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Riding in cold weather


Ziiten
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Those of you in latitudes 60N+ (or even lower, depending on the climate), are you still riding. We are getting to 32F (0C) and I find euc riding is pretty cold when compared to bicycle riding. I typically ride my bike to even -20C or less in winters and still manage to break a sweat. With eucs you dont really do any exercise so it gets cold pretty fast. Also the speeds are relatively high which increases the wind chill effect. I am already having trouble to fit my wrist guards over my not so thick gloves.

Edited by Ziiten
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I'm still riding, lowest so far is around -5c.  At that temp on my bike I'd wear just athletic pants and tshirt, with a thin wool shirt and thin cycling jacket.  On the wheel it's full on winter jacket, windproof insulated pants, winter boots etc.  You do have to dress a lot warmer but other than that it's fine.  My commute is 12km, about 30 minutes.  I think at -20c I'll stick to the bike though, maybe take the wheel when it's -10c or higher.

 

 

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Extreme cold doesn't bother me at all, but then my my ride is only about 20 minutes each way. I wear my normal work clothes with the only significant change being to wear an outer nylon shell over my pants on the really cold days. That, along with a neck warmer and toque seems to be enough to handle pretty much anything on my shortish commute.

Edited by winterwheel
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I haven't ridden down to the same temps as some of you, but I've done sub-freezing by bundling up. Feels kind of like skiing and the layers make me feel extra protected. It's a bit of a hassle to put the gear on, but I think I'll be doing it fairly regularly through winter. I will definitely be pulling out a motorcycle helmet if it gets really cold. Luckily, Denver doesn't really get below -15C/5F.

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14 hours ago, existensil said:

Feels kind of like skiing and the layers make me feel extra protected.

Totally agree with this. Falling in the winter doesn't take the mustard out of you the way it does in the summer. One actually feels a bit exposed when spring comes and it's time to start dressing down again.

Also, I'm pretty sure I'm a better rider for having done the winter work. Once you've ridden through a winter you figure you can handle pretty much anything.

 

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Clothing just starts getting technical is all. You have to learn about layering. 

You’ll want to start off wearing a fleece lined compression “base layer” long sleeve shirt and long sleeve tights. Tesla gear on amazon is good stuff or if you have extra money get under armours cold gear compression line. Then you wear a mid layer which likely a thick sweater or hoodie. Your outer layer is windproof and water resistant and baggy. GORE TEX stuff if you have the money. 

The main areas of concern in cold weather is hands and feet. Quality Insulated boots with thick socks should take care of that. Thinsulate lined gloves. For your head, a balaclava. A full face motorcycle helmet with visor will save your eyes from tearing up in cold weather. 

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I have otherwise gathered enough gear to layer up at sub zero temps, but for me the breeze on my face is still an issue. I think I’ll be getting a full-face helmet.

Edit: The snow we got here (15km to the west...) was thin enough not to form an actual layer. Once the snow starts packing up and the tire no longer actually touches the ground, the riding conditions change pretty drastically. Just be careful, I read the Z10 tire doesn’t grip all that well.

Edited by mrelwood
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26 minutes ago, mrelwood said:

I have otherwise gathered enough gear to layer up at sub zero temps, but for me the breeze on my face is still an issue. I think I’ll be getting a full-face helmet.

Warm balaclava may be helpful. Also consider using full-face helmet with detachable cheekpiece - Uvex Jakkyl, Giro Switchblade or Bell Super 2R. It may be much more versatile than typical full-face helmet.

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48 minutes ago, mrelwood said:

I have otherwise gathered enough gear to layer up at sub zero temps, but for me the breeze on my face is still an issue. I think I’ll be getting a full-face helmet.

Edit: The snow we got here (15km to the west...) was thin enough not to form an actual layer. Once the snow starts packing up and the tire no longer actually touches the ground, the riding conditions change pretty drastically. Just be careful, I read the Z10 tire doesn’t grip all that well.

Yeah, I made the same observation, the tire was still able to grip to the sand below. I didnt go to places where the snow had made slippery patches on asphalt. On those I was feeling a bit unsure already on my bicycle with summer tires. Oh well, no the snow is gone anyway.

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6 hours ago, Seba said:

Warm balaclava may be helpful. Also consider using full-face helmet with detachable cheekpiece - Uvex Jakkyl, Giro Switchblade or Bell Super 2R. It may be much more versatile than typical full-face helmet.

Sure, I use a riding hood already at +15C, starting with an open-faced balaclava, and going with a full-face ”bank robber’s” one at near zero. But my face and eyes are very sensitive to a cold wind, so I was thinking about a helmet that seals completely at the front. But it has to be light. And cheap... heh!

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5 minutes ago, mrelwood said:

Sure, I use a riding hood already at +15C, starting with an open-faced balaclava, and going with a full-face ”bank robber’s” one at near zero. But my face and eyes are very sensitive to a cold wind, so I was thinking about a helmet that seals completely at the front. But it has to be light. And cheap... heh!

How about wearing downhill skiing goggles. Although that solves only the upper part of the face. I am thinking of getting that Ruroc helmet with chin protection and goggles. They are modular which is great. The unpopular colors are a bit over 200€.

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The main issue with eye-wear is that you are often riding in the dark, on treacherous surfaces. Beyond fogging issues, I found that even clear glasses make it harder to detect issues in the road ahead. Considering to do some more experiments with different setups this year (hockey helmet with visor, snowmobile gear) to see how they work, but the illustrated setup doesn't leave me with a lot of hassle / paraphernalia to put on/take off at work, which is an important consideration for me.

Edited by winterwheel
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Yeah, a hockey helmet with a visor could be good, I dont think there will be fogging, but it might cause similar visibility problems as goggles.

Hands are often the ones to freeze first even when biking. For gloves, there are battery heated ones which should be ok, I hear. For very cold weather and bike riding, I usually have leather mittens with woollen ones inside but even that starts to get cold after 30 min when close to -20. Gloves with individual finger compartments are useless at almost any freezing temp.

Edited by Ziiten
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2 hours ago, winterwheel said:

The main issue with eye-wear is that you are often riding in the dark, on treacherous surfaces. Beyond fogging issues, I found that even clear glasses make it harder to detect issues in the road ahead.

Oakley Flight Jacket. Currently using them with a REV'iT neck gaiter under a DH full face.

The nose piece tilts the lens for venting and the gaiter has mesh style paneling that you can rotate for better breathing or more warmth 

Clear lenses degrade my vision by maaaaybe 5% but that's better than foggy contacts

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I face-planted last winter after 3 minutes of riding on a full charge.  
Don't ride your EUC if you had it in your car trunk/boot overnight.  These things don't like to run cold.

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7 minutes ago, Czestnut said:

I face-planted last winter after 3 minutes of riding on a full charge.  
Don't ride your EUC if you had it in your car trunk/boot overnight.  These things don't like to run cold.

More Details!

Rode it straight outta the trunk? Cut-out under braking? Approx. temp?

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13 minutes ago, Czestnut said:

I face-planted last winter after 3 minutes of riding on a full charge.  
Don't ride your EUC if you had it in your car trunk/boot overnight.  These things don't like to run cold.

Yeah, I never allow it to get cold. I park it inside the doorway of the coffee shop when I stop there, even if I know it is going to be just a few minutes. Significant other wanted it kept in garage. Went to the mat on that one. :blink1:

Edited by winterwheel
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/30/2018 at 4:30 PM, dieterGRAMS said:

More Details!

Rode it straight outta the trunk? Cut-out under braking? Approx. temp?

About -5 outside, straight out of the trunk

 

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On 10/30/2018 at 1:21 PM, Czestnut said:

I face-planted last winter after 3 minutes of riding on a full charge.  
Don't ride your EUC if you had it in your car trunk/boot overnight.  These things don't like to run cold.

What model EUC?  What do you think caused the wheel to underperform?  Why would cold weather cause it to face plant?  Not enough power?  Have to ride it slow until it warms up?

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6 hours ago, DanCar said:

What model EUC?  What do you think caused the wheel to underperform?  Why would cold weather cause it to face plant?  Not enough power?  Have to ride it slow until it warms up?

Well if you're in California, not much to worry about :P People who get snow each winter get it.
A cold battery in an EUC is like a cold car battery in winter.  It lacks power when it's cold.

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5 hours ago, Czestnut said:

Well if you're in California, not much to worry about :P People who get snow each winter get it.
A cold battery in an EUC is like a cold car battery in winter.  It lacks power when it's cold.

Not sure. I rode an electric bike in pretty harsh temps and there was no noticeable drop in power. However, you cannot charge a lithium battery in subzero temps. Except I can charge my car li-battery, but that's because it has battery heating built in. In the car, the range drops by about 30% in winters but that is partly because of cabin heating.

Edited by Ziiten
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