How to prepare for winter?

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How to prepare for winter?

Postby lunar_c » Thu May 19, 2011 3:06 pm

Hi all,

I'm moving into my new place shortly which means I am finally near a train line and much more central, so my dream of selling my car and commuting by bicycle is getting closer!

So I've got a few questions with your recommendations on how to prepare for winter.

I've already got panniers (Topeak rack, MTX expanding panniers) to carry my stuff, some very bright lights (Blackburn Voyager 2.0 / Mars Click) and reflectors front and rear to be seen (I wear jerseys that are brightly coloured also) and have some arm warmers and long skins at the ready, and I'll switch to a lubricant for the chain that suits wet weather. I've got singlets to wear under my jerseys but generally don't feel the cold too badly.

That just leaves a rain slick .. any recommendations on inexpensive light rain slicks that breathe? I don't want to spend $150 on a rain jersey.

Do I need to think of anything else?
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by BNA » Thu May 19, 2011 3:51 pm

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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby jules21 » Thu May 19, 2011 3:51 pm

if you want a rain jacket that breathes- you will pay good money. a cheaper alternative is to make like a flasher and shed some of the other clothing underneath of it.
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby lunar_c » Mon May 23, 2011 1:25 am

So far so good .. was out in the thunder storms the other night and the hi-vis rain jacket I bought for $25 worked well. I bought a size smaller than I usually would and it's quite fitted, which means less flapping about and it's not too bad to cycle in.

I've also got some arm warmers and some full length skins on the way - I'm determined to keep cycling all winter.

My feet get bloody cold though .. the vents in my shoes let the water up in through the sole, going to have to fashion some "plugs" for those.

Has anyone here used the lycra shoe covers? Do they help with warmth?

PS : I need a front mudguard .. my topeak rack works as a rear guard basically so .. any recommendations?
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby HappyHumber » Mon May 23, 2011 8:59 am

I've got away with commuting in Perth for the better part of 10 years with no specialist rain jacket. I long ago learnt, anything cheap just makes you sweat more underneath it by not being breathable. I think in Perth it's more important to protect yourelf against the cold. +1 for arm warmers and their versatility. I wear a singlet under the jersey... and on on those few sub 5c days we get some sort of head scarf or beanie for under the helmet to protect the ears.

A cheaper option than a dedicated. exxy jacket is if you can keep a spare change of riding clothes at your destination so if do get caught out its not so miserable getting back into wet or damp clothes when it's time to go home.

depending on your facilities at work/uni etc.. learn where (if) you can hang stuff to dry or get some ventilation around it. Learn to see where you can find old newspaper for stuffing in your shoes to wick out the moisture. Changed a couple of times through out the day I find goes a long way to drying out shoes
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby lunar_c » Mon May 23, 2011 11:33 am

That's a clever little trick Kim!

+1 for thin raglan singlet under the jersey .. works a charm and still breathes.
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby HappyHumber » Mon May 23, 2011 12:12 pm

Wring stuff out as much as possible. then putting it between layers of news papers and doing a quick little dance on top of it.. hang it out. The less residual moisture there is the quicker the stuff remaining will wick away with a bit of air around it.

The newspaper trick is an old old one... probably around since before Brooks saddles were a new thing ;) Along with cleaning the BBQ, I find it's the only good thing the West Australian is consistently good for*

But of course - the need to attend to things again through out your work or study day is mitigated against a change of the basics as back up. It really depends on your facilities and if you're able to hang stuff anywhere.


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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby goneriding » Mon May 23, 2011 12:14 pm

MacGyver the holes in the bottom of your shoes with some duct tape to keep the water out. As far as booties are concerned, I'm on my 3rd set and haven't managed to find any combination that keep my feet dry (the current set are yet to be tested). I've got a set of neoprene ones and on the couple of cold mornings (5 degrees) we've had in Sydney they've been very good!

Raincoat wise +1 to you get what you pay for. Cheap = sweaty or "resistant" (i.e. will protect you from a single drop and nothing else). I've gone the other way where I keep the amount of clothing to a minimum when it is raining (feet excluded) because trying to get everything dry between commutes is tricky so wearing the thin knicks, shirts etc makes getting them dry before heading out again easier. If it's cold as well as wet I'll generally take some extra gear to use for the home trip.

The other wet weather tip I have is wearing a cap as it will reduce the amount of water getting on your glasses and into your eyes.

One final tip. Get more visible! I am currently riding with three lights on the back and two on the front. I've also got a hi-vis vest that I wear over my backpack and reflective ankle straps.

Hope that helps
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby HappyHumber » Mon May 23, 2011 12:24 pm

I dunno.. maybe I kid myself how much I do ride over the winter months; I think some years I've been better than others but I can probably count the number of days here in Perth where I have started my journey in rain and it ended it rain. Very often it's a shower just as I leave then gives me a good chance to wick dry whilst moving for the remainder of the trip. The annoying days are where I employ measures from my last post - and it positively p!55e5 down for the last 3 or 4km towards journeys end.

in Perth I think a bigger issue is road spray from the wet roads in between showers. +1 for daggy but practical mudguards.
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby goneriding » Mon May 23, 2011 12:48 pm

There are also those days where it doesn't matter how much wet weather protection you have it only prevents the inevitable. I had one of those a couple of years ago when the heavens opened and I don't recall ever seeing so much water appear out of the sky! So much so that I got wet from the water running through the vents in my helmet and down my neck! Going over the ANZAC bridge there were sheets of water coming over the barrier from cars hammering into me. Lilyfield Rd had a river running down it about an inch deep. I crossed Parramatta Rd where the water was ankle deep in the cleats at 6 o'clock. I double flatted at the intersection and, in my misery, rode the rest of the way with 2 flat tyres!

On that day a snorkel and flippers would have been more beneficial than my raincoat!

I reckon it took at least 2 days before all the water came out of me!
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby lunar_c » Tue May 24, 2011 1:22 pm

Agreed on Perth rain being somewhat "transient" Kym, I'm just trying to make a big change here (commuting solely by bicycle / public transport and selling my car so it's down to one car between myself and my fiance who will also be cycling to work but is less inclined to do so in the rain) so trying to make sure I'm prepared for anything!
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby HappyHumber » Tue May 24, 2011 2:48 pm

It's all good, Ben.. you're starting with the right attitude and that's the main thing.

the amount of times I get (this time of year) "Oh, isn't it a bit cold to ride isn't it?"
(the increasingly rare wet days) "Oh it's a bit wet to ride isn't it?"
(summer) "Oh, it's a bit warm to ride isn't it?" ... You get the idea....

To which I respond "One excuse usually waits for the next"*

And to quote Billy Connolly (I think it was) "There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing"

* Disclaimer : I only apply this wisdom to stuff I actually want to do; as opposed to work, household chores, tax returns, legal paperwork, visiting relatives et cetera et cetera
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby Lizzy » Tue May 24, 2011 3:30 pm

lunar_c wrote:PS : I need a front mudguard .. my topeak rack works as a rear guard basically so .. any recommendations?


I'd be interested in some wisdom here too - at the moment I'm using a rack & rack bag, and figured the rack would function basically as a rear mudguard, but sadly my rack bag still got comprehensively sprayed with gunge during my first wet commute the other week. Any other rack users put a mudguard on as well? I already have a bit of a "hodge-podge" situation happening :P
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby lunar_c » Tue May 24, 2011 4:12 pm

Well I went for a ride the other night in the thunder storms (I was desperate for some exercise after being at uni all day) and my knicks didn't get all the road spray on them, with just my rear rack in place. I got a cheap front guard the other day that clips onto the downtube but I think since I've got a fair bit of Topeak stuff on my commuter already and like it I might take it back (haven't fitted it yet) and get the Topeak road set .. I hear they also make a rear fender that goes onto the Super Tourist MTX / etc rear guards as an additional form of protection.
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby jet-ski » Tue May 24, 2011 4:45 pm

my wet weather bike has SKS mudguards and a rear rack... keeps my pannier clean

mudguards also keep a lot the sand and grit off the cables routed under bottom brackets/up seat tubes.... and on the front they keep some of it off your headset....
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby HappyHumber » Tue May 24, 2011 4:50 pm

Lizzy wrote:
lunar_c wrote:PS : I need a front mudguard .. my topeak rack works as a rear guard basically so .. any recommendations?

--8<--- Any other rack users put a mudguard on as well? I already have a bit of a "hodge-podge" situation happening :P


I have a fuller length pair of SKS Chromoplastics and a Topeak Super Tourist DX Rack on my reborn old 80s Ricardo. I am pretty happy with the set up, although the panniers still manage to cop a bit of spray and sand on the inside. I just have a bannister/dustpan brush handy where I park my bike to get the worst of it off.

per Jet-ski's comments about the cable routing; not an issue for me since my commuter is fixed ;)



Depending on the style and type of your bikes, another different model of the SKS mudguards (or similar style) maybe in order - but generally the longer the length, and the more wheel hugging, the beter the protection. I'm not a huge fan of the under down-tube mount or seat post mount blade guard set ups.

I am probably going to make some skirt extensions (a.k.a. mudflaps) for the end of my 'guards once I find some suitable material; hopefully leather. Have to get me self some little reflective Kappa girls to stick on them to be fully sick, mate ;)
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby il padrone » Tue May 24, 2011 7:19 pm

lunar_c wrote: I might take it back (haven't fitted it yet) and get the Topeak road set ..

Get the SKS Chromoplastic or the PlanetBike Cascadia. They are far more reliable mudguards in use, with more durable mounts. They are exxy if bought local, but much cheaper from OS online shops.
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby DavidS » Tue May 24, 2011 9:12 pm

I have full SKS mudguards and a Brooks leather mudflap on the front. They are great, keep just about all the road moisture off me. I might get wet but it's not very dirty water since it's coming from the sky not the road. I've seen a lot of smaller mudguards covering only part of the wheel and I just don't think they do the job. Full mudguards are just great if you get stuck in the rain.

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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby Mulger bill » Tue May 24, 2011 9:23 pm

Can't beat full length mudguards tho' I MacGyvered a mudflap from Lezyne pump packaging.
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby HappyHumber » Tue May 24, 2011 9:31 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Can't beat full length mudguards tho' I MacGyvered a mudflap from Lezyne pump packaging.


+1 I want something a waaaay cheaper than a Brooks branded flap of cow hide, but on the same token a bit less Ghetto than a hacked up piece plastic sign or drink bottle as I've seen elsewhere. I want to sew some shoe protectors around the cages of my toe clips so if I manage to find a leather remnants place I'll hopefully get the same piece of scrap(s) to do both those & the mudguard.
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby il padrone » Tue May 24, 2011 10:46 pm

HappyHumber wrote:I want something a waaaay cheaper than a Brooks branded flap of cow hide, but on the same token a bit less Ghetto than a hacked up piece plastic sign or drink bottle as I've seen elsewhere.


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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby Mulger bill » Wed May 25, 2011 8:01 pm

Mine don't look ghetto :(

It woulda if I didn't have that rattlecan but it aint gonna fall off like the factory one did :roll:
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby HappyHumber » Wed May 25, 2011 10:02 pm

I guess in lieu of leather, you could be fairly creative with the black plastic sheets ~A4 size that come in the bottom of the "Green" shopping bags.
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby lunar_c » Wed May 25, 2011 11:51 pm

Haha nice!
I think I'll go the topeak stuff..
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Re: How to prepare for winter?

Postby lunar_c » Thu May 26, 2011 5:19 pm

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll ... K:MEWNX:IT

Got a pair of these for the flat bar road bike for winter commuting .. very similiar to the planet bike road guards, but cheaper.
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