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Biking in winter
#1
Hello,

Hope you all had a wonderful holidays. I spent a lot of time in Boston and loved riding in winter, in snow. So, I wanted to see if I am a loner in that I enjoyed winter riding over other seasons or there are other's like me. Also, how did you dress for winter. I had hard-time as I would start really warm and then get cold as I sweat due to exertion. Riding when it's snowing or on fresh snow was the best scenario..:-) Take care and be safe.
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#2
For biking in the snow or the cold, undergarments are a must.

Pajama pants and a hoodie in addition to your overpants and your winter jacket.

Good gloves are important. Ear muffs can be really important. I usually wear a winter hat also.
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#3
Hello ReapThaWhirlwind, I definitely had issues with my feet and hands getting cold. I started using my winter backpacking mittens and that prevented my hands from freezing. I almost brought the shoe covers to give my feet a bit more of layer/wind protection as wearing winter boots wasn't helpful..:-(
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#4
It's all in the compromise. A good pair of waterproof work boots can be as effective as winter boots and give you more mobility. I've been using The North Face full winter boots, and they certainly are very restrictive starting out, but get a little better once you begin to break them in.
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#5
(01-04-2023, 03:41 PM)ReapThaWhirlwind Wrote:  It's all in the compromise. A good pair of waterproof work boots can be as effective as winter boots and give you more mobility. I've been using The North Face full winter boots, and they certainly are very restrictive starting out, but get a little better once you begin to break them in.

Yes, my winter hiking boots were Sorel's. I guess very similar to North Face Winter boots. I was ok with those on hikes but that breeze you pickup on rides would get my thumbs numb..:-(

Otherwise, I enjoyed how pretty the landscape, cities transform immediately after snow.
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#6
For winter biking, I generally wear:

1. Good windproof outer shell
2. several layers underneath, starting with thermal base layers (merino wool is probably best)
3. GOOD gloves (make sure they're not too tight but it can be hard finding the compromise between thermal effectiveness and ease of manipulating controls. Sometimes thin thermal gloves on the inside of bigger gloves help)
4. a snood (for neck and optionally mouth/nose protection)
5. thermal cap that covers my ears and fits under my helmet
6. boots that don't constrict the feet (tight boots will rapidly lead to frosty toes)

I try to take at least one extra thermal layer I can throw on top if I stop anywhere. Avoiding sweat on the inside is critical but can be hard to avoid.

Finally, plenty of bright/reflective materials and lights. It's bad enough dealing with slippery conditions and low light without drivers not being able to see you.

I've seen others talk about hand guards that deflect the wind. Those must be worth their weight in gold when the temps really plummet.
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#7
(01-31-2023, 11:27 PM)aliccon Wrote:  when its proper ice on the roads I break out a bike with spiked tyres .... when you ride it sounds like frying bacon ... but they work.

yes if you are going over sheet black ice you still run the high risk of falling if you corner or brake suddenly or with force, BUT, in a straight line or gentle turn you dont go down.

Last year I was happily riding to work and going around a car that was stuck in the middle of the back road spinning wheels tying to get up the hill .... and doing 15 mph on the main road where other cyclists were wobbling all over the place in the slush at 4mph (guestimate)

Other than that yes winter is dangerous, when the bike goes over, it goes over quick and censored all you can do about it ... I suppose you could wear pads, but lets face it, they are bulky and you die of heat stroke.

Lower pressure in tyres and fatter rubber only help with grip on wet, cold roads .. they do nothing on ice and snow

The other big risk with winter riding is dangers hiding under the snow.

Growing up in Canada, I had a paper route that was so long, I had to do it on a bike. Most of the route covered 4 massive shopping malls, so my trusty BMX was ideal for traversing those large, empty spaces.

One day, I had forgotten that the bar/diner in the middle of the parking lot used railroad ties as bumpers for the parking spaces. One moment, I was flying across the snow, the next I was flying through the air, when my bike stopped suddenly and I kept going.

OUCH!!! Big Grin
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