Results 1 to 42 of 42
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    660

    what is your limit on commuting when its cold?

    I only ask because we are finally in a spot in spring where some days are ok to ride and some still are not because it is too damn cold. Riding for me is 5.8 miles each way. One mile of it is up a hill and often facing a very cold wind. I use my car as a meter. If windows are frosted.....I drive....if snow of rain is coming...I drive.

  2. #2
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,440
    See I read that title and I hear "what is your low temp record" I haven't had the opportunity to ride below -5*F, but I would if I got the chance. My shortest route is right at 5.8 miles also. And yes, I go the short way when it's below zero I'm a pansy compared to some of these folks though...
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,517
    For a 6mi commute, I am far less picky than I currently am with my 21mi commute.

    For 21 miles, I would really rather not ride unless it's nice out. Meaning sunny and at least 50deg.

    For a 6 mile commute, I don't mind as much. Active snow, I'd probably stay home. Snow on the ground, as long as I'm prepped for slippery conditions (studded tires), I'd ride. I'd ride in light rain, but not downpour and definitely not thunder & lightning.

    When I lived in Texas, my commute was 3-4 miles depending on route. I'd ride in just about anything but storms. Due to weather patterns there, I'd often go home early or stay late to play "dodge the weather". Sometimes that got to be annoying enough that I'd just drive so I didn't have to worry about it.

    My biggest "kryptonite" weather is when it's 33-45F or so, especially if it's wet. That is harder weather to dress for than brutal cold.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    384
    Cold, I don't have a limit, though 0 F and below give me a pretty strong urge to drive for the day. Snow enough to accumulate and possibly cause a driver to drift into me (or a plow to take me out) is generally what keeps me off the bike in the winter more than the cold. And as others have said, thunderstorms are just a giant ball of nope. I'll call in a ride if a thunderstorm rolls in and I can't wait it out.

    Other than that, it's just down to schedule or laziness (and the schedule constraints are usually due to laziness).

  5. #5
    Natural Born Killer
    Reputation: nemhed's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    370
    As I've discovered, the temperature is not a limiting factor for me. I can adjust for the temperature. It's hard to compensate or adjust for a roaring 30-40mph wind unless it's at my back. I'm with NateHawk on this one. The worst weather is 33-45F, windy, and raining. That's when its really tough to get motivated to ride, and I start to question my own sanity (more than usual). Lightning freaks me out pretty good. I have at times tried to adjust my departure time to dodge weather.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skrufryder View Post
    Silly rabbit Jack Daniel drinking donkey kissing caterpiller

  6. #6
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,568
    For me, the temps are not the issue. It is the rain/snow/drizzle/wet roads/ice that deters me from commuting. 8.5 mile commute each way, and if the roads are dry and it isn't raining, I usually ride. I have ridden home in near single digit temps and was a little cold, but would take that all day over ice/slush/rain/damp conditions. I like to clean my bike, but not all the time. Apartment living doesn't give me a garage so I have to keep my bikes in my place. That means lots of cleaning because of the light carpet. That becomes a bigger pain in the ass than riding in the cold.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.
    2015 miles: 5019/5000
    2016 miles: 3967/6000

  7. #7
    CB of the East
    Reputation: bedwards1000's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,890
    This is the thread that I thought of: What is your cutoff temp?

    I'm with the others. I'll ride at -10F but a +32F isn't fun.

  8. #8
    Fat!Drunk!Slow!
    Reputation: JordyB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,451
    No cutoff found yet. I know folks who ride in -40+ temps up north, but we don't see those in southcentral. Would love to experiment tho. -25 has been commuted in, comfy cozy. No bad weather, just bad gear!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    225
    As of right now, I've pushed my temp limit down to -9F pre-wind chill. Its not bad with the right clothes.

    The nice thing about winter riding, is now that its getting warmer and I'm wearing less layers I feel like a rocket.

  10. #10
    I dream on two wheels
    Reputation: Simonns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    742

    what is your limit on commuting when its cold?

    -11*F on my 10 mile commute is my limit so far. Haven't had the opportunity to try any colder yet but I don't see why I wouldn't ride.
    Whiskey

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Saul Lumikko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,801
    What stops you from wearing more when it's cold and less on the warmer (or "less cold") days?

    I commute around the year, so far the lowest I've gone is -26C (-14.8F).

    Distance used to be 10 km (about 6.2 miles) but is now reduced to 6 km (about 3.7 miles), I use different routes so it varies.

  12. #12
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    18,517
    Today was a great example. Temp was low-mid 40's when I started (and when I got home), but it was sunny. The sun made all the difference in the world. When wet, it's a tough temp to be remotely comfortable. Today, a long-sleeved jersey and shorts and I was perfect. Even went with the cutoff finger gloves. Cool to start with, but warmed up well.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    99
    Like most, the cold is less of an issue for me than road conditions. My coldest commute this winter was -25C (close to -15F), and I had no problems. Once there is ice and snow built up along the sides of the road, I am done for the year. Commuting in downtown Toronto is scary enough without adding slippery conditions into the mix!

  14. #14
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    6,877
    Mother nature is setting the limits for me. Last winter there was a lower low, -23F, than this year (-19F) on a day I rode.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    11,930
    -36 C is my record....that was below -50C with the windchill...

    It was about a 30 minute ride in to work.

  16. #16
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,440
    ^^ That's -32 degrees American. Brrrr. 30 minutes, so, like, 2 miles at those temps?
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    11,930
    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    ^^ That's -32 degrees American. Brrrr. 30 minutes, so, like, 2 miles at those temps?
    -32.8 F

    7.5 km with a downhill section

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: newfangled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    3,267
    I've only had the chance to go down to -32C/-26F.

    But shoulder-season rides can suck worse than anything. Last thursday I had a pretty miserable ride - gloomy, windy, and just below freezing. It's weird to think "I with it was 20C colder out."

    I think all of my least favorite rides have been right around freezing, although I've had plenty of nice rides there too.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kat71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    139
    -20 is my record... anything colder than and I say "screw it" and start up the gas hog.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,500
    commuting? there is no limit.
    this is the coldest winter on record in 20 years or something.
    we had over 60 days of snowfall from december to march.
    rode every day this year, last, the one before that, etc.
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: spazzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,573
    This winter I had about a 5 mile round trip route, I rode until is was -30F with windchill.

  22. #22
    ~ B A D A S S ~
    Reputation: car bone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    3,128
    My limit when i had shimano brakes was -25C because they simply froze up then getting rock hard. But now I'm on bb7s and I''m fairly certain those will continue to function until hell freeze over. But even then -25C is still quite cold. I think i just call in sick then. But i think once it gets -25C you know how it works and you know what to do and then -40C is no problem.

    I actually dislike rain more than cold.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cyclingdutchman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    526
    Over here it doesnt get really cold - my coldest temp while commuting is about -6C/21F or so.

    I did once make a test ride of 45min in -10C/14F and that was ok. I think I would manage a bit lower, but then I would hit my limit. I do not have the gear to go lower and I am not willing to buy any stuff that I might need once or twice only.

    I agree that temps just above freezing level in combination with rain are much more annoying.

  24. #24
    Did I catch a niner+?
    Reputation: Mr Pink57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2,888
    I have not found a personal limit that I will not commute in. Here in MN we got all different temps throughout the year and winter can get down as low as -40F, which is just not safe to be in so it would be useless to ride in it. But I have ridden as low as -20F without much problem really.

    What bothers me more is really hot/humid days more than cold.
    Mr. Krabs: Is it true, Squidward? Is it hilarious?

  25. #25
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    7,609
    Temp doesn't matter to me. As long as there's no ice on the ground, I'll ride.

    Studded tires and such are not really an option for me because my commute involves a train and I'm forced to use a Dahon folder with 20" wheels. I just use the subway when there's ice or rain.
    I like turtles

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    11,930
    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    My limit when i had shimano brakes was -25C because they simply froze up then getting rock hard. But now I'm on bb7s and I''m fairly certain those will continue to function until hell freeze over. But even then -25C is still quite cold. I think i just call in sick then. But i think once it gets -25C you know how it works and you know what to do and then -40C is no problem.

    I actually dislike rain more than cold.

    Been riding shimano brakes for 11 years winter summer....record cold day is -36 C....

    No issues when it is cold expect some oil leakage.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    2,813
    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    Temp doesn't matter to me. As long as there's no ice on the ground, I'll ride.

    Studded tires and such are not really an option for me because my commute involves a train and I'm forced to use a Dahon folder with 20" wheels. I just use the subway when there's ice or rain.
    Schwalbe makes 20" studded tires, ya know. Now you have no excuses, just saying.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    2,813
    For me, about 20 F is the low. And still be enjoyable. @ 7F the gaotorade freezes solid. 17 miles, I don't want something simple to become stupid/ dangerous because of the cold.

  29. #29
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    7,609
    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Schwalbe makes 20" studded tires, ya know. Now you have no excuses, just saying.
    It's really not me I'm worried about. Cars slip on ice too.
    I like turtles

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SlipSpace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    354
    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingdutchman View Post
    Over here it doesnt get really cold - my coldest temp while commuting is about -6C/21F or so.

    I agree that temps just above freezing level in combination with rain are much more annoying.
    Pretty similar here in the UK too. Dark, raining, windy 1-2C / 35F is a real test, even more so in the mornings. Wouldn't mind giving the sunny, snow laid days a go though.
    2016 - 3245/3000 commute miles as of 02/11/16
    Real name: Steve

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    2,813
    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    It's really not me I'm worried about. Cars slip on ice too.
    I hear ya. But think of the grin you'll have when all the cars are stuck at the bottom of the hill while you pedal by. Done it twice with great satisfaction.

  32. #32
    Human Test Subject
    Reputation: Volsung's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    933
    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    For me, about 20 F is the low. And still be enjoyable. @ 7F the gaotorade freezes solid. 17 miles, I don't want something simple to become stupid/ dangerous because of the cold.
    I haven't figured out the right combination yet, but if you add alcohol it will stay liquid at lower temps.

    I may just drink pina coladas this winter.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  33. #33
    psycho cyclo addict
    Reputation: edubfromktown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,252
    Wifey starts grumbling when in the 10 deg F and lower range. Below zero F temps don't bother me really... as long as I am dressed appropriately.

    For the commute to work, I have the option of taking a < 4 mi route into the office so it really is not a big deal IMO. I tend to take a route that is more like 12 mi round trip unless it is windy.
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    71
    Anything below 60 F is intolerable.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    78
    If it is freezing and forming ice than I drive to work, not worth being macho about it as I have learnt to my cost (broken bone on black ice)

  36. #36
    RAKC/ITUO
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    6,645
    Quote Originally Posted by escapedturkey View Post
    Anything below 60 F is intolerable.
    Wait what????? Ever hear of a hoodie. Need to get out more, most if the world considers that warm still. I'm still riding in shorts at that point. And my summers get a heck of a lot more miserable than out west.

    My limits are if it's below 50 and RAINING. Cold and wet sucks. But I've ridden to work when it was 20F and snowing like a biatch now that I have my fat bike. Ridden down to about 15F so far. Riding to work in the snow, especially in a snow storm is fun as hell. Even better when people call in that have trucks yet I make it accross the bridge and such to work on a bicycle.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Great lights:

    www.ituolights.com

    Life on 2 wheels is the only life for me. Especially once it gets dark.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    71
    I was joking. It almost never rains here and rarely goes below 60 during the day. SoCal.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flugelbinder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    274
    Quote Originally Posted by escapedturkey View Post
    I was joking. It almost never rains here and rarely goes below 60 during the day. SoCal.
    I was imagining something like this...

    My first winter on a bicycle, but I'm prepared as I got a fatty. Also living in Toronto, so there will be (hopefully not) many cold days and lots of snow for me to enjoy.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    60
    How about 105 degrees? More than that and I'm out. I have to go on the high end because it doesn't really get that cold where I'm at. LOL!

    Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    2,813
    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    I haven't figured out the right combination yet, but if you add alcohol it will stay liquid at lower temps.

    I may just drink pina coladas this winter.
    Works in a thermos. If I start drinking before 8 am, I'm kinda done by one.

  41. #41
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    6,877
    My limit is November to April, hopefully it warms up between May and October.

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    94
    I used to live in Fairbanks Alaska, 2001-4. My limit for winter commuting was negative 20 Fahrenheit (-20F). That is where frost bite starts to become a serious issue. I had frost nip a couple times, but never frost bite. I would walk when it was below -20F. Took much longer, but much less chance of frostbite.

    Careful clothing selections, including ski goggles, helped me ride most of the winter. My record was -37F and I did that by accident, not choice. I was cold after the short commute but didn't get nipped. Seriously cold temperatures aren't something to F around with.

Similar Threads

  1. cold weather riding - how cold do you ride?
    By overmodulated in forum Massachusetts
    Replies: 107
    Last Post: 12-27-2014, 10:43 AM
  2. OTG ski goggles for commuting in the cold?
    By bikedreamer in forum Commuting
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-18-2013, 09:41 AM
  3. Replies: 28
    Last Post: 08-30-2013, 11:09 AM
  4. Winter commuting in extreme cold: Frozen grease?
    By firedudecndn in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-30-2013, 11:50 AM
  5. Cold weather apparel. What are you wearing for the cold rides?
    By masterlucasdude in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-10-2011, 07:42 PM

Posting Permissions

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