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  1. #1
    blet drive
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    Cold weather zapping me

    Does any one else find that the cold weather zapping of energy? Iv done 4 commutes in under 30* weather and so drained at the end. I hope it is just something that the body needs to get use to. Any one else experience this?
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  2. #2
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
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    I get like this as well. Colder temps and a headwind make me absolutely miserable. I find myself going slower and slower as I ride as well.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JUNGLEKID5 View Post
    Does any one else find that the cold weather zapping of energy? Iv done 4 commutes in under 30* weather and so drained at the end. I hope it is just something that the body needs to get use to. Any one else experience this?
    Yes everything gets slower when it gets cold...

    The air is denser so provides more resistance...the tires don't flex as well some more resistance...the clothes inhibit movement so more resistance...

    Yes you get used to it...but in the end you get slower.

    Good news...come spring you are much faster and lighter and will be ahead of everyone who didn't ride the winter.

  4. #4
    Short-Change-Hero
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    Cold weather zapping me

    Yup same happens for me too. My ride is only 2.5mikes but summer I can do it in less than 8 minutes but during the winter it takes close to 10. Additional layers add weight, more resistance in pedaling, etc as said before. Plus the effects of cold weather on the body drastically can reduce its efficiency.

    You are unintentionally going slower because you are trying to subconsciously stay warm. That means you ride slower so you have less wind/cold hitting exposed areas plus the cold always effects my eye sight as I have to squint to keep my eyes from watering out of my head.
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  5. #5
    weirdo
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    Hey, Greg- where ya been?

    Yeah, it happens to us all. I`m sure JeffScott is right about the physics part, don`t know how much psycological is involved, but I suspect it can be responsible for at least as much slowdown and/or lethargy.
    Recalculating....

  6. #6
    I Ride for Donuts
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    I love the part where you feel super slow already, and then you add heavy knobby studded tires to the equation
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  7. #7
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    For me, there's a lot of psychology going on. I was at least starting to adapt to Texas weather so with this being only my second winter in Indiana, I don't quite have the mental aspect of riding in the cold figured out again.

    I need to get out and get some pavement miles in if I want to do the 62 mile route for the Gravel Grovel at the end of the month. I'm told lot of fresh gravel has been laid in the area of the race, and that a mtb may be a better choice. But I need those road miles.

  8. #8
    Moderator Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I love the part where you feel super slow already, and then you add heavy knobby studded tires to the equation
    Yeah, I was definitely feeling that last night.

    I also recall when I had my record cold commute last year, somewhere south of -20F, that I rode the first day of those temps and was able to stay comfortable enough, so that did not deter me, but I found I was drained and chose not to repeat the next day which was just as cold.

    You might try eating a little more too, as more calories are needed to keep warm. A little extra protein seems to restore strength as well, just from my own non-scientific experience. Try tuna or eggs for lunch on a low energy day.

  9. #9
    blet drive
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    thanks I am glad im not alone
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
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  10. #10
    MTB, Road, Commuting
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    Not me, the colder it gets, the faster I get...Nah, just kidding. Bike Calculator is fun to play with. If you change from 80F to 0F you need to maintain an average power of about 10% higher to maintain the same average speed of 17MPH. I know that on the below 0 days I really feel like I'm cycling through molasses between the dense air and cold tires and extra layers.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    Bike Calculator is fun to play with. If you change from 80F to 0F you need to maintain an average power of about 10% higher to maintain the same average speed of 17MPH.
    Interesting if I ratio the increase in density (proportional to the decrease in absolute temp) and ratio the decrease in air viscosity (gases decrease in vis as temp falls).

    I get 540R/460R*.0172cp/.0188cp= 1.074...

    That would mean an increase from 1.074 to 1.10 for increased tire and overall mech resistance.

    Probably doesn't include much for clothing???

    I suspect

  12. #12
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    ^ With clothes we have a greater wind surface area and a high Cd. Back on the bike yesterday with winds 20-30, 40's feeling like 25 F. Was way slow. Part weight, part increased sail, part density, part wind, mostly out of shape. The HRM confirmed that last one. ;(

  13. #13
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    Yup, the cold has a huge affect. Which is part of the reason that winter riding can be so much fun. The weather makes you slow down a bit and really take in the scenery.

  14. #14
    MTB, Road, Commuting
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    There is a how it works page: Bike Calculator It looks like they are only using the change in air density. Increased rolling resistance or the fact that you are wearing less aerodynamic and more restrictive clothing don't come into play. Not to mention that cold muscles don't seen to perform as well as warm ones. Add all that crap up and I bet it's closer to 20% more effort to go the same speed at 0F than 80F. I know I was tired last night. I know that for sure.

  15. #15
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    Freezing temperatures, cloudy, dark and grey - I'm pretty blah.

    Add a layer of bright white snow and I'll be zooming around like a kid.

  16. #16
    blet drive
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    Add a layer of bright white snow and I'll be zooming around like a kid.[/QUOTE]

    I hope to do the same. trying to get my winter bike all dialed in.
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
    Thank your local Sierra Club.

  17. #17
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    I work in a -10 deg freezer all day so 30 isnt so bad. :P

  18. #18
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I think that a lot of it is mental as well. I long for the days in the 60's and 70's, a cool breeze at your back, just cruising down the road, feeling great, with the sun out, knowing it is almost the weekend. Take that same day, make it 30 and dreary, and a headwind that chills you to the bone, and it just mentally crushes you. Knowing that snow will be coming, or already has come and that the sun may not shine for another week and a half......

  19. #19
    blet drive
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    true true
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
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  20. #20
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    ^^ Of course we're mental. Out freezing the sweating our butts off when a car with heated front seats sits under a blanket of snow in the driveway. Oh you mean it is a perspective/attitude thing! My iBike says not. About 0.5 to 1.5 mph drop for the fenders if it is windy and not cross wise, and another 1.5 or so for moderate temp clothing. Full < 0 F gear had me at about 12 mph with no appreciable wind in a 25 mile route that was in the 17-18 range in the summer.

  21. #21
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    At -35C I talk about twice as long....

    Clothes are a big rsistance to leg movement.

  22. #22
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    The cold is what separates the bada$$ commuter from the fair weather rider. Our bike lockup at work is pretty empty now.

  23. #23
    sheep in FOX clothing
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    I actually look forward to snow on the road since it (misleadingly) makes it feel like I'm going faster.

    Come to think if it, any snowfall gridlocks traffic across the entire city, so I am going faster... relative to everybody else.

  24. #24
    blet drive
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    riding in the snow is like star wars
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    The cold is what separates the bada$$ commuter from the fair weather rider. Our bike lockup at work is pretty empty now.

    Amen! Riding at anything below zero makes for bragging rights.

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