The cold weather cycling season is here, and to help you survive it, we are offering a series of tips and tricks to help you stay warm. Take a look at our guide on how to prepare for winter riding, the best clothing options for winter cycling, and how to deal with temperature fluctuations while cycling.
Cycling can be a safe and healthy way to get around, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t know how to protect yourself from the cold. Here are a few tips for cycling in cold weather that will help you stay warm on your ride.
Here are the best tips and tricks to help you stay warm while cycling in the winter months. Read also: Schwinn lightweight aluminum bike
Cold weather can be brutal. You might not need to use special cream, but applying a layer of oil-based cream (not gel) on your skin will trap in heat and make you warm far more effectively than just wearing the same shirt over and over again.
Wear clothing that is neither too hot nor cold to the skin – ‘act like your mother’ principle. Your clothes should be thick but not sticky. Add a layer of light wool tape (windproofing) under outer garments and windproof material if you have it. The wool tape looks ugly, so I always recommend wearing brightly colored or patterned trousers with cycling tights/short leggings over them for security.
Most of the time, this will be too bulky, but for those few occasions where you need to protect yourself from icy air and temperatures like -12 degrees celsius (or 20f), it’s worth making sure that your body stays warm by carrying around something easy-to-use. This is more important than ever when riding on very cold and windy days. A couple of suits can help keep you one step ahead!
Use layers of clothing to keep you warm when cycling in cold weather. Wear a thin base under the legs, which can be breathable cotton on its own, but also add normal thick tights and/or thermal leggings underneath. The tip is that they should have no cotton at the vamp (the area where your leg connects to your bum). This will prevent any friction due to movement whilst protecting against wind-chills too.
Keep your bike clean in conditions of frost and snow. It’s vital that all parts are above freezing during the winter to prevent ice forming, brittle chains, etcetera. There will be more on this subject when I cover how often you should wash your clothing. They won’t stay so nice when there is no water!
Keep the chain well lubed at all times – very important for cold weather riding as water builds up around the chain. This is very important: Heat your chains and links by running a little water over them. Use boiling tap water on really cold days. For this, you will need to start the link on fire, lighting it at about 2/3rds of an inch (1cm) from one end, then adjust how close that is depending upon how hot your pipes are! If your pipes can’t maintain proper temperature whilst in operation, consider fitting a remote control or electric water pump set to deliver hot or boiling water!
Look out for icy patches on dangerous stretches of road. Have the right safety gear and insurance in case you end up in an accident! Keep your tires inflated correctly at all times, even when dry. This is seriously important, as it prevents further damage to rim sets or frames due to them being under pressure compromising strength and resilience. The best method I’ve found that doesn’t involve putting a huge amount of effort into inflating them yourself is buying cheap inflated bicycle tires from certain suppliers that sell on a consignment basis. Just make sure you are getting those tires in the correct width (22 inches). Simple, risk-free & cheap!
When out on the coldest of days and you’re wearing short sleeves or a thin top, keep your lips sealed up tightly for warmth. Avoiding wind chapping too dramatically throughout the day is also an advantage when it’s this cold! The moisture from your skin will condense onto any materials like metal surfaces & exterior plastic panels, which may reduce insulation. Keep reading Easy Beginner BMX Biking Tricks
Keep your fingers and toes warm with a good pair of winter gloves or mittens. Coats, vests & thick puffy jackets are ideal for the colder months when it comes to keeping out unwanted cold air seeping in from any gaps you may have between brands, clothing layers, etc. Also, ensure that nothing is poking into areas of your skin that could cause chafing; they should also be able to withstand some wear & tear without falling apart or falling down.
Even on a light or slightly above average day, as well as really cold days, there is always the possibility of black ice forming leading to injuries such as head and facial fractures in addition to being knocked unconscious from hitting your head on something whilst skating besides causing severe bruising that could persist for several weeks after thawing out.
A good pair of longboard wheels can be really handy whilst riding in traffic; but unfortunately, on these occasions where the roads are not treated, it is a dodgy business park to deal with strip & pavement riding thru concrete walls, conduits, and metal fences which definitely blows those viable plans out of the water! Also, remember that ripping can often occur down man-made obstacles such as wooden planks and firewood logs if they’re thin enough. Keep your eyes peeled on the road for any risks that could immediately be taken whilst skating and make sure you avoid these areas by taking a different route if possible.
If you have not tried cold weather cycling yet, this is the perfect time to start. Cold weather riding is one of the best ways to stay healthy and active during winter, as it allows you to enjoy outdoor activities that you may otherwise miss out on due to inclement weather. These tips will help ensure that your next ride in the cold is a fun and safe one! You may also like to read, Cycle in icy conditions