Cooling during indoor rides? Ice vest?

With winter having really arrived, I am doing a lot more indoor rides, thanks to all the new videos on SYSTM. :smile: My Pain Cave is in the basement and I have quite a bit of space. I am aware of the importance of ventilation and run two fans, one in front and one behind, which is usually sufficient to keep me comfortable, even though I am one of those people that heats up like an atomic core meltdown. However, with our weather I can no longer open my basement window as it is frozen shut and will probably stay that way until March. I have seen pros using an ice vest during a warm up. Anyone with experience of using one for indoor riding?

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Wow. A Canadian, in December, researching ICE VESTS. That is just peak Sufferlandrian, @SirLeslieinCanada!

(Peak Canada too, for that matter.)

:joy::rofl::joy: :man_cook:t3::kiss:


:smile:Just say “No!” to comfort!


Have you gone to see a doctor about your heat issues? Could be something that can be moderated or even eliminated. I ‘suffer’ from the same issue and had to get medication to open up my blood vessels.

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This is only an issue when I am on a long indoor ride (it was 2:45 yesterday, at 75% of FTP) and can’t open the darn window! I can see power drop off at around 2:25, and heart rate starts to move up, which I suspect is all pretty normal. Last check-up was good except for that bugbear of slight high blood pressure.


OK. What is the ambient temp in the room (C is fine with me). If I ride in a 25C room, I’m sweating very hard in a half hour. Make it 17C and I’m good for an hour (but it’s shiver time at the beginning). And I have a fan recommended by Gerry that will blow my hair straight back if I want to run it at full speed.

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I want that fan. And hair.


I’ve been using this device for a few months now. Works really well - and fast. An ice vest is less efficient, but also much more affordable. Pre-ride slushies are another thing the pros use. This podcast with the Cool Mitt inventor is worth listening to. I can attest to the performance gains he talks about when using palmar cooling. I haven’t measured mine, but would estimate a 30-50% improvement in power and recovery time. Supercharge Exercise Performance & Recovery with Cooling | Huberman Lab Podcast #19 - YouTube If you don’t want to watch it on YouTube, it’s available as a podcast on Huberman’s channel.

Wait…the fan gives you hair? What is this fan?!?



Ice in a stocking? Good enough for the peleton, good enough for me!



Sounds familiar. In summer it’s 78/80F in my pain cave when I wake up and I’m immediately in my base layer with both fans on for anything harder than a Z1 recovery spin. And it’ll quickly warm up to 84F in here until the AC kicks on.

But in the winter it’s usually about 65F in the cave in the morning when I wake up, and I’m cold and I start with just one fan on. Today I actually worse a jersey over my base layer because I was feeling cold. And if I stay in Zone 2 I may not turn my second fan on for over an hour or two or until I’m past the warm-up of an intense workout.

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Humidity is an overlooked factor, doesn’t matter how hard your fan blows if the air is saturated already it will feel a lot warmer. If I was allowed to train in the house I’d run the portable dehumidifier on max all day to get the humidity down to the low 40s and have it running while working out, Its more effective than opening a window in my experience.

65f is summer temperatures for me here in NE Scotland and its likely to also be 95% RH. I’d be be wearing lightweight bib shorts only with my fan on full power and still making a puddle of holy water.

Its 23f and 85%RH in my paincave right now. Going to need full length baselayers top and bottom and a heavyweight hooded fleece to warm up in.


Southern Deserts of the United States. Unless it’s raining (and it does so sparingly, but yesterday it rained so hard it almost killed the outdoor hot water heater), we have humidities indoors in the 30s. This makes for some interesting riding conditions as humidity builds up in the Pain Cave.

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@JGreengrass Yes, humidity is definitely a factor. As @jmckenzieKOS said, it’s usually 30% humidity indoors (10% outside) here. So that definitely helps a lot. 40F with 8%rh feels much colder than 85%rh. And a little breeze will also cool you much quicker.

And when I close the door to my pain cave it definitely makes for some interesting indoor weather. If I leave in the middle or end of a workout and then come back, I can feel the heat and the humidity increase as I walk through the door. This was definitely more noticeable than usual during my KOS quest. And I had some good condensation build-up on the inside of the window next to me. until I decided to open it for some fresh air, later.

When I was using my garage to ride in, I didn’t need a very powerful fan in the winter due to the colder temps and extremely low rh.


Another Canadian here with similar dilemma. I put an ice pack in the floor behind my fan intake, but room temperature is way too hot when you’re exercising.
I do enjoy going straight outside after for the instant winter cooldown but during the workout, feels like I’m on the edge of dangerous core temperatures. Not too wise.

My question is how do you avoid frostbite with an ice vest? Would you have to wear a shirt and the ice vest?


The vest provides a layer of fabric between you and the ice. In Found In America, David puts an ice bag down his chest inside of a bra. This is NOT recommended for several reasons, the least being the sudden shock of being exposed to water/ice mix at or below freezing when the ambient temperature is over 40C.


Thank you for the comments, everyone! I was unaware of ice mitts but I think this is logical as sometimes when I am outside running in winter I put my gloves away as my hands get so hot. (Although I am pretty sure that the hottest part of the human body is directly between the eyes). The lack of relative wind when riding indoors is quite apparent as I find in outdoor riding the hotter it is the better I go and a few years ago when riding in Corsica for a week when it was close to 40C each day was no problem.

Our house temperature is usually around 20-22C and since the basement is a bit cooler than that I am probably riding in what normally be pretty comfortable. With the window open somewhat and fresh air coming in, I can feel the cool air via the fan, while with the window closed I am obviously not getting that. Today I was able to open the window and get in some of the -7C outside air so my hour of riding was really comfortable. Another thing with indoor riding I find is that you have to increase your fluid consumption.

When I set up the Pain Cave I had two pedestal fans but I have now switched to a blower fan in front of me and one of the pedestal fans behind. The blower fan is really excellent, the best way to go, as the air is very focused. The model I have is from Stanley and even the lowest setting is quite powerful.