What's the coldest weather you've ridden in?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What's the coldest weather you've ridden in?

    With our current arctic blast going on, this evening I went for my coldest ride yet. Temps in the low teens with wind chill of -3. I know you guys in the north will blow that away but for the midwest where I'm at (Kentucky) it doesn't get too much colder than that. It was only cold for the first 15 minutes or so until the blood really got pumping. The water in my camelback was freezing up in the tube going to the mouthpiece though. Gotta switch to the water bottles when it's this cold I guess. There was no snow on the ground but hopefully that will change soon, it's only snowed once this year so far. So what is the coldest temp you guys have been out riding in?

    Here I am in my multiple layers.


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    wuss

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    I'm a wuss too. I won't go out if it's below -10.

    And at those temps, when calculating wind chill, you should be including your bike speed along with wind speed as per it being a head wind or a tail wind.

    Maybe the question should be: what's the coldest temperature you've ridden in intentionally...

  4. #4
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    This morning was -12F with a -38 wind chill. Fine morning for a ride! Wish there was snow though!
    Jason
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  5. #5
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    -24F was the coldest, -20F half a dozen times, actual temps not including windchill. It sucked. I went out mostly just to see what it was like and if I could dress for it. All but one of those rides was less than 3 hours, one was an extended ride of about 6 hours. I managed with my gear, but I would hate to have a mechanical. These days I generally don't go out below -10, if its calm, or below 0F if there's much wind. With the right equipment, I can still have fun at those temps on my typical 3-4 hour rides. I have the utmost respect for the ITI and Arrowhead crowd. Don't know how they do it, frankly.
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  6. #6
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    -10F. Any colder, and my rather pedestrian telecom device just kinda stops working, which isn't appealing to me.

    Guess I'm a wuss. Maybe I'll get serious about doing colder **** later on.

    Sh!t gets real when it's straight butt cold like that. Components do weird things...

    I am happy I'm getting closer to being comfortable very often when it's crazy cold. Took me long enough...
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    wuss
    LOL

    This was my day/evening ride and the next couple days

    What's the coldest weather you've ridden in?-cold.jpg

  8. #8
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    I did a short ride tonight at -10 with -30 windchill. I was overdressed. I was breaking some new trail in the snow around my property and was sweating too much! It was some hard riding though, so I was making lots of heat.
    Gettin' Fat!...That's Where It's At!

  9. #9
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    Yesterday was +14*f.

    All I wore was an Under armour thermal, my Pearl Izumi convertible jacket, Primal tights, normal cycling shorts, two pair of wool socks and my Lake 303's. For the head was a bontrager ear band. Hands had a set of Cannondale winter gloves (5 finger)


    Only did 9.5 miles in the woods at night with my group. Fun! I was not under or over dressed.

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    -65f

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    I am a wuss. I can't even imagine what -20's and below feel like. We might get a few single digit days here each winter but that's about it. I'm sure it's not bad with the right gear but I will probably never see those temps.

    If it ever does get that cold I might skip the trails and go here: Sneak Peek: Louisville Mega Cavern will House World?s Largest Underground Bike Park

    60 degrees all year round

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by patirwin View Post
    -65f
    Hurts to think about it. On your 2002 McGrath run, Pat?
    Veni vidi velo!

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    I'm in So. Cal., so +50 degrees F.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patirwin View Post
    -65f
    For most of us, Thread Over!
    Latitude 61

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by patirwin View Post
    -65f
    I would like to experience that once for about five minutes, just to see what that is like.

  16. #16
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    Rode last night and the temps were between 5 and -5F. Rode for 2hrs. Coldest I think I've ridden is around -15F, but I could probably go colder now. I've been slowly getting more comfortable in the colder temps and I have my clothing systems down pretty well now.

    I have a snowboarding camelback where the tube is insulated and it's WITHIN the shoulder strap. When I want to drink, I unzip a compartment built into the shoulder strap, grab the hose and stick it in my mouth. Water did not freeze on ride last night. This works pretty well.

    I was planning for temps possibly in the negatives, so I wore a light long sleeve base layer, then a T-shirt base layer over that, then my cycling jacket. I wore my craft XC ski pants, one pair of wool socks (sprayed with antiperspirant), my lake 302s with S4 hotronics heaters, snow gaiters over those, fleece balaclava and fleece gloves (pogies on the bike). This worked out pretty well, legs just slightly chilled sometimes, but never cold and my upper body was probably a little over insulated at times during the efforts so that balanced out fine with my legs. If it was getting significantly into the negatives, I'd throw some nylon running pants over the XC ski pants, that'd boost them back up and provide a layer of insulating air warmer than ambient.

    Of course now it's forecasted to get above freezing and rain again here in Alaska for a few days, which is absolutely mind blowing for our coldest month of the year...
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  17. #17
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    Re: What's the coldest weather you've ridden in?

    January 2014. Commuting to work on my Sortie.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  18. #18
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    November 2010 : was out in -28.5 Celsius not including windchill. Coldest including windchill was March 2014 at -39 Celsius. That was dangerously cold but I know how to dress for it.

  19. #19
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    Coldest I've ridden in is right around 0 degrees in Spokane WA, I like 15 degrees better...

    Eric

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by patirwin View Post
    -65f
    Hey, me too!

    Wait--Poppa, is that you?!!?

    Here we are at the start of that'n:

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/WU5MK8TkKYz6El2Pi9lrnJ0mwOXj4DgEkO3ezmW46EQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-IAb0nhotU3I/R7Xf8BVqVgI/AAAAAAAAqPs/f2UbI-kWqRk/s800/0001.jpg" height="626" width="800" /></a>

    Still warm.

    But a few days later, not so much:

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/xy-TQarj8wafAaGvsFrtLp0mwOXj4DgEkO3ezmW46EQ?feat=embe dwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-I2EDABNHZ6w/SP_LtPls9kI/AAAAAAAAEoQ/i0Gsay4GXSg/s800/0112.jpg" height="575" width="800" /></a>

    ^ I took that one of Pat in the "heat" of that day--I think it got all the way up to -47* or so, before dropping to -65* that night.

    Hope all's well Pops!

  21. #21
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    Coldest on a bike was -13, no wind except for the slow Fat Bike moving along.

    Coldest I've been in is -48 with light to no wind, and that was cross-country skiing (o.k., walking on skis) down a lake to/from a cottage to get to the car to drive to downhill skiiing. I cannot imagine -65.

    I can't even imagine trusting bike components at -48. How?

  22. #22
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    Zero degrees and sunny. So far, but we'll see if I go out on a colder day this winter.

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    You guys are cray cray!!

    Here in Wisconsin its always sunny and 70.

  24. #24
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    I do know after spending a good part of my life pounding spikes from way Northern MN/Canada to the U.P. and WI at all times of the day/night it's easier to stay warm riding a bike than to work in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    I do know after spending a good part of my life pounding spikes from way Northern MN/Canada to the U.P. and WI at all times of the day/night it's easier to stay warm riding a bike than to work in it.
    For real. I used to fix diesel generators. They were usually on the roofs of big buildings in sheetmetal enclosures. Winter used to suck monkey balls when I did that.
    I don't really have any issues staying warm riding a bike. If I do get a little cold, I just have to climb a hill.
    I like turtles

  26. #26
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    -27f for me. Pat is the man. Mike is the man. I'll avoid going much lower myself if possible. But if the daily commute sees a day that cold, I'll see a day that cold.

  27. #27
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    -24F for me and that was several years ago prior to fat bike and all the good gear. As I get older it seems like motivation is somewhat lacking compared to my young punk days. I've never had better clothes than I do now but yet it just seems hard to get going. Once out on the bike, all is good. The other thing that helps is fellow riders. 99% of my rides are solo which doesn't help. Whiner!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Hey, me too!

    Wait--Poppa, is that you?!!?

    Here we are at the start of that'n:

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/WU5MK8TkKYz6El2Pi9lrnJ0mwOXj4DgEkO3ezmW46EQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-IAb0nhotU3I/R7Xf8BVqVgI/AAAAAAAAqPs/f2UbI-kWqRk/s800/0001.jpg" height="626" width="800" /></a>

    Still warm.

    But a few days later, not so much:

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/xy-TQarj8wafAaGvsFrtLp0mwOXj4DgEkO3ezmW46EQ?feat=embe dwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-I2EDABNHZ6w/SP_LtPls9kI/AAAAAAAAEoQ/i0Gsay4GXSg/s800/0112.jpg" height="575" width="800" /></a>

    ^ I took that one of Pat in the "heat" of that day--I think it got all the way up to -47* or so, before dropping to -65* that night.

    Hope all's well Pops!
    Hey! This is the Fat Bike forum. Sorry, doesn't count.

  29. #29
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    It was -5F here this morning with wind gusts. Wind chill was something like -20. I've done -10 before. -65, that's just crazy. I can't even imagine how that feels.

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    Possibly today: about 6 degrees with winds up to 20mph. Have ridden in lower mercury, but maybe not a lower windchill.

    It's always a battle to keep my previously-frostbitten nose safe without fogging my eyewear, so I did a lot of adjusting my facemask depending on which direction the wind was coming from.

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    coldest was -20 when I lived in ak. just did a -13 in seeley lake, Montana.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by seward View Post
    Possibly today: about 6 degrees with winds up to 20mph. Have ridden in lower mercury, but maybe not a lower windchill.

    It's always a battle to keep my previously-frostbitten nose safe without fogging my eyewear, so I did a lot of adjusting my facemask depending on which direction the wind was coming from.
    Gluing a little wedge of neoprene to the nose bridge of a pair of glasses or goggles will prevent any frostbite on your nose. Make it come down just a little bit lower than the bottom of the tip of your nose. Works great and will protect your nose without overheating your face. Only downside is needing a winter only set of glasses.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    You guys are cray cray!!

    Here in Wisconsin its always sunny and 70.
    I'm calling you on your Beloit.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Hey, me too!

    Wait--Poppa, is that you?!!?

    Here we are at the start of that'n:

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/WU5MK8TkKYz6El2Pi9lrnJ0mwOXj4DgEkO3ezmW46EQ?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-IAb0nhotU3I/R7Xf8BVqVgI/AAAAAAAAqPs/f2UbI-kWqRk/s800/0001.jpg" height="626" width="800" /></a>

    Still warm.
    Can you explain to me how this is possible? I mean, my experience at -20 (+/- 3 degrees) is that I can't have any exposed skin. Last winter i stopped to take a photo at -17 and in the three minutes that took my fingers were increadibly cold, even though I still had liner gloves on. You look less warmly dressed than I was at -17 and a huge amount of your face and neck are not covered. I understand that you keep warm pedaling, but still -65 seems unimaginably cold, I would htink you would need a full parka and goggles to be outside at all. Is there something I'm missing?
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    Hey! This is the Fat Bike forum. Sorry, doesn't count.
    When I was dredging up that photo last night I just shook my head in wonder at what we got away with on our virtual road bikes that year...

  36. #36
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    -34 C with the wind chill in Edmonton, Alberta. 5 mins in and my Bluto crapped out. I guess they weren't kidding about nothing below 10 F!

    Waiting on ETR Kit.

  37. #37
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    -65f?!? That's -54C, are you considering "wind chill" in that? I have a hard time believing anyone could SURVIVE in that temperature with out a space suit.

    Coldest ride I've ever done was -38C (-36f), but that was riding to work. Coldest fat bike ride, aka riding for fun, was at -28C (-18f).

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris View Post
    -65f?!? That's -54C, are you considering "wind chill" in that? I have a hard time believing anyone could SURVIVE in that temperature with out a space suit.

    Coldest ride I've ever done was -38C (-36f), but that was riding to work. Coldest fat bike ride, aka riding for fun, was at -28C (-18f).
    That was raw temp. It was a windless night.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473 View Post
    Can you explain to me how this is possible? I mean, my experience at -20 (+/- 3 degrees) is that I can't have any exposed skin. Last winter i stopped to take a photo at -17 and in the three minutes that took my fingers were increadibly cold, even though I still had liner gloves on. You look less warmly dressed than I was at -17 and a huge amount of your face and neck are not covered. I understand that you keep warm pedaling, but still -65 seems unimaginably cold, I would htink you would need a full parka and goggles to be outside at all. Is there something I'm missing?
    That picture was taken at the start of the of the trip when it was a reasonable temperature, then a few days later it got down to -65F at night.

  40. #40
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    -15F in Anchorage.
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    Didn't you guys (Pat and Mike) go through a bunch of shattered tubes that trip? Still can't figure out how you change a tube at those temps w/o losing digits.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroganof View Post
    Didn't you guys (Pat and Mike) go through a bunch of shattered tubes that trip? Still can't figure out how you change a tube at those temps w/o losing digits.
    Yep. I wrote a feature for Dirt Rag afterwards, but can't seem to find my draft or their version.

    Medred summarized it here, but keep in mind his penchant for over-dramatization:

    One Cold Ride!!!

    I remember Pat not being happy about something in that writeup. If memory serves it was the part where I was quoted as saying he wanted to lie down. Also if memory serves, I think he clarified by saying he just wanted a break.

    But that was 11 years ago, and my memory may not, as they say, serve.

    As far as changing flats in those temps, as soon as you knew you had one you'd drop the bike and run away from it. For, say, 200 yards or so, then run back--to build up heat. Then you'd work as efficiently as you could, with whatever gloves made the most sense (to avoid touching bare metal) before dropping it and running again. Repeat until fixed, then run (with bike) yet more, and hopefully get back to a base level of warmth before the next flat happened.

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    Well, that is a handy tip on tire changing I hope never to use. You are a veritable fount of information on all things tire related!!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473 View Post
    Can you explain to me how this is possible? I mean, my experience at -20 (+/- 3 degrees) is that I can't have any exposed skin. Last winter i stopped to take a photo at -17 and in the three minutes that took my fingers were increadibly cold, even though I still had liner gloves on. You look less warmly dressed than I was at -17 and a huge amount of your face and neck are not covered. I understand that you keep warm pedaling, but still -65 seems unimaginably cold, I would htink you would need a full parka and goggles to be outside at all. Is there something I'm missing?
    Short slideshow of my pics from that trip embedded here:

    Pat Irwin rides on the Yukon River near its intersection with the Nation River, several miles out of Eagle. The temperature was a balmy minus 39 -- warm enough to enjoy the scenery, but cold enough for the riders to 119 | Alaska Dispatch

    One of them shows Pat outside of Woody's atop American Summit, bundled in a puffy and goggles. That was before it got cold (it was just windy/whiteout, thus we were moving slow and not producing much heat) but it illustrates how we were dressed when it mattered.

    Best I can recall, neither of us had puffy pants or any sort of additional bottom layer other than our long johns and wind pants. I own puffy pants but in 4.75 trips to Nome and 7 or 8 trips to McGrath I've only carried them once, and never worn them, even down to -60 or so. They seem to cause more problems than they solve, at least for me.

    I do wear multiple top layers, but I can't wear goggles nor anything on my face. When it's really, really bad (looooooooow temps and face-on wind) I have a hood that I pull over to get some relief. Pictured here with my windproof shell and puffy, but with the hoods cracked open a bit since it was "only" -50 or so, but not at all windy.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6fDc2TGFbz-TYlnKdZYmbfUsM8aTYv4ahsDLg1LavSM?feat=embedwebsite "><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-i62o_rX8zbs/S7BCaKZFEfI/AAAAAAAAr38/AUVx0HvgVpU/s800/_Z1C2216dn.jpg" height="533" width="800" /></a>

    My $.02 is that raw cold isn't the most difficult part of winter riding--managing moisture from perspiration (riding soft snow is hard) takes that title.

  45. #45
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    At local trail, -10 windchill, 13 degree air temp at night. Rode about 2 hours and actually overdressed.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Yep. I wrote a feature for Dirt Rag afterwards, but can't seem to find my draft or their version.

    Medred summarized it here, but keep in mind his penchant for over-dramatization:

    One Cold Ride!!!

    I remember Pat not being happy about something in that writeup. If memory serves it was the part where I was quoted as saying he wanted to lie down. Also if memory serves, I think he clarified by saying he just wanted a break.

    But that was 11 years ago, and my memory may not, as they say, serve.

    As far as changing flats in those temps, as soon as you knew you had one you'd drop the bike and run away from it. For, say, 200 yards or so, then run back--to build up heat. Then you'd work as efficiently as you could, with whatever gloves made the most sense (to avoid touching bare metal) before dropping it and running again. Repeat until fixed, then run (with bike) yet more, and hopefully get back to a base level of warmth before the next flat happened.
    Here's the closest I could find to your account, which I've read. Mountain Bike Review Forum Archives

    Your report appears to have been hosted on the airborne site long ago, maybe Stamstad has access to a copy??

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    Something to think about, many of the rescue helicopters won't go out when it's colder than about -40F here in Alaska. They said they'll play a little around -40, but -50 puts strains on the equipment that it can't sustain and serious hazards, such as just being able to get people/bodies in the helicopter safely. Don't think someone will be able to come for you...
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  48. #48
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    I believe the Cuyuna Whiteout (Minnesota) race last winter was -37f at the start of the race. I barely finished the 15 mile race distance and there were racers going longer than that. Anyone else race that last year and is able to fact check me on the temp?

    It was the coldest I have ever been in all my life.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    Here's the closest I could find to your account, which I've read. Mountain Bike Review Forum Archives

    Your report appears to have been hosted on the airborne site long ago, maybe Stamstad has access to a copy??
    John had long been retired when this happened.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    When I was dredging up that photo last night I just shook my head in wonder at what we got away with on our virtual road bikes that year...
    Yeah, what was up with that, fat bikes were just starting to catch on -- then 29ers came along and somehow, everyone decided that 29ers somehow would work better in snow than the fatties, physics be damned. Now all those folks are back on fat bikes. Go figure.

    Oh, sorry, back on topic: a comparatively balmy -35 on the Yentna River in one of those races.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    Yeah, what was up with that, fat bikes were just starting to catch on -- then 29ers came along and somehow, everyone decided that 29ers somehow would work better in snow than the fatties, physics be damned. Now all those folks are back on fat bikes. Go figure.

    Oh, sorry, back on topic: a comparatively balmy -35 on the Yentna River in one of those races.
    When the options for fat tires included Remolino's, Endo's, and Gazza's, it shouldn't be hard to see why many of us continued to look outside that box.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    When the options for fat tires included Remolino's, Endo's, and Gazza's, it shouldn't be hard to see why many of us continued to look outside that box.
    Despite their shortcomings, all of those tires arguably worked better in snow than the 29er tires available at the time -- but far be it from me to bag on innovators or those wanting to try something new. Just a comment on a little hiccup in the fat bike space/time continuum. It's interesting that those bikes you were riding in the photo look almost exactly like what the early pioners were riding in the gold rush days along much of the route you did on that trip.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    Despite their shortcomings, all of those tires arguably worked better in snow than the 29er tires available at the time -- but far be it from me to bag on innovators or those wanting to try something new. Just a comment on a little hiccup in the fat bike space/time continuum. It's interesting that those bikes you were riding in the photo look almost exactly like what the early pioners were riding in the gold rush days along much of the route you did on that trip.
    What's the coldest weather you've ridden in?-cyclist-thompson-pass.jpgName:  Cyclists in Tiekel Canyon.jpg
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  54. #54
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    Need a heated water bottle

    What's the coldest weather you've ridden in?-xmas-bike-ride-2015-498.jpg-12C on Monday

  55. #55
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    I'll have to look into the snowboarding Camelback, didn't know they made such a thing.

    I can't even fathom -65. And I will never complain about changing a tube again.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfire View Post
    arguably
    Key word!

    /end thread drift. Sorry.

  57. #57
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    -20... but I only lasted an hour.

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