How cold is too cold to ride?

Tomorrow is suppossed to be a clear, sunny day here in Missoula, Montana. The roads are also fairly clear right now. So I’m considering strapping my Santa hat on my helmet and riding the uni into town for my shortened work day. The problem is that clear also means cold; it’s supposed to be about 5 degrees F / -15 C when I would be riding in the morning. :astonished:

My general recreational temperature limit is 20F / -6.5C, but I’ll go down to 15F. The temperature tomorrow morning will be substantially lower than that.

It’s about a 3 mile ride for me to get to work. I could probably survive the ride, but not sure how much I’d enjoy it.

So what do y’all think? How cold is too cold to ride? And please don’t tell me to go for it unless you honestly would do it yourself.

I am from Kalamazoo, MI and I don’t think there is a temp I would say is too cold. Was out in 10 degrees and blizzard conditions a week ago. I say go for it… don’t let all the Californians and Floridians and Aussies tell you its too cold. BTW its 25 degrees and I am in shorts. Have fun!!!

Zero K.

Seriously, it’s all about what’s fun for you.
When I was in high school, I used to run cross-country well into the double digits below 0F.
Now, in Florida, most of my neighbors won’t leave their houses if it drops below 60F.

well, the unicycling will keep your corebody heat up, providing you wear sensible clothes (in theory)

I spent like 5 minutes in a -10C walk-in freezer yesterday, and i felt SO BAD after it lol.

…I wouldn’t ride in more than like -2 heh.

60 F is not to cold for me. In fact I like that temperature.

To the OP just wear some nice layers to keep you warm. 5F doesn’t seem to horrible to me though I will admit I do not like it when it is that cold. 35-50F is the perfect temperature range for unicyling to me.

Thanks for the great comments. Keep em coming, I’m still on the fence. . …

Man up and do it!!!.. Are you a upper midwesterner who can take the cold or a sweater wearin’ southerner who turns on the heater at 60 degrees. LOL

Since I don’t like wearing much more than a sweatshirt and jeans when I ride (no gloves or hat for extremities), I normally don’t ride after it gets below 30 F. But the wind is a big factor too, since it can blow all the heat you generate unicycling away…

For Wuni Riding, at -25C/-13F I will only go ride if it’s worth it. At -20C/-4F I’ll probably end up riding anyway:p.

Last winter I went out riding if it was 20F or above, and not windy. Wore 2 long sleeve shirts, a hoody, gloves, bike shorts, and those bike short leg extensions. Seemed warm enough, but then I also caught phenomena before Christmas, was extremely sick, finally was hospitalized for a week. Was in bed for 7 weeks, and took most of the summer to get my strength back.

Tomorrow it should be in the 30’s F, I’m looking forward to riding since I’ve raised the bar.

As the great tholub likes to say,

“There is no bad weather, there is only bad clothing”

…and it’s da troof!

Invest in the proper gear for your riding conditions and you’ll be comfortable. Yeah it costs a bit of dough, but if you do some shopping you should be able to come away with a good top & bottom for about $100.

My favorite gear for cold riding are my Cannondale fleece tights. Feels like I’ve got a blanket wrapped around my legs while I’m riding, but there’s no movement restriction!

I think you should give it a go. Sounds like you’ll regret not taking the opportunity to experience something new. You may hate it, but at least you tried it out. You may love it!!

I still rode to class when it was down around zero F for a couple weeks there in Missoula.
The coldest I’ve ever ridden in was about -40 F. Not fun for very long, that’s for sure. :slight_smile:

OK, so what did you catch?!?! My guess is PNEUMONIA hahaha:p

5 degrees F? No problem. Just bundle up and watch for ice. Weather like that is really dry and lot safer than slippery wet leaves. Go for it!

oh man :o… your right, thanks.

In my experience, when it’s really cold (15 F and below) one key element is some sort of covering for your face, and in particular your mouth. Breathing in extremely cold air, especially vigorously as during some action-packed muni :stuck_out_tongue: can lead to respiratory issues quickly. I too have had pneumonia, bronchitis, etc. after spending too many winter days running around outside as a kid.

Either taking it easy or having some warm headgear is the only way to stay healthy all winter long.

As people have stated it is all about what you are wearing. 30° F in a tee shirt will feel worse and be more dangerous than 0° F with appropriate clothing (layered:wicking/insulation/wind barrier).

I’d say go for a few short rides in varying weather and determine which parts of your body are cold and then adjust your outfits accordingly.

If you don’t have any cold weather specific outfits you can start by layering regular pants, socks, sweater & jacket.

Good gloves and boots are a must in really cold weather.


You can use a scarf or baclava but I find that the neoprene face masks are easier to breath through. They bulge out away from the mouth so you don’t have to hold it open far to keep material out of your mouth. Of course you can then cover the mask with extra layers if needed, but the structure is nice.