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  1. #1
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    When's is it to cold?

    Just throwing out a feeler to the casual and hardcore guys..

    When is it to cold and you pack it in for the season? And up until that point what trails do you hit up?

    What type of gear are you running for the cold?

    Thanks

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  2. #2
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    During the winter I'll hit the trails early in the morning or late at night only if the temp rises above freezing during the day because the whole trail becomes a mud fest. It was 22F out this morning. The only factor that limits my riding is how deep the snow can get.

    forums.mtbr.com/apparel-protection/ has plenty of threads this time of year for cold weather riding gear.

    FWIW I had on normal gloves this morning, not to bad. A light jacket *LLBEAN Pathfinder Soft-Shell Jacket* a lot warmer than it looks, Under-armor cold gear top and bottom with some thick socks. For the head I just wear a skull cap to keep the heat in more.

  3. #3
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    Same as Hutch, the amount of snow is usually the factor that determines if it is a go or no go. Usually early mornings and under armour cold gear all over. Cold gear compression top, jersey, fleece vest, shorts and cold gear baklava. For some reason, my legs tend not to get cold. I usually am comfortable with the above gear down to 15 degrees, not factoring in the windchill (coldest temp I rode in).

  4. #4
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    Same for me as Hutch and ronyc. I ride until the snow is too deep.
    For gear, I wear a skull cap under my helmet, cold weather tights, 1 or 2 extra layers on top with a windbreaker over. I use neoprene gloves. They work well in most conditions above 20. Below 20 I'll use light ski gloves.

    My biggest problem is keeping my feet warm. I've used neoprene booties, but they seriously suck off road and in the snow when you have to put a foot down. I've recently ordered a pair of neoprene socks from a local scuba shop. Havn't gotten them yet...

    As far as trails, I ride the same trails I normally do when it's warm. Riding frozen ground is awesome. There is so much traction and less rolling resistance. I feel like I go so much faster on frozen ground. Just don't fall, it hurt so much more too!

  5. #5
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    I've tried everything the last 2 years to try to keep my feet warm and just can't do it. They only thing I haven't tried is the $200+ mtb winter boots/shoes with cleats. Just can't see spending that kind of $ when I can't get outside as often as I'd like. The rest of my body I have no problems keeping warm, had issues with my hands but bought a pair of Louis Garneau bike gloves (kind with thumb, index, then mitt for the other 3 fingers) on chainlove and they've been awesome.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    I've tried everything the last 2 years to try to keep my feet warm and just can't do it. They only thing I haven't tried is the $200+ mtb winter boots/shoes with cleats. Just can't see spending that kind of $ when I can't get outside as often as I'd like. The rest of my body I have no problems keeping warm, had issues with my hands but bought a pair of Louis Garneau bike gloves (kind with thumb, index, then mitt for the other 3 fingers) on chainlove and they've been awesome.
    I had this issue for awhile and I read a suggestion on MTBR to go with hiking boots and warm socks. This worked well for me. I have a pair of waterproof hikers that do the job. I wear a thinsulate sock with a wool sock and the hikers and my feet are no longer an issue. I also bought moose-mitts for the real cold on the hands. Other than that with under-armour and layers I can keep warm in whatever winter seems to dish out in southern NY. But as others have said, deep snow stops me from riding.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by huffster View Post
    I had this issue for awhile and I read a suggestion on MTBR to go with hiking boots and warm socks. This worked well for me. I have a pair of waterproof hikers that do the job. I wear a thinsulate sock with a wool sock and the hikers and my feet are no longer an issue. I also bought moose-mitts for the real cold on the hands. Other than that with under-armour and layers I can keep warm in whatever winter seems to dish out in southern NY. But as others have said, deep snow stops me from riding.
    I go clipless even in the winter, so your saying to take the clips off and use regular pedals or baskets? I know from reading other blogs and forums people say the clipless pedals conduct a lot of cold to the soles of the shoes, which makes a lot of sense. I've always hoped with real good socks I could prevent this from happening but it's definitely not working for me.
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  8. #8
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    my lake boots came with heat reflecting sole liners

  9. #9
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    I've been ok down to some seriously cold temps with my Lake winter boots and wool socks.

    SPP
    Rigid.

  10. #10
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    new to mtb and i'm excited about winter riding because lower speeds means staying much warmer. Did gimbels rides last year in below freezing temps and it wasn't too much fun! doing 30mph when it's 25 degrees out = brutal!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    I go clipless even in the winter, so your saying to take the clips off and use regular pedals or baskets? I know from reading other blogs and forums people say the clipless pedals conduct a lot of cold to the soles of the shoes, which makes a lot of sense. I've always hoped with real good socks I could prevent this from happening but it's definitely not working for me.
    Yup. I have some hi-top hiking boots that are waterproof. They have good tread on them which helps when hike-a-bike hits or a little snow on the ground. They are nicely insulated with no air getting in as with vented clipless shoes. I wear thin sock, then wool sock then boot. I have some decent platform pedals - nothing fancy. The conducting of cold was a big issue for me previously. Cold metal SPD + cold cleat = cold foot.

    I think it has actually helped me with my skills too. I don't become too dependent on being attached to the bike. 3/4 of the year I ride clipless and 1/4 of the year I ride platform.

  12. #12
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    +1 or riding on frozen ground!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    I've tried everything the last 2 years to try to keep my feet warm and just can't do it. .
    On the coldest rides I would sometimes pop these in my shoes. I stick just one pad on the ball of each foot (outside the sock). Super cheap and works amazingly well unless your shoes are super tight.

    CRAP... I'm in the wrong gear

  14. #14
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    I have been riding clipless so far this season, but put flats on my back-up bike for the real cold/ deep snow days. Also, I wear a lot of layers of fleece and poly to stay warm. No different then winter hiking or x-skiing.

  15. #15
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    I'm very comfortable down to about 20deg F. Below that I add chemical hand/feet warmers. I've ridden down to about 7deg F, for a five hour ride, which was pretty cold, but doable. As Hutch said, the biggest problem is usually that the snow is too deep

    I ride clipless year round, in the winter I add neoprene booties, and ride with merrino wool socks. I don't have any expensive gear, just lots of layers. As long as it's not cotton, it's fine.

    Down to around 27-28 deg (and no wind) I wear 4 shirts: base: longsleeve underarmor, then 3 layers of jersey-thick polyester. For legs I wear padded lycra and synth long underwear.

    Below ~27-28 I'll add a fleece outer layer and/or windbreaker, depending on the amount of wind, and in extreme conditions windbreaker pants.

    At about 32-35 deg I add a synth headband for my ears, and as it gets colder I go to synth balaclava.

    If I can keep my hands,feet, and ears warm, everything else is fine.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockhop View Post
    On the coldest rides I would sometimes pop these in my shoes. I stick just one pad on the ball of each foot (outside the sock). Super cheap and works amazingly well unless your shoes are super tight.

    Ive used those playing winter golf with good results. My mtb shoes are on the big side so ill try them on the bottom to prevent this cleat issue people are talkibg about

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  17. #17
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    when i was in minot ND we had -60 windchills for 3 days, when the wind died down -30 felt like a heatwave!
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  18. #18
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    Damn I'm a ***** compared to some temps you guys ride in. Toe Warmers are a great idea. I typically wuss out when it's in the 30's trails get too icy around here and there is usually a bunch of powder or the trails are rutted out so I end up having to walk through the crap.

  19. #19
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    coldest it was when i was in utah was maybe -5 windchill ( me laughing out loud ). but that was out in the utah desert west of the great salt lake.. don't know what the ski mountains had... i'm not to big into winter sports
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    How does the threaded view look?
    Yea that's mainly my concern, is the condition of the trails.

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  21. #21
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    I've had a pair of winter shoes for a few years, they're pretty good until temps hit the low 20's, or below freezing on the road bike. I've tried every method to supplement them below this point with mixed results, and when the temps hit the single digits and colder forget it. And I hate fudging with bandaids like booties and chemical packs. I sprang for a pair of (hopefully) decent clipless boots last year, but with the mild winter I didn't get a true test, the one day I wore them my feet were sweltering. I also bought a pair of vapor barrier socks to experiment with for those brutally frigid after dark, miles from the car snow rides. If you're going to ride clipless in winter conditions there is no better money spent than on dedicated footwear. I'm also shopping for a full fatbike this winter, hopefully it won't take too long to get one.

  22. #22
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    Well, for a follow up of your question OP, the snow in Upstate NY has come. Riding has come to a stop. Who else was hit with a substantial amount of snow? More this weekend....
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hutch3637 View Post
    Well, for a follow up of your question OP, the snow in Upstate NY has come. Riding has come to a stop. Who else was hit with a substantial amount of snow? More this weekend....
    sounds like you need a fatbike!

  24. #24
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    OR I need to move. Winter sucks. A fat bike would be nice though.
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

  25. #25
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    Hutch - I live down in Rockland County, NY. Only about 2-3" before the rain packed it down. That made me think I could go out and ride today.

    I didn't think about the fact that I was heading north to Stewart State Forest in Orange County. There was more like 4-6" thin coated with frozen rain. It was a good thing I picked a place that does have snowmobile trails since the singletrack was unridable. You would just break through the crust and sink 4"+ and stop. I managed to run around in the sled tracks for a couple hours. It was slow going, but it was riding.

    More snow expected this weekend, that may put an end to it. Then I'll be relegated to the road and the gym...until it melts.

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