Gear Tips for Cold Weather Road Riding

Posted on Nov 19, 2013 in News | 0 comments

Gear Tips for Cold Weather Road Riding

Riding a road bike in cold temperatures requires a certain amount of grit, determination, and know-how. These gear tips will give you the knowledge… now all you need is the willpower!

Don’t Overdress.  While it may be tempting to really bundle up for a chilly ride, overdoing it may end up making you colder. If you start the ride so warm and toasty that you start sweating within minutes, your clothes will be damp for the rest of the ride.  Start with enough clothing that you’re slightly chilly, and tuck an extra layer in your back pocket if you think temps will drop.

Everyone has a different tolerance for cold- the key to dressing right is finding where you fit in. Record what you wear and what the temp is on rides. Include how you felt- cold toes, too warm, etc.  After a few rides you’ll learn what you should wear when.

Toughen up.  A flat in freezing weather is no fun. Salt, cinders, and other road grime can make flats a common occurrence in colder months, so choose a tougher tire for winter riding. Stop by your local bike shop and they will be happy to introduce you to puncture-resistant models.

Bring a light. Dusk falls early on gray winter days. Do yourself and the cars around you a favor- deck yourself out with lights and reflective clothing.  A red blinky light on your chainstay and a white light on your handlebars will help you see and be seen.

Insulate your water supply. On frigid days, your water can freeze solid in a matter of hours. Invest in some insulated bottles. Fill ‘em up with warm water or sports drink, and they’re guaranteed to stay liquid longer. And when warmer weather arrives, they’ll work to keep drinks chilled as well.

Wear shades. Varying winter light can be tough on the eyes. Get a pair of sunglasses with interchangeable lenses. On gloomy afternoons, a yellow lens will brighten up the road and increase contrast, letting you see potholes and other obstacles with greater clarity. On bright days, when the sun is reflecting off the snow, an extra dark lens will keep your eyes from watering.

Stick on some fenders. On slushy streets, your tires kick up a spray of cold, dirty water. This mess drenches your back and causes you to get chilly faster.  An inexpensive pair of plastic fenders will protect your bum from the slush and slop. Plus, your favorite jerseys won’t have the perma-stain that comes with that skunky stripe.

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