Approximately 36 million Americans over the age of seven rode their bikes six times or more in 2015. But bicycling is traditionally thought to be an activity performed in the spring, summer, and fall. Even if you’re a seasoned cyclist, you might be under the impression that you can’t ride in winter. But the truth is that it can be done — and it’s a great way to keep your fitness levels up during the colder months. You’ll certainly need to take precautions to ensure your safety, but riding your bike in winter can be a lot of fun. Here are some expert tips to help you do it correctly.
Remember To Layer Up
Cold temperatures require proper clothing, particularly where your extremities are concerned. Nothing will derail a winter ride faster than cold feet and hands. However, you shouldn’t have too much extra clothing on, either. It’s best to start out with a warm base lawyer with a couple of pieces you can layer on or take off as needed. A good rule of thumb: if you feel warm and toasty when you step outside, you have too much on. Experts recommend you should feel a little bit chilly before you start to ride — not so much that you’re uncomfortable, of course, but since you’ll warm up when you start cycling, you’ll want to plan ahead.
Don’t Use Your Primary Bike
A lot of cyclists believe that they need to get all new gear when they ride in winter. They might get a bicycle with thicker tires and equip it with a brand new carbon fiber bike saddle and other new components. The problem is, winter weather is really tough on bikes. If you don’t want to risk doing damage to the bike you use most often, you might want to consider taking out another that you’ve kept in storage. That said, you may benefit by switching out the saddle for one of the most comfortable bike seats on the market and equipping your bike with a pair of studded tires to use in icier conditions.
Perform After-Ride Maintenance Every Time
Purchasing the proper bike equipment is important, of course. But once you figure out which types of bike saddles and other equipment will best serve you, you’ll need to maintain them. You won’t have to worry too much about cleaning your carbon fiber bike saddle, but you will need to be concerned with how the snow, slush, dirt, and salt impacts the other parts of your bike. If you aren’t careful, that debris can cause rust and corrosion. Therefore, you’ll want to wipe down your bike, if not wash it, immediately after every ride. We wrote a post on how to properly clean your bike, which you’ll definitely want to check out if you plan to ride this winter.
Make Sure To Hydrate (And Insulate)
We make a big deal out of staying hydrated in the summertime, but it’s just as important (or maybe even more so!) to do so in the winter. Cold air holds even less moisture than warm air, and you’ll still work up a sweat during those winter rides. Invest in an insulated water bottle to ensure your water doesn’t freeze during the trip. And although coffee will dehydrate you, a hot cuppa or some warm broth will sure be nice when you’re feeling the freeze.
See And Be Seen
Remember that daytime hours are shorter and the light is often a bit dimmer in general. Road safety should always be a concern, but you’ll want to take extra precautions in winter. Along with your carbon fiber bike saddle, equip your bike with a powerful bike light on the front and back, plus reflectors. You can even bring a rechargeable light for those “just in case” moments. By making sure you can see and be seen, you could prevent a major accident and subsequent injury.
Want to take a ride this winter? Make sure you’ve got the best carbon fiber bike saddle to fit your needs. Contact us today for assistance or more information.
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