Riding a bicycle in winter
As winter comes and temperatures go down many bicycle riders hang their bikes in the garage. However, just changing a few things on the way you dress and equip can make the difference. Let’s have a look at some tips for enjoying the bicycle in winter.
Dress in layers
As riding a bike is a pretty demanding physical activity, your own body will generate its own heat after a few minutes of pedaling. That means tha you should always try to dress on layers, that way you can take some out if after a few minutes you are feeling too hot. Getting too many layers on is not a good idea, as you will have to take some out after a few minutes. As well a good tip for winter riding is that one: you should feel a bit cold when you first go out.
Take care of your hands and feet
Your body tends to concentrate the blood on the vital organs when temperatures go down. For this reason it will be easy to get your hands and feet cold. For your feet a good pair of winter socks and shoes will work. For your hands it is really important to get a good pair of gloves for winter riding. Look for water and wind proof materials, because in winter weather can change quickly during a single day. As well in winter, the break handles -specially if they are metallic- are something not really pleasant to touch with your bare skin.
Get winter tires
If you live in a rainy zone, or even snowy zone, maybe it is a good idea to change your tires for winter ones. They will give you more stability on slippery conditions such as water, or ice. If you don’t want to spend so much money, just deflate a bit your tires and you will get a better grip when the surface gets delicate.
Keep your bike clean and lubricated
Cold weather and rain are not the best combination for keeping your bike in good shape. In winter time rain is very common so water -dirty water from the road actually- will get inside every moving part of your bicycle. Gears, brakes, cables and derailleurs will stick and not work properly. In a long term this leads to corrosion. For that reason in winter you should keep your bike clean and well lubricated. You will avoid future problems of having to spend money because of damaged parts.