Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Cold Test Rides Introduction

A bicycle completely iced over and frozen.
Getting ready for days like this.
When I noticed the forecast getting cold and unpleasant, I thought it would be the best time to do some cold weather testing.  Right now I don't have any practical experience when it comes to layering clothes (or for that matter, any experience cycling in the cold).  By putting some useful data together I might be able to figure out what combination of clothing to wear.

The tests themselves are pretty simple.  I would need to record the weather conditions, what clothing I was wearing and how I felt in it.  After a few days I would try to glean important details and adjust my strategy for cold weather riding.

For me this is a multi-part process.  Currently I'm riding a road bike in the autumn.  At the end of the month I will be using the road bike indoors (spin class).  At that point my outdoor bikes will be my hybrid and mountain bike.  Once the snow hits the hybrid will go into storage and the mountain bike is the full time outdoor rig.  So I'm trying to figure out the things that will help now on my current setup, as well as details that will help when its -30C and I'm riding across frozen rivers.

The next 3 posts will be the tests, then I will post my conclusions.


  1. I started getting winter my riding clothes ready the other morning. 6am, it was +5.. 6:30am it was +15.. I had to pull over and peel off most of what I added on... I just don't think it's time just yet.

    Have you started to bike into work or is this just recreational?

  2. It isn't here yet. But these three days I did readings on were definitely cold. It was a way to try stuff out and see what works (and what doesn't). Even when it is, get ready for wild temp changes -- also a great part about layers (take stuff off when it's hot, add it back on when it's cold).

    And I'm glad I got the practice, after this week the mercury will plunge again.

    I don't bike to work currently. It's 100km one way and most of the route is county roads with no paved shoulder and crumbling right hand side.

    And as I like to joke, my cycling is "medicinal". It's the best way for me to control my diabetes. The fact that it's a lot of fun is just a happy by-product. :D