• 09-25-2014
    755872
    Long Cold Winter Commute Support Thread 2014/15
    Not quite officially winter in the lower 48 yet but it's snowing in places, the mornings are dark and the temps are dropping so it's close enough for me.
  • 09-25-2014
    TenSpeed
    You can definitely feel the change in the air. We had a bit of a cool spell but the temps are back in the 70's during the day so I am taking full advantage of that. Surely this thread will be blowing up in the next few months when sunny days of 70 degrees are but just a dream....
  • 09-25-2014
    BCTJ
    On the bright side, I guess you don't sweat as much in the winter commute. My last commute home, I was totally drenched.
  • 09-25-2014
    755872
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    On the bright side, I guess you don't sweat as much in the winter commute. My last commute home, I was totally drenched.

    Probably depends on how you dress and ride. I start out as cold as I can stand and usually end up warmer than I'd like, but I don't stop along the way to peel layers. I'll vent or unzip, occasionally I'll change gloves, but that's about it. I figure I can have some happiness in the middle and not spend a significant amount of time adjusting the layers if I'm careful. In 31 years of commuting I'm getting closer to the solution set.
  • 09-25-2014
    sepulvd
    Living in PNW. I know winter is coming when it starts raining almost every day
  • 09-25-2014
    evandy
    I'm currently in planning stages for the winter....
    Step 1: Buy Dillinger 5 for my front wheel
    Step 2: Go Tubeless on Front/back (with existing Dillinger 4)
    Step 3: Consider new Pogies / winter clothing

    Everything went well last year, with the exception of killing a chain in 3 months... so hopefully, I won't need too much change this year.
  • 09-25-2014
    755872
    Sepulvd, I don't envy your winters or falls. We get some fall rain but winter tends to more cold than anything else in the plains.

    Evandy, I'm in the same mode. After this weekends rides, the Fargo goes back to full winter mode (Conti's and Fenders back on) and I'm looking at Pogies this year too. Just got some PI P.R.O. Barrier gloves and I'm pretty excited to try those. Considering switching from shoe covers to dedicated winter shoes.
  • 09-26-2014
    sepulvd
    Yea it's pretty crappy especially where I live it's constant 20 mpg winds or higher plus Rain not fun lol
  • 09-26-2014
    jeffscott
    Big Lighnting Crash at 2 am this morning followed by about a half hour of big flake snow. Thundersnow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia we are like Bozeman Montana.

    Then a good rain to melt every thing...

    Winter boots have bee on for a week or so unless it is really hot out.
  • 09-26-2014
    KentheKona
    I've got 2 months before snow will most likely start, but I'm already starting to gear up for winter. I need to buy another rear light, I plan to be extra bright this winter. Not sure if I'm going to try studded or not, I did ok last year with just treaded touring tires. They like their salt up here so ice isn't a huge problem on main roads, but I'm going to try sticking to side street as much as possible.

    Right now the worst part of commuting in western NY is the 30 degree temperature swings for a work day commute. Makes dressing and backing a real hassle.
  • 09-26-2014
    Newbee2
    We really didn't have much of a summer in Chicago. If my job wasn't here I would be out before the next winter. I work outside so i really hate the polar vortex. I blame my parents. I should have been born in Miami. I just got into biking too. Hope the real cold holds off for a few more weeks
  • 09-26-2014
    755872
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Newbee2 View Post
    We really didn't have much of a summer in Chicago. If my job wasn't here I would be out before the next winter. I work outside so i really hate the polar vortex. I blame my parents. I should have been born in Miami. I just got into biking too. Hope the real cold holds off for a few more weeks

    Yup the Midwest is it's own punishment but good gear can compensate for some of it.
  • 09-26-2014
    solarplex
    Long Cold Winter Commute Support Thread 2014/15
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KentheKona View Post
    I've got 2 months before snow will most likely start, but I'm already starting to gear up for winter. I need to buy another rear light, I plan to be extra bright this winter. Not sure if I'm going to try studded or not, I did ok last year with just treaded touring tires. They like their salt up here so ice isn't a huge problem on main roads, but I'm going to try sticking to side street as much as possible.

    Right now the worst part of commuting in western NY is the 30 degree temperature swings for a work day commute. Makes dressing and backing a real hassle.

    Yah.. We have had a weird fall. Dress for 32 in the morning then 80+ in the afternoon. It gets lame lol.
  • 09-26-2014
    jmmUT
    Got my schedule set up so I can bike commute and/or ride public transit through the winter almost everyday. I work at multiple locations so it was not always possible. Plus I got some afternoons off to snowboard!
  • 09-29-2014
    755872
    Well the Fargo is winter ready. It will take some time to get used to the fender rattles, but that's why there is always a second bike in the garage. Pulled the brakes down and found a piece of sand or something embedded in the brake pad. Nice gouge in the disc as a reminder.
  • 10-01-2014
    755872
    No sign of snow but had a good "winteresk" alibi for not riding in today. Every pathway into town within 5 miles either side of my normal commute was closed due to flooding. I thought (perhaps being too optimistic) that I'd be able to ride in this morning since the rain was tapering off, but we're at the 100 year flood stage in many parts of my neck of the woods. Ended up driving an extra 8 miles and still had to drive through partially obscured roads. Enough.
  • 10-03-2014
    snailspace
    It rained a few days ago in my area and the temps dipped a few degrees below freezing. Saw my first few puddles of slush this morning. Definitely needed gloves today for my commute.
  • 10-04-2014
    Volsung
    We got our first little flurries in Minneapolis last night. It wasn't much but it was enough to get me itching for winter.
  • 10-04-2014
    755872
    We have cold(ish) temps here this morning and I got a chance to try PI's excellent PRO Barrier Gloves. They're perfect for the span between uninsulated and Lobster Claws. 33 F, warm hands and no puddle of sweat to deal with. Nice.
  • 10-05-2014
    BrianMc
    Had to cover a tropical vine. Dodged freezing temps (cloudy). First frost is due in the next two weeks or so.
  • 10-05-2014
    TenSpeed
    It is coming, you can just tell around here. Shorts are being put away, long pants are making more of an appearance along with coats and hats. I am holding out for one last blast of an Indian summer, but with each day that passes and it doesn't happen....it only means the inevitable.
  • 10-15-2014
    755872
    Still not officially winter but I'm already having difficulty keeping the front of my stomach warm without over heating the rest of my torso. Should have winter shoes by tomorrow, better than booties. So it begins....
  • 10-15-2014
    TenSpeed
    I have that same issue. Front of my body gets cold especially my stomach, but the rest is fine. Let me know if you figure it out.
  • 10-15-2014
    Shayne
    Zip a newspaper under your jersey.
  • 10-15-2014
    blockphi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by evandy View Post
    I'm currently in planning stages for the winter....
    Step 1: Buy Dillinger 5 for my front wheel
    Step 2: Go Tubeless on Front/back (with existing Dillinger 4)
    Step 3: Consider new Pogies / winter clothing

    Everything went well last year, with the exception of killing a chain in 3 months... so hopefully, I won't need too much change this year.

    I've gotten into the habit, being a year round, one bike commuter, of changing my chain every three months and cassette every six. The wet and dirty springs and falls and the salty winters do a job on drive train components. I could probably get by with three chains a year rather than four, but by now I'm just in the habit.

    My winter commuting processes and procedures have been pretty much cemented for the past few years, just minor tweaks here and there. Looking at better options for feet and hands - want to remain clipped in and am seriously thinking of asking the wife and daughter to sew up some pogies for me. There are days (-15F and below) where gloves just won't cut it!

    I'm excited for winter commuting. I say bring on the snow. It'll lower my overall mileage, but I love the solitude of riding in the silence and dark of winter both in the city and in the woods. That and it means I don't have to worry about bears at all... not that I'm too worried about them anyway, but their poo stinks when it sticks to your tires... ;)
  • 10-15-2014
    755872
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    Zip a newspaper under your jersey.

    High tech from the 1928 Tour De France and still a solid solution. I normally wear a wind vest under my outter jacket and may add a layer of fleece (with velcro) to that area. Seems like it would work. I probably need to find a better way to vent my jacket too as my camelbak tends to cover the breathable portion of my current jacket.
  • 10-15-2014
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    I have that same issue. Front of my body gets cold especially my stomach, but the rest is fine. Let me know if you figure it out.

    I have fought this battle....all the way up from a frozen dick (that hurts).

    You need a windproof layer from mid thigh to top of waist....

    I have found bike shorts, then long windproof front cycling tights, work the best.

    When it gets reall cold, I add a fully breathable layer over top of this, either fleece snowpants, or Swedish army woollen pants.



    Windproof outer or mid layer is the key.
  • 10-15-2014
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    Looking at better options for feet and hands - want to remain clipped in and am seriously thinking of asking the wife and daughter to sew up some pogies for me. There are days (-15F and below) where gloves just won't cut it!

    I use mitts big guanlet mitts, last year we got to -29C and I still hadn't pulled out the down liners, I was using summer gloves underneath.

    The big problem with pogies...if you have a mechanical, and it is really cold...you can rapidly freeze up the fingies trying to deal with things outside the pogies.
  • 10-15-2014
    blockphi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    I use mitts big guanlet mitts, last year we got to -29C and I still hadn't pulled out the down liners, I was using summer gloves underneath.

    The big problem with pogies...if you have a mechanical, and it is really cold...you can rapidly freeze up the fingies trying to deal with things outside the pogies.

    I always carry an extra pair of gloves, extra hat, coat, etc when riding in those temps because, well, that exact reason - needing to stop for anything just sucks the warmth right out. I've thought of just getting a bit pair of mitts, though I run triggers, so a bit of a challenge to shift with mitts on.
  • 10-15-2014
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    I always carry an extra pair of gloves, extra hat, coat, etc when riding in those temps because, well, that exact reason - needing to stop for anything just sucks the warmth right out. I've thought of just getting a bit pair of mitts, though I run triggers, so a bit of a challenge to shift with mitts on.

    I run triggers, very occasionally I will make a shift I didn't intend but that is about it...

    I don't carry anything in a pack...I have means to increase airflow through the layers, bsically zippering, so it all stays on... I might take the inner gloves off and put them in a pocket but that is about it.

    The real key is the outer layer is really breathable. To the point that frost can build up on the outer skin....ie moisture leaving...

    At -30C and lower my outside layer is a Norwegian wool sweater (round knitted)....This way when you ride it is almost not there, but when you stop or slow down the lack of wind allows it to start insulating again.
  • 10-16-2014
    Kleebs
    This will be my first winter bike commuting in northeast ohio and I'm trying to get a handle on what type of rubber to have on hand for the various conditions. My commute is 14.5 miles each way on suburban streets into downtown Cleveland. I currently ride my road bike to work which I love while the roads are clear and dry but I plan to put it on trainer duty during the winter to keep it out of the salt. This past winter I purchased a fat bike that came with a second wheelset shod with 700c x 47 tires. I also picked up a commuter at my local coop.

    So here is my plan. On the days where it is clear, I'll ride the commuter which has urban hybrid tires with a little tread. I'm thinking about picking up some studded 29er tires to put on the second wheelset of the fat bike for days where ice is a distinct possibility and or packed snow. Then I have the fat wheels for fresh snow.

    Anyone see any holes in my logic? I'll probably go with some nokians for the studs as they seem well thought of around here.
  • 10-16-2014
    blockphi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kleebs View Post
    This will be my first winter bike commuting in northeast ohio and I'm trying to get a handle on what type of rubber to have on hand for the various conditions. My commute is 14.5 miles each way on suburban streets into downtown Cleveland. I currently ride my road bike to work which I love while the roads are clear and dry but I plan to put it on trainer duty during the winter to keep it out of the salt. This past winter I purchased a fat bike that came with a second wheelset shod with 700c x 47 tires. I also picked up a commuter at my local coop.

    So here is my plan. On the days where it is clear, I'll ride the commuter which has urban hybrid tires with a little tread. I'm thinking about picking up some studded 29er tires to put on the second wheelset of the fat bike for days where ice is a distinct possibility and or packed snow. Then I have the fat wheels for fresh snow.

    Anyone see any holes in my logic? I'll probably go with some nokians for the studs as they seem well thought of around here.

    As a long time year round commuter in Anchorage AK, I think you might be putting too much thought into it. Here's my approach: Fatbike year round. First snow, slap the Nates on and roll that all winter long. If it's icy, drop the air pressure way down and ride slow. Fresh snow? Lower the air pressure and ride as fast as possible. Packed snow? Up the air pressure and fly. No snow? Up the pressure a bit more and ride even faster. Granted, conditions in Anchorage might be more variable than in Ohio, but most days it seems like the morning and the afternoons are completely different riding experiences and trying to guess which bike or wheelset is right...a losing proposition.

    And I know there will be someone saying that you have to have studs...Last winter we got an ice storm that shut down the city bus lines and nearly shut down the highway. I rode that with no studs and did just fine, apart from one mishap, which was due to my own hubris while passing an olympic XC skier who was out for a run. Studs are nice, but with a fattie, for commuting purposes, they are not absolutely necessary. Of course, with a 14.5 mile commute, I would probably shell out for studded fatties and just roll those.

    But then again, I am cheap and don't go in for the N + 1 idea of bike ownership.
  • 10-16-2014
    CommuterBoy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blockphi View Post

    And I know there will be someone saying that you have to have studs...

    You have to have studs :)
  • 10-16-2014
    blockphi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    You have to have studs :)

    See, I told you someone would say it...

    ;)
  • 10-16-2014
    CommuterBoy
    :lol: it had to be done.
    Kleebs, my solution to that conundrum is to have multiple wheelsets for a big-clearance 29er (Surly Ogre). I have fat slicks for everyday use on great to sloppy days, and a second wheelset armed with studs for icy days. You could do something similar with your fatbike... having brake rotors and cog ready to go on the second set of wheels is a sweet deal... if I peek outside and it's icy in the morning, I can swap wheelsets in less than a minute and I'm out the door.
  • 10-16-2014
    mtbxplorer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kleebs View Post

    ...So here is my plan. On the days where it is clear, I'll ride the commuter which has urban hybrid tires with a little tread. I'm thinking about picking up some studded 29er tires to put on the second wheelset of the fat bike for days where ice is a distinct possibility and or packed snow. Then I have the fat wheels for fresh snow.

    Anyone see any holes in my logic? I'll probably go with some nokians for the studs as they seem well thought of around here.

    Around here (VT), the only problem with your logic is that weather and road conditions are not as predictable as desired. So I ride studded 26x2.something pretty much all winter. Yes it is slower and buzzy and wears out studs faster than if you only ride them only on ice. But having gone down on the ice and even breaking my carbon fatty fork on ice within a few weeks of getting the bike has convinced my that I don't want to go down and am willing to pay the price for the additional margin of safety.
  • 10-16-2014
    TenSpeed
    I am going fatty for the winter and just rolling like blockphi mentioned. I have a set of Nates but am concerned about riding them on the pavement for fear that they will wear down fast and I will have to replace them. Mind you my commute is 8.5 miles strictly on pavement.
  • 10-17-2014
    Kleebs
    Thanks for all the input everyone. blockphi, I probably am overthinking it a bit. I only know 1 other person that commutes around here and they don't commute in the winter so I'm going in blind this winter. Hence why I came here :D I love having as many bikes as I am allowed by the minister of finance. I was bit by the bug I guess. The good news is I already have everything that I mentioned except for the studded tires so its not going to be a big expenditure. My commute is strictly pavement, and while I love my fat bike, riding it on pavement just kind of sucks.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    Kleebs, my solution to that conundrum is to have multiple wheelsets for a big-clearance 29er (Surly Ogre). I have fat slicks for everyday use on great to sloppy days, and a second wheelset armed with studs for icy days.

    I think this is pretty much how I will approach it as well. I bought a Framed Minnesota 2.0 last winter and it came with a second wheelset that is ready to swap out in just a couple seconds. I am going to miss the speed of my road bike when I finally have to put it away for the winter. I still have a while before the snow finally arrives around here.

    Like anything new in commuting it will just take a few days (or weeks, or months) to work out the kinks and find a system that works for me. I have a feeling I will be leaning heavily on this thread though for winter commute support :)
  • 10-17-2014
    TenSpeed
    Having ridden my Minnesota 2.0 on a few commutes and one fun ride, all on the road in nice weather - no snow, I can fully agree with you, it sucks big time. Compared to a skinny tire fast bike it seems like driving a school bus on the Autobahn. Just think though if you ride the fattie all through winter and try to go as fast as you can. Come spring and the road bike comes out you will just fly.
  • 10-17-2014
    blockphi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    I am going fatty for the winter and just rolling like blockphi mentioned. I have a set of Nates but am concerned about riding them on the pavement for fear that they will wear down fast and I will have to replace them. Mind you my commute is 8.5 miles strictly on pavement.

    Last winter we had a light snow year so ~8 miles a day of my commute was on pavement with the Nates. The rear showed some wear, but the knobs are massive enough that it's going to take a long time to wear them down.

    Of course, it seems like Surly tires go from slightly worn to bald overnight...

    I wouldn't worry about it too much, though. Like I said, the knobs are so beefy on the Nate that it'll take some time to wear them away. Also the front will wear much slower, so simply rotate them next winter.
  • 10-17-2014
    TenSpeed
    block - about how many miles do you think you rode on the pavement with those Nates during the winter?
  • 10-18-2014
    Spatialized
    Getting cooler in the AM and have had to bust out with knickers and arm warmers a couple of times but not yet full on. There's a nip in the sure and aspens are turning so it's coming. Not ready, but it will be a nice change.
  • 10-18-2014
    755872
    New winter shoes coming on Tuesday (hoping for a better fit). Got a pair of Lake 145s since they were the only shoes I could find in a real 48 (marked 50). I figure I'll run them down to 20 and add booties if I need to ride colder. If my commute was shorter (like 8 miles) I'd suck it up, but at 18 miles, there's only so much you can suck up.
  • 10-20-2014
    755872
    Trying to guess which 40F day I'll have tomorrow. Funny how a 10% shift in humidity can mess with your wardrobe choices. Same clothes on two days and froze one day while I cooked another. Dressing lighter tomorrow and hoping I guessed right.
  • 10-20-2014
    SimpleJon
    It dropped to 80 here this morning during a thunderstorm - does that count as winter?
  • 10-21-2014
    755872
    :p
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SimpleJon View Post
    It dropped to 80 here this morning during a thunderstorm - does that count as winter?

    :p
  • 10-21-2014
    TenSpeed
    Forecast was for 50's and clear. It is currently 48F and raining. Supposed to rain until noon and dry up I guess? Probably won't happen since there is no sun in sight. Was going to ride to work today, but cold and rain with no way to dry my clothes at work for the ride home just doesn't sound that great. Not even winter yet and I am already dreading it.
  • 10-25-2014
    KentheKona
    I just picked up a new set of 42nrth xerxes tires. I got through last winter with just treaded tour tires (looks almost exactly like the xerxes without the studs), but hopefully the extra cash will make me safer/faster/more better.
  • 11-04-2014
    755872
    Not quite the cold front I expected from November but it was crappy wet/muddy and dreary so that's getting closer. I have one ride on the Lake MX 145s but not enough miles to form a valid opinion.
  • 11-05-2014
    Straz85
    I really need some warmer gloves for this winter. My hands tend to get very cold. I have Pearl Izumi insulated softshell gloves, but they only keep my hands warm down to the low 30's. Suggestions for warmer ones? I'll be using drop bars, so normal pogies are a no-go.
  • 11-05-2014
    TenSpeed
    ^ my Pearl Izumi lobsters do the same for some reason. Colder than that and they don't do much. Must have warmer gloves.
  • 11-05-2014
    755872
    They make a drop bar pogie, but I prefer the Pearl Izumi Lobster Claws. I've used them for years (down to 0F) and had no issue (other than getting sweaty much above 20F). As with feet, a big part of warmth is overall conservation of heat so a heavier blalclava and lycra helmet cover (to block vents) all help in keeping internal temps up. The one caveat here is to make sure they're long enough in the finger pocket. When I'm riding the drops the material between my thumb and first two fingers is not long enough and I feel cramped in the glove. I've got really long fingers so that's not a problem for everyone, but I would try the gloves on and push hard on the drops to see if they're long enough. Doesn't seem to be a problem on the flats or drops.
  • 11-05-2014
    leeboh
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    I have that same issue. Front of my body gets cold especially my stomach, but the rest is fine. Let me know if you figure it out.

    Same here, try a fed x or other tyvek package( used of course) and use the sticky part to tape to your front on top of the base layer. Tuck the bottom part into your waistabnd.
  • 11-05-2014
    leeboh
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kleebs View Post
    This will be my first winter bike commuting in northeast ohio and I'm trying to get a handle on what type of rubber to have on hand for the various conditions. My commute is 14.5 miles each way on suburban streets into downtown Cleveland. I currently ride my road bike to work which I love while the roads are clear and dry but I plan to put it on trainer duty during the winter to keep it out of the salt. This past winter I purchased a fat bike that came with a second wheelset shod with 700c x 47 tires. I also picked up a commuter at my local coop.

    So here is my plan. On the days where it is clear, I'll ride the commuter which has urban hybrid tires with a little tread. I'm thinking about picking up some studded 29er tires to put on the second wheelset of the fat bike for days where ice is a distinct possibility and or packed snow. Then I have the fat wheels for fresh snow.

    Anyone see any holes in my logic? I'll probably go with some nokians for the studs as they seem well thought of around here.

    One thought. Sand and salt tend to kill anything nice and metal. I run 2 dedicated winter commuters , both with studded tires. One a road bike I got for $ 30.00 and the other an old rockhopper. I much prefer to having beater bikes for the winter abuse. Maybe get a used , cheap mt bike to run studded?
  • 11-05-2014
    jeffscott
    I run a higher end bike all winter for the last 8 years. I have found the high end parts with a modicum of maintaince, last better than low end parts, and I don't have to ride a beater for six months of the year.


    On a second note, the city through salt on all the MUP overpasses, so the bike is now covered in salt...

    In the end if this means the city is going to properly maintain the overpasses this year I am all for it.

    In the past the overpasses were the last things shoveled an cleaned.
  • 11-05-2014
    JUNGLEKID5
    Bar mitts are dope and they make a drop bar option. I did my12 mile commute in 0* last year in them. Hands felt great in a light weight glove.
  • 11-05-2014
    Rustedthrough
    I am sure this has been argued to death somewhere, feel free to redirect me if anyone has a link.

    I am considering a second bike for commuting and messing about in snow and mud, my 28mm cx tires have done better than I would have believed but they don't float much. Fat bikes are a little out of the budget, and I have some serious (for me) long hill climbs on pavement in my commute.

    How much better is a 29er or 650b mtb with aggressive/ studded tires than a cx bike with narrow studs in city winter conditions? My neighborhood is on the low end of the city's snow removal priority list, and, usually has a film of glazed stuff for most of January and February. Once I hit downtown, icy patches are more of an issue than snow in the typical year. Am I just chicken?
  • 11-05-2014
    755872
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rustedthrough View Post
    I am sure this has been argued to death somewhere, feel free to redirect me if anyone has a link.

    I am considering a second bike for commuting and messing about in snow and mud, my 28mm cx tires have done better than I would have believed but they don't float much. Fat bikes are a little out of the budget, and I have some serious (for me) long hill climbs on pavement in my commute.

    How much better is a 29er or 650b mtb with aggressive/ studded tires than a cx bike with narrow studs in city winter conditions? My neighborhood is on the low end of the city's snow removal priority list, and, usually has a film of glazed stuff for most of January and February. Once I hit downtown, icy patches are more of an issue than snow in the typical year. Am I just chicken?

    They're pretty good. I run CX tires mid summer on my Fargo and there's no float in gravel piles. I think the biggest advantage comes from dropping your pressures and increasing your contact patch. In heavier (glazed over) snow I like studded CX tires ability to cut through the crud. 2.2" tires will float some, but in certain conditions they'll wear you out just climbing out of and crunching back through the crust. For your conditions I opt for the 29ers.
  • 11-05-2014
    Rustedthrough
    Thanks Forster, any particular advantage to 29er over 650b? I see a lot more tire options in 29, but everyone seems to be coming out with 650b bikes this year, so I expect there will be more tires out in the near future.

    Are you suggesting studded tires on the cx and knobbies on an mtb as alternate day bikes?
  • 11-05-2014
    755872
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rustedthrough View Post
    Thanks Forster, any particular advantage to 29er over 650b? I see a lot more tire options in 29, but everyone seems to be coming out with 650b bikes this year, so I expect there will be more tires out in the near future.

    Are you suggesting studded tires on the cx and knobbies on an mtb as alternate day bikes?

    Logic makes me think the radius of a 29er is an advantage, but I don't own a 650 so that's pure speculation. If I had both to play with and I expected ice I'd stud both sets of tires. If I had to pick one it would be the 29er with studs. I have pretty good luck running without studs but I don't see a lot of ice. When I do I treat it carefully and plan on crashing on occasion. Ice is one area where flats might also displace my eggbeaters.
  • 11-05-2014
    TenSpeed
    Rusted - look into the Framed Minnesota 2.0 or 3.0 options if you are considering a fat bike and don't want to drop a lot of cash. Not as expensive as you think they are, and they are decently equipped.

    On Sale Framed Minnesota 2.0 Fat Bike 2014
  • 11-06-2014
    bedwards1000
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rustedthrough View Post
    Thanks Forster, any particular advantage to 29er over 650b? I see a lot more tire options in 29, but everyone seems to be coming out with 650b bikes this year, so I expect there will be more tires out in the near future.

    Are you suggesting studded tires on the cx and knobbies on an mtb as alternate day bikes?

    Studded all the way. You don't need a patch of ice in the dark sending you to get X-rays. I'd advocate for a 26er for a few reasons. You're more likely to go down in the winter and on a 26" bike you are closer to it. Also, tires are cheaper. For a given # of studs in a tire the stud density is higher in the smaller tire. Studs are expensive so you will either get more traction for the same price or pay more for the higher stud density in the bigger tires.

    I own 2 studded 26ers, a studded 29er and a fatbike (soon to be slightly studded). If I were going to pick 1 bike it would be a studded 26er.
    Little more info here.
    The Candid Cyclist: Fatbike Vs Studded 29er
  • 11-06-2014
    TenSpeed
    Managed to pick up some decent cold weather stuff from PricePoint last night on sale. Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal arm warmers, Pearl Izumi Barrier balaclava, some PricePoint basic tights and another set of their chamois liners for $85. I will pick up some sort of weather proof boot this weekend and I should be pretty set. Bar mitts or Pogies will be the last purchase I think.
  • 11-06-2014
    sasu
    I am lucky to have several commuterable bikes so in the winter I can choose a bike with either normal tires or a bike with studded tires, depending on weather. We have several months of snow and freezing temperatures so studded tires are mandatory in practice.
  • 11-06-2014
    Kleebs
    TenSpeed, I picked up some Bellweather Aqua-No booties from Nashbar last week. I haven't tested their water resistance yet, but they have made a huge difference keeping my feet warm. They were on super sale when I bought them but even normal price I think they are reasonable. Also bought Nashbar's Derby Softshell jacket and have been super impressed. Does a great job blocking the wind and is very warm. It's actually been just a touch too warm the last few days but I can't resist using new gear :)
  • 11-06-2014
    TenSpeed
    ^ thanks! Will check that out for sure
  • 11-06-2014
    mtbxplorer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    Studded all the way. You don't need a patch of ice in the dark sending you to get X-rays. I'd advocate for a 26er for a few reasons. You're more likely to go down in the winter and on a 26" bike you are closer to it. Also, tires are cheaper. For a given # of studs in a tire the stud density is higher in the smaller tire. Studs are expensive so you will either get more traction for the same price or pay more for the higher stud density in the bigger tires.

    I own 2 studded 26ers, a studded 29er and a fatbike (soon to be slightly studded). If I were going to pick 1 bike it would be a studded 26er.
    Little more info here.
    The Candid Cyclist: Fatbike Vs Studded 29er

    +1!! I love my new 27.5 trail bike, but even on summer trails, I have noticed it is further from the ground. Prefer the highly studded 26'r for winter commuting.
  • 11-06-2014
    Rustedthrough
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    Studded all the way. You don't need a patch of ice in the dark sending you to get X-rays. I'd advocate for a 26er for a few reasons. You're more likely to go down in the winter and on a 26" bike you are closer to it. Also, tires are cheaper. For a given # of studs in a tire the stud density is higher in the smaller tire. Studs are expensive so you will either get more traction for the same price or pay more for the higher stud density in the bigger tires.

    I own 2 studded 26ers, a studded 29er and a fatbike (soon to be slightly studded). If I were going to pick 1 bike it would be a studded 26er.
    Little more info here.
    The Candid Cyclist: Fatbike Vs Studded 29er

    Thanks for the thoughts and the link. For my conditions, it looks like the mtb or hybrid with studs is the best winter commuter option. I'll start with studs on the cx/ touring cross before I lay down any serious cash on another bike.

    I have been lusting over a fatbike, more for exploring swampy and snowy areas for fishing and hunting. I get the impression that they are great for going where I wouldn't otherwise go, but slow and heavy for routine commuting/ shopping type tasks- as compared with a more typical mtb. The Framed and Nashbar fatbikes almost change the cost equation (thanks for that link too Tenspeed). I'll try to reserve any judgement or purchases until I have a chance to demo the Kona Wo in real mud and/ or snow. My LBS has a large they will let me play with in a week or so.
  • 11-06-2014
    TenSpeed
    I have a Framed Minnesota 2.0, and you are correct in your assumption that it is slow for commuting, because it really is. It is a big fat pig of a bike, weighing in at more than double my Felt and Jamis track bikes. I have ridden the 2.0 to work at least twice I think, and it was pretty slow going. They really are not designed for going fast like a road bike would. If you can live with that, the smile that it puts on your face will erase the fact that it is a fat pig sucking the life out of your legs. I smile like a little kid when I get on this thing. When the bad weather hits Michigan I will be glad that I got this thing. It rolls right over everything in its way and that is an absolute riot to witness.

    In all honesty, the 2.0 is equipped very nicely for the price tag. You can spend more and get a lighter bike of course. This thing though, hell yeah, it is a really fun ride.
  • 11-06-2014
    KentheKona
    I don't have the pogies, but I bought a pair of those lobster mittens (index finger alone, rest mitten), from the local ski/snowboard store last year. I felt awesome in those and I was riding bar bar in -9F weather. I'm surprised at how well they worked, and I was still able to shift and brake nicely.
  • 11-07-2014
    Kleebs
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kleebs View Post
    TenSpeed, I picked up some Bellweather Aqua-No booties from Nashbar last week. I haven't tested their water resistance yet, but they have made a huge difference keeping my feet warm. They were on super sale when I bought them but even normal price I think they are reasonable.

    So I got to test the booties weather resistance last night...didn't do so hot. On one hand they still provided warmth despite being wet, but my shoes and socks were definitely wet by the time I got home. I was dumb and wore cotton socks so my feet were pretty cold once the socks got wet. The booties delayed the wetting of the feet, but didn't prevent it. Just wanted to give and FYI.
  • 11-07-2014
    bedwards1000
    Did the water go through the booties or did it wick down your leg and sock. That's usually how my feet get soaked.
  • 11-07-2014
    TenSpeed
    I have a set of the Pearl Izumi Barrier shoe covers, and to be honest, they do nothing for me. Windproof yes, but cold proof, no way. I was wondering if these would be any different but it sounds like they are not. Thanks for the review and the heads up on them Kleebs I really appreciate it!
  • 11-07-2014
    formula4speed
    Does anyone use shoe covers with "normal" shoes and flat pedals?

    Not sure if anyone even makes anything like that. I typically just use skate style shoes which I can ride in then just wear throughout the day, but they aren't warm enough for winter months and they don't have room for heavy socks. So I need some kind of cover, or I can switch to boots with thick wool socks.
  • 11-07-2014
    TenSpeed
    I don't see why they wouldn't fit a normal shoe although if you wear a bigger size, even the XL covers might not fit. I have that issue with mine for some reason. XL and a 13 biking shoe and they are very hard to get closed up. I know skate style shoes are often much wider so they may have fit issues that way as well.
  • 11-07-2014
    mtbxplorer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by formula4speed View Post
    Does anyone use shoe covers with "normal" shoes and flat pedals?

    Not sure if anyone even makes anything like that. I typically just use skate style shoes which I can ride in then just wear throughout the day, but they aren't warm enough for winter months and they don't have room for heavy socks. So I need some kind of cover, or I can switch to boots with thick wool socks.

    I don't think the covers are rugged enough on the bottom for modern pinned flat pedals, since they are really designed for clipless pedals. Plus boots will be an easier on/off twice a day. How cold does it get where you are? This will influence what will work best without being overly bulky.
  • 11-07-2014
    KentheKona
    Does anyone insulate the battery area of their USB rechargeable lights? My battery life seems to tank in the cold weather.
  • 11-07-2014
    Rustedthrough
    For cold/ wet feet, I have never had better friends than these: Amazon.com: N.E.O.S Superlite Series Trekker Overshoes: Home Improvement

    Wore them all last (bitterly, bitterly cold and snowy) winter while plowing snow in a skid steer, and doing everything else. The sole is grippy rubber and they are fairly light, they do need some kind of leg band to keep the tops out of the chain. If you are using platform pedals and light weight shoes, they are worth at least a look on amazon.

    KentheKona, I haven't been using my lights in extreme cold yet, but I have had endless trouble with Hitachi 18v lithium ion batteries on my cordless power tools in the cold. My Makita and Milwaukee batteries seem to do just fine. With the Hitachi batteries, if I could keep them warm inside my coat when not in use they were okay until I set them down. After a few days of getting disgusted, I made booties for them out of bubble wrap mailing envelopes and duct tape. That solution was inconvenient but effective. If my L&M headlight starts giving me grief in the coming months, I will try wrapping it in 1" pipe insulation and electrical tape. I hope someone here has a better answer for you.
  • 11-08-2014
    mtbxplorer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KentheKona View Post
    Does anyone insulate the battery area of their USB rechargeable lights? My battery life seems to tank in the cold weather.

    As far as I know, the only solution to the cold impacting battery life is to overbuy initially; if you need 1 hour of light to get home, don't buy one rated for 90 minutes, because you may not get one hour out of it in the cold.
  • 11-08-2014
    BrianMc
    ^ Nothing succeeds like excess. The batteries age and drop to about 1/2 to 2/3 output and the cold weather takes 1/3 to 1/2 the capacity depending on temps, so having 3 hours of battery for a one hour ride is about right. :) I ask myself: would I rather carry a little extra weight on the bike or ride home without a headlight? I rest my case. :) I like having 4 hours of batteries. Works well for me. A second light might work for others with internal batteries.

    Rear lights aren't often an issue. The Cygolite HotShot is good for 7-8 hours in the summer, but is more like 4-5 in the winter. Still covers more than a few rides.
  • 11-08-2014
    formula4speed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    I don't think the covers are rugged enough on the bottom for modern pinned flat pedals, since they are really designed for clipless pedals. Plus boots will be an easier on/off twice a day. How cold does it get where you are? This will influence what will work best without being overly bulky.

    I figured the bottoms might be an issue. The coldest I commute in is usually about 25F, if it gets colder I wuss out and drive. I might just stick with boots and buy a set a shoes to keep at the office, might even be cheaper than shoe covers since I don't need anything particularly nice since I don't have to see customers.
  • 11-08-2014
    mtbxplorer
    ^^Since you like skate shoes, you might also like something like 5.10 Impact Highs (hi-top) MTB shoes, I prefer them at 25F to boots, plus you can use them for trailriding too if you do that. They are not cheaper than boots, but more versatile and less "klunky". Five Ten - Impact High - Team Black
  • 11-09-2014
    newfangled
    So the zipper on my lightweight shell jacket has given out. After unsuccessfully searching for an easy way to fix it (all I really need is a new slider and end stop, but even ebay is failing me) I surrendered and decided I would get a replacement.

    Except that for some reason, in the time since I last bought a jacket the manufacturers have stopped making them with armpit zippers. They used to be everywhere, and they work so well, but now they're impossible to find unless you're buying something in the $200 range. That is stupid.

    I wouldn't be so picky, except this is a key component of my layering system from 0C down to -30C. My old jacket worked perfectly, and I don't want to get something that will screw it up.
  • 11-09-2014
    755872
    newfangled,
    I'd take it to a dry cleaners and have the zipper replaced. Zippers are cheap and most dry cleaners have someone that does alterations. We replaced my son's coat zipper last year and I think the bill was $25.
  • 11-09-2014
    TenSpeed
    Today was a test run of some new stuff that I got and stuff that I wanted to try. Went on a 32 mile ride with a buddy. Temp was 37F, felt like 34F with the wind according to my weather app.

    Bell Slant helmet
    Pearl Izumi head cover
    Champion sleeveless tank top (figured that it might work as a base layer)
    Specialized short sleeve jersey
    Pearl Izumi Thermal arm warmers (massively on sale at Price Point)
    Pearl Izumi Lobster gloves
    Pearl Izumi chamois liner
    Under Armour tights
    Lululemon mens shorts (don't laugh - they are great shorts for riding)
    Merino wool socks
    Feet inside sandwich bags (tried this for the first time)
    Shimano MTB shoes

    For the most part, my body was fine. The arm warmers were amazing to be honest. Hands were OK until I had to take my gloves off for something, then they remained cold. Feet? That is gonna be my problem I think. The bags were fine at the start, but my feet eventually got cold, and my toes started to hurt. The wool socks are low cut, so a bit of my ankle was exposed, not sure if that is an issue or not. 37F is not that cold by any standard on this forum especially when people are commuting in the snow already in Alaska. I just want to get this sorted out before the snow flies and the temps drop.

    I will be commuting once the snow hits on the fat bike solely. I don't want to chance riding to work on a fixed gear on 23's when it is clear out and having it snow that evening and having to battle that for 8.5 miles. I will be on flats, so once I get the boots I need I should be OK. It is going to be the time in between when it is still clear out that I will have the biggest issue.
  • 11-09-2014
    Rustedthrough
    Tested the new mostly MUP route to work this morning, temps around 40- 45 depending on where you looked. This route adds almost two miles to a 12 mile run, but, it is almost free of motorists until the last three miles. I'll try it again when the MUP is completed, if it includes a ped/ bicycle bridge over the interstate, I'm in.

    I tested my Bern helmet with the visor liner and without, replacing the liner with a fleece ear band from Duluth Trading Co. Much cheaper than the Bern liner, a little too warm at 40ish.

    Tenspeed, that all sounds like a great lot of kit. Glad to hear it is working. As a kid in Boy Scouts I did the bags in shoes thing a few times, the only way I could make it work was to rub my feet with antiperspirant (not deodorant alone, but antiperspirant) before putting my socks on. I know it sounds silly, but, it is a cheap experiment for the in between weather. Similarly, if you can get boots with a removable liner that can dry while you are at work, they will be much warmer on the trip home than a more heavily insulated lined boot.
  • 11-09-2014
    TenSpeed
    OK, I gotta ask.....why antiperspirant? What exactly did it do?
  • 11-09-2014
    Rustedthrough
    Antiperspirant keeps the feet from sweating and the socks from getting damp from the inside. Applying a bead of the stuff to the soles of my feet has been more effective than the tops or all around, not sure why on that one.

    If your socks stay dry, they are as insulating as they were when you put them on. Nothing beats dry socks.
  • 11-09-2014
    TenSpeed
    My socks only get wet in the summer time from sweating, and even then they are not bad. In the colder weather, I don't seem to sweat at all. After my ride today, everything that I had on was as dry as when I put it on.
  • 11-09-2014
    Rustedthrough
    You are a very lucky cyclist indeed. If your feet are getting cold over time, without being sweaty, I wonder if the combination of socks, bags, and shoes might be constricting blood flow to your toes. Things don't have to be uncomfortably tight to squeeze insulation either.

    If sweat and compression aren't the problems, you'll probably need some warmer shoes or covers. I'm sure someone will chime in with a better answer when the forum wakes up in the morning.

    I am curious about the lobsters not being warm enough in that weather. I am constantly arguing with cold hands in the winter, but have been alright with nitrile dipped jersey gloves down to about 40, and neoprene insulated work gloves between 25 and 40f. I'll be interested to see what you find out.
  • 11-09-2014
    TenSpeed
    The lobsters are OK at that temperature. My hands were not sweating but they were not freezing either. Once I had the gloves off for a second, my hands instantly got cold, and stayed cold. Reynauds syndrome sufferer here, and that doesn't help. Poor circulation to my extremities, which explains the cold hands and feet. Since I quit smoking 13 years ago, it has gotten somewhat better but it is not gone. What works for most people in near zero conditions won't work for me in mid 30's. I have Pearl Izumi shoe covers, the full ones that go over the shoe and up the back. They don't work for me in colder weather so I didn't even bother getting them on.
  • 11-10-2014
    Kleebs
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    Did the water go through the booties or did it wick down your leg and sock. That's usually how my feet get soaked.

    I think it was a combo of wicking down the leg and road spray getting in from the holes around the sole of the shoe.
  • 11-10-2014
    Kleebs
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    I will be commuting once the snow hits on the fat bike solely. I don't want to chance riding to work on a fixed gear on 23's when it is clear out and having it snow that evening and having to battle that for 8.5 miles. I will be on flats, so once I get the boots I need I should be OK. It is going to be the time in between when it is still clear out that I will have the biggest issue.

    Are you going to stay with the fat wheels all winter or swap between the fat wheelset and "fatty slims" wheelset based on conditions?
  • 11-10-2014
    TenSpeed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kleebs View Post
    Are you going to stay with the fat wheels all winter or swap between the fat wheelset and "fatty slims" wheelset based on conditions?

    I bought the bike used so it only has the fat wheels unfortunately.
  • 11-10-2014
    NDD
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KentheKona View Post
    Does anyone insulate the battery area of their USB rechargeable lights? My battery life seems to tank in the cold weather.

    The problem is that the resistance of the light probably drops in the cold. So the charge will dissipate faster. I could go into the physics of it, but I don't want to. Just know that three charge accumulates and is gotten rid of as a function of resistance and capacity and resistance is sensitive to temperature.
  • 11-10-2014
    Rustedthrough
    NDD, not to force the science (or the scientific discussion), but:

    If the light were on in a warmer place (indoors or in a pocket) for a few minutes before being used on the bike, would the heat from the discharging battery and the limited waste heat from the bulb be able to maintain the resistance? Would this work better if the battery and housing were insulated?

    I may be very wrong here. If so, I would love to know why before I find myself out there with dead lamps.
  • 11-10-2014
    NDD
    That's a good question, and I wish I knew the answer. My guess would be initially that it would help, and you'd do better to just never let it get cold. I'm supposing that most charge is lost before the light heats up.

    That said I don't know what kind of heat these lights are generating. My physics professor measure the resistance of an incandescent bulb cold and hot and after being on the resistance jumped up by a factor of about four, which made the time it took dissipate charge about four times longer than we had expected because we measure it cold.

    I suppose that if the light is cold and heats up sufficiently, much of the charge could be lost while the system heats up. I presume that the outside environment has a more profound effect, though, and it would only work so well. Remember, the light is not a closed system, because it exists and operates in the cold air, which is something of a sink for all that excess heat energy your light puts out.

    I dunno, I'm a pretty mediocre scientist, or I usually feel like I am. So take it with a grain of salt. More of a biologist than a physicists anyway.
  • 11-10-2014
    Rustedthrough
    NDD, I don't suppose your physics prof would be interested in updating his/ her experiment with a cree LED? You may not be a physicist, but for those of us in the humanities, any reality check is helpful. Thanks.
  • 11-10-2014
    mtbxplorer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    So the zipper on my lightweight shell jacket has given out. After unsuccessfully searching for an easy way to fix it (all I really need is a new slider and end stop, but even ebay is failing me) I surrendered and decided I would get a replacement.

    Except that for some reason, in the time since I last bought a jacket the manufacturers have stopped making them with armpit zippers. They used to be everywhere, and they work so well, but now they're impossible to find unless you're buying something in the $200 range. That is stupid.

    I wouldn't be so picky, except this is a key component of my layering system from 0C down to -30C. My old jacket worked perfectly, and I don't want to get something that will screw it up.

    I have found (here in VT) that on hardshell (waterproof) jackets, pitzips are mandatory, but that softshells are more forgiving and have a wider comfort range without needing to pit-unzip. Unless you need it to work in a downpour, you might be surprised by the softshell's performance.
  • 11-10-2014
    newfangled
    ^ honestly, I use my hardshell with a thin merino baselayer down to about 0F, and below that I add a fleece. I think (perhaps incorrectly) that a softshell would keep me much warmer than I want.

    After hitting 3 bike/multisport shops (I was also sortof hunting for a new helmet) I ended up going to a running store and found an updated version of my old jacket - the new one has side pockets instead of one completely useless pocket in the middle of the back! I've macguyvered the old one back together with a snap at the base of the zipper, so I'll keep it around as a backup.
  • 11-10-2014
    mtbxplorer
    ^^Oh good, hope that works. "Softshell" is hard to judge without feeling, the bike or aerobic sport ones are typically pretty lightweight and run cooler (or wider range) for me than a waterproof layer. "Thick" softshells like you might want for standing around waiting to ice climb might be too warm on the bike.

    If I recall, you run pretty hot (minimal layers), so perhaps you would not like them.
  • 11-11-2014
    mtbxplorer
    When you're done commuting, fatbike fun in NH https://www.facebook.com/moosebrookfatbikerace

    Bedwards & RollingRunner, are you going this year?
  • 11-11-2014
    NDD
    @ rustedthrough, just thought of it. Batteries rely on a chemical reaction. Ultimately chemical reactions occur more slowly in the cold, which probably has more to do with the dying light when it's on. If your light is sitting out in the cold it will discharge more quickly when not in use.

    Realized that point and did a little searching for info. So yeah, just keep your battery warm until you ride and it'll probably be as good as it'll get in the cold weather.
  • 11-11-2014
    BrianMc
    ^ Some have carried the battery on their person inside at least the outer layers of clothing. It does make for the umbilical cord/battery cable issue, though. Li-ion can fail in a dramatic fire, so I would not chance this with the cheap Chinese battery packs.
  • 11-11-2014
    mtbxplorer
    ^^my Garmin astro gps/dog.tracker does not.like lithium primary (non rechargeable) AA's...it reads low battery even though they are new. Anybody understand this?
  • 11-11-2014
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    @ rustedthrough, just thought of it. Batteries rely on a chemical reaction. Ultimately chemical reactions occur more slowly in the cold, which probably has more to do with the dying light when it's on. If your light is sitting out in the cold it will discharge more quickly when not in use.

    Realized that point and did a little searching for info. So yeah, just keep your battery warm until you ride and it'll probably be as good as it'll get in the cold weather.

    Close the amphour capacity of a battery is not materially affected by temperature...however the voltage is.

    All batteries have an optimal temperature range. Below this optimum the batery voltage falls with decreasing temperature.

    Devices require a certain voltage to perform as per design....this doesn't follow any particular pattern with temperture...however modern devices (LED bike lights) have a cutoff voltage to protect the batteries...this is often not temperature compensated, so a lot of useable amphours are lost and cold temps.
  • 11-11-2014
    bedwards1000
    Lithium primary cells start out with a higher terminal voltage (1.65V) than standard alkaline batteries(1.5V). It could be that it is reporting a low battery because it is confused and it is really a high battery. Brand new batteries could have even higher voltages. You could run them in a flashlight to knock the freshness out of them and see if the problem goes away. Not really a solution but a test.
  • 11-12-2014
    755872
    Winter (officially or otherwise) is here in the Great Plains. 12F, -4F windchills, snow and ice. Glad I only rode the 11 mile commute and not the whole 17.5. I think the open country would have been brutal today. Still need to find a face cover that directs my breath away from my classes.
  • 11-12-2014
    rogbie
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Winter (officially or otherwise) is here in the Great Plains. 12F, -4F windchills, snow and ice. Glad I only rode the 11 mile commute and not the whole 17.5. I think the open country would have been brutal today. Still need to find a face cover that directs my breath away from my classes.

    I use goggles and a wool scarf when the temps drop that low. Find goggles that are well ventilated (sliding vents are boss) and the fogging issue goes away. My goggles never fog, even when the scarf is tucked under them for no skin exposure.
  • 11-12-2014
    KentheKona
    I always bring my lights into the house or off the bike to keep them climate controlled, so if I'm reading this science talk right that's as good as I can do?
  • 11-12-2014
    TenSpeed
    OK - I think that I am good to go now for winter commuting. Picked up a pair of waterproof Wolverine boots that are waterproof and 600g Thinsulate and were $50 off as well. I was hoping for more like 800 or 1000 but those in my size were completely gone. People go nuts here when it starts getting cold, and if you don't get what you need you won't get it as the stores will be sold out. North Face Guardian gloves that are rated to go into the very cold temperatures. Also went nuts and got a pair of Oakley Ambush ski goggles with persimmon lenses. They had other brands there but compared to these the others felt really cheap and I learned a long time ago, buy once, cry once. Get what you want if you can afford it and just move on.

    I am hoping for a not so crazy winter this year, but am preparing for the worst. Currently 31F and light flurries earlier. The forecast for the next week calls for temperatures right around freezing as the high with decent chances for snow. I think that I will take the fat bike tomorrow and give some of this stuff a test run to see how it performs.
  • 11-12-2014
    Simonns
    Its 0*F with flurries and 3" on the ground currently in Denver. I'm about to head out for my commute. Gonna be fun.
  • 11-12-2014
    Rustedthrough
    I had a lot of trouble with my safety glasses fogging. This stuff has worked better than it has a right to:
    http://www.rei.com/search?query=cat+crap
  • 11-14-2014
    Kleebs
    I can't figure out what to wear to keep my feet comfortable. Last night was our first snow storm of the season. I was wearing wool socks under normal socks in my normal MTB spd shoes with booties over them. They were fine for the first 10 miles or so but by the end my feet were wet and thus freezing. Anyone have suggestions? Do I just need to switch to flats and wear normal winter boots?
  • 11-14-2014
    TenSpeed
    I did that as a trial yesterday, and it worked. Winter boots and flats. I hated every second of it but it kept my feet warm. Trying SPD shoes and a different sock set up for todays commute but it will be dry.
  • 11-14-2014
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kleebs View Post
    I can't figure out what to wear to keep my feet comfortable. Last night was our first snow storm of the season. I was wearing wool socks under normal socks in my normal MTB spd shoes with booties over them. They were fine for the first 10 miles or so but by the end my feet were wet and thus freezing. Anyone have suggestions? Do I just need to switch to flats and wear normal winter boots?

    SH-MW81 - OFF-ROAD - CYCLING FOOTWEAR AND PEDALS - LIFESTYLE GEAR - SHIMANO

    I get about 45 mins at -30C

    Damned water proof too
  • 11-14-2014
    Rustedthrough
    Kleebs, were your feet wet from the snow or from sweat? If it is sweat, try rubbing your feet with antiperspirant before you set out. If they are getting wet from the outside, plastic bags over the socks/ under the shoes, or fancy booties are worth a shot.

    I ride flats with my work/ hiking boots and shift my foot position to make my toes work on the level ground. It may be all mind games, but so far, it seems to thaw the toes. I'm wondering (never been clipped in) if the spd's etc limit your toe movement. My feet have never been colder than when walking around in damp inflexible Vibram soled logging boots.
  • 11-17-2014
    Kleebs
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rustedthrough View Post
    Kleebs, were your feet wet from the snow or from sweat? If it is sweat, try rubbing your feet with antiperspirant before you set out. If they are getting wet from the outside, plastic bags over the socks/ under the shoes, or fancy booties are worth a shot.

    It's definitely a snow/road spray issue. As posted in the daily commute thread, I think it's an issue of the water wicking down my tights and under my booties onto my socks. Tomorrow I will wear my gore-tex hiking pants a try over my tights to keep the water off all together. I just hope it doesn't make me too hot. The experimentation continues.

    For Christmas my wife and inlaws are going to pitch in together to get me a pair of the Lake MXZ-303 winter spd shoes so the problem should be temporary.
  • 11-17-2014
    755872
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kleebs View Post
    It's definitely a snow/road spray issue. As posted in the daily commute thread, I think it's an issue of the water wicking down my tights and under my booties onto my socks. Tomorrow I will wear my gore-tex hiking pants a try over my tights to keep the water off all together. I just hope it doesn't make me too hot. The experimentation continues.

    For Christmas my wife and inlaws are going to pitch in together to get me a pair of the Lake MXZ-303 winter spd shoes so the problem should be temporary.

    Are you wearing your tights over your booties or under? I wear two pairs normally (when it's really cold) Pearl Amfibs on the outside and Thermal Fleece on the inside. In wet weather the outer pair always goes over the shoe/boot/bootie. If they won't fit, I'd consider an inside/out gator (might be able to use an old pair of tights cut down) that go inside the tights but layer over the boot/bootie top.
  • 11-17-2014
    BCTJ
    Have any of you had your hydration bladder freeze so that you can't suck any water out of it? This happened to me on my ride last Saturday evening. The only thing I could do was suck water out of the back of the pack, where you put the water in, which was very inconvenient. I guess these hydration packs aren't made for the really cold weather.
  • 11-17-2014
    Shayne
    I've had watter bottles freeze solid that were in my jersey pockets.
  • 11-17-2014
    scubaklook
    If it froze in the tube you can try blowing into it after you drink. It also helps to have it under at least your outer layer. I think they also make some insulated sleeves you can put on the tube.

    6F with 20mph winds, supposed to be up to 30mph on the way home. My route tends to be with the wind so it was like being on an ebike going out. Not really looking forward to the return.

    I had some credit with the LBS and bought the Revelate Expedition pogies this past spring. I like the moose mitts but they were only able to get me down to 0F with heavy mittens. After that I had to take drastic measures. I have now had several days to try them out and really like them. Combined with carbon bars and levers I have been able to use a light mitten and even was ok for one ride with some wool liner gloves. I have raynauds so am very happy I have found something that should work all winter. They dont cinch as tight on the bars as the moose mitts so I stuffed my heavy mittens in the gap which works well. They are warmer and accessible if I need to use them.
  • 11-17-2014
    newfangled
    0F this moring, but supposed to be up around freezing this afternoon.

  • 11-17-2014
    755872
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    Have any of you had your hydration bladder freeze so that you can't suck any water out of it? This happened to me on my rise last Saturday evening. The only thing I could do was suck water out of the back of the pack, where you put the water in, which was very inconvenient. I guess these hydration packs aren't made for the really cold weather.

    I've got insulated sleeves and they don't help in extreme cold any more than they keep the water in the tube cold during the summer. Blowing your tube clear (as previously mentioned) is the standard solution set. If you're bladder is freezing you can add a hand warmer to the bag or use a small camelbak inside your jacket. If I use a tucked camelbak, I route the tube/mouthpiece under my jacket also and use the mouthpiece with a cap (like the military style camelbaks come with) to keep water from dripping on me during the ride..
  • 11-17-2014
    bedwards1000
    +1 on both of these tips. It's usually the line that freezes. I wear mine under my outer layer down to 0F with no problems. In those conditions with the tube outside it will freeze in minutes.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scubaklook View Post
    If it froze in the tube you can try blowing into it after you drink. It also helps to have it under at least your outer layer. I think they also make some insulated sleeves you can put on the tube.

  • 11-17-2014
    dbhammercycle
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    Have any of you had your hydration bladder freeze so that you can't suck any water out of it? This happened to me on my ride last Saturday evening. The only thing I could do was suck water out of the back of the pack, where you put the water in, which was very inconvenient. I guess these hydration packs aren't made for the really cold weather.

    Get one of the unbottles by Camelbak, it has a neoprene sleeve to keep the water pouch cooler in the summer or warmer in the winter. Of course, if you're riding all day and it's that cold you still may encounter a freezing.

    Just read through the few previous posts concerning this point, all good advice. One additional option would be to wear the camelbak inside your coat and of course insulate the line as well.
  • 11-17-2014
    z1r
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kleebs View Post
    I can't figure out what to wear to keep my feet comfortable. Last night was our first snow storm of the season. I was wearing wool socks under normal socks in my normal MTB spd shoes with booties over them. They were fine for the first 10 miles or so but by the end my feet were wet and thus freezing. Anyone have suggestions? Do I just need to switch to flats and wear normal winter boots?

    I struggled with this question too. I started with some neoprene booties They worked great for me when the temps start out as low as 20 degrees but heat up before the evening commute home. I like that I can peel them off once things have warmed up.

    That said last week when the morning temp was the high and things just got colder as the day went on, I knew I needed something better.

    As luck would have it, I had to drive my Mother done to Co Springs Saturday. Our route took us post the Colordao Cyclist store so we stopped in and I tired on some Lake MXZ 303's. Largest size they had were 8's, which JUST fit. They were very warm and cozy with just a pair of my Summer socks on so I took a pair home.

    I tried them out on a ride yesterday that was right at 2 hours long. Started out in the teens when I left home and warmed up into the lower 20's when I got home. Same Summer socks and my feet were feeling great. I'd have liked a tad more room and probably should have gotten a wide size to allow for thicker socks but even so my feet did not suffer. Best $259 I EVER spent.

    They allowed me to take this wonderful ride yesterday:



    With my feet being as big as they are, I couldn't imagine riding with a pair of ordinary winter boots. My instep would be hitting the crank arms on every stroke. It would drive me crazy. Maybe not quite as much as hurting toes however.
  • 11-17-2014
    NDD
    Of course I'm too warm in my non athletic wear. But hey you use what you can afford and I can afford what I already have. Extremities are great, but I find my core gets a bit cozy, then sweaty. Maybe I'll ditch the A-frame for a few weeks.

    Long underwear, cargo pants, and hiking boots with thick socks rules, though.
  • 11-17-2014
    evandy
    Temperature in the Teens today (oy vey!). Went out with my upgraded Pugs (Tubeless, D5/D4), and the ride was pretty good... but my fingers got COLD. Installed the pogies tonight; should be doing better tomorrow.
  • 11-17-2014
    spazzy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    Have any of you had your hydration bladder freeze so that you can't suck any water out of it? This happened to me on my ride last Saturday evening. The only thing I could do was suck water out of the back of the pack, where you put the water in, which was very inconvenient. I guess these hydration packs aren't made for the really cold weather.

    I have been using hydration packs for years snowboarding, one trick I've found is when you are done taking a drink, blow back into the tube so the water in the mouthpiece/tube flows back to the reservoir. Usually this cures the problem and what little water is left in the tube freezes but you can still get some flow going and continue drinking.
  • 11-18-2014
    byknuts
    Fugging cold, -22 centigrade.
    Balaclava, goggles and facemask, gloves inside pogies, goretex socks inside motorcycle boots.
    Overkill for today, but as good a day as many to try the heavier duty gear on.

    I'd forgotten how absolutely dead tires can feel at this temp, anyone have suggestions for a non-studded tire?
    Running schwalbe marathon xr's now, and my studdies are schwalbes too, as ough as they are, they feel like hell on the roads.
    But I've been batting my eyelashes in the general direction of those continental top contact winters...
  • 11-18-2014
    NDD
    I really like continental tires. Personal opinion, really, but mountain king and race king I have tried and liked.
  • 11-18-2014
    evandy
    Rolling along on my way to work this morning on my Pugsley... what do I see in the snow, but the unmistakable treads of Bud and Lou. There is another fatbike somewhere in my neighborhood...
  • 11-18-2014
    NDD
    ^Did you follow them to their home?
  • 11-18-2014
    evandy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    ^Did you follow them to their home?

    Alas, I did not have the time.
  • 11-18-2014
    NDD
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by evandy View Post
    Alas, I did not have the time.

    You must find, capture, and tame the fat bike.
  • 11-18-2014
    TenSpeed
    Today before I left for work. 19F and 30mph gusts. New jacket from REI (Novara brand). All I had was a t shirt on underneath it. Sweating when I got to work. Excellent purchase!!

  • 11-19-2014
    Kleebs
    17 degrees with 25 mph winds this morning. Instead of cycling tights and battling the spd shoes that haven't worked for me yet this winter, I opted for long johns under my goretex rain pants that I had from my backpacking days, with wool socks and hiking boots. I was much warmer with this set up. I hate riding on flats with boots, but until I get some lake mxz303s for xmas, this will be my go to. I hate cold feet more. I have concluded that my gloves just aren't warm enough though. I'll have to pick up a warmer pair.
  • 11-19-2014
    z1r
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kleebs View Post
    I hate riding on flats with boots, but until I get some lake mxz303s for xmas, this will be my go to.

    I hate cold feet more. I have concluded that my gloves just aren't warm enough though. I'll have to pick up a warmer pair.

    You will love the Lakes. I got mine last weekend and my footsies were toasty warm with the temps in the teens.

    Believe it r not, I go a pair of Winter Ski type gloves at home Depot for $9.99 a few weeks ago. They work better than any other pair of winter bike gloves I have tried. I wear the in the morning when temps are in the 20's and change to a pair of full finger MTB gloves for the evening ride home when the temp hits the 40's & 50's.
  • 11-19-2014
    TenSpeed
    North Face Glacier gloves from the sporting goods store that rhymes with Rick's but is censored on this forum. My hands are drenched in sweat when they come off and no gloves ever keep my hands warm, except for these.
  • 11-19-2014
    fotooutdoors
    Re: Long Cold Winter Commute Support Thread 2014/15
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by z1r View Post
    ... ride home when the temp hits the 40's & 50's.

    Wait, that's not winter! :eek:

    In all seriousness, I am jealous of that warmth.

    I keep toying with the idea of the lakes, but no one seems to wear them for long (like, an hour ride) below 10F, and in Wisconsin, we have a fair number of winter mornings that makes 10 look almost balmy. Someday, maybe...
  • 11-19-2014
    z1r
    My ride on Saturday started out in the low teens. I rode 2 hours and was fine. If I could have gotten a half size larger I could have squeezed in some wool socks and I'm sure I would have fine in last week's single digit weather but alas, size 48 was all they had.
  • 11-19-2014
    KentheKona
    1 Attachment(s)
    Attachment 940362

    Shot from my ride home as I was passing over the river downtown. My marshals snow pants and fleece onsie kept me nice and warm on the ride home.
  • 11-21-2014
    Simonns
    Long Cold Winter Commute Support Thread 2014/15
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by z1r View Post
    I struggled with this question too. I started with some neoprene booties They worked great for me when the temps start out as low as 20 degrees but heat up before the evening commute home. I like that I can peel them off once things have warmed up.

    That said last week when the morning temp was the high and things just got colder as the day went on, I knew I needed something better.

    As luck would have it, I had to drive my Mother done to Co Springs Saturday. Our route took us post the Colordao Cyclist store so we stopped in and I tired on some Lake MXZ 303's. Largest size they had were 8's, which JUST fit. They were very warm and cozy with just a pair of my Summer socks on so I took a pair home.

    I tried them out on a ride yesterday that was right at 2 hours long. Started out in the teens when I left home and warmed up into the lower 20's when I got home. Same Summer socks and my feet were feeling great. I'd have liked a tad more room and probably should have gotten a wide size to allow for thicker socks but even so my feet did not suffer. Best $259 I EVER spent.

    They allowed me to take this wonderful ride yesterday:



    With my feet being as big as they are, I couldn't imagine riding with a pair of ordinary winter boots. My instep would be hitting the crank arms on every stroke. It would drive me crazy. Maybe not quite as much as hurting toes however.

    Ha, I knew I recognized that bench and view. Was just up there yesterday.
  • 12-06-2014
    755872
    First "Freezing Rain" ride of the year tomorrow. Debating between the Conti Race Kings or the Geax Saguaros. Probably going with the harder Saguaros at a lower PSI. Seriously considering wearing older stuff to avoid tearing up new winter gear.
  • 12-07-2014
    755872
    No real rain until the last 4 miles so the "no fender" gamble almost worked. Not bad though, more concerned about the "antifreeze" the city pretreated the streets with splashing on my bike. I'm pretty carefree with dirt/mud/nature getting on the bike, always worried about the man-made stuff. I guess we'll see how it plays out over time.
  • 12-07-2014
    TenSpeed
    ^ quick wipe down after your ride? Anything helps!
  • 12-07-2014
    755872
    It was above freezing so I sprayed it down. Had to get the grit off anyway. Plus another coat leather conditioner on the Brooks.
  • 12-08-2014
    Rustedthrough
    Gloves have been a problem for me, both at work and at play. I've had some really good wind/ waterproof gloves, but the liners always pull out with my fingers leaving me struggling to poke the digits back in with a chopstick/ butterknife/ stick or whatever I have at hand.

    Someone (maybe several someones) here suggested windstopper gloves with a separate wool liner. Thank you. The liner gloves dry quickly and I can carry a spare pair in my pocket. So far, temps around 25- 35f, this has been excellent.

    Does anyone know of better liners for colder weather? The Italian military wool ones from the Sportsman's Guide seem like they will be good down to about 15-20 in this setup, but i may be overly optimistic. I wear the same liners under leather gloves for construction and farm work, they could be warmer in that context.
  • 12-08-2014
    byknuts
    hey rustedthrough, get pogies!
    or barmitts, moose mitts, hippo hands.
    whatever they're called, they work! I'm running very lightweight gloves under mine.
  • 12-08-2014
    Rustedthrough
    Thanks byknuts, I'll look into pogies for the bike.

    I'm still hoping for a perfect solution to cold hands while logging and while biking. Haven't figured out how pogies will fit the chainsaws or the animals pulling the logging arch.

    Would I need to take the barmitts to class, or are they pretty safe on campuses?
  • 12-09-2014
    mtbxplorer
    1 Attachment(s)
    I might have squeaked out the ride home if I'd left 30 minutes earlier, but the snow went berserk and after about 50 minutes and 4 miles I gave up and waited for the last bus. Did I mention I got pulled over by the cops, and then let go? Then everything went sideways and the snow came down in snowballs I swear.

    On the bus I learned it was not going as far as where my car was parked because they could not make it up the hill, and the City said the plows would not be by for 3 hours. So I had to walk and push the last bit, which normally would be ten minutes, but the snow stuck to everything and the wheels stopped turning. I finally made it to my car and the snow was falling faster than I could brush it off.

    The remaining 4 mile drive was actually the scariest part, but with AWD & new snows I had great traction - as long as nobody came down the unplowed hill and I kept the speed up, but I was also concerned about downed trees with the heavy wet snow. Luckily I only met only one car - and no trees - and that was in a flatter section so we passed OK. At least since it was unplowed I got into my driveway OK and whew, up to the top. There is at least a foot of new snow up here.
  • 12-10-2014
    bedwards1000
    ^^Epic commute!

    It was just pouring here. My wife was at an appointment so she stopped back at work and picked me up for the ride home. Bragging rights is the only positive that ride would have had and it wasn't worth it.
  • 12-10-2014
    755872
    More often than not, it feels like "bragging rights" over powers common sense for me. Rode in this morning with a sinus headache out of the gate. Felt pretty miserable most of the way in. The only plus (bragging about being stupid aside) is that exercise usually clears my sinus quicker than meds do. The Fargo never seems to mind.
  • 12-13-2014
    mtbxplorer
    4 Attachment(s)
    The power is back on for me in VT, still over 8000 without, though, and down in the teens tonight. A few pics from what I'm calling the storm with no name.
  • 12-16-2014
    solarplex
    i havent commuted since wednesday last week. Its been so mild, all the snow we had sunk and the paths are clear. Awesome for commuting i just have no drive to ride, sick of it taking so long geared up and my 24 speed 26er feels so slow compared to my 29er. this extra 20 minutes to ride over summer is annoying me.
  • 12-16-2014
    TenSpeed
    Gotta just do it, and forget about the speed. Just get on the bike, and drive to ride will be back. Some days it is hard to get out there, but if you do, once you get there, you will be glad that you did!
  • 12-16-2014
    bedwards1000
    I hear you on speed. In the summer on a road bike I can almost manage 30 minutes. On a lousy winter day on the roads I'm starting to push an hour with the heavy bike, studded tires, extra clothing... This morning through tough trails it was 1 hour, 35 minutes. Partially self imposed but the trails were much slower than I was hoping.
  • 12-16-2014
    TenSpeed
    The bike for me is the biggest thing. My fixed gear bikes weigh in at 16/8 and 18/2. My fat bike? Clearing 35 lbs. Slow rolling, feels like an absolute tank out there on the pavement. I hate the gears and the freewheel. The cold air, the extra clothing, the boots, the heavy gloves, the wind smashing against my face....it makes it hard to breathe let alone pedal. Have to just keep turning them though, and in the end it is worth it.
  • 12-17-2014
    755872
    I'm living on autopilot some mornings. When the windchill packs my sinus and waters my eyes, it's good to know that I instinctively turn and stop when required. My clothes and bike are always ready to go so it the weather is reasonable I'm a go. I don't think too much about the encumberance of all the gear, only focus on the feeling of being at work after a good ride. Some days I'll admit I ride in so I can live in "I rode in today in terrible weather because I'm a 'cyclist martyr'" mode, but days like today (20F, low winds, dry), it's just really enjoyable.
  • 12-17-2014
    rogbie
    For those of you having issues with slow rolling in snow, have you thought about skinnier tires?

    Here's my thinking (and it rings true for other vehicles, e.g. rally cars in snow) the skinnier tire has less surface area to push the snow and cuts through loose snow to gain traction underneath. For a biking example: I ride with some folks on singletrack in a city park, the trails freeze and are snow packed most of the year. On my cross bike with 40c tires I out pace everyone on a MTB or fat bike, even with fresh snow over the hard pack.
  • 12-17-2014
    TenSpeed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    I'm living on autopilot some mornings. When the windchill packs my sinus and waters my eyes, it's good to know that I instinctively turn and stop when required. My clothes and bike are always ready to go so it the weather is reasonable I'm a go. I don't think too much about the encumberance of all the gear, only focus on the feeling of being at work after a good ride. Some days I'll admit I ride in so I can live in "I rode in today in terrible weather because I'm a 'cyclist martyr'" mode, but days like today (20F, low winds, dry), it's just really enjoyable.

    You want to walk in to work and be there all day with the Rule #9 plastered all over you. No problem with that. :) I have done the same before.
  • 12-17-2014
    TenSpeed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    For those of you having issues with slow rolling in snow, have you thought about skinnier tires?

    Here's my thinking (and it rings true for other vehicles, e.g. rally cars in snow) the skinnier tire has less surface area to push the snow and cuts through loose snow to gain traction underneath. For a biking example: I ride with some folks on singletrack in a city park, the trails freeze and are snow packed most of the year. On my cross bike with 40c tires I out pace everyone on a MTB or fat bike, even with fresh snow over the hard pack.

    I have ridden both a mountain bike on 2.0s and a fat bike on 4.0's in the snow, and I will take the fat bike every day. Slower yes, but to me, more stable.
  • 12-17-2014
    755872
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    For those of you having issues with slow rolling in snow, have you thought about skinnier tires?

    Here's my thinking (and it rings true for other vehicles, e.g. rally cars in snow) the skinnier tire has less surface area to push the snow and cuts through loose snow to gain traction underneath. For a biking example: I ride with some folks on singletrack in a city park, the trails freeze and are snow packed most of the year. On my cross bike with 40c tires I out pace everyone on a MTB or fat bike, even with fresh snow over the hard pack.

    The problem is really related to weight/surface area/traction issue with all bikes. In a rally car, (two or four-wheel drive) when the tire spins it generally pulls the car in the direction of travel and the car doesn't fall over. With bikes, in some cases you're far better off getting to the surface and getting bite, in others you're better off with float. On the extremes, if you have 6" of powder with ice underneath, you're probably better off with a studded skinny because the fat tire is sinking anyway and now your on compressed powder over ice. If you have 12" of crusted snow, you're probably better off floating on top (if you can) so you're not expending energy "Ice-Breaking". I see the same issue with skis. When I cross country ski on powder I want to cut to the base and use packed snow. When I'm on crusted (especially if it's crusted above the tip of my ski) I want to float (for a number of reasons). I'm thinking through a Fat-XC ski idea for that very reason (thinking 5'x6" ski/snowshoe combination).
  • 12-17-2014
    minte
    I have this love/hate relationship with winter commuting. Here in Minnesota we had several warm (40 degree) and wet days that were pretty nice last week. today it got cold again (9 degrees) but boy was it beautiful!

    The sun came out, and the moisture is freezing out of the air (I think you call it hoar frost), so riding in today felt like being surrounded by millions of bits of electric light. It was stunning!

    That's how winter riding is here; there isn't a middle ground. Its either an amazing, transcendental experience or its so miserable that you wish you'd have stayed home. I went out fat biking a few weeks back, after the first snowfall this year. The trail was dark and perfectly quiet; just me zipping down a tunnel of snow on my bike. It made me realize how much I missed winter. The next ride will probably have me wondering why I ever choose to live in such a cold dark place.
  • 12-17-2014
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by minte View Post
    The sun came out, and the moisture is freezing out of the air (I think you call it hoar frost), so riding in today felt like being surrounded by millions of bits of electric light. It was stunning!

    Very Beautiful

    Hoar Frost is the long thin crystals on fences or trees...

    in the air we call it ice fog

    Ice fog is also known as ice-crystal fog, frozen fog, and frost fog. What ever the name, this fog is composed of the suspended particles of ice that occur at very low temperatures -- usually below -30C. This type of fog happens in clear, calm weather in high latitudes such as Northern Canada. The sun is usually visible, sometimes with a halo.
    From Environment Canada

    When the crystals are in the air we call it ice fog
  • 12-17-2014
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    I have ridden both a mountain bike on 2.0s and a fat bike on 4.0's in the snow, and I will take the fat bike every day. Slower yes, but to me, more stable.

    All depends on the snow conditions...if the fat bike is floating and the thin bike is effectively cutting down to a consolidated layer.. then the thin bike is more stable.
  • 12-17-2014
    CommuterBoy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Very Beautiful

    Hoar Frost is the long thin crystals on fences or trees...

    in the air we call it ice fog

    Ice fog is also known as ice-crystal fog, frozen fog, and frost fog. What ever the name, this fog is composed of the suspended particles of ice that occur at very low temperatures -- usually below -30C. This type of fog happens in clear, calm weather in high latitudes such as Northern Canada. The sun is usually visible, sometimes with a halo.
    From Environment Canada

    When the crystals are in the air we call it ice fog

    Anybody else heard the term "Pogonip"? Or was that just grandma making things up back in the day? Native American roots, I've heard, but it seems like there's a lot of different terms for the stuff depending on your region. Kind of like "soda," "coke," or "pop."

    Whatever it's called It is super cool.
  • 12-17-2014
    mtbxplorer
    1 Attachment(s)
    ^^We had some in VT last weekend...
  • 12-17-2014
    TenSpeed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    All depends on the snow conditions...if the fat bike is floating and the thin bike is effectively cutting down to a consolidated layer.. then the thin bike is more stable.

    Only in fresh snow. You get into the rutted garbage on the road and the left over stuff the plows leave, and you fight it all the way.
  • 12-18-2014
    rogbie
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    Only in fresh snow. You get into the rutted garbage on the road and the left over stuff the plows leave, and you fight it all the way.

    That's where momentum plays a role. Think riding through a sand pit that is soft over hard. The front end will move around but you can't fight it, just let it float and keep the hammer down. Position body weight toward the back, and don't sit on the saddle, ride in the saddle absorbing the inconsistencies with your legs, back and arms. Core strength helps a lot, too.

    But ride what makes you smile.
  • 12-18-2014
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    Only in fresh snow. You get into the rutted garbage on the road and the left over stuff the plows leave, and you fight it all the way.

    No in car snot very often a very narrow tire 25mm will cut through and work better...all the bike couriers use them all winter in downtown car snot around here.
  • 12-18-2014
    Kleebs
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    No in car snot very often a very narrow tire 25mm will cut through and work better...all the bike couriers use them all winter in downtown car snot around here.

    Around here there are several bike couriers on Pugsleys....so there! :)
  • 12-18-2014
    BCTJ
    My bike has held up very well so far this winter, except for my chain. My chain seemed to be nearly inflexible after my ride last night and it keeps getting jammed. I guess I'll have to start oiling it down after every ride.
  • 12-23-2014
    smccloud
    I'm new to bike commuting in general but especially winter commuting. Thankfully so far this MN winter has been mild enough that I can get by with my stocking cap, hoodie, down jacket & on the colder days a set of sleep pants under my jeans & some fuzzy socks. I do think I took out the bottom bracket bearings in my winter commuter, but I already have a second set ready to go (its a cheap Magna Fix-D so if I only get a year oh well). Thinking of a fat bike for next year, just not sure which one yet.
  • 12-24-2014
    mtbxplorer
  • 12-24-2014
    mtbxplorer
    Well, at least this study only turned the temp down to 46F, perhaps we are burning more calories in real winter temps. A good reminder not to overcompensate on calories though...

    Exercise to Lose Weight? Stay Warm
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/1...tay-warm/?_r=0
  • 12-24-2014
    bedwards1000
    ^^Well, that kind of contradicts the info in this article.
    5 Reasons to Ride Outside This Winter | Bicycling

    I have the same pet peeve about dumbasses who wipe a little hole to see through and then go hurdling down the road. I saw one yesterday. Only the front windshield cleared, sides and back window covered in snow.

    My other pet peeve that I just saw are the people who pull out of somewhere, floor it to get up to 60 and then IMMEDIATELY need to slam on the brakes because there is a stoplight. I know they are trying to prove how cool they are but it only makes them look like idiots.
  • 12-24-2014
    mtbxplorer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    My other pet peeve that I just saw are the people who pull out of somewhere, floor it to get up to 60 and then IMMEDIATELY need to slam on the brakes because there is a stoplight. I know they are trying to prove how cool they are but it only makes them look like idiots.

    They especially look like idiots when you can coast right by them as the light turns green.
  • 12-24-2014
    bedwards1000
    Doze Be Da Onze
  • 12-25-2014
    unterhausen
    I know someone that got a ticket for the peephole issue. I think most people have done it a few times, but it's a bad idea. I feel bad now if my windshield isn't totally clean
  • 12-25-2014
    755872
    Anyone using a snowboarding helmet for winter riding? I got two pairs of Smith Goggles for Xmas but they won't fit with my regular helmet worn properly.
  • 12-25-2014
    TenSpeed
    I am looking for one as well. Purchased some Oakley goggles. I will let you know what I find.
  • 12-25-2014
    rogbie
    Smith makes mtb helments that fit goggles. Are you trying the goggles under your current helment or over? I put my goggles over the hemlent with the goggles clasp sitting on the back part of the helment. Hard to explain. Just had to play around with the straps to get the goggles to stay.

    *I know helment is spelled helme(n)t. Just can't not; blame the Snob.
  • 12-25-2014
    TenSpeed
    Tried both ways, can't get mine to stay put. I know that the sporting goods store that rhymes with Rick's carries some because I have seen them. Going this weekend to what they offer.
  • 12-26-2014
    rogbie
    Look at Bern helments, too. They make helments with summer/winter inserts and should fit goggles on most of their helments.
  • 12-27-2014
    755872
    Ordered a Smith Optics Holt Helmet. Seems to fit the bill, now if it fits my head.
  • 12-30-2014
    TenSpeed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Ordered a Smith Optics Holt Helmet. Seems to fit the bill, now if it fits my head.

    Was at the sporting goods store that rhymes with Rick's, and they had these!! I tried one on and wanted to get it, but they only had black. My Oakley goggles are white as are two of my bikes. The vanity in me simply would not allow this, so I picked up a Giro Encore 2 in matte white. Fits pretty well. Going to test ride with it on the last commute of the year.
  • 12-31-2014
    755872
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    Was at the sporting goods store that rhymes with Rick's, and they had these!! I tried one on and wanted to get it, but they only had black. My Oakley goggles are white as are two of my bikes. The vanity in me simply would not allow this, so I picked up a Giro Encore 2 in matte white. Fits pretty well. Going to test ride with it on the last commute of the year.

    Mine is coming in Gunmetal Gray (so almost black) but I anticipate covering it with hi-vis reflective tape, perhaps spelling out "Don't Clip me Bro!" as an homage to the Taser Guy's "Don't Taze me Bro". I thought it was interesting that the internal padding can be modified to allow summer use although I've no intention of wearing during warm seasons.
  • 12-31-2014
    KentheKona
    2 Attachment(s)
    Ugh, this winter has been rough for me. I think the abuse on the bike is starting to compound and it just needs a major overhaul.


    Yesterday, sucked a stick into the rear spokes and destroyed my rear fender. Happened about half way to work, luckily I was able to get to work. Garaging the bike until I get a new set of fenders, I'm not taking salty road spray. Attachment 951549 Attachment 951550
  • 12-31-2014
    TenSpeed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Mine is coming in Gunmetal Gray (so almost black) but I anticipate covering it with hi-vis reflective tape, perhaps spelling out "Don't Clip me Bro!" as an homage to the Taser Guy's "Don't Taze me Bro". I thought it was interesting that the internal padding can be modified to allow summer use although I've no intention of wearing during warm seasons.

    Yeah that kind of helmet in the summer, maybe for skateboarding. Cycling? Not a chance. I picked up a skateboard style helmet that was massively on sale at Jenson, so much that I couldn't pass it up. Black, fits pretty well, decently comfortable. Might as well have a gas line running into it because it is an absolute oven. The ventilation is poor for cycling.
  • 01-02-2015
    755872
    Got the new helmet set-up and Monday will mark my first commute of the year. For 2015 I my only resolution is to have more resolve. Ride on more marginal days, yell at more drivers and generally treat the trek to work as my own personal race course.
  • 01-02-2015
    TenSpeed
    Curious to see how the helmet works out. I have used mine twice already, and it is really nice. Goggles kind of give me tunnel vision which I am not crazy about, but they keep my eyes from tearing up and that helps. Wishing you the best for 2015.
  • 01-07-2015
    formula4speed
    How often do you guys clean your frames because of road salt? Should I be wiping down the frame after every ride? Friggin hate that stuff, corrodes everything.
  • 01-07-2015
    755872
    I use Nu-Finish 2000 on everything (Cranks/bars/levers...) two coats once a year so I can usually wait until temps climb above freezing to wash the bike.
  • 01-07-2015
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by formula4speed View Post
    How often do you guys clean your frames because of road salt? Should I be wiping down the frame after every ride? Friggin hate that stuff, corrodes everything.


    depends on how much salt...if I let mine go much more than 3 weeks then its trouble down the line. I use lots of wax etc as well.
  • 01-09-2015
    newfangled
    1 Attachment(s)
    Our local Lifestyle magazine (I think that's what you'd call it) has a nice little article on winter cycling in this month's issue:

    Powder Pedalling | Avenue Edmonton Magazine

    Attachment 954124
  • 01-09-2015
    mtbxplorer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by formula4speed View Post
    How often do you guys clean your frames because of road salt? Should I be wiping down the frame after every ride? Friggin hate that stuff, corrodes everything.

    Once a week is more realistic and keeps things in check. I might try (and likely fail) to be more fussy with a new steel ride, but I think something you will actually be able to do is more beneficial than an unrealistic goal that is dropped.

    Edit: taking "guys" liberally - Barb
  • 01-11-2015
    Kleebs
    Got some bar mitts from my in-laws for my birthday today. Really excited to try them out this week. They are the flatbar/MTB style, which will work for the fat bike, but I may need to get some of the drop bar style when I finally finish my commuter build.
  • 01-11-2015
    TenSpeed
    Got the fat bike out for a nice ride today. Sunny and 30F? Yesterday I think it hit 12F. Hit the MUP and did some off road exploring as well. Felt really good to be on the bike again.