Freezing my balls off

I just got home from a bike ride – a scouting mission.  It is currently 23 degrees out accoring to my iGoogle weather widget.

I was scouting for a good route to take from my house to work.  I’m thinking about gearing up to bike to work through the winter.  I assume 23 degrees will seem quite warm compared to what I’d be riding in most days, so I’m gonna need some winter gear.

Does anyone have a lot of experience biking in the winter?  I’m not talking about San Diego winter, this is Minnesota.

I know I’m gonna need some type of shoe covers or better shoes.  With 2 pairs of socks (one pair wool), my toes were absolutely frozen solid.

The next worst part was all the exposed skin on my face.  I need a good face mask and maybe goggles.  Any recomendations?  This is what I was thinking.  I’d need something that can work with my glasses – and not get all fogged up.

I will need better gloves no doubt.  Damm some gloves can be expensive.  What will keep my fragile finger nice and warm in sub-zero, windy, snowy, crappy weather?

Then all I still need is some long-johns or some type of bottom layer to cover my legs underneath pants, probably some studded tires, a better lighting system.

It would probably be cheaper to pay for all the gas I’d use to just drive, but that wouldn’t be nearly as fun.

So get your bike ready for winter and lets go find some ninjas!

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5 Responses to “Freezing my balls off”

  1. brod Says:

    I would definitely recommend not using neoprene in really cold weather, my experiences with that have not been good.

    I would recommend getting a pair of boots or shoes if you can find them that have at least 400 gram thinsulate up to 1000 gram, unless your feet generally get really warm in boots. I saw these on Cabela’s, but I dont know that I would recommend them – Cabelas Snow Runner™.
    http://www.cabelas.com

    Other than that I have never been dissapointed with any of my Northface gear.

  2. brod Says:

    I should clarify, what I meant about not recommending the boots is that I would look for something locally first and if you can’t find anything maybe consider getting them off of Cabelas.
    Also, look up Gators on the cabelas search – you might like those for your lower legs as well. They will definitely block the wind.

  3. kidpurple Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions brod!

    What was your experience with neoprene? It seems that a lot of stuff intended for cold weather biking is neoprene. There are face masks and I think a lot of shoe covers are made of it.

  4. brod Says:

    I wasn’t wearing a top of the line neoprene, so that might be part of the problem with my experience.
    But, my experience has been from hunting with neoprene gloves and a neoprene partial face mask – I found it to be good if you have to do anything in semi-cold weather (like no lower than 20 degrees with no wind) and if you are going to be getting wet in cold weather there is nothing better. Like putting your hands into water when it is really cold out. I only use neoprene if I go duck hunting and I know that I’m going to have to put my hands into the water on a winter day.
    At least with hunting gear, especially when it comes to cold weather gear – you get what you pay for. If it seems really cheap, it probably isn’t going to be very high quality.
    Not that I would go buy the most expensive piece out there, but you know what I’m getting at.
    I quit wearing neoprene anywhere else because on a cold day it went right through it and I was only walking or sitting. Which does make a big difference when considering sporting gear.
    Maybe the stuff they make for the bike riding is better – I didn’t see a temp. rating on that piece you showed.
    I think for the shoe covers it would probably be fine.
    I would be interested to hear what the people on your biking forums have to say about using neoprene in really cold windy weather.
    Hope that helps.

  5. Scrib Says:

    Go with SmartWool for your stupid feet. Medium hiking socks on sale now at Scheel’s. Go heavier if you intend to wear boots. This site – http://www.sierratradingpost.com – has good prices on boots. Dress in layers to avoid overheating. If you sweat you will die. A good solid base layer will be more beneficial than a fancy outer layer and crappy long underwear. Also look into heated gloves and a decent balcalva. This site is also good: http://www.backcountry.com.

    Lessner will lose.


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