By Jack Vale
Cycling is a pleasant pastime in the summer months, but is it sensible to keep riding when the weather turns cold? There are actually plenty of helpful tips to keep in mind when going out for a bike ride in tricky conditions.
Whether it be wrapping up warm in winter clothing for cycling or taking extra care of your bike, we have some winter biking tips coming your way.
Wear some weatherproof clothing
If you are going to be cycling in sub-zero temperatures, you’re going to need some sensible clothing. Think along the lines of cycling-specific clothing such as windproof gloves, overshoes and thermal clothing.
Avoid the temptation to throw on thick fleeces or sweaters, since these can still make you sweat if you are exerting yourself in cold temperatures. They will make you clammy and uncomfortable, so consider investing in some cycling-specific clothing to keep you warm whilst reducing the risk of sweating.
A thermal-wicking undervest is one of the best choices you could make for keeping in the warmth while wicking away any sweat.
Carry everything you need to repair punctures
Wet road conditions tend to result in more punctures. Thorns and glass are two of the most common culprits for bursting through a tire and destroying your wheel’s inner tube.
If you are cycling in a group, ensure that everyone is carrying some spare tubes and pumps in case of a puncture.
Keep nourished through your entire ride
Winter has a funny way of making it seem like you aren’t sweating so much, and perhaps making you feel less thirsty than you would during a summer ride.
It is important to keep drinking fluids regularly during a winter bike ride, as you will still be exerting yourself at the same rate as other times of year.
In terms of food, you could consider keeping some energy bars in a place where they won’t freeze. If there is a café or restaurant along your route, think about stopping there to refuel and eat some warm food.
Use your winter tires
Thinner tires are great for riding around in the summer, but muddy and wet conditions require thicker tires for grip. However, if you are riding around in heavy snow, thicker tires might be better for cutting through that snow.
Continental and Goodyear are both great manufacturers of seasonal bike tires.
Clean your bike regularly
In the winter, mud and grime will build up on your bicycle much quicker than during the summer. Be sure to keep it in good condition between rides. Not only will your bike look and feel nicer, it will be safer for you to ride.
If you’ve ridden in wet conditions, be sure to wipe your bike dry when you’re done. Otherwise, liquid could freeze and cause corrosion to your chain.
Jack Vale is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with PAKMULE® cargo carriers.