Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Love Swobo and Salsa and Chrome and Surly and, and .....

I like a lot of things, which has caused me to spend quite a bit of money. But hey, I use all that stuff.
So here at PedalOmaha I would like to begin reviewing some of the products that I consistently thrash, rip, break, wear,pedal.... you get the point.

But in all honesty, My life depends on these products.
and I believe you will see that in some upcoming Gear Reviews.

Help Lincoln


erik said...

I have become a diehard devotee of izumi lobster mitts and a windproof OR balaclava. They make long rides enjoyable in subzero temps, and keep one alive. What's not to enjoy there.

Scott Redd said...

I think the balaclava is one of the most versatile pieces of cool weather gear. It can be used in a variety of configurations.

It's a hat!

It's a face mask!

It's an earmuff!

How can you go wrong with anything regularly worn by a ninja?

EB said...

I prefer strong facial hair

erik said...

after a couple hours, that only gets you so far and then frostbite lurks.

MG said...

oh, facial hair gets you a pretty long ways if you're crafty... we ride all year there, erik, and i never have to pull any of that bullshit over my face.

MG said...

... and we ride for quite a bit longer than two hours at a time.

MG said...

EB knows what I'm talkin' about...

erik said...

Ok MG, well this morning for instance. On my way to work in -30 degree windchill, compounded to an excess of -40 degrees as I ride--I will be happy to wear "that shit" on my face.

Or during a blizzard, when getting wet sucks pretty hard come hour 5. I too ride longer than 2 hours.

Or at 20,000 feet climbing on the headwall of a mountain, I suppose I was also being a pansy then as well.

Give me a break, they serve a needed function.

I mean that in the kindest way I can.

erik said...

I'll provide further clarification, that doesn't rely upon "knowing what i'm talking about" and instead upon studies of proper biological function.

consult in this regard;

Suppose I am cycling at a slow/moderate pace, generating 15mph windflow across my body. There's a 10 mile per hour wind, and I'm pedaling into it. Or I'm standing still in the wind, or riding at 25mph in still wind--whatever. Regardless, let's assume 25 mph of wind crossing my body.

Now, use that link. This morning it was more than 20 degrees below zero. That gives us a clean -50 degrees fahrenheit. Would you wear a balaclava then? If you commute/ride for longer than 1 minute you're set up for frost bite.

Or, for another example, the day my profile picture was taken. Outside temperatures were at or below zero, we'll use 0 as it doesn't rally matter at that point. 25mph constant wind, higher gusts. Snowing. I averaged a bit over 18mph on the road that day. And spent 5 hours outside then, including time not generating a good deal of heat while I was offroad. The temperature with windchill is -30F.

Perhaps again I don't "know" what you're talking about, but I was happy to have that balaclava. Especially considering that my fingers came out of the deal with frostnip and were numb for the next 48 hours, or that the same went for the one exposed part on my face (my nose).

There is quite a bit of difference between "we ride all year" but skipping the worst of days, and going out and embracing the absolute worst that's to be had. I know you're quite the cyclist, but it's simply incorrect to posit that facial hair is always enough for certain weather.

This said, I do think a balaclava and/or goggles are unnecessary for most anything above 10-15 degrees depending on wind. But I'll always put one in my bag.

The amount of heat conserved by a windproof head cover, at times when you very well might be risking your life otherwise, is indispensible. There is a reason, for instance, why riders of winter races opt for a balaclava (or two) even when in warmer temperatures than ours. It just makes sense in every way, much moreso than adding insulation to any other part of the body (aside from perhaps the knees).

So let's not insult others for choosing "bullshit" when they likely do it for good cause. Mine, stemming for many years spent backpacking, climbing and camping in the winter or glacial environments, or Scott's--stemming for a very reasonable recognition that one's commute is usually longer than the amount of time it takes for frostbite to form (and furthermore that heat generation ceases at the point when one has to repair a tire or otherwise, necessitating skin coverage in these harsh temperatures).


erik said...

EB, I love Swobo, Salsa, Chrome, and Surly too!!!!
Maybe we are long lost soul mates?

EB said...

Cool down Erik.
MG knows.
Trust me!
To each their own, and hey I use scarves and other shit from time to time. Gotta do what I can to be my hipster self.

The Lucas said...

I once saw a polar bear wearing a balaclava, but he was robbing a bank. I could tell that he had a kickin' beard underneath too.

I rode yesterday, I rode today. It's cold. I even put on tights under my pants, but they weren't necessary.

Beard isn't enough today, but it was yesterday with the moderation of a bandana sporadically pulled up.

I wear a coat, and a poly base layer. And I am still hot and need a complete outfit change upon arrival. I blame it on the single speed.

Erik, do your goggles fog at all on a day like today? My lobster mitts still don't keep my hands warm.

At no point today was it -40. or -30. I rode out before 7 and there wasn't that much wind. It definitely was not warm by any means.

I was scolded my many a medial professionals today for being out in it.

I said, "Hey, I know two guys named Eric(k) that ride in it, and they are hard as nails. My name isn't Eric(k), but I think I can handle it." Doctors- shoot, it only took me 6 years to get thru college. Get with it you quacks.

MG, I need to meet you so I have someone to dream about at night.

MOD said...

I put on a balaclava over my beard and then froze my ass off waiting for the bus.

erik said...

My response is only prompted by my belief that it's lame to rip on balaclavas as "bullshit" as they are an indispensible part of most any outdoor apparel kit. If only for a few days in Nebraska, 100+ in canada, or 365 on many mountain ranges.

Certainly, I'm all about only using what is necessary for a given ride and avoiding overheating (frozen sweat is worst)/carrying too much, but let's not insult our fellow riders. Certainly when it goes against all common sense in favor of some arbitrary degree of 'toughness' that simply fails with exposed flesh at certain temperatures.

Lucas; My goggles don't fog when I'm maintaining a decent clip on the bike. I prefer them when it's harsh out, as I've had my contacts freeze and they prevent that. At night (when I'm only commuting shorter distances during the winter), a pair of clear safety goggles work wonders. 8 bucks at ace hardware, and no scratches yet.

Goggles make me feel good, and that mainly comes from a shitty times on a mountain outside of Cochabamba, Bolivia when I couldn't see and ended up climbing the final portion by touch and follow only. Steve House says he almost always brings goggles in order to ensure he can see and be able to find his way out of a mess since he doesn't carry much extra clothing. Riding during and on the edge of storms, they are a great addition. I've only absolutely needed them twice so far this season, otherwise they've been a luxury (assuming I could remember to blink often enough!).

So MG, remember, I think you're a cool guy from what I hear. And maybe I'm a weakling, but I do not like to risk frostbite. I think the balaclava recommendation goes along that preference.

So cheers, and I froze indeed this morning regardless.

Scott Redd said...

I seriously got what might be called a mild frost bite on the very tip of my nose this morning during the -15F commute. Every single bit of skin elsewhere was covered. My head was under a balaclava (and a half a balaclava) and goggles, but I left the tip of my nose out for easier breathing.

Then later in the day I see my nose in the mirror and it looks like a case of sunburn, right on the tip... Rudolph style.

My toes chilled to the bone, but otherwise, the ride was surprisingly comfortable.

Tomorrow morning's 4F with a tailwind will seem like Spring break. :)

munsoned said...

To keep beating an old dead horse...

For some people (me) growing enough facial hair to fight the cold is not possible. The longest I've gone without shaving, 4 weeks, I looked like the neglected red-headed stepchild of Kid Rock and Kevin Federline. The beard was splotchy at best and was not seen a kind light in my place of work. Not everyone can be a hippie full time. I like my job and don't plan on tarnishing my good standing here by trying to go completely "au naturale." I get enough weird looks when I come walking in from my commute looking like Boba Fet.

I am jealous though. I would love to be able to grow a ginormous viking beard since my facial hair grows in very red. Alas, I do not have the complete Norwegen genetics to allow that.

MG said...

OK erik, I'm sorry for calling balaclavas bullshit. I'll back off of that. I even admit that I use them from time to time. And yes, I'm familiar with the concept of wind chill...

Can we all get along now? Perhaps go for a nice, long bike ride??? That'd be sweet...

erik said...

i'd love that.


erik said...

i'd love that.


RD said...

i'll tell you what's bullshit my inability to grow beard wtf!!!!!!

erik said...

if I could pull of a messner-esque beard, I might be able to handle it.

but short of that...

technology said...
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