How cold can you ride in?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by freetors, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. freetors

    freetors Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,044
    Location:
    Collinsville, OK
    What is the coldest temperature you guys comfortably ride in with and without heated gear? I'm going to define comfortable as not shivering and you can still feel all of your limbs so that you can safely operate the bike. Please specify how much wind protection your bike has too. I don't want this to turn into some machismo pissing match (although I'm sure it will) about how tough you guys are.
    #1
  2. rgoers

    rgoers Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    372
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    30'F or above. '09 KLX250, virtually no wind protection. Wearing snowmobile gear (jacket, gloves, dual-pane face shield on full-face helmet, wind-proof neckie). My commute is very short - less than 5 miles - mostly 55 MPH and under. There... no pee... :evil
    #2
  3. DR Donk

    DR Donk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    434
    Location:
    Western Michigan
    I had previously started a thread similar to this but it's always good to read others opinions. The coldest I will ride in is 28-30 degrees farenheit. DR650 no heated grips.
    #3
  4. Schickmeister

    Schickmeister Youngin'

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,683
    Location:
    Your Mom's House
    7 degrees F was my record.

    Gerbings made it a non-issue.
    #4
  5. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    11,254
    Location:
    Tampa
    7 F here too, lowest its gotten anywhere I've been. No problems there. I was on the TLS, heated grips and heated vest. Feet and fingers got a little cold after an hour on the freeway but nothing serious. I think I could go to about -2000000F on the buell it throws off so much heat :lol3
    #5
  6. David R

    David R I been called a Nut Job..

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,719
    Location:
    In Da Swamps of WNY
    34f much afraid of ice. 20 miles to work. Carharts, windshield, gloves. . . .
    #6
  7. (none)

    (none) poser

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,652
    Location:
    Middle of nowhere Georgia
    Made the mistake of making the highway trek to work one morning when it was somewhere between 5-9F out. Frost formed on the inside of my faceshield and i was quite cold. I will routinely ride in the 20s though. Good gear and heated grips/jackets are fantastic.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. AdrenalinJunkie

    AdrenalinJunkie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    West Pensacola
    They say a picture's worth a thousand words, well that pic made me shiver, and I think my peen just turned turtle;)
    #8
  9. Hamon

    Hamon I just like riding

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    289
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    My first year bike commuting I did not have heated grips. I think it got down to about -10C (12 or so degrees F) and after a 20 mile commute, I'd be pretty cold. This was on a KLR650 with a built-up fairing and Acerbis "touring" handguards.

    At that point, I had a Belstaff jacket with a quilted liner, wore a scarf, and had FirstGear HT 2.0 overpants with the quilted liner in. For hand protection, it was Alpinestars WR-2 gloves with Aerostich Triple Digit glove covers over top.

    The hands were the worst. It got so bad that I could hardly use them to brake and clutch when I got to work. The subsequent years after, I've had heated grips, and that has made all the difference. Last year, I also upgraded to knock-off Hippo Hands, and those, combined with heated grips, make any cold ride heavenly.

    These days I still don't use any heated gear other than grips, and for my year-round riding in the BC Fraser Valley (think Pacific Northwest climate), it works just fine for me!

    As for the pic from (none), I had that happen a couple times, but it was on the outside: the result of ice fog. Those were silly mornings, wiping down the face shield with a numb hand in heavy traffic.

    Travis
    #9
  10. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,897
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico
    Naturally it depends how long I'm on the bike. In my previous experience I can do 30 minutes at 20*F before I start to shiver and then start to have extremities go numb.

    I've ridden once when it was 12*F and didn't have a very good time. I was out for 15-20 minutes before I said "screw this" and went home.
    #10
  11. IheartmyNx

    IheartmyNx Ihave2draft

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,910
    Location:
    Nashville TN, no chit, police state.
    9. a very dry, and 0 snow and ice, 9.
    #11
  12. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,465
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    They salt heavy around here, so I quit for the winter to avoid destroying the bikes.
    #12
  13. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,290
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    i commuted on my bike starting in january last winter (when my truck broke down). there were a few days where it was around 10*F. no heated gear. wasn't bad with good moutaineering gloves, parka, pants, etc. (basically dressed like i was going to climb denali). it's a pretty short commute, though.

    i got a Respro Foggy breath deflector thingie that worked really well for preventing my faceshield from fogging/frosting up.

    i did a 125 mile trip (mostly at about 50mph) in 20*F with the same set up. the first 80 miles or so was fine. after that, it started to be not much fun as my core temp started to drop. i never lost feeling or motor control, but i was chilled to the bone, and it took a little while in a hot shower until my core temperature was back up to normal.

    (my body is good at handling cold...very bad at handling heat. so, ymmv.)

    ETA: oh...bike is a DRZ400s. no wind protection.
    #13
  14. car94

    car94 What's this Box for?

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,366
    Location:
    West Central Missouri
    −459.67 °f
    #14
  15. gimpy9195

    gimpy9195 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    816
    Location:
    Sumter, SC
    Coldest I've rode was 45F. But that was Vegas. We'll see about here in SC come winter.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #15
  16. Tom327Cat

    Tom327Cat T-Dub rider

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    147
    Location:
    Palmer, Alaska
    Really a lot of variables here, off road, on my TW I have been out in -10 for an hour or so with no electrics. Only notible change to my riding gear would be a thin fleece hat under my balaclava and a "No Fog" breath deflector, but that is working hard to keep the bike upright and low speeds. On my road bike the limiting factor is road ice and my hands getting cold. I have brush guards and shields that are good for a couple of hours in the mid 30's, but those"Hippo Hands" things were a big improvement. Those and heated grips make core body temp my only concern.
    #16
  17. RocketMan

    RocketMan Out Rocketing

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    879
    Location:
    Woodbridge VA
    These days its not so much an issue of staying warm unlike back when I first started riding in the states in 1970, its more an issue of road conditions. If there is ice or a good chance of it, I usually don't bother, just not worth the risk. Now back in the day....... when all I had was two wheeled I'd take a greater risk just to ensure I kept my then current job if public trans was not convenient. Lowest I've ridden in is prob. around mid teens around town, mid 20's on a longer day ride.

    RM
    #17
  18. B1

    B1 Carbon-based bipedal

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,755
    Location:
    Arse-trailer
    <a href="http://s1134.photobucket.com/albums/m602/snailtrails/Martina%20loses%20her%20Husaberg%20FE390/?action=view&amp;current=antarctica.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/m602/snailtrails/Martina%20loses%20her%20Husaberg%20FE390/antarctica.jpg" border="0" alt="then something cooler before heading back"></a>

    i'd rather photoshop a bike into a cold environment from a warm lounge room.... :D
    #18
  19. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    12,315
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    I used to ride an hour and a half to work on my Ninja, with winter temps in the 20-30 F range. I didn't have much in the way of cold weather gear, just sweat pants under jeans, a wool flannel under my leather jacket, and some cheap leather ski gloves. My throat would hurt for about an hour after arriving at work, until I bought a fleece throat protector.
    #19
  20. jfurf

    jfurf Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    942
    Location:
    The ATL, aka Spaghetti Junction
    Last March I rode from Atlanta to Philadelphia via the Blue Ridge Parkway. I did this on my 100% naked SV1000 and with no heated gear. I was wearing fairly thick insulated riding gloves and a very nice (and very warm) Tecnic Stinger touring jacket.

    On day 1, at higher elevations near Asheville, NC the temps got into the 30s but I kept riding and riding and riding. Bad idea. I lost feeling in the tip of two fingers, which lasted MONTHS before full feeling came back. I can't say it was a majorly huge deal because it didn't affect my ability to use my digits or anything, but still. Kind of freaked me out because I truly didn't feel any numbness at all while I was riding.

    I thought I could keep on going but in hindsight I probably pushed it a little too hard. The moral of this story: Protect yer fingers. They are easily the most important (and difficult) body part to keep warm. :deal
    #20