Winter riding

John Thompson

Active Member
Well, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere anyway, there is no fooling ourselves: summer really *IS* over ... but I am interested to hear from you folks on what kind of gear you find essential for winter riding. My core tends to stay warm as I exercise, but legs/hands are tougher to keep toasty.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Well, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere anyway, there is no fooling ourselves: summer really *IS* over ... but I am interested to hear from you folks on what kind of gear you find essential for winter riding. My core tends to stay warm as I exercise, but legs/hands are tougher to keep toasty.

Please see these two threads:

 

john peck

Well-Known Member
Winter riding is one instance where a mask has nothing to do with social distancing, at good pair of ski gloves that don´t fit too
snugly, & a good windbreaker over sweater etc. is less cumbersome than a parka. Don´t over dress & get sweaty. That will turn
your outfit into a refrigeration unit. Toes need a pair of thin nylon/silk socks under a pair of wool & footwear that is not tight.
If you ski, you´ll know how to dress. googles for appropriate light conditions.
 
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rich c

Well-Known Member

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Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
I recently purchased a Giro 9 winter helmet on clearance at 50% off at my local Sportchek. It has a brushed fleece liner and removable earpads which I’ll be wearing it over a merino balaclava. The helmet allows me to vary the level of ventilation via a slider control on top of the helmet. Also shod my winter ride with a set of studded Gravdals. Should see me through over the next 5-6 months.
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ruffruff

Well-Known Member
I recently purchased a Giro 9 winter helmet on clearance at 50% off at my local Sportchek. It has a brushed fleece liner and removable earpads which I’ll be wearing it over a merino balaclava. The helmet allows me to vary the level of ventilation via a slider control on top of the helmet. Also shod my winter ride with a set of studded Gravdals. Should see me through over the next 5-6 months.
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I wear that same helmet. Then a pair of big lens snowboarding googles. Then a thin balaclava.

Dressing in layers is key.

1. Thin polypro long underwear. Columbia waterproof snowpants over that.
2. polypro turtleneck undershirt, thin polypro long sleeve t-shirt over that.
3. Thin breathable goretex outer shell.

Super cold I put bar mitts on.
Not super cold lined leather gloves.
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
On Friday I went for a 20'ish Km ride. When I left the house it was only +2C and there were times I think it dropped to zero, before warming up to +4C.

A light cap under the helmet kept my head warm. I stuck with my normal sunglasses for my face and it was fine.
Long sleeve T- shirt with a medium weight sweater over that and then a 3/4 sleeve golfing wind breaker followed by a thermal vest (a sleeveless insulated jumper for some of you).
That, with some full finger 3 season gloves, kept my upper body warm.

On my lower half, I wore normal padded underwear, with running tights over that and topped with my MTB shorts.
On my feet I wore normal socks, topped with my Grisport light hiking boots. The boots were phenomenal with the flat pedals.

If I choose to ride when it's even colder, I'll probably drop the tights and shorts and go with some insulated pants I have. I'd also probably need to up the coverage of my torso and move to a winter glove. Face mask and goggle are probably a good idea, but if it's getting to temperatures where frostbite is coming into play, I'll likely just be on my stationary bike in front of the TV.

All in all, quite comfortable, even in some light winds. However, that was when pedaling. When stopped, it got cool very quickly.
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
I think we need to define winter riding. I'm in Mn with winter riding being full on snow and temps. well below 32F.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
My coldest ride last year was -20 C (-4F) and recall I was out for slightly over 1 1/2 hours. Layering is key and agree that stopping frequently will cool your core down quickly. I carry my water in an insulated Thermos bottle that fits snugly in my alloy Blackburn cage. Merrell winter boots keep my feet toasty and on really cold days I slip in heated Thermacell insoles. I splurged on a pair of insulated lobster mitts last year and don't regret my purchase as they've worked out well down to -15C (5F). Anything past that point, I rely on heated glove liners or bar mitts to extend my rides.
 
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RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
My winter cycling gear usually involves a plane ticket to Key West, but with storm ETA hitting the Keys now I'll have to rethink this plan...😎
Mine was a consideration of bike in the car, golf clubs and clothes in the Thule on top of in the car as space allows. Stops in Palm Springs and Phoenix with friends. 6 weeks of alternating golf and cycling. Probable, selective stops on the way south and on the return as well. Wife would maybe fly down for a few weeks to Phoenix. Hopefully next year, once health situation improves. Other required parameters are improving to make this possible, but need to settle out a bit more yet.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
As a preventative measure against snow intrusion, I'll usually strap on a pair of gaiters. Definitely was appreciated on today’s ride. Still waiting for my goggles to arrive.
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Most streets and paths were not yet cleared this morning and drifting snow up to 10" deep forced me to walk my bike for several blocks. Otherwise the Gravdal tires worked great. -20 C windchill at the time of this shot. All bike lanes were covered in a blanket of snow making it unsafe to ride on the city streets. 🙁
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RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
@Prairie Dog
That's pretty hard core. It's melting here, even though it's minus 10. And as I'm 3 blocks from a bike path system that gets cleared, once it warms up a bit I may give it a go. Maybe by the weekend, but probably not. Forecasts for the weekend, starting tomorrow, are highs of 1,2,1,2,3 (Celsius of course).

But, like yourself, we get amazing thermal advantages with our clear skies. For example, environment Canada is reporting -10C but my micro climate just outside my kitchen window is saying +10C. Also, I embrace the power of black clothes in this type of weather and I find it really helps. Same thing on golf course, I like a nice warm back.

Looking forward to getting out again soon, and come spring I'll have to pop up the highway and try out Red Deer for something other than hockey or golf.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
Looks like a slight warming trend is on its way here. I'm hopeful that the city crews will get out and groom the trails this week. Anything that might help me navigate through the snow clogged streets and MUPs would be greatly appreciated. It's a short drive in either direction along the QE 2 and I would welcome a get-together in the spring.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
A big thumbs up on the winter helmet/balaclava combo. 👍 It was -16 windchill when I set out on my ride this morning and it was remarkable just how warm the lined helmet with its ear pads were. At first I wasn't sure how the additional 200 g of weight over my regular helmet would affect me but quite frankly I really didn't notice. I was just overjoyed at how toasty my ears and face were. My ride apparel today was as follows:

-Pearl Izumi padded liner shorts
-Helly Hanson thermal tights
-Arcteryx Midlayer weatherproof pants
-Merino long sleeved pullover
-Pearl Izumi thermal jacket
-Goretex alpine shell
- Mountain Hardware gaiters
-Merrell insulated winter boots
-Wool socks
-45North Sturmfist 4 gloves
-Merino balaclava/Giro 9 Winter Helmet

The paths were cleared from the last snowfall which made my ride much more enjoyable and the trailhead being only a couple of minutes from my doorstep is icing on the proverbial cake. :)
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