Extreme Cold Weather Riding

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Core10metal, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Turbo Ghost

    Turbo Ghost Been here awhile

    Sep 27, 2008
    I used to have a Fog City insert in all my visors. I rode at 15* below 0 Fahrenheit and blew directly on the insert to try to get it to fog and it absolutely would not fog! The downside is they scratch if you blink too hard! Mine got to scratched-up and was interfering with visibility so, I tossed it and haven't replaced it but, work has kept me off the bike more than usual lately so, it's not been an issue.
  2. HaChayalBoded

    HaChayalBoded Brooklyn Bored

    Oct 11, 2006
    BRC \ NYC
    It's been in the teens the past week or so. It was 9 degrees the other night.

    Now the new ride is a naked FZ6, so it's MUCH MUCH colder on that than it used to be on my two wheeled heater, the Concours. On the concours I could ride in a few less layers in these temps and I was just fine.

    I've been out every night, sometimes out for a few hrs on the highway. Here are the combinations I have tried over the last few days.

    First layer
    Rev'IT! compression shirt, I'll look up what model
    OR silk shirt
    OR outlast long sleeved shirt

    Second layer
    Outlast long sleeved shirt (only over the silk shirt, too hot w the Rev'IT!)
    OR Subzero, level 2 long sleeved turtle neck from BMG (never over the outlast)

    [sometimes I may wear a cheap walmart brand compression shirt over the two above to tighten things up a bit]

    Third layer, only UNDER 10 degrees AND at night, never over 10 or in the sun.
    wool sweater
    OR Aerostich Fleece
    OR Subzero, level 2 long sleeved turtle neck from BMG
    OR USMC expedition fleece

    Darien with liner
    -waterproof (but not windproof)
    -large pockets allow you to get stuff with gloves on
    -It doesn't feel as windproof as it should be
    -The liner (or even without) it "feels" cold.
    -raised arour allows cold air to circulate (when not wearing the liner)

    Moto Guzzi Grand raid jacket
    -Looks good off the bike
    -outlast liner is very thin and warm
    -seperate waterproof drop liner is thick, windproof and waterproof
    -Armour feels very secure and the jacket gives me a "safer" feeling
    -tall, soft fuzzy and cozy collar=very warm neck
    -outer shell doesn't bead water as it used to, but still does better than most
    -Can't wear as many turtle necks under it due to the collar. However I only wear one under this particular jacket anyway. (subzero)
    - I wish there was a zipper on the end of the sleeves to make putting gloves under them easier, however half of the wrist is stretchy so you can just grab it and pull it over your gloves. This is only an issue with THICK gloves.

    Roadgear Oregon Trail jacket
    -Thick leather is very windproof
    -Looks great off the bike
    -Lots of pockets
    -nice tall corduroy collar
    -leather outer will insulate better than any nylon\cordura outer layer
    -Not all day rain waterproof

    Gloves were a pair of EXO2 heated gloves NOT PLUGGED IN
    I alternated between that and a pair of BSX welding gloves
    I also have a pair of thick and warm Belstaff insulated gloves, now if I could only remember who I lent them too.....

    On my head\face I alternated between
    a schampa (thick fleece on the neck, thin part on top of the head).
    An Aerostich Wind triangle. I have 3 or 4 different kinds, I wear the fleece one.
    I used to wear a cyclone or typhoon buff, but i lent it to someone....and they stole it. :lol3

    On my legs I alternate between these 3

    Olympia Ranger 2 pants with it's liner
    Pros -
    waterproof OUTER
    liner is slick and insulated and has it's own pockets and can be worn on their own.
    Full side zip.
    Fit over boots (Gearne Balance Oiled, Aerostich CBT)

    Cons -
    the liner is made of nylon taffetta. It's slick and slippery which is good, but it is not "warm" feeling against your skin. So it takes a while to be warm. It also will cause you to sweat once you get off the bike or are hanging out inside where someone has turned the heat way up. Thankfully I only ride in these temps to places where I'll be taking my pants off. :evil

    Darien pants with TLtec2 fleece pants
    Pro -
    They look like normal pants, which in these temps is good since I do not need to take off any over pants.
    TLtec fleece liner feelse nice, except for the cold zipper touching your bare skin. As well as the hard velcro tabs.
    Cons -
    I feel like the pants are not as windproof as something with goretex should be.
    The thick armour keeps the pants off your skin, causing cold air to circulate. Even Aerostichj tells you to remove the armour in cold weather.....
    Without a liner the goretex feels cold against your skin, but then again most people wear these as over pants.

    Icon Barrier jeans.
    One pair of pants with 4 layers, FOUR LAYERS.
    Layer 1 is 100wt fleece, feels nice and warm as soon as you put em on.
    Layer 2 is Kevlar\Aramid in strategic places
    Layer 3 is a windproof waterproof layer, not sure what it is but it is a thick rubbery feel to it (I know this because I have another pair that's been torn up working under bikes)
    Layer 4 is the denim.
    On the outside of the knees is a second layer of denim with another layer of Aramid\Kevlar between the two, which gives you some extra wind protection on your knees.

    No real armour to speak of.
    Since the outside layer is denim it will soak and get heavy in the wet. However that is generally not a problem in these temps.

    Been trying a few different socks lately.
    Wigwam outlast socks - nice, thick cushion, warm, I've worn these for up to a week at a time without them stinking.
    North Face outlast socks - These I do not like so much, the material feels cold
    Thick wool socks, these I like the best, as evidenced by the big wear holes on the bottom. I sometimes wear these over thin dress shoe outlast socks.

    Usually Gearne Balance Oiled
    -3 clips make putting them on and taking them off a cinch.
    - truly waterproof

    - That small velcro tab on top gets caught on my socks or pants all the time, causing wear on those items.
    - I feel like I sweat more in these.
    sometimes Aerostich CBT lights
    - They look like normal boots (so did the Gearne, until the left toe turned black)
    - Waterproof, but not claimed to be
    - Not really waterproof, but unless you're standing in a puddle for a while they should be just fine.
    - I hate the speed lace crap and all that velcro.
    other times my Vendramini Marathon Steels.
    - Lighter and thinner than the two above
    - waterproof\windproof
    - super comfortable, like an old pair of sneakers
    - May not be as protective as say the Gearne, but that's based on nothing more than the physical size and thickness
    - Velcro closure (in addition to two super cool ratcheting closures)
    - depending on the pants you wear, the shorter boot might let more wind up your pants.
  3. bob393

    bob393 Been here awhile

    Dec 23, 2010
    Goshen, NY
    I'm a year round commuter also and so far this year the coldest has been 1.5 deg F.
    I use warm and safe products, all four, gloves jacket, pants, and socks with a two channel wireless remote. On long trips I put that under my stitch two piece suite with a silk belaclave, yeah what are the chances of that being spelled right, under my Nolan helmet with the double face shield, micro pin I think, and except for my glasses fogging up occasionally it works. Plus you can clear your glasses by lifting up on the shield for a moment. I find the belaclave a must because a wind leak on my neck is unacceptable! On the short trips I don't use the full suite. I have Darian jacket with a polar fleece liner and that works but you have to time the trip. Much over a few files and you will get cold. If I'm wearing the socks I use a pair of Icon boots but with out the socks I use heavily insulate winter Wolverine work boots with wool socks and again it seems fine for short to medium trips. I do plug the bike into a battery tender and use 5w-30 synthetic oil and she starts OK, at least she never let me down.
  4. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Nov 11, 2005
    Gold Coast
    Hard shell leg protectors work wonders (cheap MX style). They stop the air getting to your legs in the first place, and particularly help around the knees where the airflow is highest and natural insulation the thinnest.

    One other comment, heated gear is great, but if the bike stops, the heat stops - so if you are riding somewhere isolated, make sure the gear is good enough to cope without the extra heat input.

  5. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

    May 2, 2012
    The far east of the far east of North America
    I ride all winter on an old style KLR as my salty beater. Not much wind protection on it so i use long underwear and alot of layers. -13C was my coldest ride last year but have not hit that yet this winter. Heated vest was my only electrics and that malfunctioned last spring so i have to replace it someday. I found if my core was warm i could deal with the extremities. Once my body got cold the bloodflow to my fingers/toes was compromised.
  6. pingvin

    pingvin Been here awhile

    Nov 17, 2008
    Kongsberg, Norway
    What found works:

    - Wool base layers, even 2 thin layers on upper body (not too tight second layer). Even wool boxers.
    - Smart wool socks
    - Held winter gloves
    - If very cold (like below 20 fahrenheit), heated vest, soles, gloves
    - EDZ inner shell, blocks wind and insulates. Takes no space (really) an make a HUGE difference. Also available as pants. http://www.thermalshop.co.uk/product/innershell__jacket_black
    - Textile jacket with thermal liner on top. Textile pants.
    - Mostly prefer visor as can adjust opening while riding to avoid fog and less wind in face.
    - Breath box and balaclava with wind stopper.
    - Ugly giant hand guard extensions...makes a huge difference at speed

  7. pingvin

    pingvin Been here awhile

    Nov 17, 2008
    Kongsberg, Norway
    That is so true, "everyone" think textile is warmer but leather is great when cold. But for winter riding my leather gear isn't roomy enough as want tight fit for safety reasons. But great down to freezing temps.
  8. max384

    max384 Bandaided

    Nov 23, 2011
    Eagle Rock, PA
    I commute throughout the winter here in northeast PA as long as the roads are free of snow/ice. I wear leather overpants and a leather (nonperfed) jacket. I have leather Goretex boots, a Shampa Tall Deck dickie, and Gerbings gloves. I then try to wear a long sleeve shirt underneath of it. This gets me by for my half hour highway commute so far down into the low single digits (Fahrenheit).

    The only two things that I feel are necessities in really cold weather are my double-paned helmet visor and heated gloves. This keeps my fingers warm and able to safely use the hand controls, and lets me see without a frosted visor. As long as I've got those two things, I'm good to go for my commute.

    My current setup leaves me pretty cold when I get to my destination, but for a half-hour commute, it's fine. If I were to go any further in temps colder than say 20 degrees F, I'd need to figure out something a bit better.