Cold weather riding gear

Zambam

100 W
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
294
Location
NYC
What do you wear, how do you dress now that winter is coming? I do not have much body fat and get cold easily, especially hands and feet. Once my hand gets cold, they stay cold unless I soak them in hot water.

Bought these heated gloves and they are great (I paid $60, they are now $48 Cyber Monday sale)! Rode in 45 F this morning and my hands were toasty.
 
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Mittens are good; pogies are better. There are tons of winter shoes around-- I have to be vigilant when bargain hunting so I don't get any of those by accident.

I find a wind breaking outer layer is more valuable than a bunch of permeable layers, when on the bike.
 
Windbreakers a must, good gloves like snow mobile gloves, good hoodies.
I got some electric boots from Dakota.
 
I had thick pile insulated pogies. Touching the cold handle bars even with glove liners on, my hands would get cold. I need active heating to keep them warm. Last winter I resorted to heating up olive jars of water in microwave to stick in the pogies which helped (they stay warm for about 45 min), have to remember to remove them otherwise they freeze and crack). With the battery heated gloves with 7.2V, 4 AH lithium batteries in each glove I don't need the pogies anymore. I actually bought battery heated mittens first. They were also very warm but lacks dexterity compared to gloves. I find I had to keep taking them off to do needed tasks so I returned the mittens and bought the gloves. With the gloves I have to take them off much less often.

Chalo, you're right about a good wind breaking outer layer. I just bought packable water proof/ wind proof breathable jacket and pants and they made a huge difference.
 
A thick Vancouver Canucks hat with the big cotton knit ball on top, double layered with the 3m fabric as a liner, but foldable about 4" from eyebrow acts as a kind of double layer, or go cone head with the hat. Depends on the weather conditions, humidity, cold, winch chill factor, which way the winds blowing. Carrhart hats have their place.

Cheap Walmart snow pants, buy them in the summer.
Jogging pants
Long Johns
Thick costco Mareno wool socks.
 
Pic is from this morning. It was 45F out, not really that cold but I was fully dressed up. Long sleeve T undi, light down vest, hooded light down jacket, the hood keeps my head and ears warm, sport goggles with strap go over the down hood, then helmet, then the wind proof hooded jacket. The blue "buff" I made from a scarf and velcro. I bought 2 of those stretchy tube buffs and didn't like them. They have to go on before helmet, gets bunched up in the throat when closing the helmet straps. My DIY buff is much warmer, goes on last and is easy on/off with velcro.

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What's the coldest temps you would ride in? Would like to hear from members of Scandinavian countries what they wear.
 
What do you wear, how do you dress now that winter is coming? I do not have much body fat and get cold easily, especially hands and feet. Once my hand gets cold, they stay cold unless I soak them in hot water.

Bought these heated gloves and they are great (I paid $60, they are now $48 Cyber Monday sale)! Rode in 45 F this morning and my hands were toasty.
Wish I knew about electric gloves before I moved, those would’ve made snow blowing so much easier!
I live in Florida now so these could still be useful in the winter, however when they catch fire I can’t throw them in the snow anymore…
 
In addition to the things already mentioned I have two others I've found very useful when it's proper cold out.

Shoe covers, these work great when warm socks are not enough. They are designed to go over clipless cycling shoes so to fit over normal shoes or flat pedal shoes you'll need to get a size way way over the recommended.

Heat exchanger mask, honestly I can't do any amount of exercise without one of these when it's too cold. While if you don't have asthma triggered by cold air it won't be as important I still think it's more comfortable than any of the alternatives. I don't understand why these are not more common, the covering your mouth and nose with a balaclava smooshed up against your mouth that gets wet and annoying immediately and restricts your breathing just sucks. A good heat exchanger mask, protects your face from the cold, leaves space around your mouth and nose, more effectively preconditions the air for more comfortable breathing and has much better airflow for breathing. There are a few available but they seem to mostly be sold to extreme weather athletes so I ended up making my own to suit my needs and I'm in the process of making another integrated into my full face helmet.

This winter I'm also trying out heated gloves and heated insoles as sometimes I won't have as much natural body heat due to some of my bikes are not exactly designed to be pedaled. How much work your putting in is just as important to how cold it is out when it comes to gear selection. I can't recall the coldest I've ridding in but it was probably around the mid teens.
 
scianiac, I'd like to know more about heat exchanger masks, how they work and how you will make yours.

Just came back from a 4 mile round trip ride to the grocery store. Was around 40 F out. At a stop, moisture from exhale still fogs up the goggles a little. Would heat exchanger masks prevent fogging totally? I wear my "buff" pretty loose so it does not get very wet from breathing.
 
scianiac, I'd like to know more about heat exchanger masks, how they work and how you will make yours.

Just came back from a 4 mile round trip ride to the grocery store. Was around 40 F out. At a stop, moisture from exhale still fogs up the goggles a little. Would heat exchanger masks prevent fogging totally? I wear my "buff" pretty loose so it does not get very wet from breathing.
Yes that is another effect a well designed mask has is that it totally blocks breath from going upward into goggles. Mine is made from a fleece balaclava and a 3M 6200 respirator with a few other little bits. The idea is you basically are installing the respirator inside of the balaclava and then using it's vent holes. A balaclava that's a bit on the large size and isn't too tight is a good place to start, then just position the respirator inside so it sits about right, mark and cut the holes around the masks vent holes and remove the valves from the mask. Then inside the mask install some heat exchanger material over the vent holes, honestly a ton of materials will work as you can see I used 3 different materials just playing around, a few layers of metal screen works well. You just need a material that has a lot of surface area but isn't very restrictive airflow, that and some thermal mass helps as well. Open filter material like the blue you see on mine is common, others use plastic tubes like you can see on the outside of mine but my tubes were too large so I added the metal screen behind it, you can just tweak it as you see fit. Then glue that all together and that's it. The two additional tweaks that are useful are adding some fleece around the nose area for comfort, the respirator section shouldn't be held to your face with much force so it's not uncomfortable after a long time like a respirator is. And I also added some small shock cord that holds the mask to my face a little better. The result though is no noticeable amount of airflow restriction unlike most fabrics and it moisturizes and warms the incoming air which makes it very comfortable to breath in even very cold temperatures. And of course this plus some ski googles keeps the whole head warm and doesn't interfere with a helmet.

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I personally find I'm working hard enough on the bike that I don't need super intense winter gear, I just wear a moderately thick sweater, a windbreaker shell, and a pair of cheap dollar store gloves. At this point I've only ridden down to 2 C though. As others have said blocking wind is very important, especially on the hands. My little one in the trailer gets a hot water bottle in her lap. If I'm not feeling the pedaling and it's extra cold, maybe I'll try sticking a hot water bottle down my jacket. A nice advantage to ebiking :D
 
I personally find I'm working hard enough on the bike that I don't need super intense winter gear, I just wear a moderately thick sweater, a windbreaker shell, and a pair of cheap dollar store gloves.
That can work but it's important to bring along some extra cold weather clothing because if you suffer a flat or other mechanical failure your body will cool off quickly when you stop pedaling.
 
Yes that is another effect a well designed mask has is that it totally blocks breath from going upward into goggles. Mine is made from a fleece balaclava and a 3M 6200 respirator with a few other little bits. The idea is you basically are installing the respirator inside of the balaclava and then using it's vent holes. A balaclava that's a bit on the large size and isn't too tight is a good place to start, then just position the respirator inside so it sits about right, mark and cut the holes around the masks vent holes and remove the valves from the mask. Then inside the mask install some heat exchanger material over the vent holes, honestly a ton of materials will work as you can see I used 3 different materials just playing around, a few layers of metal screen works well. You just need a material that has a lot of surface area but isn't very restrictive airflow, that and some thermal mass helps as well. Open filter material like the blue you see on mine is common, others use plastic tubes like you can see on the outside of mine but my tubes were too large so I added the metal screen behind it, you can just tweak it as you see fit. Then glue that all together and that's it. The two additional tweaks that are useful are adding some fleece around the nose area for comfort, the respirator section shouldn't be held to your face with much force so it's not uncomfortable after a long time like a respirator is. And I also added some small shock cord that holds the mask to my face a little better. The result though is no noticeable amount of airflow restriction unlike most fabrics and it moisturizes and warms the incoming air which makes it very comfortable to breath in even very cold temperatures. And of course this plus some ski googles keeps the whole head warm and doesn't interfere with a helmet.

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Sorry for the late reply. Nice work and thorough description! What function did the valves in the 3M 6200 mask provide? Which do you like best: inhale/ exhale through nose/ nose, or nose/ mouth, or mouth/ nose?
 
Sorry for the late reply. Nice work and thorough description! What function did the valves in the 3M 6200 mask provide? Which do you like best: inhale/ exhale through nose/ nose, or nose/ mouth, or mouth/ nose?
The valves come in the 3M 6200 because it is a respirator, we want to remove all of them so the air passes in and out of the same paths and over the heat exchanger material. There isn't anything special about the 6200 besides it's a very cheap respirator (around $14 on amazon currently) with a simple design so it's easy to disassemble since we really only need the rubber mouth section (although you could reuse the straps if you wanted to not integrate it into a balaclava. While I have practiced breathing in various configurations without the mask and that can help, with mask it doesn't matter, honestly you're more likely to feel like your breathing in the tropics, warm and humid, but you can just adjust that easily by using less exchanger material.
 
The valves come in the 3M 6200 because it is a respirator, we want to remove all of them so the air passes in and out of the same paths and over the heat exchanger material. There isn't anything special about the 6200 besides it's a very cheap respirator (around $14 on amazon currently) with a simple design so it's easy to disassemble since we really only need the rubber mouth section (although you could reuse the straps if you wanted to not integrate it into a balaclava. While I have practiced breathing in various configurations without the mask and that can help, with mask it doesn't matter, honestly you're more likely to feel like your breathing in the tropics, warm and humid, but you can just adjust that easily by using less exchanger material.

What temperature would you say your's is good down to as far as keeping you comfortable and fog free?

Do you wear yours riding in the woods only or do you go into stores? Do you get funny looks? I have a 3M 6200 coming from Amazon tomorrow. Looking forward to making mine. I am thinking of making mine using the blue scarf with velcro so I can quickly take it off and put back on.
 
Pretty sure I read that article when I was researching before building mine, unfortunately all the devices shown are either hard to find, expensive, or not really what I'm looking for in terms of an integrated system. I mean the Ergodyne 6970 is probably the closest but it's $77 and you can see they use the same simple filter foam type material I used in the blue parts. I think the DIY solution is cheaper and offers adjustability.

I only ride in the woods but don't think I've gotten any looks, not that I care, honestly by making the ports match the color of the covering it would be hard to tell. Also if somebody asks about it and you tell them what it does often the response is "that's very cool I could use one of those"

I don't know the exact coldest temp I've tried by it's probably in the single digits possibly negatives once or twice (F) (early morning rides in Maine) and it's always perfectly comfortable. I still have some fogging if I'm stationary for too long but it's not the googles fogging it's the prescription inserts, having tried many fogging solutions in various conditions though I would say it's the best option sort of active ventilation or heated lenses. And combining with some anti-fog spray doesn't hurt as well.

In terms of breathing comfort I don't think there really is a limit since even not very efficient heat exchanger materials work very well, if you needed to go colder somethings with more thermal mass could be used like the metal screen and in more layers.

I think you're velcro scarf idea actually will probably solve the last issue I have with mine, which was it's a pain to take a drink because you have to kinda smoosh it out of the way. I considered installing a camelback port to solve the issue but you're solution is better, although I probably will have such a port on my new one since it's built into a full face helmet so the velco trick won't work.

I think the only other very slight downside which is the same as anything covering your mouth is after awhile it does collect moisture, I mean that is part of the point as it's also humidifying the incoming air as well as warming it which are the two things that cause breathing discomfort, air that is very dry and very cold.
 
Lowest temp I would ride in will not be lower than 30F on my ebikes (no pedaling). I also ride a road bike for exercise and did not ride if temps drops below 45F in previous winters due to lack of proper clothing (I freeze easily). With the battery heated gloves, breathable rain shell jacket, merino wool socks and the yet to be made heat exchanger mask, maybe I will ride in colder temps.

As for collecting moisture, does it condense and pool on the bottom of the mask?

I will use N95 masks as a starting filter material (have a big supply). Hope they are not too restrictive. What kind of glue sticks to the 3M 6200 well? I was going to try hot glue first.
 
I too freeze easily, keeping my hands and feet warm is a challenge but with enough gear it's certainly possible. Previously this was all with some pedaling, a TSDZ2 MTB so did ride it throttle only sometimes I also pedaled a bit most of the time. It seems to make a big difference as riding now when it's not even that cold out on my current bike, LR Small Block DH Bike, which can't be pedaled, I'm noticing I need more gear but I think that won't be an issue. That and the currently in progress dual G062 fat bike will be pedalable although certainly not requiring it. The other factor is speed and I think on pavement being able to fully cover all exposed skin against wind will be a real help. If you're hands and feet are still cold with the gear you mentioned some poggies and overshoes and you should be good.

Eventually I guess maybe there would be enough moisture to pool a little but it would take quite awhile, although a little drain hole in the bottom would probably solve that. I find the moisture in the mask much less annoying than that same moisture that would be soaking a normal balaclava, scarf, facemask, etc which is also up against your skin. Also have to remember that without a good seal under your eyes those things will direct a lot of that moisture to condense inside your goggles or glasses instead.

You'll probably find the N95 material too restrictive, after all the base respirator comes with similar material in larger surface area filters. For some ideas, the white tube grid in mine is made from sheets of coroplast (the stuff political signs and similar signage is made from). It's very free flowing and probably enough for warmer temps, the blue filter material is some sort of pond filter material, a few layers of screen, metal or fiberglass would probably work well (I added a few layers of that metal screen to the coroplast). I considered stainless pot scrubbers perhaps with a layer of filter over them in case of some fragment came off. Using plastic straws similar to the coroplast would probably also work well and even better with smaller diameter straws. A layer of some open cell foam would work well if thin enough. It doesn't take much and it's easy to play around.

You guessed it, hot glue works pretty well. You can kinda cut the holes in the fabric a little small and wrap it around the ports that stick out of the mask and use some string or rubber bands to secure it, you can see I used blue rubber bands on the side ports. Also easy enough to just stitch the mask to the fabric or similar. The black shock cord is attatched to some parts already on the mask although you may not need any such additional retention with the velcro adjustbility.
 
Rider needs:
- Whatever the thing that goes on your face is called so that you aren't huffing super cold air
- Something akin to ski pants, IE well insulated
- Most absolutely glasses and a helmet.
- Nice thick waterproof jacket.

That's it.

And your bike needs:
- an oversized / overpowered lithium pack to account for the 2-4x raise in internal resistance that cold puts it through.
 
Subsidized heat

Put that bike battery to work heating you while wearing electric heated motorcycle clothing. Chapparell Motor Sports sells electric heated tops, boots, bottoms and gloves. Many other dealers out there.

One adjustment needed: electric clothing may say 12v DC. I have put 88v DC or some combination of Turnigy LIPO packs powering the clothing.

Get a buck converter DC motor controller from eBay. Preferably one with thumb knob voltage control. You can put the 88v to the clothing but you’ll get quite hot quickly. About 30v heating and some sealing wind shells over the heated clothing will keep you warm at 40 mph when -20 F.

For the controller rating [watts] check or find the circuit resistance and multiply the by max voltage. Likely a controller having 4x the clothing wattage will work fine.

You still will need a face shield/balaclava for your face & head and a neck ring will keep cold air from entering at your neck.

Do not heat your head — you will become miserable quickly — unless biking on the dark side of the Moon.

If 12v will do, simply get a buck converter big enough to meet your wattage load
 

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Subsidized heat

Put that bike battery to work heating you while wearing electric heated motorcycle clothing. Chapparell Motor Sports sells electric heated tops, boots, bottoms and gloves. Many other dealers out there.

One adjustment needed: electric clothing may say 12v DC. I have put 88v DC or some combination of Turnigy LIPO packs powering the clothing.

Get a buck converter DC motor controller from eBay. Preferably one with thumb knob voltage control. You can put the 88v to the clothing but you’ll get quite hot quickly. About 30v heating and some sealing wind shells over the heated clothing will keep you warm at 40 mph when -20 F.

For the controller rating [watts] check or find the circuit resistance and multiply the by max voltage. Likely a controller having 4x the clothing wattage will work fine.

You still will need a face shield/balaclava for your face & head and a neck ring will keep cold air from entering at your neck.

Do not heat your head — you will become miserable quickly — unless biking on the dark side of the Moon.

If 12v will do, simply get a buck converter big enough to meet your wattage load
If I'm not warm enough with my current setup, I'd consider electric heating my upper body, if that's still not enough, then elec pants and socks. Heated jackets are quite expensive at Chapparell, between $200 to $400! I would probably try a cheap heated vest first such as this:

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256...o.productlist.main.3.272739cac5DP12&algo_pvid

Wear it over underwear for max heat transfer. Do you think not heating the arms matters? It runs on 5V, max power 22W, not sure if that's hot enough. If not, run it on 12V through a PWM motor controller and hope it does not burn out?
 
Yeah it's getting cold here I got to find some long pair of pants I have used harbor freights TIG welding gloves they're nice and thin and they're gauntlets. Yeah those gloves a windproof jacket and some long pants. If you have 20 alh you can come by and check it out. I'm still waiting for my new need to heal thou.
 
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