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  1. #1
    SSasquatch
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    How cold is too cold?

    I know, I know, this topic has probably been beaten to death, I just wanted to tell everyone what my wife has been telling me for years when I go out in ridiculous conditions ... I am just not too bright.
    I just got back from an early morning ride and I think that I have answered the question: 'How cold is too cold to ride?'
    I woke up at 4 to take advantage of riding the full moon with snow cover so I wouldn't need a light. I really love riding in those conditions because the moon reflecting off the snow makes it so bright, you'd almost think it was daytime in a weird sortof eclipsy kind of way. The problem this morning was that my thermometor read -11 F. The first 10 minutes were excrutiatingly painfull until I warmed up (foot warmers between booties and shoes are my new bestest buddy).
    Anyway I went out for an hour on the snomachine trails and now that I am sitting in a warm office it doesn't seem so bad, but while I was out there, it was barely tolerable.
    I have had problems in the past with toes freezing but this time it was my face. I don't typically wear face protection, just a toque and glasses, but when your bombing down a snowy trail at 15 mph and it is -11 F, you can actually feel your skin freezing. I guess I will have to get one of those face masques the next time I go out when it is that cold, but those things bug me. I have tried them sking and they always seem to get full of icy snot and drool.
    So, to answer my question, from 0 - 30 F I have no issues when properly attired, but < -10 F is a whole new ballgame that needs more preparation than what I am outfitted for now.

  2. #2
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    Anything below 0 Kelvin, and I just wont ride.
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  3. #3
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous
    Anything below 0 Kelvin, and I just wont ride.
    LOL!

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    rt
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  4. #4
    beer thief
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    Yeah, single digits and below are really cold on the face. Going fast is tough on bare skin at those temps. Stick to slow trails where you can work up some heat, or wear one of the neoprene masks.

  5. #5
    Kearsarge crawler
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    Yeah, single digits and below are really cold on the face. Going fast is tough on bare skin at those temps. Stick to slow trails where you can work up some heat, or wear one of the neoprene masks.
    Cool avatar, too bad it couldn't be a LOT bigger so we could see the detail.
    Your bike can take you anywhere, anytime, over any terrain but, you have to force it to GK 2004. BB1, who started it?

  6. #6
    Your Customer Sales Rep
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    When you can't take a drink because water freezes in your water bottle or water line. Other than that, ride on dude. D.
    You be you. I'll be riding.

  7. #7
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    Absolutely

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous
    Anything below 0 Kelvin, and I just wont ride.

    Me too.... Absolute zero... Kelvin.... lol..
    J.O.R.B.A. More than just tm. WWW.JORBA.ORG

  8. #8
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    Funny, I was about to post the same question with the same title when I saw your post. My question revolved around what's too cold for your lungs. Cranking back up the hill to my house at the end of my ride I got huffing pretty good (I was trying to beat my tire going flat again before I got home) and my lungs feel a bit burnt.It was about 4 deg F this morning here. What's too cold for your lungs? And how can I protect them better?


    Negative 11 F???? That's getting close to "too cold" I suspect.

  9. #9
    Your Customer Sales Rep
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    What's too cold for your lungs? And how can I protect them better?

    Uhhhh ... neoprene lung liners? I wonder how much you'd have to "cough up" for a pair. D.
    You be you. I'll be riding.

  10. #10
    Perfecting my endos...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan!
    Uhhhh ... neoprene lung liners? I wonder how much you'd have to "cough up" for a pair. D.
    Oh good Lord....
    I do not know myself, and God forbid I should...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    What's too cold for your lungs? And how can I protect them better?

    I hate the cold air lung burn thing. I also hate it when I feel like my face is freezing from the inside. When I used to ski, I used a neck gaiter (like a t-neck, without the shirt part) that I'd pull over my mouth and nose. It warmed the air just enough to be comfortable.

    I've been thinking about buying one of those bike-specific balaclavas, but I've found that I'm in no hurry to get out there when the temps drop below 30F. It's the wind chill on the bike that gets me....

  12. #12
    Tracking up the place
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    15 miles per hr and -10 below = -32 windchill....

    I think 0 to -10 is about right bundled up..providing 15 mile per hour...The oil in by rear coil will not handle below 30f ( stiction) .. so I wont ride it outside...

    I think I have ridden as cold as 12 degrees In laramie wy (Prior to Full sus).....on the way to campus...8 miles...My clothes froze and I got a little red...on everything uncovered...I wore balacave neoprene, ear muffs, ply pro gloves with downhill gloves...jeans, polarfleece etc...wool socks....Not only that but in Laramie the frikkin wind blows all the damn time...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by notrelatedtoted
    I hate the cold air lung burn thing. I also hate it when I feel like my face is freezing from the inside. When I used to ski, I used a neck gaiter (like a t-neck, without the shirt part) that I'd pull over my mouth and nose. It warmed the air just enough to be comfortable.

    I've been thinking about buying one of those bike-specific balaclavas, but I've found that I'm in no hurry to get out there when the temps drop below 30F. It's the wind chill on the bike that gets me....

    Yep, you've always got a 10-15 mph wind blowing on you face when you're riding even if it's calm. Slow trails are best for uber cold days.

    I've got one of those fleece lined polypro balaclava's and it does a good job keeping my chin, cheeks, and neck warm... but if I pull it up over my nose and/or mouth I can't get enough air through it to supply my O2 starved muscles. Also, like the OP said, it starts to cake up with frozen snot and slobber pretty quick. Besides that my glasses start fogging up too.

    Larger, snug to the face, wrap around glasses keep my eyes and around my eyes pretty warm (Rudy Project Kerosenes).... unless I get the speed up past 15-20 mph. I suspect full on goggles would be better yet.... but would fog more too. Hmmm. Suggestions?

  14. #14
    Thieves Suck
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    These shouldn't fog

    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    I suspect full on goggles would be better yet.... but would fog more too. Hmmm. Suggestions?

    [SIZE=4]Smith Turbo CAM Goggles[/SIZE]
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Yep, you've always got a 10-15 mph wind blowing on you face when you're riding even if it's calm. Slow trails are best for uber cold days.

    I've got one of those fleece lined polypro balaclava's and it does a good job keeping my chin, cheeks, and neck warm... but if I pull it up over my nose and/or mouth I can't get enough air through it to supply my O2 starved muscles. Also, like the OP said, it starts to cake up with frozen snot and slobber pretty quick. Besides that my glasses start fogging up too.

    Larger, snug to the face, wrap around glasses keep my eyes and around my eyes pretty warm (Rudy Project Kerosenes).... unless I get the speed up past 15-20 mph. I suspect full on goggles would be better yet.... but would fog more too. Hmmm. Suggestions?
    I think full goggles would certainly help, I am going to try it next time and see how bad the fog factor is. I think I have a touch of frostbite right between the eyebrows where my skin was exposed. Feels a little crunchy.

  16. #16
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    too cold for what?

    I've never mountain biked below about 0 deg. F, but that felt pretty darned chilly. I've cross-country skied at about -35 F, and run as cold as -45. The faster you go, the worse the wind chill is, so it's harder to ride in really cold temperatures than it is to run or ski. (At temps like that, the snow is so slow that skiing isn't any faster than running.) Running is the most forgiving sport I've tried in cold weather because you can keep your hands inside your sleeves for extra warmth and the pounding keeps the blood circulating really well to your feet. Once it gets below freezing, when I ride I wear a fleece neckwarmer that I can pull over my face on downhills and push down when I need more oxygen. When running or skiing I can get by without one as long as it's above zero. Neoprene face masks work well for colder temperatures, but only for so long. Then, they get so damp from snot and the moisture in your breath that they're just not that comfortable.

    I was assured many times growing up in Alaska that you can't actually freeze your lungs. You can, however, develop breathing problems due to the dryness of the air when it's really cold, so it's super-important to stay hydrated.

    In any event, if you tell your wife you know of a female mountain biker who has been known to exercise outside at -45, maybe she'll stop worrying about you. Either that or she'll think I'm not too bright, either.

    P.S. If you learn how to blow snot rockets or make a habit of wiping your snot regularly on your gloves, you can keep your face protection more comfortable for longer.
    Last edited by alaskarider; 12-15-2005 at 11:26 AM. Reason: spell check

  17. #17
    SSasquatch
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskarider
    P.S. If you learn how to blow snot rockets or make a habit of wiping your snot regularly on your gloves, you can keep your face protection more comfortable for longer.
    I have spent many years perfecting the art of snot rocketry, but often run into trouble when wearing face protection

  18. #18
    Glad to Be Alive
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    in socal...anything under 60 f
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  19. #19
    PMC
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    11 below at 4 in the morning is pretty hard core. I'm a ride in pretty much any weather kind of guy including snow, ice or cold but I'd probably go back to bed if I was faced with that temp at that time.

    A+ for gettin' out there

  20. #20
    SSasquatch
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMC
    11 below at 4 in the morning is pretty hard core. I'm a ride in pretty much any weather kind of guy including snow, ice or cold but I'd probably go back to bed if I was faced with that temp at that time.

    A+ for gettin' out there
    Well, I had actually planned on riding at lunch (it did warm up to 20), but woke up way early and couldn't go back to sleep. F&*%in work anxiety wakes me up in a cold sweat lately and the only thing to get my mind off it is some good old fashioned pain and suffering. That and the lure of the full moon streaming in my window got me out there.

  21. #21
    SSasquatch
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    in socal...anything under 60 f
    Wow... that sounds good about right now. One thing is certain about riding when really cold is that you appreciate the warm times all the more.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskarider
    I was assured many times growing up in Alaska that you can't actually freeze your lungs. You can, however, develop breathing problems due to the dryness of the air when it's really cold, so it's super-important to stay hydrated.
    This is good to know. .... although I suspect absolute zero would do it.
    KRob-----------------> Going to get a nice big drink of water right now.

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