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-   -   Do you bike in bad weather? (

Piwoslaw 01-24-2011 06:48 AM

Do you bike in bad weather?
So, what does it take to get you off your bike? Is a drizzle enough, or does it take a blizzard?

I personally don't mind the cold. In fact, I try to avoid riding in the sun during a heat wave (maybe I should get a solar sombrero?). I once read that it's never too cold to get on your bike, you just might be inadequately dressed. I would add one exception: when it's so cold that the grease in your bearings and chain freezes. When it gets really cold (below -15C/5F) I do have to remember to loosen up my brake and derailleur cables because of how they tend to shrink.

As for rain, I don't especially like it, but I don't panically try to avoid it. I'll be even less of a problem when I get some waterproof booties.

Now snow is a different story... If there isn't much of it, or if it's packed, then I have no problem with it (exept for being a little more careful and slower). I do avoid deep snow or ice, though. And I hate it when the roads get salted:mad: Not only does the slush clog my rear gears, but also the chain has to be replaced in the spring because of corrosion.

Niner 01-24-2011 08:07 AM

I have a very strong dislike for being wet, so rain is a good way to ruin my outdoors time. On the other hand, I don't mind cold, especially if I'm working a bit. Back in my college days I used to ride year-round, as it was as quick on campus as a car and far easier to find parking. However, breathing cold air seems to have taken it's toll on my lungs and I seem to get chest colds much more easily these days, so if it's below freezing I don't ride.

MetroMPG 01-24-2011 08:28 AM

I use the pirate bike year round. Rain is more likely to keep me off the bike than snow/cold though. (Thus the electric car's other nickname: the Electric Umbrella.)

Slippery weather is fun... though most of my riding is on bike paths/trails, not around cars. I'm like a kid in the snow: I love locking the rear wheel and fishtailing around corners. :D

Worst part is when stuff freezes up and the gears/brake cables stop working, or some ice in the chain makes it skip.

I bike more than I drive... the downside of which is the 12v battery in the Firefly was dead when I wanted to use it a couple of days ago. :(

arcosine 01-24-2011 08:53 AM

I was commuting the last two winters. I had no problem with cables, except for ice freezing them and salt rusting them, they don't shrink in the cold. Riding in 32F rain is about the same chill as as 5F, except at 5F it's hard to breath and one has to keep the face covered. Putting on skin lotion before heading out is a must, it keeps the face much warmer. The coldest I have ridden the 5 miles to work is -7F. Yes the salt will destroy the chain in one season, daily oiling with thick chain saw bar oil helps. I tried wax but it didn't help . I am thinking of putting a guard to keep the front tire from splashing the chain. This year so far I have been soft and driving the sc1. I stopped riding in the snow also, just not enough room for bike and cars and I hate getting splashed with slush. I have 27x 1 3/8 knobby tires. It helps to keep the bike out in the cold.

MetroMPG 01-24-2011 08:57 AM

re: keeping the face covered in the cold...

I discovered this year that the best way to keep the wind off the face is to put my jacket hood up. No balaclava needed - MUCH more comfortable. I credit EcoModder's many aero discussions for the idea: the air "puddles" in the hood and the onrushing flow goes around, leaving the puddle relatively undisturbed. (Think of all the discussions about blocking the grille from behind vs. in front.) Wind chill is no longer an issue.

Coldest I've been riding in so far this winter is about -20C / -4F.

It's -30C / -22F this morning... and I'm not going anywhere. :D

bikin' Ed 01-24-2011 09:14 AM

No cold rain
I don't mind the cold, or the rain. But 40 deg F and rain will drive me to the trainer in the basement. I won't miss a race, but otherwise I'm inside.

I'll ride the road bike as long as the roads are pretty clear no matter what the temp. The hardtail mtn. bike has seen just about any weather condition you can come up with.

Lazarus 01-24-2011 10:18 AM

I don't like riding when it's below freezing. The older I get the less I can tolerate it. Fortunately it does not get below freezing but a few times a year. I'm much more concerned with visibility. I won't ride unless there is a mile. Although the roads and routes are OK if the vis gets much lower than that the reaction time of text'er, iPad reader, and cell phone talkers is just to close for me.:(

hamsterpower 01-24-2011 11:04 AM

Any time someone asks me if I am still riding to work I always answer "Of course! It's so much warmer on the bike." I proved this to myself this morning. After riding the bike home from work (-7F, wind chill -22F) I had to warm up the car and run errands. The ride was fine, my legs were a little cold and my eyelashes kept freezing, but waiting for the car to warm up was miserable. Worse, the SGII showed a best of 22mpg where it usually would be 50mpg. Just goes to show I need a bigger cargo (bikego) rack.

skyl4rk 01-24-2011 11:48 AM

I used to commute on my bicycle all winter, riding in the tracks of cars when the snow got high. Unfortunately, I fell on the ice a few times, and the last time I fell I decided I would not ride when there is ice on the road. Luckily I live close enough to walk to work, so that is my winter option.

lowglider 01-24-2011 05:52 PM

My record is -13F, but that was inhumane because my gloves weren`t thick enough.

It`s not a biggie, but what I don`t like in bad weather is getting water splashed on me from cars overtaking me and the worse visibility because of the hood on my head.

I`m lucky that I know routes with less traffic so I keep it on the safe side in bad weather, in fact even in good weather I`ve started choosing the same routes because I love riding without having to listen to traffic noise and worry about getting hit by a car.

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