The panty hose crack has a lot of validity to it. Get yourself some silk long johns (hiking supply shops or online at Sierra Trading Post). Also consider some electric clothing, I love mine!
Generally, some good ski equipment works wonders at keeping out the wind and retaining heat. Remember to layer your clothing and be sure to "empty out" before donning your riding gear
You might also consider getting some "elephant ears" which are detachable gaters that go over the bar controls and your hands (ATV & snowmobilers use 'em a lot) I've tried them and they work dandy. If your hands get cold, it ruins the whole ride.
Be extra careful for ice on bridges (culverts too) and under heavy tree canopy.
one winter all i had was my bike.. i begged for rides whenever the roads were snowy or sandy.. but i rode at least 30% of the time.. ya.. pantyhose will work.. but that is the cheap alternative to some polypro long underwear. other than that just make sure everything is covered.. lots of layes.
i had about a 20min commute in good traffic, almost all interstate.. but when i did get the chance to stop i kept my hands close to the headers. one morning when i rode by the big thermometer it was 11 degrees... not factoring the wind chill from riding (60+mph).
take your time too.. very cold tires that take quite a bit longer to warm up.
on the plus side.. nuthin wakes u up better than a 20 degree ride to work
I say leave the bike in the garage and take the bus. I moved to Phoenix from Colorado Springs Co. about two years ago. Im back in Denver for a week. Damn its cold, there would be no way I would get on my bike here and get frostbite and then die on the ice. If you really love to ride move to phoenix.
I ride 36 miles to work in the cold, but I avoid snowy, icy days. I'd hate to have to ride in that stuff...scare the begeezus out of me. It was 20 degrees when I went in last week, and still dark out. I stop at the 25 mile point and get a cup of java at a truck stop along I70.
Layering is the key. It's cold, but the afternoon ride is especially worth it! And I noticed that it makes the coffee taste great!
When I rode year round the only body parts that got cold were my hands, feet and neck. As posted earlier, ski clothing works great. "Gators", neoprene masks work for the neck and face. The mits that slip over your handle bar controls work well but be careful if you go down you can become entraped in them. The feet need ski socks and insulated boots. Since this is a short term problem the bus or carpool on snowy days is highly recomended. Otherwise heated grips and a studded 208gp rear tire is the way to go.
I ride all through the "winter" in Florida, if you want to call it that. For a month or two when I ride to work in the morning (22 miles)its around 20-30F. I dont own any really nice stuff like electrics or a real riding suit, but I stay plenty warm just by layering on several shirts under my jacket, and sweatpants and rain pants over my legs. I wear my normal riding boots, some nice Polartec gloves and under the helmet I have a lycra pullover mask from JC whitney. My neck is covered by the mask and a couple of the shirts (they are for skiing and have high collars) . I can ride as long as needed below freezing and the only thing that gets cold is my hands. Im going to try the latex glove idea for that. I guess to sum up, you dont have to spend a lot of money to stay warm, you just have to put a lot on. Give yourself a few minutes extra before each trip to put all this stuff on. If I was going to ride a lot in cold I would just give in and buy a real suit, but since the winter here is so brief its not really worth it.
Yea I just got back from a 25 degree ride. All I had for my hands were the cotton stretchy gloves underneath my riding gloves, that works for a little bit but eventually my hands were so cold I had trouble handling the clutch and had to come back. I found a scarf wrapped up around your chin works pretty well too, my Arai helmet also has one of those chin spoilers though which seems to keep a bit more wind out of there. Ankles get pretty cold too, I never had good foot gear and even ski pants tend to ride up sometimes and expose some skin which kinda gets painful. When I was getting gas some dude told me I was nuts. Whatever =P
A cheap thing called a "neck gaiter" is real handy to cover that gap between your jacket and helmet. They're spandex and cost about $10. It creates a "turtle neck" that stretches up over your chin. They are in camping catalogs like "Campmore", "Cabella's". Try a bandana around your neck, if nothing else.
Anything that will stop wind will help a lot. This includes almost any raingear.
Hands and feet are the biggest problem. Avoid packing your feet into extra sox if it squeezes them too tight inside your shoes. Circulation keeps hands and feet warm. Cutting off circulation makes them cold.
Cold tires DON'T stick, Sand and Salt in the racing line, Black Ice on the track, ARE the biggest hazards of the winter. NO CHARGING CORNERS, Ride slow and carefull.:crying: Cold also brings on fatigue, so don't stay out to long. Keeping my hands warm seems to be the hardest thing, I use ski gloves(goretex with rubber palms for grip) and my hands get cold after 30 miles or so. I'll have to try the latex trick, Thank you. To keep the rest of me warm Is not to difficult or expencive. To start I use thermal unders(top and bottoms) Then a long sleeve tee shirt and on top of that a sweat shirt. A good pair of jeans and a pair of snow/ski pants ( they are a little slippery on the seat becarefull) Two pair sox and insulated winter work boots for the feet and for the head and neck I use a Fleece hooded neck warmer that fits right under your ski helmet I mean bike lid (dont forget to close your vents) Have fun and ride safe and do watch the weather reports
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