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  1. #1
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    Long Hard Winter Commute Thread 2016/2017

    It's a little early, but someone dropped the gauntlet so I pulled the trigger. (Love mix and match analogies).

  2. #2
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    I'll make sure I post up the 1 or 2 days is freezes here this winter. I am looking forward to the cooler weather!
    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    some weird crazed desert dweller.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EugeneTheJeep View Post
    I'll make sure I post up the 1 or 2 days is freezes here this winter. I am looking forward to the cooler weather!
    Me too, partly because it's easier on my wrist/thumb, but also because I own so much winter clothing and gear and I didn't ride last winter due to shoulder surgery. Maybe I need a trike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    It's a little early, but someone dropped the gauntlet so I pulled the trigger. (Love mix and match analogies).
    Now who would do domething like that?

    Forster: sure a "normal" recumbant bike wouldnt do the trick?

    So as I wrote in the daily.commute thread I've sorted out my wintergear, but it isnt winter yet. This morning it was 6C which is about 10C cooler suddenly than I am used to. So it did feel very refreshing, but not cold. We'll.see how winter develops here, can be either way but one thing is sure: lots of rain showers.

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    Really ready for the cooler weather as well. The 30 temperature change through the day is getting out of hand.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingdutchman View Post
    Now who would do domething like that?

    Forster: sure a "normal" recumbant bike wouldnt do the trick?

    So as I wrote in the daily.commute thread I've sorted out my wintergear, but it isnt winter yet. This morning it was 6C which is about 10C cooler suddenly than I am used to. So it did feel very refreshing, but not cold. We'll.see how winter develops here, can be either way but one thing is sure: lots of rain showers.
    I've got a regular recumbent, but I think when it gets slick, it's going to be more of a challenge than a regular bike.

  7. #7
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    My trusty dogwood designs pogies don't fit the new longer fatpaw XL grips I got. Now I need new revelate/Jones pogies. Life is hard.

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    Fatbike with drop bars and Santa suit.
    Baby, I want my face to be your quiver killer.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Bluth View Post
    Fatbike with drop bars and Santa suit.
    Don't forget the 8 tiny Reindeer.

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    I'm not one to complain about the weather. But, this year I made the transition from 6000 ft Nevada desert to steamy swampy DC metro area. I love the bike infrastructure here and sweated out my 12 miles twice a day all summer.

    I can't wait for the frosty mornings and less crowded bike paths to come...

  11. #11
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    First winter commuting, 55 miles RT on grave/paved MUT in the PNW. Just bought rain pants for $50, and rain shoes for $150 (50% off!). I've got a boot dryer at work just in case.

  12. #12
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    Boot dryer sounds good, I'd need a shorts dryer after most rain soaked rides. Actually need to build a towel rack for underneath my desk. I don't have a locker room anymore and the "locker" at my cubical is about 6" wide, so my towel would be up next to my clothes.

  13. #13
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    usb fan

    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Boot dryer sounds good, I'd need a shorts dryer after most rain soaked rides. Actually need to build a towel rack for underneath my desk. I don't have a locker room anymore and the "locker" at my cubical is about 6" wide, so my towel would be up next to my clothes.
    I use a USB powered fan (arctic breeze from Amazon) on or under my desk to dry my clothes at work. It works. Nothing worse than putting on a damp clothes for the ride home, even if its pouring rain outside when you leave! The fan keeps me cool when its not drying my stuff.

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    I had a question for all of you winter commuters. When I ride in the winter, some chemical that they put on the road to melt the roads gets stuck in my chain, and later, my chain freezes up. Any idea how to deal with that? Maybe just not riding for a bit after the roads have been plowed?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    I had a question for all of you winter commuters. When I ride in the winter, some chemical that they put on the road to melt the roads gets stuck in my chain, and later, my chain freezes up. Any idea how to deal with that? Maybe just not riding for a bit after the roads have been plowed?
    What they use on the roads depends on where you live (i.e. Nebraska's larger cities use a soy-based spray but some places still use calcium chloride). In general, the non-salt chemicals simply lower the freeze point so that traffic will keep things liquid. When it collects on your chain, the surface area increases and the temperature drops to the point where it freezes on you chain. You're best bet is probably to use a wet condition lube. That should allow the crud off the ground to shed from the chain, at least for a while. Hope that helps.

  16. #16
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    Not a commute day for me, but Sunday morning found 3 1/2 inches of snow in my yard. Wake up call!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Long Hard Winter Commute Thread 2016/2017-snow2016.10.23.jpg  

    Last edited by mtbxplorer; 10-27-2016 at 03:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    What they use on the roads depends on where you live (i.e. Nebraska's larger cities use a soy-based spray but some places still use calcium chloride). In general, the non-salt chemicals simply lower the freeze point so that traffic will keep things liquid. When it collects on your chain, the surface area increases and the temperature drops to the point where it freezes on you chain. You're best bet is probably to use a wet condition lube. That should allow the crud off the ground to shed from the chain, at least for a while. Hope that helps.
    Thanks. I live in Utah so I'm not sure what they use, but it always ruins my chain. I'll try the wet lube - maybe that will keep it off.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    Thanks. I live in Utah so I'm not sure what they use, but it always ruins my chain. I'll try the wet lube - maybe that will keep it off.
    I suppose you could go outside the normal lubes and try something like TW-25B Firearms Lube. You would have to strip the chain of all other lubes and work the TW into the links (starts out like soft butter but ends up dry). I don't know if it would work it's way into the links though, I haven't tried it. Perhaps using a cheaper chain and doing the old hot-wax dip would work better. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    I had a question for all of you winter commuters. When I ride in the winter, some chemical that they put on the road to melt the roads gets stuck in my chain, and later, my chain freezes up. Any idea how to deal with that? Maybe just not riding for a bit after the roads have been plowed?
    Never had that problem....I would suggest keeping the chain rotating at all times..

    Once you hit icing conditions for whatever part is freezing up....it is probably gonna freeze.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Don't forget the 8 tiny Reindeer.
    That's the # of gears on his rear (don't know about the bike

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    Thanks. I live in Utah so I'm not sure what they use, but it always ruins my chain. I'll try the wet lube - maybe that will keep it off.
    When I lived in SLC a few years ago they used regular old salt crystals in the sand mix. The liquid they used to pre-treat bridges and corners was magnesium chloride.

    Full coverage fenders with flaps are your first line of defense. Keeping as much crap off the chain as possible. I used liberal amounts of Finish Line wet conditions teflon lube. That gave me acceptable chain life and chain performance in any conditions I was willing to brave.

    Long Hard Winter Commute Thread 2016/2017-wintercommuteutah.jpg

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    By all means, fenders. With mud flaps.

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    Here we go....
    ... Winter Storm Warning in effect from 7 am Sunday to 7 PM EST Monday...
    The National Weather Service in Burlington has issued a Winter
    Storm Warning for heavy snow... which is in effect from 7 am
    Sunday to 7 PM EST Monday. The Winter Storm Watch is no longer in
    effect.

    * Locations... north central Vermont and western slopes of the
    Green Mountains.

    * Hazard types... moderate to heavy snowfall.

    * Accumulations... 4 to 8 inches of snow with 8 to 14 inches across
    the highest elevations of the Green Mountains.

    * Maximum snowfall rate... up to 1 inch per hour... especially
    Sunday night into Monday.

  24. #24
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    It may only be me, but driving home from Colorado in the snow, I was actually happy my bike was the shop. I thought "If I crash, at least the Fargo won't get damaged."

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    Here we go....
    ... Winter Storm Warning in effect from 7 am Sunday to 7 PM EST Monday...
    ...
    Did you get hit? We got a dusting but it was 60+ here on Saturday so the ground was still pretty warm. We got enough snow to make the trees look pretty.

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    5" at home but less than an inch down the hill in town. Rode the cross bike with the winter Conti's and was fine.

  27. #27
    CB of the East
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    My legs are tired.

  28. #28
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    Background - mid 40s former BMX, MTB, and cyclocross racer turned bicycle R&D manager/product manager for a couple of larger companies in the US, then back to just riding for fun.

    I recently moved to Norway from the PNW in October and am going at it car free. I have been riding 450-500 km/month (about 275-300 miles) on a Kalkhoff city glider 7 speed bike. It has the Nexus 7 hub, full fenders, a dynamo front and rear light (I have one of the 800 lumen dynamo lights on the way...), and right now 47C summer tires. It can get pretty cold here with lots of ice patches and frost on the asphalt so many buy what are called PiggDekk (pig deck or studded tires). The drivers here hate cyclist more than in the US and like to pass close enough where the side mirror just rubs against your coat. Fortunately there's often a place off the road to ride so I don't become road-kill.

    I'm loving the Nexus hub above freezing and not so much when it goes below as it stops shifting. Gear 4 seems to be a great compromise gear where I can stand up any hill in my commute and just coast down hills. I've read about taking the guts out of the hub and replacing the special Shimano grease with transmission fluid but nobody here works on that kind of hub and I don't really have my tools to do stuff like that here (the reason I bought that bike in the first place...).

    Anyway I'm really enjoying commuting by bike again. I used to ride about 25 miles a day commuting to one of my old jobs for a few years and that was great... it almost makes me feel young and spry again, not to mention I'm dropping some of my ole man fat pretty quickly, especially since I started lifting heavier weights at the gym again.

    It's not grueling, but the first setback happened the other day when my tire blew out. I looked down and the rim had bent out at the seam (not welded) and allowed the tire to blow out the side. I've never seen anything like that, especially since I was literally just riding along. I bent the rim back and it's been okay for about 30 km but I'll need to get a new rear wheel going soon....any suggestions for a wider 622 "700C" rim that will take a 40 to 50C tire? I've always had good luck with Stans Flow rims on my MTB so was thinking of looking their stuff up.

    Also trying to decide whether to spend a few dollars and get the Nexus 8 hub (and put oil in it instead of grease!) when I visit the US later this winter... any ideas on that one?
    "It looks flexy"

  29. #29
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    My Fargo came with Stan's Rims and I run tires ranging from 35mm to 2.25" without issue. Sorry, no experience with Nexus Hubs. I'd contact them directly.

    Great weather this week for the ride, hovering around the freezing point (29F right now) and dry. Light snow yesterday (literally just a few flakes). Just wish I'd gotten more than 4 hours of sleep. Nothing helps me cope with fatigue more than exercise though (only partly tongue in cheek).

    Norway was neat to visit in the fall, but I've not seen it during the winter. Does the riding get significantly more difficult than the PNW?

  30. #30
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    It probably does further up north but around here, the weather is like living in Bellingham or Vancouver BC, just a bit colder day to day. It snows sometimes, but melts off after a few days (or weeks sometimes). I did some grocery shopping last year in the snow without the studded tires and it was a little treacherous but with the winter gear, it's pretty good.
    "It looks flexy"

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    Late report on our freezing rain on Tuesday. My deck was ice glazed, so I knew to take it slow in the car down to my park and pedal lot... Sure enough I passed a school bus and 2 cars off the road. Crept down the big hill at maybe 3 mph, kept the wheels in the water running down the hill. Once on the bike, I stayed clear of the granite curbing, just in case, but it was OK with those winter Conti's. Passed a lot of cars at most of the lights, unclipping 1 foot for a while just in case, but never slipping. I arrived pretty close to on time, but a lot of coworkers were stuck on the interstate for a couple hours due to all the accidents. And one was almost at work when he was rear-ended by a Pepsi tractor trailer. He was able to get out and out of the way before his car was hit by a second vehicle. Finally help arrived in the for of the cops and a towtruck, but the wrecker hit his car a 3rd time. Yikes!

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    winter is here in ottawa and i have passed on 2 commute days already, not because of the snow amount exactly, but how people drive in it. the fancy new bike lane infrastructure downtown will be a mess and not helpful for anyone.

    ottawa winter: where the bike lanes stop being bike lanes and merely the place to dump snow...

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave66 View Post
    ottawa winter: where the bike lanes stop being bike lanes and merely the place to dump snow...
    Lived there 2 years in the mid '70's and though I rode in the summer, I never considered cycling to work in the winter. Often the sidewalks and the right lane were full of snow.

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    ive been riding here since the mid 80's and even in that time they have come a long way - lots more paved shoulders, but they are getting carried away with the bike lanes that swoop up onto sidewalks, green paint and barricades, which dont mix well with snowy climates IMHO
    but lots of year round commuters in the urban core and even a few in the burbs - lots of interesting gear in the winters too

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    How cold before you guys start breaking out eye protection? Actual temps will been in the teens tomorrow (Fahrenheit) with the wind chill being -8F or so. This is about as cold as it gets here, and in the past I've never used eye protection, but maybe I should be. I already own ski goggles.

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    I go to goggles at about -15C...(without windchill) That gonna be about -25C with windchill at 30 kph headwind (max riding speed).

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    20F unless there's a windchill, but I wear glasses normally so that probably extends me beyond what I do with no protection.

  38. #38
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    7F. At least that is what it was today and I decided it was a good day to wear goggles. Pretty close to Jeff Scott's -15C. I wear either sunglasses or clear glasses most other times.

  39. #39
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    Still plugging along here in Norway. It's been a bit icy and frosty - we had a couple of evenings with freezing fog where it was slippery as heck. But I have a set of the Schwalbe 40C "piggdekk" or studded tires on - the 240 version and they are super slow but really great when it's cold like this. Sounds like I have gravel stuck in my tires all the time. Not much actual snow though - in fact, back in the PNW in Bellingham they have had quite a bit of snow for the last week or two... Still riding between 125 and 150 km per week and also working out at the gym 4-6 times a week. Hopefully will continue to lose some 40's blubber
    "It looks flexy"

  40. #40
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    * Hazard types... heavy snow.

    * Accumulations... 8 to 16 inches of snow with localized amounts
    near 20 inches across the Northeast Kingdom and northern Green
    Mountains.

  41. #41
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    Winter is gonna be really long. We are all over the place, 40's and rain to 20's with a rain/ice mix. Mix in some sun and dry days and picking a bike to take will be a challenge.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

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    This is my first winter commuting (55 miles RT, three times a week). Temperatures are pretty moderate (living in the PNW). If temperatures are over 30F I wear a long sleeve base layer and a wind breaker. If the temperatures are below 30F I wear a winter cycling jacket, leg warmers, and winter cycling gloves.

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