Overcomplicating Winter Cycling: Why It's Bad http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ Winter is nothing new. Citizen cyclists have been struggling through it since the beginning of bicycle culture. In many places, they still do. en-us <function copyright at 0x56b0f50> Sat, 01 Nov 2014 20:30:31 GMT Read http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 99840608-6240-11e4-a106-22000a4f82a6 Sat, 01 Nov 2014 20:30:31 GMT Winter cycling
1. Attach fenders, F&R.
2. Switch to more aggressive tires for 'those mornings'. Get the studded ones out and close at hand.
3. When the day's highs drop below 50F, I get out the athletic tights that fit under my work clothes (my work area in winter averages 60F all day long). Below 40F, medium winter coat and heavier gloves (good for all temps below this). Below 30F, full layered headwear; I think about the insulated coveralls, wind conditions make that firm decision. Below 20F, the coveralls go ON, no question.

Up to three inches of snow get the studded tires; until the roads are plowed, that's my limit. (One weekend last January, we got a FOOT of snow in one weekend -- everything shut down for a day, but the roads were plowed the next morning. Except MY street.....)]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ e6416c10-615f-11e4-8820-22000a4f82a6 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:42:04 GMT
Real Winter with Hills http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 0a0aa2ca-60a1-11e4-b694-22000a4f82a6 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:55:50 GMT Agreed. http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 473d9f8a-6074-11e4-8323-22000a4f82a6 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:35:25 GMT Copenhagen is FLAT http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 771e835c-6071-11e4-9335-22000a4f82a6 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:15:17 GMT I feel bad son http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 0ddfd4ac-606e-11e4-a8b4-22000a4f82a6 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:50:52 GMT It's simple, really http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ ca3e1cdc-605d-11e4-b011-22000a4f82a6 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:54:26 GMT Reverse snobbery? It seems you're trying to sell us on the idea of being a "real" urban cyclist by not looking like a "cyclist" -- and by spending a ton of money on your advertisers in the process.
I worry that by making cycling ironically "un-hip" (and thereby more "hip"), you are more sharply drawing the lines between those who ride in a "cool" way (because they can afford to live in cities and neighborhoods where it's safe and chic to ride) and those who ride because they cannot drive (i.e., too poor, DUI, etc.)
We do not all live in chic, expensive, clean cities with largely homogenous populations. I would love for Momentum to be among the vanguard in helping to change cycling culture for those who still cycling as the default of the drunk or poor and begin to really speak to and about underserved populations who could benefit from riding every day. The fashionista approach I too often find here has left a bad taste in my mouth.]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ eef0323e-6055-11e4-8860-22000a4f82a6 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:58:12 GMT
Maybe if you're only riding a mile...
I agree that fancy expensive gear is not needed, but "I don’t own any “cycling gear"" isn't going to work in my area.]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 6d0febb8-6052-11e4-b5b5-22000a4f82a6 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:33:06 GMT
Winter in Medford, MA http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 7794d9fc-bb4f-11e3-9ac7-1231380a02d9 Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:46:13 GMT It depends on where you ride http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 9afe7372-721f-11e3-979d-1231380a02d9 Tue, 31 Dec 2013 05:29:41 GMT No bad weather just inadequate gear http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 616c6890-71bf-11e3-a540-1231380a02d9 Mon, 30 Dec 2013 18:00:53 GMT Winter cycling lights http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ d9c69e24-718c-11e3-8e71-1231380a02d9 Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:59:11 GMT Calgary vs. Copenhagen
When I cycled through Chicago winters, I found that I did need to purchase slightly different gear than what I already owned. Wind-proofing and water-proofing is much more important on the bike, and full-length coats are impractical.]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 3770bbcc-7188-11e3-bc84-1231380a02d9 Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:26:01 GMT
We dress for winter, not for winter cycling http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ a2f9ce4e-7186-11e3-8c1b-1231380a02d9 Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:14:42 GMT I have to agree...
Some of my bikes are the upright European style that Mr Colville-Andersen likes, though I fear my riding attire would disappoint him, given that I do not wear skirts and high heels while I ride. (I don't wear heels when I'm off the bike either.) Some of my bikes aren't. The bikes and the clothing that I choose for any given ride vary considerably, based on several factors including the weather, how far I am going, whether I want to carry things with me, how fast I would like to go, and so forth.

Now, an extension of the above, specific to winter riding: I live in Calgary. Winter riding here *does* require some specialized clothing and equipment if you don't want to endanger yourself and/or reinforce other people's view of cycling as scary and dangerous. You know what? Walking and driving in Calgary during the winter ALSO require a certain amount of forethought and careful choice of gear. This is because it is freaking bloody cold sometimes. Funny thing, actually - did you know winter is different in different places??! Isn't that crazy? So no, the things that work in Copenhagen may not necessarily work in Calgary, even though they're further north than we are.

Going back to what I was saying about helping people get started cycling - attitudes like the one in this article don't help that. People might read it, try to ride without making any changes from their summer setup, and it will be scary and they will not enjoy it, and they will give up. I know this because I have talked to hundreds of people about exactly that scenario!

Knowledge is power. Choose the right tools for the job. Insert cliche phrase of your choice here.

And Mr Colville-Andersen? Come on back to Calgary. We'll go for a ride - me in my (not nearly $1000) semi-technical wardrobe, on my winterized bike with fenders and studded tires, and you in your regular winter clothes on the bicycle of your choice. I'm sure we'll both make it to our destination. I think I will be warmer, drier, and in a better mood though. ]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 49d0fa5c-6850-11e3-8113-1231380a02d9 Wed, 18 Dec 2013 17:52:59 GMT
New England commuter The marketing side of blogging is just like in your face advertising, and it does complicate the issue. Years ago I commuted in Goodwill/military surplus fashions. It works. I did break down and invest $200 in 2 "bike specific" (as in bought at the bike shop) pieces... Cannondale Morpheus jacket and pants. Mainly for the rainy cold stuff. Waterproof gloves and a warm hat from Marshalls, $35. This all keeps me dry and warm with standard layers I have or would buy regardless of riding or not. It's been cold this year and I start at 5 am... lately it's been teens and single digit temps. The snow isn't much of a bother - like any form of "transportation" you slow down and pick your lines. My concern with commuting here is the ice we tend to have. It has slowed me down but not thrown me so far. Traffic is a huge concern - distracted drivers, the odd a-hole that believes they own the road and we cyclists (and pedestrians) belong on another planet. My "cycling" jacket is neony green/yellow. I have put some money into lights. Be seen or be squished is my thought. Fenders are essential. The bike I ride most is an old Diamond Back that's turned out to be a great commuter and has served me well for 15 or so years.
The tone of the article I do understand. I find it a bit dis-heartening that "true riders" won't even cast a wave at the commuter. I shrug it off. I sit pretty upright on a funky looking bike in a very funky "kit", not the norm in this area. I used to drive a Jeep Wrangler, we had the "Wrangler Wave", and we all shared it whether you drove a basic or a highly modified model - we were part of something bigger.
I feel that we cyclists - commuters, racers, fixxies, off roaders, etc. - are definitely part of something bigger and better for our communities, ourselves and our planet. Can't we all just get along?]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 98fe085c-67df-11e3-81b4-1231380a02d9 Wed, 18 Dec 2013 04:26:19 GMT
Winter riding....
Special clothing? Other than the Shimano MT-33 hiker-style clipless shoes, I wear civvies for my commutes. Layers, varying according to temp/wind chill.

I DO own some lycra shorts -- wear them about 1x/year now. No jerseys, a couple wicking T's.

LIGHTS are 100x more important than wardrobe.]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ e16b651a-6782-11e3-883b-1231380a02d9 Tue, 17 Dec 2013 17:22:37 GMT
Struggling through winter...
Although I'm far from certain I know what a "citizen cyclist" is.

http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 9a64da3e-675f-11e3-a845-1231380a02d9 Tue, 17 Dec 2013 13:10:06 GMT
Get over yourselves http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ ad767ac0-5f9d-11e3-9548-1231380a02d9 Sat, 07 Dec 2013 16:14:17 GMT Just make sure to dress for the weather!
Anyway, I think the point he was trying to make, and which is getting lost in translation, is: You don't have to dress to BIKE, per se, but you have to dress for the WEATHER - and yes, sometimes that does mean buying gear. When it gets to a certain temperature nobody cares if you're wearing a fancy trenchcoat or your nice wool gloves. I made that mistake at -16 and I was sitting in class shivering for 20 minutes barely able to write from the cold. YES winter gear makes a difference. BUT dressing to go bike in a cold winter day does not have to be any different from dressing up to shovel your driveway, or go out skiing or skating. Just a note to anyone who has read those cycle blogs and gotten intimidated.

As for other things like tires, I have used both fat studs and normal tires, and yes the snow tires aren't necessary, albeit they do illicit some confidence. But all you really need is to be careful and be confident in yourself! ]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ ae52871e-5d7b-11e3-a796-1231380a02d9 Wed, 04 Dec 2013 23:05:53 GMT
The point is marketing. http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 10a8d7d8-5d6d-11e3-adaa-1231380a02d9 Wed, 04 Dec 2013 21:21:16 GMT Just few pieces of older clothing for winter +1. I bike 70% of all winter days in Calgary, Alberta where we get -15 to -25 degrees C temp. as the norm. I never bike in my dressy wool winter coats, just in an older 15-yr. old heavy Gortex longish jacket past my bum to keep warm. I scarcely doubt Copenhagen gets as cold as Alberta. Andersen is from this area. I don't want to smell up my wool winter coats and have an expensive dry cleaning bill. Sure I agree, winter cycling doesn't have to be expensive. I haven't gotten stud winter bike tires yet but my partner loves his set. I absolutely must wear my lobster claw cycling mitts since I have Reynauld's syndrome where my fingers over freeze at cold temp. No, I haven't cycled with my $280.00 pile lined knee high leather winter boots....I don't want to wear down the boot with my toe clips. Very warm winter boots for women that look stylish are...expensive. So it's my old mountain biking shoes. With ordinary sock layers.

So some minor clothing for winter cycling..and it's fine. My dress pants are way too cold for Alberta's winter cycling. And I wear $100.00 black jeans at work..don't plan to wear down the seat of those pants. So far..they've held up for 4 years....because I DON'T cycle in them.]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 9f2c4ffe-5ae2-11e3-b2fb-1231380a02d9 Sun, 01 Dec 2013 15:45:12 GMT
he's right
Anyway, waterproof gloves, some sort of windbreaking waterpoof shell, and the rest is mainly fashion. And even the worst fails learning what works are easy to laugh at (through chattering teeth of course)...as long as your digits are not yet numb :-/

Most importantly #rideon ...whatever your wearing.]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 5114c3fe-5a9d-11e3-82ed-1231380a02d9 Sun, 01 Dec 2013 07:29:06 GMT
Winter Ridin http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 9d011124-56c8-11e3-9f16-1231380a02d9 Tue, 26 Nov 2013 10:28:57 GMT In Praise of Less
I was surprised and delighted last winter to discover that almost none of the gear described as required (it's rarely "recommended") is at all necessary. Sure -- over the winter you'll learn which gloves / mitts work better, and how to layer, and whether you need tights (maybe an easier wardrobe decision for women like me, who winter ride in skirts). But there's no need to spend hundreds of dollars on specialized gear. Last year I bought new gloves to replace the cheap ones whose lining pulled out when my hands got sweaty. Total investment: $15. This year my total investment has been a bright fuchsia jacket a size too large (makes movement and layering easier) from Value Village, on sale for $7. Last year I was perfectly comfortable riding, and this year I'm hoping for the same. I live in Toronto, Canada, and have a 12 km X 2 commute that has me riding home at 10 pm.

Colville-Anderson makes valid points in this article -- not because expensive gear is a bad thing for those who need / prefer / can afford it, but because an excessive emphasis *only* on expensive gear dissuades regular commuters like me from winter riding. ]]>
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 019d0242-56c3-11e3-aa30-1231380a02d9 Tue, 26 Nov 2013 09:48:49 GMT
Winter rider I have always been someone who fights the "you need special clothing to cycle" BS and winter is no exception.
http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 397f9bc4-56bf-11e3-96a8-1231380a02d9 Tue, 26 Nov 2013 09:21:45 GMT
"Real bowlers" http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 9f528a68-56a8-11e3-ab34-1231380a02d9 Tue, 26 Nov 2013 06:39:57 GMT Amen http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 35374562-56a6-11e3-92e9-1231380a02d9 Tue, 26 Nov 2013 06:22:40 GMT Whole-Hearted Agreement http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 06f87d02-56a0-11e3-b12b-1231380a02d9 Tue, 26 Nov 2013 05:38:26 GMT Why the bitter tone?
I started cycling a few years ago, and didn't have much winter gear at all when I first decided to bike year round. Just as you suggest doing, I used my winter wardrobe, and it did indeed get me through the winter.

However, I was pretty miserable on many of my commutes - my wardrobe wasn't really built to be out in the freezing, slushy snow during my commute, let alone on longer recreational winter rides. I searched the web for tips, and yeah - a lot of the winter riding guides out there were elitist and out of touch. But there are also great guides out there, and I used their advice to invest in a few key items (like subzero rated gloves) and to improve my comfort during the harsh winter months.

Maybe this makes me less of an average joe, since I've decided not to show up to work dripping wet and frozen to the bone in my crappy cotton clothes. But I'd like to think that the average person would be interested in investing a small amount of money, time, or effort into making their winter commutes a bit less miserable. The photograph you've chosen to attach to this article shows a man with no ear, face, or hand protection. Sure, he's going places, but I can't imagine he's feeling very good about it! Spending $10 at a thrift store could go a long way for this fellow.

You should also be reminded that the money that I've spent on my winter riding gear pales in comparison to the amount of money that most of my US neighbors spend on their winter riding - cars, SUVs, and trucks cost a considerable amount more than my gloves, coat, and boots. I've basically paid for the superhuman ability to withstand the brutal winter elements, while still harnessing my body as an engine that gets me wherever I need to go. That's incredible, and I consider that worth the investment.

It took me a couple of years to get to this point, but I wouldn't consider myself an elitist bike snob. I volunteer at a co-op bike shop, and I give people my humble advice on how to get comfortable with the concept of winter riding. I stress that buying expensive gear isn't the only option, but I also know that it helps. I personally tend to wait until spring to buy gear at steep discounts, knowing that I'll use it next year. I also look for gear at thrift stores and yard sales. There's nothing wrong with doing so, and it seems a bit masochistic to suggest that people suffer through winter rides with whatever they've got, no matter how good or bad it is. That almost seems as objectionable as the "real cyclist" guides you so bitterly oppose!

http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 7eee6af6-5650-11e3-be5b-1231380a02d9 Mon, 25 Nov 2013 20:09:07 GMT
Yeah but http://momentummag.com/features/overcomplicating-winter-cycling-why-its-bad/ 0ddeaa8a-563a-11e3-a4ea-1231380a02d9 Mon, 25 Nov 2013 17:28:29 GMT