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MCN  says:

You ask/you answer: Does cold weather affect your concentration?

"How much does cold weather riding affect your concentration? When I go out in the freezing cold on my long commutes all I seem to think about is getting home quickly and I feel like my concentration starts to slide. I wrap us as warm as my budget allows but after an hour the cold just seeps in anyway. I'd...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (22 October 2012 17:24)

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Nov 11

Posts: 202

jimbo8098 says:


I only notice a difference when I start shivering but before that you get visor mist and trying to focus on your breathing while rain is falling and you are shivering is not fun. There is the option of opening up but then you get rain into your face instead. Maybe more expensive helmets have better fog protection. I've never noticed my riding affected by the cold until shivers creep in though.

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Nov 11

Posts: 202

jimbo8098 says:


I find a set of glove liners will stop or prevent your hands stopping working if its icy hehe. Heated grips on my bike are handy too but on the XT I didn't have that necessity and had to use glove liners. If it werent for them , I wouldn't have been able to ride!

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Feb 05

Posts: 223

Bob_1 says:

Of Course It Does

It's a physiological fact that cold affects the way our brains function, not to mention our limbs. My coldest ride was from Plymouth to London on my ST1100 in the wee small hours one winter. The thermometer on a building by the M5 at Taunton was reading minus-six degrees as I went past, only another 150 miles to go then. I was wearing my Rukka waterproofs over leathers and thermal underwear. Mittens over my gloves and an underhelmet. I survived and even felt quite warm when it reached zero-degrees on the M4 elevated section. Never undertake a cold ride without the proper gear.

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Jul 10

Posts: 3

Harv88 says:

As long as you've got the right gear your fine.

I only lose concentration during the summer when my jacket becomes a mobile suana.

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Oct 12

Posts: 4

tirechains1 says:

Re: winter riding

Obviously you can throw your money into a bottomless pit of winter kit. Start with a breath guard and antifog shield with a balaclava under helmet. You can get electric heated everything but start with heated grips and muffs to keep the heat in. The best grips have a rheostat for variable heat output which is better than a high/low switch which always seem to be too high or too low. The first and cheapest and most cost effective bit of heated clothing is a heated vest. This will help warm your entire body including your extremities and brain. At higher speeds your biggest enemy is air infiltration in every opening of every garment. So you need to be wind resistant and air tight. To this end a large fairing and clothing that stops the wind and seals tightly around wrists, ankles, neck etc... is your first task. Goretex is great but if you can't afford it start with a cheap rainsuit as your outer layer. A big windshield or full fairing is cost effective and will reduce the layers you must wear. You may end up looking like the Michelin Man "Bibendum", but you will be a charter member of the die-hard polar bear bikers club. Good luck

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Nov 08

Posts: 122

rcraven says:

cold weather riding

Simply the answer is yes cold weather can affect your concentration.  In more ways that you can imagine.

the first and most obvious is with you fixation to get home.   that in itself can cause a lack of actual concentration on what you are doing on the bike, about your suroundings and the dangers that are being missed because you are thinking about getting home and all the concerns that brings.

Its nice thinking about the greeting we may get. of the feet up and nice warm fire and brew or can? when you should be concentrating on the journey at hand, otherwise you may not get home at all.

Its similar to fixation when you look at something on the road to avoid it and actually end up hitting  it. If your mind is elsewhere its not where it should be and concentration for the task in hand is lost.  You find youself further down the road and wonder how you got there. The autonomic part of your brain took over but the thinking part didnt and thats when you realise that you have  lost concentration.

the second matter is Hypothermia. thats when the core body gets below a certain temperature.  Its usually associated with elderly persons or infirmed or children who cannot control their body temperature and  who lose body heat slowy in the winter but can happen if  one is emersed in the North Sea for about 2 minutes.

Several thin base layers are a good idea as they hold trapped air which is warmed by the bodies natural heat.  Warming gloves or feet is good because blood returning to the heart is warmed as it passes through the veins near to the skins surface at the wrists and the ankles. Excessive heating of the torso however can in fact make things worse as it draws blood away from the vital organs to cool the skin areas down. so if using a vest make sure that its on low enough to have a warming effect without becoming too hot.

When we are cold we shiver and thats good its the bodies way of warning us that cold is being fought off however if we dont stop and warm up and continue in an effort to get home we can stop shivering and then  as the core temperature drops even further we can succome to hypothermia. If we have it we will not know as it affects the brain in funny ways . only others would recognise.  First we have less muscular co-ordination and our speech may become affected, like acting drunk. we feel hot when its obviously cold and may want to remove clothing which obviously should be avoided. some can become aggressive and obstructive to help or assistance and must sometimes be restrained for thier own good.

Hypothermia is a killer, if that doesnt get you riding a bike with it will definately kill or seriously seriously injure you.

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Sep 12

Posts: 52

Discopoo says:


And the wet makes my sphincter twitch

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Apr 11

Posts: 109

bikerpete51 says:

Cold weather

I remember one night riding from Liverpool to Bournemouth in freezing conditions, coming off the motorway to fill up I almost dropped the bike at the pump because I'd lost the sense of feeling in my arms and legs, and maybe the brain wasn't  working too well either.. lesson learned, more warm clothing and more frequent stops to move around and have a hot coffee and a break.




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Feb 09

Posts: 4781

philehidiot says:

It IS Europe!

Actually their artificial fiat currency which they continue to debase is partly why things have become so expensive, especially from Asia. But hey, there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad equipment. Spend the money on it and you'll have a simple jacket with a liner that'll keep you the right temperature well into the minus figures. Note I said the right temperature. There's the problem of being too hot and snug which also buggers concentration. When buying your kit, such as your jacket, consider if it has features to moderate temperature and its temperature range. If you're not going to ride in -10 then don't get a jacket designed to cope at that level, you'll be more comfortable more of the time in one that's designed to just dip below 0C. The other thing is that on the huge majority of jackets and trouser, the inner, thermal layer is removable and can be swapped for a better one. I've got three, although with my Hein Gerike Master V one I never needed to use any other. Why bother buying ultra thick winter gloves that sacrifice control when you can just get some muffs or big hand guards and use autumn / spring gloves? Also people have to learn to relax. After all the reason you're not warmer is because the EU is stopping all the CO2. You can't control that so relax and you'll be in better control, ache less and feel warmer as blood flow isn't restricted by constantly tense muscles. There's no need to throw a lot of money at winter. You can just throw a load of base layers that you have in the wardrobe at it or just one good one if you want to pay. Get some muffs for £25 and use existing gloves and buy some thicker socks if your boots disagree with the cold. If your neck gets cold, get a scrim scarf. Brilliant things that are dirt cheap, trap air and also cover all the gaps around your helmet stopping the cold from getting in.

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Jul 08

Posts: 286

MCN LiamM says:

Comment posted on behalf of Tom I Jones

Does anybody make a glove specifically for heated grips. i.e. a thin leather for the palm and a much thicker and warmer top side?

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