quiet back roads during the dark hours.

  20. #20
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    Iím fortunate to be able to ride most of the year. No winter bikepacking for me (mostly because of time constraints and short days) but just day rides. I commute to work and then pleasure ride on the weekends. Coldest I have been out is 23. Cold at first, but it warms up as you go and so does the environment here as soon as the sun gets higher in the sky.

    I have not had any problems with cold fingers. If its down to about freezing, I just wear fingered biking gloves. Below that I wear fingerless biking gloves with a more insulated ski glove over that. Easy to peel off layers as I go.

    A few other strategies for staying warm:
    I cut off the corners of plastic shopping bags and put them over my toes when I put my shoes on. Windbreaker. I also have neoprene booties, but I have only worn them once. I found them too hot after a short while.

    Layers layers and more layers. I carry a daypack/hydration pack to stow things as it warms. Typically I wear knicker biking pants with a thicker cotton climbing pant over that. Never had cold legs. Up top I wear two polypro layers and a fleece vest. If colder than freezing, I wear a long sleeved fleece pullover instead of the vest. Iím good with this even in a light rain. And of course a hat under the helmet. Sometimes I also wear one of those neck gators, though that usually comes off pretty quickly.

    Iím also a runner, so between the two I can stay pretty active all year long. Still, I eat more at this time of year because there is so much food. Everywhere...

    Anyone ever do spinning classes? My wife has been encouraging me to do that when she goes to the Y but havenít so farÖ

  21. #21
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    So, along with studded tires I've put together an emergency clothing kit to fit in a 10L Drybag strapped under my seat. The plan is this bag will go on every trip just in case.

    Here's what I have in the bag. I'm thinking I need to add dry socks, and something to insulate me from the ground should I go down and waiting on the 911 rescue.


    The light gloves and scull cap are use every ride and not stowed in the drybag.


    Sorry no picts of the bike with studded tires yet. Not enough snow and ice.
    Last edited by SingleTrackLovr; 12-11-2012 at 03:36 PM.

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  22. #22
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahday View Post
    Iím fortunate to be able to ride most of the year. No winter bikepacking for me (mostly because of time constraints and short days) but just day rides. I commute to work and then pleasure ride on the weekends. Coldest I have been out is 23. Cold at first, but it warms up as you go and so does the environment here as soon as the sun gets higher in the sky.

    I have not had any problems with cold fingers. If its down to about freezing, I just wear fingered biking gloves. Below that I wear fingerless biking gloves with a more insulated ski glove over that. Easy to peel off layers as I go.

    A few other strategies for staying warm:
    I cut off the corners of plastic shopping bags and put them over my toes when I put my shoes on. Windbreaker. I also have neoprene booties, but I have only worn them once. I found them too hot after a short while.

    Layers layers and more layers. I carry a daypack/hydration pack to stow things as it warms. Typically I wear knicker biking pants with a thicker cotton climbing pant over that. Never had cold legs. Up top I wear two polypro layers and a fleece vest. If colder than freezing, I wear a long sleeved fleece pullover instead of the vest. Iím good with this even in a light rain. And of course a hat under the helmet. Sometimes I also wear one of those neck gators, though that usually comes off pretty quickly.

    Iím also a runner, so between the two I can stay pretty active all year long. Still, I eat more at this time of year because there is so much food. Everywhere...

    Anyone ever do spinning classes? My wife has been encouraging me to do that when she goes to the Y but havenít so farÖ
    Wow great tips wahday thanks.
    As a runner do you find you use different muscles in your legs compared to biking?
    I don't run but I hike and snowshoe.
    After an entire year of mtn biking almost daily I went hiking and found I was so out of shape my group almost dropped me. I'd been bragging about all the biking and boy did I get teased.

    I've never tried a spinning class but I have a Schwinn personnel trainer 105 and get so board after 10 minutes I quit. For me riding outside will be the only way.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr View Post
    Wow great tips wahday thanks.
    As a runner do you find you use different muscles in your legs compared to biking?
    I don't run but I hike and snowshoe.
    After an entire year of mtn biking almost daily I went hiking and found I was so out of shape my group almost dropped me. I'd been bragging about all the biking and boy did I get teased.

    I've never tried a spinning class but I have a Schwinn personnel trainer 105 and get so board after 10 minutes I quit. For me riding outside will be the only way.
    Good question about the running. Both activities definitely engage different muscle groups, although I changed my running style about a year and a half ago. Now I run "barefoot style" which is more natural for me and I can go further without pain/discomfort. Its essentially a flatfooted or slightly toe-emphasized landing. Anyway, it engages a more complex range of leg muscles which is why it absorbs shock better and you can last longer (that stress is spread among more muscles). I definitely find this is an asset for riding. Sometimes I will also run in a style that has me almost clawing my feet forward while in contact and this really works the hamstrings and translates well to riding.

    I'm not a running maniac, though. I run 3 or 6 miles a week (I have a 3 mile loop I can do once or twice depending on time and how I am feeling) On top of commuting (only about 6 miles a day RT) and weekend rides, this keeps me in pretty decent shape.

    But put me in a pool and I will be hurting. I like to swim as well and have done a tri event, but don't have the time or convenient access to a pool, so that's dropped off in the last 2 years. Its like you said - being in shape for one activity does not necessarily translate to others. But I definitely feel the running makes me a better biker. I don't notice it as much going the other way but it certainly can't hurt. And my passion is biking, so everyone's a winner!

    Never done a spin class either, but my brother just started as the weather in Seattle has been so wet that he hasn't been able to ride (he's a roadie). He says its pretty cool in terms of getting a decent workout and better in groups as there is some sense of pushing one another. But nothing like being outdoors actually moving across the landscape.

    Despite his roadie ways, he's shown a lot of interest in bikepacking and we are planning a possible family vacation this spring or summer in San Diego or Santa Barbara where we might be able to get out for a night.

  24. #24
    I work in .001 tolerances
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    I try to keep on keepin' on, the pedals that is.
    Along with skiing, but some of my highest mileage months come in Feb/Mar

    First tracks always make me giddy

  25. #25
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusheleven View Post
    For those of you that said "keep riding"

    What do you do to keep your hands and feet warm? Sub 35 Degrees I can't seem for find anything that is warm enough to keep me out there and give me the dexterity I need to operate the bike.

    The only way I can keep my hands warm is to use my ski mittens with air activated hand warmers stuffed inside. As you can imagine it is kind of hard to brake let alone shift...

    For feet I usually do the tape on the shoe vents and a plastic bag around my wool socks and that does ok but it doesn't let my feet breathe so if I manage to get overheated then they stay wet. I tried the boot covers thing, but they don't stop enough air, if they get wet they stay wet forever, and they rip easy and are expensive. . .


    So,
    When it is cold I either take up running (and destroy my knees), hike/walk (which gets old when I see the same exact sights for the 10th time because I can't go very far with the time I'm usually allowed) or watch you tube videos and read this forum (read: get fat).
    For feet, I use a bootie with an integrated neoprene cover. I currently use Louis Garneau Ergo 0 shoes, but will switch it to the Shimano version when I replace these, as they aren't very hardy. For gloves, IMO the Assos 3 glove system is hard to beat, but I use the Pearl Izumi Lobster Claw type gloves. I typically have pretty warm hands, so this works well for me to -10ļC. I know the "Hippo hands" or Hogies, whatever they're called, are what Seattle PD uses, and if I were to be exposed to the cold over much longer time periods, or in the wet, I'd probably go with those. My motorcycle buddies that are geriatrics are big fans of those and they really work.

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