The Chainlink

The colder it gets the harder it is to pedal. Is it me with colder muscles? Colder air in my lungs? Some other physical reason? Or is it mechanical? Cold-thickened oil on the chain? Thicker grease in the hub? Thicker clothes that restrict movement? Enquiring minds want to know.

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All of the above. Use a winter lube to prevent freezing.

I was having the same kinda feeling last night. I was chilled(not cold), a bit Friday night tired, there was a strong enough south wind, high humidity, and I was wearing somewhat bulky clothes. Then i thought, I must be in the wrong gear, so I started shifting around. Nope, still didn't help. The cold does sap something out of you and requires a higher level of effort and conditioning to keep moving just like when it is 75 degrees. You really have to be properly warmed up before you takeoff. Colder muscles don't want to move fast enough. Respiratory conditions change and you are breathing harder also. Gene, I hope we're not getting old. I don't wanna do that ! Just Keep On Pedaling ! !

For me it's less the cycling and more the recovery time, after a decent spin yesterday i was laid out for, what, 2 hours? Like I'd been hammered and all I could do was veg until I recovered enough to get up and going again.

We are not getting older, Tom, just napping more.

Some of these seem a bit silly to me.... gonna guess extra weight is the biggest factor... if I recall correctly, Richard Schwinn used to like to quote some study saying that every 11 lbs we carry costs us one mph.

Why Slower?

Some of the reasons put forth for slowness in winter are as follows:

  1. Cold Bearings and grease are stiffer and harder to turn
  2. You need your energy to keep warm
  3. Your tires are colder and therefore have greater rolling resistance
  4. You tend to ride softer tires for better control on ice
  5. Your clothing is bulkier, making it more difficult to push your shape though the air.
  6. You are dressed in heavier clothing, making that much more weight to carry
  7. You are dressed in heavier clothing which resists your movement making pedaling harder
  8. People simply don't like generating the steam-bath like atmosphere inside of winter clothing, and therefore psychologically resist working as hard as in summer
  9. Air Density is greater and impedes your progress through the air



Tandemonium said:

  1. Cold Bearings and grease are stiffer and harder to turn: 1%
  2. You need your energy to keep warm: 0%
  3. Your tires are colder and therefore have greater rolling resistance +
  4. You tend to ride softer tires for better control on ice: 3%
  5. Your clothing is bulkier, making it more difficult to push your shape though the air: 5-10%
  6. You are dressed in heavier clothing, making that much more weight to carry: 1%
  7. You are dressed in heavier clothing which resists your movement making pedaling harder: 1%
  8. People simply don't like generating the steam-bath like atmosphere inside of winter clothing, and therefore psychologically resist working as hard as in summer: 1%
  9. Air Density is greater and impedes your progress through the air: 10-20%

Total: 15-30%

Winter is different and more challenging.

9) Air density is inversely proportional to absolute temperature:  dry air is 3.5% denser at 0C (32F) than 20C (68F).


Mike Schwab said:

  1. Cold Bearings and grease are stiffer and harder to turn: 1%
  2. You need your energy to keep warm: 0%
  3. Your tires are colder and therefore have greater rolling resistance +
  4. You tend to ride softer tires for better control on ice: 3%
  5. Your clothing is bulkier, making it more difficult to push your shape though the air: 5-10%
  6. You are dressed in heavier clothing, making that much more weight to carry: 1%
  7. You are dressed in heavier clothing which resists your movement making pedaling harder: 1%
  8. People simply don't like generating the steam-bath like atmosphere inside of winter clothing, and therefore psychologically resist working as hard as in summer: 1%
  9. Air Density is greater and impedes your progress through the air: 10-20%

Total: 15-30%

Which makes Winter the perfect time for a slow roll ride:

http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/slow-roll-chicago

Did anyone notice that with temperatures in the 30s this afternoon/evening it was easier to pedal?

Me, me, me.

Lisa Curcio 4.1mi said:

Did anyone notice that with temperatures in the 30s this afternoon/evening it was easier to pedal?

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