How to Deal with Cold Weather

Hey everybody,
I know that majority of people here have low body fats. I was 86 kg and lost 13kg last year. Since then, I feel cold almost every time in my daily life. In my home country, winters are 5 degree santigrad and it was a though winter for me. And this year I moved to a colder country and winter is coming.
Do you feel also always cold in your daily life? Can get used to it by time?

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Buy some good cold weather gear :+1:

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They make some really good and inexpensive thermal full length bibs. The fleece on the inside really helps. Layers helps, base layer, thermal jersey, and either a wind vest or a full vest depending on the temperature. full shoe covers, winter gloves, a neck gaiter and a skull cap. Also, the option to go indoors is really appealing to me.

I have a set of pedals that have flats on one side and SPD on the other i leave on for winter. I find i stay sooo much warmer in real winter boots and just live with not being clipped in. Even in insulated cycling shoes a metal thing connected from your shoe to your bike is a giant radiator from the bottoms of your feet. If the intervals are hard enough you need to be clipped in and its 15 outside, its gonna happen on the trainer.

I have a set of mittens originally used for snowboarding. Its harder to shift but its not that huge a deal. The key is they are a size big so its super easy to pull them off to do phone stuff or whatever and put them back on quickly.

There is a company out there that makes gloves that look like cotton garden gloves but they are actually waterproof and just awesome 35-50 degree days.

workouts all move inside, outside is just for fun on the days the weather happens to be great. 10-15 degrees outside is actually fun if there is no wind and its sunny and there is compacted snow. 38 and salty slushy windy mess? hard pass.

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Fizik Artica boots are a furnace in the winter. Consider sizing half a size up for thicker socks. Avoid constricting blood flow with gear.

Avoid removing gloves mid ride. Hands get sweaty but exposing that to the cold air is a recipe for frozen hands for the rest of the ride.

There are a number of existing topics worth a look, with respect to clothing at least.

Hey guys, actually my question is about daily life instead of outside rides.

Turn up the heat when inside, if possible. Wear more and/or better clothes when inside and/or outside.

There is no real magic or secret hiding here if general life and warmth are the issue in cold climates.

my earlier advice applies, buy and wear good cold weather clothing.

as i sit in my non-climate controlled basement home gym and the thermometer reads 86 degrees, i love this thread…

I’m not sure body fat is the determining factor, I’m fairly slim and always hot. When doing colder weather rides, I’m amazed at how much more clothing most people have on than me. I often wake up very hot at night.

Maybe wear a wool hat while indoors. That’s what I do when working from home in winter. I live in a cold climate and keep the heat down to 64F (18C). Partly to save money, but also more comfortable for me.

True if youve always been fairly slim but losing a lot of weight fairly quickly does make you suddenly feel cold in my experience.

In 2014 I went from 88kg to 74kg over the summer (took up cycling…), I was living in Aberdeen (Scotland) at the time and from sort of September onwards I was absolutely freezing all the time. I just wore more clothes though, does seem to be the obvious solution.

I seem to have acclimatised now, since these days I sit around 71-73kg and dont feel the cold that much.

Some observations from a lifetime in Norway where winter temps (where I live, south east Norway) normally is in the -5 to -20 C range with some humidity which makes it worse. And for reference, I am 179cm and 67kg (5 '10, 147 lbs) so there’s not much natural insulation to speak of

  • Layers of clothing is key. Wool as the innermost layer, something windproof as outer layer and zero to multiple intermediary layers as needed.
  • Keep hands, feet and head warm. Wool socks, mittens (wool lining) not gloves, Wool beanie. windproof outer shell if windy.
  • Avoid gaps in transitions between garments, especially wrists, ankles and neck.
  • You absolutely get used to it. First cold days in the autumn I am always cold, but body adjusts in a couple of weeks. Same thing other way around in spring when first warm day arrives. Anecdote: after being in military boot camp for 3 months in -20 to -30 degrees everyday in my youth, -5 felt like nothing afterwards.
  • Moving your body beats standing still every time.

All of these tips become more important as the temperature drops and/or your time outside increases. Sloppy clothing choices you can get away with in -5 when outside for half an hour, you will definitely feel when it’s -15 and you’re outside for 3 hours.

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I definitely run colder now that I did when I was significantly heavier/ morbidly obese.

Whether related or not, I’ve also developed circulation issues. I was tested for anything underlying for the circulation (there isn’t), and during the course of those tests I was told the key thing for cold extremities is to keep your core warm.

I’ve no idea of the science backing, but n=1 it seems to work for me and I’ve downgraded my glove and sock requirements since I’ve focussed more on that.

Re-invigorating this topic as it’s now / almost off-season and turning cold in parts of the northern hemisphere. I’d like to continue biking outside even as the weather cools, and am looking for specific advice on types of clothing as well as specific items.

When I was running I had my clothing dialed in based on temperature and “over thought” it to the point of creating a table. Assuming a 20 mph wind chill, the right hand column is when I would start adding the various layers. However, I’m less familiar with what other cycling gear is available or any specific recommendations (the left most column is running-centric). Thanks in advance for the help!!

Welcome to Scotland. Ive a pretty low body weight (circa 60kg) and I find that wind proofing and staying dry are the key when on the bike. @rkoswald I prefer a good soft shell and avoid a plastic waterproof, as the latter has got the tendency to make you wet from sweat which gets cold, whereas a softshell is more breathable. If I need too extra thin layers help when the weather is at its coldest. The other thing which is good for me is over shoes wind proof when its dry and neoprene when its not. Glove wise I like on the coldest day to wear a thin pair of winter running gloves under a pair of waterproof cycling gloves and put them into my pocket at the cafe if it has warmed up. I hope this isn’t too an incoherent post as I really should be sleeping :sleeping::slightly_smiling_face:

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Under 60F it’s bib tights and a thermal long sleeve jersey. Under 50F add a wicking base layer (cheap Costco 32 degree brand). If it’s windy I’ll add a vest. Under 40F it’s my jacket and base layer. I’ve got 3 different gloves depending on temps.

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You totally get used to it. I moved from Kyushu in Japan (with super hot, humid summers) to Ontario in Canada. Your perception of cold adapts. In Toronto, once the temperatures hit 10 degrees, it felt like T-shirt time :wink:

IMHO cycling outdoors is limited by the conditions of the road. You totally can make cycling infrastructure that works in the winter (just google Olulu cycling winter), but it depends on the environment. Also, it depends on speed and bike type. I strictly do my endurance winter kilometers on my mountain bike, preferably with my kid(s) in tow. They’ll prevent me from going fast, and sliding out at 20 km/h isn’t a biggie on a mountain bike. These endurance rides are actually quite fun.

On the bike, you will need proper clothes. In a sense, if there is proper snow you are safer than when you are just around freezing. One of the most dangerous experiences on the bike was when I flirted with proper hypothermia. I had checked the weather and all, and it seemed to be below freezing. But then it started raining too hard 1/3 of the way in the ride. My softshell jacket and other layers got wet and I then got really cold. I was in the Japanese countryside and looked for a shopping center. I finally found one and bought two new thermal shirts (which are fortunately very cheap) and re-heated my core for about 1 hour with hot green tea and hot water. I was shaking uncontrollably. That could have been avoided had I packed a proper rain jacket.

Here is a minimal list:

  • Arm warmers and leg warmers.
  • An additional pair of cycling shorts (I use mountain biking over shorts). They shield my groin area from the elements.
  • Overshoes.
  • A skull cap, preferably one that is fleeced.
  • A merino base layer.
  • A softshell jacket or winter jersey.
  • A rain coat.
  • If it gets really cold, I’d also get a pair of winter bibs. (I use an old pair of winter running leggings. When running they are easily good until -15 degrees, on the bike they aren’t as good because there is more wind.
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I think it comes to much the same thing for most folks round here. :wink:

My choices based on body part from lightest to warmest. There are a lot of options and it’s often good not to pick the warmest option, but rather the option that lets you layer so you can remove items as it warms up. Vest and Sleeves over a Jersey with a Base is not a bad option down to 50F. Especially if sunny with a warm up towards the end of the ride.

Head and Neck

  • Nothing
  • Ear Warmers
  • Skull Cap
  • Neck Gaiter
  • Balaclava

Body

  • Summer Jersey
  • Base Layer
  • Arm Sleeves
  • Wind Vest
  • Long Sleeve Jersey (winter)
  • Winter Jacket
  • Rain Gilet

Hands

  • Half Finger Gloves
  • Full Finger Gloves
  • Cool Weather Gloves
  • Cold Weather Gloves

Lower Body

  • Bib Shorts
  • Knee Warmers
  • Leg Warmers
  • Fleece Lined 3/4 Bibs
  • Fleece Lined Full Bib Tights

Socks and Feet

  • Regular Socks
  • Wool Socks
  • Toe Covers
  • Full Shoe Covers
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