As I’ve said before I’m fairly new to cycling, this was my first “season”. To be honest I’m fairly positive that I have no intention of riding my road bike once the roads are prepped or covered. If the roads are good I’m getting out there and have been looking at some products to make that more comfortable. I’m fairly positive because of course the wife hasn’t made up her mind yet. I say road bike because I have looked at Fat Tire bikes for the snow, we have a resort around here here that can be done- an article will follow. Anyhow if you plan on cycling in the winter, and I haven’t, but I’ve been researching it, here are some things to know.
Winter exercise has some great benefits. You not only burn more calories as your body tries to stay warm. Your body also adjusts by learning to burn oxygen much more efficiently. So there is that, but on to some things to keep in mind for your comfort.
CYCLING IN THE WINTER tips
- As with any outdoor activity in the cool weather, layer your clothing. Start with a good warm base layer and end with a windproof, waterproof or resistant jacket/layer. It’s important that when you start you’re still cool outside. If you’re to warm you’ll overheat quickly. Don’t forget a good under helmet beanie, gloves, and a bandana for the face wouldn’t hurt.
- Get some wider tires for your bike, obviously more traction. Play around with tire pressure and ride with the lowest tire pressure you can- without causing flats.
- Riding in the winter will throw a lot of slush, snow, and salt onto your bike parts. This will cause corrosion and damage- so wash your bike after every ride. Now my buddy Dan has told me not to use WD40 on my bike chain. But apparently spraying some on your frame in the winter helps keep it clean and easy to wipe down.
- Even though you may feel cold on a winter ride, you’re still sweating. Don’t forget to hydrate!! Bring an insulated mug or bottle and some coffee, hot chocolate, or water. What ever suits your needs.
- Put fenders on your bike. This will help keep the slush and other road spray off of you and your bike. A YouTube video follows. Here’s a YouTube link for making PVC fenders for a mountain bike.
- Just like the rest of the year-make sure you can be seen. Light is a little trickier in the winter. Make sure you have head and taillights, and some reflectors on your jacket and or helmet couldn’t hurt.
- Chapstick, I don’t use it enough. The wife is always after me, but your going to chap without it.