Sunday, May 26, 2013

5 simple ways to be warmer when riding this winter

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I did a 1/2 day ride north this morning and noticed a lot of motorbikes out but most of them were parked at coffee shops with riders holding steaming mugs with both hands, crouched over, trying to get warm.

Looking at all the expensive motorcycles I am guessing it is not lack of money that stops people from having proper winter gear but their desire to dress a certain way, to project a particular image.

So here is a few ways to warm yourself up if you simply have to always wear your draggin jeans and leather jacket.

1. Buff/Scarf. Stop the wind getting in around the top of your jacket. Essential.

2. Windproof mid layer. A fleecy top will not really do much once you are moving wearing a leather jacket, get something to stop the wind. Outdoor shops sell these but often made for hiking so not really windproof. Better to buy a item made for motorcycle riding but again check it is totally windproof including any zipper.

3. Glove liners. In winter on cold mornings pop a pair of glove liners on under your gloves and be amazed at the difference. When it warms up simply roll up and put in your pocket.

4. Thermal lowers. There is a number of motorcycle branded thermal under garments on sale but get ones that insulate from the wind and still regulate temperatures. Spidi for example make some where as non windproof items will not be effective.

5. Get a pair of good winter riding socks. There is a real difference, seriously. I use the Alpinestar boot socks and they wick away moisture and keep my feet warm but never hot and sweaty.

If your not wearing boots then keeping lower legs and feet warm will be very difficult. Give some consideration, they are great in summer too as stop the heat from engine or exhaust on lower legs.

Of course you could just buy a full winter riding gear but if you think it is something you will not get the use out of then perhaps these ideas may ease the chill on your next ride.

4 comments:

  1. Great tips. As a relative newbie (I'm on my red P's), this article helps a lot. For the first time yesterday, I realised that I need to buy a neck warmer and winter gloves (I can't comfortably fit a liner under my summer gloves, I've tried). It makes me think though of people who live in truly cold climates - I'm from Sydney. How do they do it?

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    1. I have ridden for the last 6 years all around the country as far north as Darwin and as far south as Tassy in the winter and believe me it is hard to get out there when the temperature is below 0.

      These were some great tips and i can only make 1 more. Regardless of having Winter gloves, if it is truely cold and on those long rides your fingers will still feel it, and after a while my fingertips will go numb. To help this I installed Handle bar heaters on the bike which works wonders. It is well worth the money and provides that extra comfort needed on those massive all day winter rides.

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  2. On the money IC. I rode the Oxley last weekend with some friends very comfortably kitted as per your list. The only things I no longer use are the glove liners. (the joys of heated grips and handguards on the Explorer...).

    You mentioned "mid layer" and that sort of thinking is key to comfort imho, if the layering is right then one can be comfy from the cold morning start through the midday warmth and on into the afternoon without having to muck around too much.

    I haven't tried the Spidi stuff but I have two sets of base layers that I find work for me - 1)the Andy Strapz merino tights and top(dual layer in front and long at the back) and& 2)the LD Comfort tights and top. I actually have the LD Comfort gear (pants and top)in both short and long for those in-between times.
    I find that my jacket rain liner does a pretty good job of keeping the biting wind/cold out and with the breathable base layer I just need a bit of an insulating layer between and I'm good. The system's worked on -5 degree mornings in Tassie, which is as cold as I've ever ridden. Your point re the socks is spot on too. Like the rest of your body your feet need the moisture moved away from the skin asap.
    Pandora - most experienced riders will tell you that you can ride through the heaviest rain and the freezing cold just as you would ride on a perfect day as long as your geared up for it. It's a kind of good feeling to hear others bleating about the cold and shivering while you're nice and comfy. (not in a mean way..well maybe just a little smug..) It's great to see more girls riding... the numbers need evening up a bit :) Have fun.

    Thanks for the post Chef.

    rb

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  3. Good solid advice - There is nothing worse than riding in cold and usually wet conditions unprepared.

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