As the snow begins to fall and the days get shorter, you may be used to stowing your bike away in preparation for the new season; but what if you could enjoy your wheels all year round? Embrace your northern attitude and find fun in all temperatures!
Winter cycling can be just as exhilarating, if not more so, than riding during the warmer months. With the right gear and a few adjustments, you can pedal through the year. Check out these tips to make your winter cycling comfortable, warm, and safe.
Layering is key to successful winter activities, allowing you to keep warm and dry so you can enjoy your time with the snow. Add or subtract layers as you need, but we suggest these to get you started:
- Base Layer – moisture wicking to keep you warm and dry from sweat as you move.
- Mid-Layer – choose something warm for insulation, like a fleece or wool sweater
- Outer Layer – Select a jacket that comfortably fits over your layers and provides extra warmth and protection. If you can, opt for a windproof and waterproof outer layer to keep your warmth in and the wet out.
Keep your hands, head, face, and feet covered. These parts of your body get colder faster than your core. Windproof and waterproof gloves can help keep your hands warm while gripping your handlebars. Cover your head, ensuring your helmet still fits securely and properly, and cover your face, including your eyes with winter goggles, to keep the wind and snow off your skin. Select warm socks and consider a waterproof shoe cover to keep your feet warm on the pedals.
Be safe, be seen. It is the law to have a front white and rear red light or reflector on your bike in low-light conditions, including 30 minutes after sunrise and 30 minutes before sunset. Along with your lights, we recommend wearing reflective gear to enhance visibility to keep you and other road users safe.
Check your brakes are in excellent working condition, as stopping distances can increase on slippery surfaces.
Save Your Seat
Use a waterproof cover to shield your saddle from frosty and snowy conditions. Not only will this keep your seat more comfortable, but you won’t slide around on an icy seat.
Trade Tires for More Tread
Try wider tires, also known as fat tires. Consider swapping for these in the snowy months for extra stability and control on wet or icy surfaces.
Prevent the Splash Zone
Attach fenders or mudguards to your bike to keep you and your bike clean. These can prevent water and dirt from kicking up as you ride.
Be light on the pedals and gentle on the brakes to avoid sliding on slippery surfaces. Quick stops or swerves can cause you to slip. Consider dismounting and walking your bike in particularly challenging conditions.
As always, adhere to traffic laws and be extra cautious in winter conditions. Plan your routes with safety in mind, avoiding high-traffic or poorly maintained roads.
Don’t let the winter chill keep you from enjoying your wheels. With the right gear and a mindful approach to safety, you can pedal through the snow-covered landscapes and experience the unique joy of winter cycling. Layer up, gear up, and embrace the cold – happy winter cycling!