View Poll Results: What do you think of winter night rides?

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  • Love Them - I go whenver I can

    52 75.36%
  • They are OK - I do them occasionally

    13 18.84%
  • Dislike Them - but go out anyway

    2 2.90%
  • Hate them - Never go out

    2 2.90%
Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
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    Winter night rides

    I'm curious of what you guys think of winter night rides. Do you enjoy them as much as the summer night rides, or is is more of necessity?

  2. #2
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    Winter night rides

    Both. It's a necessity. And I enjoy it.

  3. #3
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    I really like winter cycling. It's not better or worse than 'casual' summer biking; it's just different experience...


  4. #4
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    Been out last night at -4C... beautiful

  5. #5
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    I don't fear the temperatures -- I've ridden at -15 C on dry pavement and dirt. Cross country skied at -25. It's the ice I'm afraid of.

    A year ago in the summer, I had a spill OTB on dry pavement and spent the night in emergency. It's made me a little gun shy.

    I know there are lots of people who bike year round. Where can I pick up some winter riding skills? I know there are studded bike tires, but do they make them for a 29r? Or should I just got to my local community bike shop and buy a fixed up junker, and keep my good bike for the summer.

    Last year I was riding till mid November. It's been "winter" here for over a month now. Snow and ice normally come and go, but this year it came, and stayed. Many of the cross country ski trails out in the mountains have had their earliest grooming and track-setting in over a decade.
    Last edited by Ian_C; 11-30-2013 at 04:53 AM.

  6. #6
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    Wow....a thread about riding...not light-nerdery! Yes..love me some night mountainbike rides..even when it is cold. Singletrack only thank you. Mid-Atlantic climate is typically friendly for night riding all winter long.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  7. #7
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    Love winter night rides!! I find it a whole different experience than summer riding. The trails seem a lot different in my perspective mostly because of riding in the dark as apposed to the snow. The best times are before the snow comes and it's -4c and the traction is just about as good as summer riding,,, in some cases better.

  8. #8
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    Ride all year round -no excuses

    Our crew has a long standing record of getting a ride in the dark every month of the year for 4 years now! And those are all off road on the same trails we ride in the summer, not just riding on snow packed streets. We just wait a day after a snow storm until the hikers have packed down the trail for us. No studded tires required, knobbies work fine

    Here is a video of the down after making the climb up




    ***

  9. #9
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    I haven't done a night ride in the snow yet, but I will be this year. I loved riding in it last season during the daylight hours. No studs, just knobbies with low air pressure. I actually enjoy going down icy hills and the technical skills it requires to stay on the bike. The ride is of course much slower. I got out much less frequently than I do during the spring/summer/fall, but that was at least partially confounded by XC skiing every weekend (when available). Going to also try some night XC skiing this winter as well.

  10. #10
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    winter Riding

    For me the issue has changed over the years. As I've gotten older my body doesn't like the cold. Still, if conditions are not too yucky I'll try to sneak a couple rides in before the winter ends but gone are those days when I would go out during the coldest weather ( when all the mud freezes ) just to get a ride in.

    Winter riding does pose some problems as it necessitates more prep than usual which of course is bothersome. Then there are bike issues; things like gears that don't shift as well when cold, shocks that are slower to respond, batteries with shorter run times, etc. Nope all things considered winter rider is a hassle. Not to mention that I never did find a good solution to keeping my feet warm. No matter what strategy I used my feet always got cold after about an hour on the bike. I think the only thing I didn't try was electric socks or high $ insulated hiking boots with flat pedals. After all these years I hate to throw money at something I'll not likely not do too much of anyway.

    Someone said something about "studded MTB tires"...Yeah, I always wanted a pair of those but WAY too much money for me to justify buying considering how often I would get to use them. Now if I lived in an area that got much colder and things froze over more often...yep, I'd probably had laid out the cash for the studded.

  11. #11
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    Cat,

    You have tried neoprene booties? My feet sweat in the winter with them on. I just got a cheap pair (Louis Garneau) from Performance for $20. If you combined them with a thermal sock it should be bombproof.

  12. #12
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    Never did it but once find a good light I will.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    For me the issue has changed over the years. As I've gotten older my body doesn't like the cold. Still, if conditions are not too yucky I'll try to sneak a couple rides in before the winter ends but gone are those days when I would go out during the coldest weather ( when all the mud freezes ) just to get a ride in.

    Winter riding does pose some problems as it necessitates more prep than usual which of course is bothersome. Then there are bike issues; things like gears that don't shift as well when cold, shocks that are slower to respond, batteries with shorter run times, etc. Nope all things considered winter rider is a hassle. Not to mention that I never did find a good solution to keeping my feet warm. No matter what strategy I used my feet always got cold after about an hour on the bike. I think the only thing I didn't try was electric socks or high $ insulated hiking boots with flat pedals. After all these years I hate to throw money at something I'll not likely not do too much of anyway.

    Someone said something about "studded MTB tires"...Yeah, I always wanted a pair of those but WAY too much money for me to justify buying considering how often I would get to use them. Now if I lived in an area that got much colder and things froze over more often...yep, I'd probably had laid out the cash for the studded.
    If you don't want another thing to fuss with regarding keeping your feet warm Cat,,, since I purchased the Shimano MW-81 winter riding shoes and a good pair of woolies,I have yet to need to use my bootie covers again. I hope you can get the winter riding bug as it's awesome!! Cheers!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    Cat,

    You have tried neoprene booties? My feet sweat in the winter with them on. I just got a cheap pair (Louis Garneau) from Performance for $20. If you combined them with a thermal sock it should be bombproof.
    Yeah, I tried neoprene covers and like you I have a cheaper pair of winter shoes. Best I could I get out of them was to put them on with good wool socks and liners about an hour before going out so they could get nice and toasty inside. That seems to work for about an hour. Still after an hour my feet start to get cold. If I have to deal with snow or water crossings it will be worse.

    I've considered a good pair of the Lake shoes which get high ratings but they are way too much money. Add to that some places don't want to take stuff back like shoes once you mount the cleat. Just getting a shoe that fits is a real hit or miss PITA. Nope, I don't like rolling the dice on something that cost > $300. If I ended up spending the money and still having cold feet ( after an hour ) it would be like throwing $300 out the window. Right now the car needs new tires so no way I could justify spending the money.

  15. #15
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    Its harder to get motivated to ride when its cold, but like every ride, you're glad you did when its over...oh yeah, my feet get cold!

  16. #16
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    I put on a thin nylon pair of socks under my smartwool socks. I ride with the same shoes I ride in the summer and I can get 90 minutes of riding in with temps around 30. Temps in the low 20s or teens I wuss out and stay home.

  17. #17
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    Hay Cat

    It's more about keeping you whole body/torso warm. My fingers and toes go numb as well but mainly if I stop. And when it's really cold, under 40 F here (Bay Area) my toes and fingers can go numb even climbing. I've controlled this by not stopping and by doing a large climb out of the box and changing my upper body cloths and this has helped quite a bit and don't really even need thick gloves, just the wind stopper gloves. Even the sweat wicking stuff needs to be changed as it's still damp and can cause you to get cold and the limbs to go numb.

    Yes tho, cold riding means lots of extra cloths in the pack and longer ride times stopping changing, etc.

    Hope this might help you.

    MB

  18. #18
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    Love them with Conti SpikeClaw 240 and neoprene booties Sometime we can get temps around -30C - but not very often, mostly about -2/-10C.

  19. #19
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    what do you guys do about batteries in the cold weather? I'm considering doing a few 24 hour self supported rides this winter on the fat bike and I'm struggling with battery life.

  20. #20
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    Love the winter night rides, at times I prefer them in all honesty!

  21. #21
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    You have to dress them some "clothes" Lithium likes to be in warm environment when discharging, so some thermal insulation is a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfmansbro View Post
    what do you guys do about batteries in the cold weather? I'm considering doing a few 24 hour self supported rides this winter on the fat bike and I'm struggling with battery life.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfmansbro View Post
    what do you guys do about batteries in the cold weather? I'm considering doing a few 24 hour self supported rides this winter on the fat bike and I'm struggling with battery life.
    What type of light/batteries are you using? Keeping them close to your body will help, the ones in use and spares. I rubber dip the batteries I use that seems to help insulate them from the cold and they are out in the open exposed during use. I have experienced only about a 10% decrease in battery life during extreme cold temps. I have many customers that have relayed the same experiences.


    ****

  23. #23
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    I have the Lakes and have put the heat packs on the toe section under a toe booty with all kind of sock combinations, my realization is that I'm not meant to ride in sub-35 degree temps. Fortunately I've always been able to snowboard all day long.
    You will be scarred for life if you click my avatar

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    What type of light/batteries are you using?


    ****
    Right now I am using a Magicshine with a Geoman battery. Works great for the couple times a month I get out night riding, but one race I am considering requires a front and rear light to be on at all times. It looks like I will need a battery power for 24 hours. there are 2 pit stops along the way. So maybe I will just have to swap out batteries then.

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