Preparing to ride in winter
Winter can be a great time of the year to ride your bike, plus there are health benefits from riding in cold weather. You can burn more calories, train to breathe more efficiently and feel in a better mood despite darker and shorter winter days.
Here are 5 tips for bike riding in winter like a pro:
1. Dress For Success
Successful winter cycling starts with the right cycling clothes. Keep the different parts of your body warm:
- Headwear: most of your body heat escapes from your head. A beanie under your helmet, a bandana or a headband made from thermal fabric will keep you warm.
Torso: multiple layers is the way to go. Some of the best winter gear to protect your upper body are:
- Cycling jersey: the best cycling jerseys let the air flow, prevent sweat from building up, are slightly longer in the back to keep you covered while in your riding position and have rubber stoppers around the hems to keep it in place.
- Cycling vest: it helps you stay warm and dry. It’s lightweight and compact, windproof at the front and have good ventilation at the back.
- Cycling jacket: a fundamental part of your winter bike riding gear. They’re light, but still give you a good level of warmth and protect you from the wind and rain.
- Arm warmers: a practical way of staying warm. Once you’ve warmed up, easily slide them off and tuck them in your pocket.
- Legs: leg warmers are a great addition to any winter riders kit, they allow you to keep your lower half sheltered from the cold and can easily be removed.
- Hands and feet: your extremities get cold quickly when you ride your bike in winter.
- Winter gloves: Bike gloves cover your hands, protect them with additional padding and let you ride comfortably.
- Cycling socks: Cycling socks are made with fabrics that control moisture, so they keep your feet warm and dry.
- Shoe covers: Otherwise known as overshoes are help to protect your feet from the wet and cold conditions during winter riding.
1. Boost your visibilty
Days in winter are shorter and darker, so even if you’re not planning to ride during the night, it’s important to increase your visibility to other road users.
Bike lights: when you’re riding your bike you must see properly, and be seen! You need a front bike light, a rear bike light and reflectors.
Remember that having proper lights on your bike, is not just a good idea, it’s the law!
For example, the NSW law states: “Bicycle riders must not ride a bicycle at night or in hazardous weather conditions unless the bike displays a flashing or steady white light from the front, and a flashing or steady red light from the rear. The bike also requires a red reflector which is visible from the rear.” And it’s a similar story in all other states of Australia.
Reflective Clothing: wearing bright colours may not be enough to make yourself visible during winter months. You should add some reflective gear to your bike kit, like reflective armbands or a jersey with reflective trim.
3. Prepare your bike
Make sure your tyres are in good condition, or even consider getting a new set to assure maximum grip during your winter bike rides.
Clean your bike after every ride. Make sure you have the right cleaning products to keep all your bike components clean and lubricated.
Before winter starts it may be a good idea to take your bike for a service and a good tune-up at your local bike store. Find your local 99 BikesShop Bike Maintenance
4. Know Your Route
It’s always beneficial to plan your route before you go for a bike ride. This is particularly important during winter rides, as some roads can be more affected by winter weather conditions. We recommend using Google Maps bike routes feature.
5. Last but not least
Even if it’s cold it may be sunny, so apply sunscreen to any exposed skin, and keep properly hydrated.Shop Water Bottles Shop Hydration Backpacks Shop Hydration Nutrition