Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always kind of wussed out with cold weather, not to mention besides the fact it's cold, it's harder (for me at least) to breathe in cold weather than warmer/hot weather.

PA can bounce around quite a bit with a wide range of temperatures, anything from damn near negatives to 100*F solid like we had in some areas of PA throughout most of the week last week.

So, what about you guys. Do you park the bike for the winter, or do you find yourself biking even in cold weather? If so, what kind of gear to you equip yourself with to handle it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
As much as I can... last year was tough with all the snow.

A few tips -

Don't wear cotton anything because it holds moisture and gets heavy when wet.
I wear light gloves with Thinsilate -- Walmart for $14
1 pairs spandex pants and 1 pair fleese pants
Top half -- dress in layers and dress "light" meaning if you stand around for 10 minutes you are likely to be cold. Then just ride to keep warm and have fun. You will need to ride at a more even pace because sweat is your enemy. If you want to push it to the limit, wait until the last 1/2 hour of the ride.
Oh and almost forgot, scull cap under the helmet and insulated water bottle with warm water that will likely be an ice cube by the end of the ride.
 

·
Chilling out
Joined
·
6,036 Posts
I moved from central Texas last summer into NE PA. My biggest biking fear was having winter shut me down, but I managed to ride at least weekly throughout - in up to 6" of snow!

What they said about layers and stuff is great, I'll add...

- merino wool jersey's ROCK (I have two, and want more). They do better in varying temps than anything else I've found. Not cheap though. Don't put them in the dryer. :eek:
- wool socks (Smartwool, SwiftWick, et. al.) work better for me than anything else. Carry spare socks on winter rides.
- chemical hand/foot warmers can be handy
- absolutely ix-nay on the otton-cay.
- the swap-meet at Trexlertown velodrome is a great place to get stuff like wind-shell gloves, skull-caps, etc., on the cheap.
- i found some Lake MX300 winter boots at the swap last fall and they were WONDERFUL all winter long.
- i also found that riding flat-pedals with insulated work-boots worked well
- I dressed for winter cycling like I dressed for winter XC skiing, I never used goggles though but probably will this coming winter.
- carrying extra gloves was good
- camelbak hoses WILL freeze, plan on/against it
- I carried a thermos of hot beverage on some rides, sometimes it came in handy to drink, sometimes it came in handy to thaw out rear derailleur pulleys after they got dipped in the creek.
- be smart, watch out for frostbite, don't try to set speed records as the wind-chill can be bad
 

·
wounded knee
Joined
·
1,369 Posts
I only missed one weekend of riding last year due to being to sick to ride.

I tried the Nokian W240 Studded tires, but they were to thin, just a heads up.
Just get the fattest widest tires your bike can handle, they'll practically float across the snow, I used Weirwolfs they are 2.5"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,081 Posts
Yup, my favorite time is the winter actually. The trails are empty and the ground is nice and hard and bumpy.

On one particular cold morning, we crossed a stream and by the time we got up the hill, the water had frozen over the rear derailleur and prevented the bike from shifting.

For me, it is al about Gore-tex. Stuff is a god-send.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
WINTER is MY FAVORITE TIME




NO BUGS, :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
Ride all winter, deep snow and rain is all that stops me. One nice thing - after a few years of doing it you'll know exactly what to wear depending on the temperature is.

Plus I love night riding in the winter - its the bomb!!!
 
Joined
·
247 Posts
adoble said:
Ride all winter, deep snow and rain is all that stops me. One nice thing - after a few years of doing it you'll know exactly what to wear depending on the temperature is.

Plus I love night riding in the winter - its the bomb!!!
I would have to agree with you on the night riding thing during the winter! At least with 5 to 6 inches of concrete like snow on the ground. I had a ride last year that was the most memorable night ride to date. Rode up at Antietam/Mt. Penn that night with a good riding buddy and the lights reflecting off the hard snow made for an awesome ride at night!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
Roasted said:
I've always kind of wussed out with cold weather, not to mention besides the fact it's cold, it's harder (for me at least) to breathe in cold weather than warmer/hot weather.

PA can bounce around quite a bit with a wide range of temperatures, anything from damn near negatives to 100*F solid like we had in some areas of PA throughout most of the week last week.

So, what about you guys. Do you park the bike for the winter, or do you find yourself biking even in cold weather? If so, what kind of gear to you equip yourself with to handle it?
I ride year round all the other post told ya what to wear & they rite on with that ,now get a fatbike I got a fatback mid winter & the thing goes great on snowmobile trails powder up to 6in or so its a blast & if no snow ya can ride your reg mtbike.You can check out all the fatbikes on the fatbike forum on this site.I hope we get a ton of snow this coming winter.happy trails KP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,974 Posts
Winter.....Yes...

.....great time to ride...lots of excellent tips offered up already.....Just keep riding through the season until the snow gets to deep then switch over to backcountry skis....nice way to stay in shape.....

ADOBLE.....thats my cousin Katrin your using for your avatar....seriously.
 

Attachments

·
.
Joined
·
921 Posts
Yup, I ride all winter. If you work an 8-5, M-F job, getting a light is also going to be key, otherwise you're stuck riding Sat-Sun only. Lights can get very expensive, but a helmet mount Magicshine 900 Plus for $100 from Geoman Gear dot com will be more than adequate, even for solo rides.

I also find myself doing alot more group rides during the winter, it helps with the motivation.

For this particular ride last January it was 7 degrees Fahrenheit.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
When you guys are done riding and back home, what kind of extra maintenance care do you take to make sure nothing on the bike rusts due to everything (according to the pictures) looking like it was submerged in snow? Do you towel dry the entire thing or shove it in a hot room with fans or what?
 

·
Chilling out
Joined
·
6,036 Posts
I just leave mine in the basement, nothing special really.

I normally keep a mind on my drivetrain to make sure it's properly lubricated and clean.

From the 7F ride I had at one point dipped my rear-d in the creek, so the next day after it'd had time to dry out I disasm the cage and cleaned and heavily greased it so water could not get in so easily next time. Didn't have another problem from it at all.
 

·
Did you ever have ham?
Joined
·
1,650 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Does a bear crap in the woods? Layering is the key like everyone mentioned. You’ll have to do a few rides to figure out your body temperature and the weather conditions. Riding on the trails in the winter is not the same a road riding when it’s cold. Depending on where the trail is with the elevation, you have the fortune of being shielded by the terrain and minimal tree cover.

When I was looking into winter riding I always wished someone would have listed what the buy/wear, so here's my list, top to bottom:

1 Skull cap that can be pulled over ears. Some like to wear a full face neoprene mask for additional cover.
2. riding glasses to keep the wind out of my eyes
3 moister wicking, long sleeve base layer with a crew neck. I don’t like the wind on my neck, but hate riding with a turtle neck!
4 standard short sleeve jersey(race cut or club cut, whichever is more comfortable). I wear this for the additional back pockets.
5 Medium weight, wind resistant road jacket. On warmer days (36+) I’ll wear a sleeveless shell vest in replace of the jacket
6 medium weight, wind resistant full finger gloves
7 wind resistant, medium weight thermal long legged bibs. The kind I have (Cannondale) don’t have a pad, so I just wear my race bib shorts underneath.
8 thin wool socks
9 winter boots or winter shoe covers over your standard riding shoes. Covers are a ***** IMHO, but some have success.
10 I carry water bottle for fluids instead of a camel back. As long as the fluids are sloshing around they don’t freeze. It’s the water in a camelback tube that tends to freeze quickly.
11. tools/spare parts I stuff into the pockets

Base layers (nothing cotton!) should fit snug to your body and apply top layers that allow movement/trap some body heat. Nothing too baggy, as it can get in the way. Don’t allow yourself to get too sweaty or it will cool you down. Once you’re chilled its harder to regain/keep body heat. Limit your rest stops and keep them brief. If you start to overheat (beginning or mid ride) open up your layers to let out the heat, but close up once you stop. Gloves are a personal choice and can vary on the temperature outside.

Foot wear and keeping your feet warm is always an issue, at least for me. I wear winter riding boots because I hated dealing with booties. If you’re not extra gentle they wear out fast. Winter boots are insulated and help eliminate the cold temperature from transferring to your feet, keep the elements out and are sealed. Something with a 100 grams of thinsulate is good. You can find them for a good deal in the off season. Plus, they’re worth the investment because they’ll last a long time. You’re only riding them for a few months out of the year. Whether you decide on booties or dedicated winter boots, socks are very important. Thin wool socks and maybe a liner. I just wear the wool. Don’t cram your feet into a shoe. You want a bit of wiggle room in your toe box the keep the digits warm and the blood flowing.

It’s all trial and error till you get it dialed in for your own preference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Wissahickon in the snow...
Considering what it's like out right now, I can't wait for days like that again.

Quick tip about Camelbak tubes freezing on the really cold days. Try sticking the tube down the front of your shirt. Your body heat warms the water in the mouthpiece and tube, often enough to keep the exposed part from freezing.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top