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  #1  
Old 09-21-2008, 08:54 PM
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Default Fair weather rider ponders winter riding ...

So I am steeling myself for a ride into the coming Fall weather on the bike. I also ride a motorcycle and certainly enjoy a brisk Fall or Winter ride all bundled up. Riding the bicycle will of course be different.

On the motorcycle my rules are pretty firm (as I'm riding in traffic and may hit +60mph): daily low cannot be below 40 deg F, and if howling drenching storms are in progress or a sure bet .... whats the point.

I fire up the 4cyl Ford Ranger and motor to work. Bottom line is I'm not out to prove anything except to improve my health and cut costs and carbon foot print down.

I'll use similar rules in the bike maybe allow a bit more cooler temps.

So today I bought a Sugoi helmet cover - I've got a decent Pearl-Izumi blaze yellow rain shell - I've got rain pants and riding tights - and (since I use clips) I decided to go the water shoe (waterproof vented tennies for use in rafting and river trips) coupled with waterproof Seal-Skinz socks.

I use two rear panniers - one for clothes - one for shoes - and lunch etc in a messenger bag.

Still need to get some gloves and I have head-band ear covers from cross-country skiing.

But I also wear glasses ---- how do you all handle that in mist or rain ? Any suggestions ?

I feel like such a weenie sometimes (getting over 50 has been a huge weenie multiplier) so I'm hoping to make it to Thanksgiving as stage 1.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2008, 10:43 PM
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OldCog and everyone else, because of where they're being sold (Fred Meyer), I doubt they'll escape anyone's attention for long, but tonight I noticed that Fred's got a new line of gardening gloves in that have some potential for inclement/cold weather cycling. Name of them as I remember it, is 'ChiliGrips' (did a search here on bikeportland, but found no othe mention of them.

The gloves construction basically expands on the idea of the waterproof glove shells available in the past. The front/waterproof part is textured rubber or neoprene...(I'll check again when I'm back in there in the next few days.) Back of the gloves have a knit center panel.

They come in four or five different colors. Best thing for me, was that they come in a really bright day-glo orange. In gloves, I prefer a bright color like that for hand signals in Oregon's dark rainy days. The first most obvious possible downside to these gloves is that the insulation is really thick....a little thicker than I'd like. That's partly why I haven't bought any yet.

They're cheap too(unless I heard the price check wrong): $8.99
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:01 AM
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Default Foggin Up

The bane of the eyeglass wearer for certain. Rain AND darkness combined with a foggy 'windshield' is not fun.

Couple things I've tried with varying degrees of success:

1) Visor on helmet.
2) Wear your specs/goggles loose - not quite reading glass style but enough to allow some air to flow.
3) Wipe them every stop.
4) Fenders, particularly the front fender is a must have.

I've found that when I'm moving the specs stay clear... it's not until I have to stop that they start misting up. Best results so far for me has been to keep a kerchief handy sticking out of my pocket or someplace I can quickly and easily grab, wipe and jam back in.

At times I'll remove my glasses while waiting at a long light to keep the fog down.

Admittedly though, I bailed on my "RecSpecs" (really dorky looking sports goggles ala Kareem Abdul Jabar!) last year in favor of contact lenses. I still have to wear a wind shield but it fogs a lot less than my prescription glasses or sports glasses. Plus with all the wiping and abuse, they're easier to replace than prescription glasses.

Instead of a muffler to keep the face warm -- I grow out the beard. The muffler tends to add to the fog problem. Some days I feel like I'm going to lose the tip of my nose.
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2008, 12:41 PM
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Default cycling hats...

there's a reason they invented cycling hats - and it's not just because they look good. (my wife thinks they're ugly - I definitely don't bring them out on date nights...)

But seriously, cycling hats are great for this reason - they keep the rain off you specs and out of your eyes.



during the winter I Never leave the house on a bike without at least having a hat in my bag. You also won't need a helmet cover for the most part. The hat (and eventually your head) will get wet if a deluge, but your head tends to get wet from the outside (rain) or inside (sweat) no matter what you do.

I have worn the above set-up for the better part of the last 20 years with success. head and ears stay warm, glasses stay clear, head is covered and comfortable.

- for reference, the hat in the picture is a Deller. I'm pretty sure that I bought it from Mrs. Maus at the bike crafts fair that was held in City Hall two years back. I can't recommend a winter hat more, it's quite awesome.

As for the fogging glasses - I generally only have that problem stopped at lights (although it depends largely on the kind of glasses you're wearing). My solution has always been to slide the glasses down to the end of my nose until the light turns green, then just push them back up when they clear.

I agree with Beelnite on the fenders and beards (I think I always agree with Beelnite). Fenders are ESSENTIAL for winter riding. An old friend of mine said once that over the course for the year, you get much more wet from the ground than you ever get from the sky - that isn't true if you have full fenders on your bike. And if you're capable of growing a beard (sorry girls) it's the way to go during the winter. Mufflers are stifling, and way too hot half way through the ride. From October to around April I only shave once a week (friday).

hope that helps.

--
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2008, 12:41 PM
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Attornatus_Oregonensis Attornatus_Oregonensis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCog View Post
But I also wear glasses ---- how do you all handle that in mist or rain ? Any suggestions ?
I wear glasses, too. The problem is that, in really wet weather, you can't not wear glasses. I've worn just contact lenses before, and the rain (and occasional dirt/road grime) going directly in your eyes is worse than raindrops on your glasses.

So, assuming you wear 'em, the worst problem is fogging. You've got to get some airflow, as beelnite says. Carry something to wipe them with. This also helps with the problem of water beading on them.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:01 PM
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I too wear a Shaun Deller hat. I bought it directly from him, and I can tell you, he must stay warm with a beard like that. The hat's brim also keeps my glasses relatively clean. My hat is wool, so it doesn't get cold when sopping wet like a cheap cotton one. I just wear the woolen hat and forego any helmet cover. It might also help that I have the skateboarding style of helmet—fewer vents for water to get into.

As for glasses, once water does get onto my lenses, I just use the terry cloth thumb on my gloves to wipe them clean. Wearing anything like a balaclava, you really do just have to leave your nose out to the cold. Otherwise it's basically a water vapor exhaust pipe right onto your glasses.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:26 AM
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I use an old Scott No-Fog cloth that came with some ski goggles on my riding glasses. Works really well...

Of course I wait until they are fogged up, pull over, wipe them down, and then continue. I never remember to get them before I leave.

Question: since when was over 50 considered old? I don't FEEL old.

Lynne "don't trust anyone over 90!" F
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:45 AM
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Default Hard and Fast Rules?

I guess my hard rule is no bike riding when there's ice on the ground.

Anything short of that I seem to be able to compensate via appropriate clothing.

Said appropriate clothing has been garnered over years via trial and error.

I recommend trying to extend your riding season with some clothing, allowing it to go a little further this fall. Next spring, pick up some more clothing so you can start earlier. Rinse and repeat. In a couple of years you'll ride year-round (except for ice).

Head, Hands and feet are a priority for me, so I have many different types of hats, gloves, socks, and booties. Next after that is rain gear.

Re: glasses fogging. Unlike a motorcycle with a full-face helmet, you typically get good airflow on the glasses except when you're stopped. I've not found moisture on my glasses to be a big problem. Note that most cycling gloves have a chamois patch on their backs so you can wipe your glasses.

I second the value of a cycling cap. Keeps the sun off in the summer and the rain off in the winter. One advantage for me is when I wear eyeglasses. I have these 3 gram gnat's-fart eyeglasses that won't handle the weight of an eyeglass mirror; when you use a hat you just stick the mirror on the brim of the hat: TA-DAAA!

If you want to convert a baseball cap for use under your helmet, please please pop off the little button at the center of the crown. It won't hurt the hat; honest: it's merely decorative. Use a pair of pliers on the outside and force the little rivet apart. The thing is, even if you're wearing a helmet, that little button can act like a center punch in an accident.

A note on glasses: YMMV. I wear contact lenses and avail myself of sunglasses. I have a strong preference for the Oakley M-frames ("sweep" lenses, not the "heater" style). I wear the clear lenses about 95% of the time. But this is strictly a function of the shape of your face, so you'll need to--unfortunately--experiment.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:16 AM
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We certianly get lots of rain, but more often than not, it is wet but not raining (or not raining very hard). This means that much of the water that affects a cyclist will be splash off the road. Fenders deal with much of that.

overbooties can be worth their weight in gold (pre wall street melt down value). The road splash and grime that gets intercepted by overbooties does not sully your clothes nor chill your feet.

How you dress for the rest of it is up to you. I wear spandex longs and if they get wet, I still don't get cold and they dry fast. For gloves, I swear by cheap cotten jersy gardening gloves. I buy them at Sandersons Safety for 10 pair for ten bucks, and keep dry ones as spares in my trunk bag. The cotton breaths, so hands stay comfortable in moderate and cool weather. They are soft and absorbent if I get a runny nose, and again, if I am riding between storms or in light drizzle they stay dry enough and warm enough.
YMMV

Oh keep your wheels clean. once a week will help the rims last longer. On my commuter bike I am on my 3rd pair of rims. the brake pads can grind right through the braking surface over time.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:30 AM
vincentpaul vincentpaul is offline
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