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Enjoy The Ride
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I just add layers & ride. I have heated gloves for the daylong trips & a heated visor.
 

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So it’s cold here in Minnesota!! But I am not ready to stop riding!!! Have put together some tips for how to enjoy the chilly weather. Would love to hear yours!

The Secret to Enjoying Cold Weather Rides
Here in NH. It's been 26.5* coldest when I ride to work in the 5:00 am.
If I ride the GTLE I wear my normal clothes for the day,
Heated liner,heated gloves,leather chaps and leather jacket, arai helmet.
If I ride the GSWA I will wear normal clothes for the day,heated liner,heated gloves,leather chaps and a BMW Rally jacket,Arai helmet and I'm fine for the 40 mile trip to work.
Either way I'm smiling!
 

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Heated jacket liner and heated pants if really cold. Layers if chilly day. Coldest ride was 9 degrees F (no exposed skin!). Good gear is essential.
 
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I live in So Cal and just rode to Kentucky and back, over 4,500 miles. It was not quite Minnesota weather, but I encountered my share of heavy storms and bitter cold.

To be honest, I was lucky. I encountered severe rain and thunderstorms from West Texas all the way east. I was only two hours ahead of the tornadoes that hit Arkansas last Tuesday.

Going home was mostly dry, but very cold. It stayed in the 20s and low 30s most of the way.

What worked:

* LDComfort undergarments.
* Klim Badlands Pro gear is GoreTex and "Guaranteed to keep you dry". It is the best gear I have ever owned. Used properly, it really kept me 100% dry, but see "What didn't work", below.
* Warm and Safe heated jacket liner.
* Heated grips and seat. Sometimes they get too hot even in the coldest weather, but you can lift your hands or bum off for a second or turn them down to the half setting for a while.
* Pure silk glove liners. These add an extra layer of warmth and insulation. Most important, they make it easy to get your gloves on when your hands are slightly damp or the gloves are clammy. Silk glove liners are cheap. I keep a spare pair in the glove box on the bike at all times. I loan them out (mostly to pillions with cold hands) frequently.

What didn't work:

* I have never found waterproof gloves. Even GoreTex gloves soak through eventually. A long time ago, I learned to accept that gloves and hands will eventually get wet if you ride long enough in heavy rain. The heated handgrips are sufficient for me.
* More on gloves: Sometimes old leather gloves with matted insulation are better in the cold than new textile ones with thick insulation. The difference? The textile fabric allowed the cold air to flow through the fabric on the top of the glove. The leather had poor insulation, but it blocked air flow. With the heated grips, the leather gloves were warmer.
* Toes - I don't have heated pants or socks or foot pads. That's okay, but sometimes my toes get cold. They do not reach frostbite levels, they just get colder than I would like.
* Poor utilization of the neck pull tie on the Klim jacket combined with forgetting to flip out the flap on the LD Comfort helmet liner (with ties and tail). The helmet liner has a flap that hangs out below the back of the helmet (like a French Foreign Legion hat). That first heavy rain day, I did not have the Klim jacket pull tie snug enough around my neck. To make things worse, that morning I forgot to flip the helmet liner flap outside the jacket so that it would drain down the back of the waterproof jacket. Instead, it eventually soaked through and drained inside the jacket, leaving my shirt soaked. Oops. I was still warm enough, but did not like being wet on the inside.

That evening, the rainstorms got heavier, and reduced visibility to unsafe levels. I had passed four different car accidents with police and tow trucks, so I got off the Interstate and found a motel. The next morning I left as soon as daylight broke, in order to get ahead of the severe storms and tornadoes, which hit the area around my motel two hours later.

I made it back just in time for the Long Distance Riders' RTE at Pink's Hot Dogs near Hollywood. There wasn't time to stop at home first. My trip from Kentucky was only the fourth longest ride in the group. The longest ride had come all the way from Ft. Lauderdale, FL., and he encountered snow enroute. Eeek!
 

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9 Degrees??? !!!
Yep, nine degrees. Made sure there had not been any precipitation recently so there was a reduced chance for ice. But kept a close eye out for any slick spots and was really careful. No sense playing with icy spots.

I ride to work almost every day, rain or shine, hot or cold. I won't do snow and ice, but almost everything else is fair game. I got my RT at the beginning of April, and I have 11,000 miles on it already. 45 miles each way to work adds miles in a hurry. But free access to the toll lanes on I-95 and free parking in the building saves me $40-50 a day in commuting costs and lots of time.

Better yet, I can't think about work while I'm riding, so I get away from the office and clear it out of my head.
 
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* Toes - I don't have heated pants or socks or foot pads. That's okay, but sometimes my toes get cold. They do not reach frostbite levels, they just get colder than I would like.
I tried heated insoles, but they got too warm for me. However, silk socks as a liner really helps keep my feet warm, just like the silk glove liners you mentioned. Silk socks, then regular riding socks works for me.
 
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I've been known to dig out my winter golf gloves (left and right hand) to slip on underneath my gauntlets. I haven't invested in heated gear yet and try not to ride when it is freezing or lower because of the chances for ice and the amount of sand and ice melt on the roads. I do have some triple layer pants this year that may get a work out since they have a nice thermal layer.
 

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I tried heated insoles, but they got too warm for me. However, silk socks as a liner really helps keep my feet warm, just like the silk glove liners you mentioned. Silk socks, then regular riding socks works for me.
Cheaper/easier to find than silk socks are compression hose. A good substitute if needed on tour (and not planned in advance) is a pair of ladies' kneehigh nylons. They block the wind nicely, don't add much bulk, and no one sees them under your socks anyway. And you can usually find a display at many convenience stores/grocery stores throughout the country.
 

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Cheaper/easier to find than silk socks are compression hose.
I always wear compression socks when on an airplane for more than 7 hours. They are great! If you are going for an all day ride with very few stops, compression socks would be good to wear to keep good circulation. Of course, HD riders don't need compression socks because their bikes shake enough to keep the blood flowing:surprise:
 

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First, let me say that I refuse to wear nylons, hose, or any other form of female undergarment. I will freeze to death first. Before you decide to try that, let me make a suggestion, snow pants. I picked some up at Cabellas and they are awesome. I wear Iron Worker jeans, which are heavier weight than regular jeans, with the snow pants on top. My legs are warm then.

A few layers on the torso with a leather jacket on top to seal it off and I'm good there. Full face helmet covers the head. I don't worry about my feet, I've found that keeping everything else warm takes care of them.

Hands are the hard part, and no matter what I've tried the only way I've found relief is with heated gloves. They're a pain to get on, but worth it when it's really cold out. I'm in the process of adding heated grips to my RT and hoping they'll extend out the need for the heated gloves, but I'll be surprised if they work as well as the gloves do. I've ridden in the 20's with my gloves and had to turn down the heat because I was starting to sweat.

I ride no matter what the temperature is, but if there's any chance of ice I park the bike and take the car.
 

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You haven't lived until you have worn pantyhose!! (kidding.. LOL)
Rumor has it pantyhose are the perfect thing to wear if you are going to ride a horse for several hours. Put the hose on under your clothes to prevent the saddle soreness. Well, that's what William Shatner said when having to ride for hours on end to shoot a Star Trek movie. I haven't tried yet.
 

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Absolutely! There are lots of guy in Hollywood that can attest to the benefits of wearing pantyhose... Personally, though, I wear LDC undershorts on any longer rides. >:)
 

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+1 on LD base layers... I've also been known to add a 5.11 crew-neck longsleeve top to help stay warm.

I hate to mention the cheapest (in more ways than one) suppliers around, but Cycle Gear does have some Freeze Out base layers that have been on sale. I bought one of their long-sleeve tops and a pair of longjohns and will be testing them in the cold. The only initial recommendation I have on those is that you must wash and air dry them before wearing, as some of the chemicals they use in their base layer gear causes skin irritation for some people if they try to wear them before first washing them.

By putting both the rain and quilted liners in my Tourmaster Transitions jacket and Flex pants I really don't have any complaints with the proper base layer down to about 33°. I haven't had the opportunity to test the gear at temperatures colder than that, but I do have a close-fitting electric vest that will fit under the jacket.





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