While many people may choose to put their bikes away for the winter with dreams of warmer days around the corner, cycling can still be enjoyed in the colder months with some adjustments. Whether you have a comfy beach cruiser with gears that has a basket for convenience or a mountain bike that is used to handling tough terrains, having the right gear to keep you and comfortable and safe while you ride is a necessity. Here are essential items you’ll need to have with you for every winter biking excursion.
Dress for the Weather
Always consider the weather outside every time you go out for a winter bike ride. Dressing in layers is recommended so you can add warmth or remove it if the temperature changes or you start to warm up as you exercise. Make sure to take a thick enough jacket with you and raingear if it’s raining or snowing outside. On especially windy days, put on a windbreaker over your other gear.
A pair of athletic gloves and shoes with rubber insoles that won’t slip in wet conditions are essential too. Choose a pair with extra insulation to keep your feet warm, and don’t forget quality cycling socks. Shop for a winter helmet that prevents your head from losing too much heat, and consider wearing a beanie under as well.
Make Sure You Can Be Seen
Depending on where you live, winter may mean dramatically shorter days, making it more likely you’ll be stuck driving in the dark. Wear reflective clothing, and add lights and reflective materials to your bike so you can be seen at night or in hazy weather conditions. When searching for commuter bicycles for sale, you can look for a model that already has reflective elements from the get-go.
Add Traction to your Tires
If there’s a good chance you’ll run into ice or snow during your ride, invest in a pair of winter tires that can drudge through thicker snow without losing air or getting stuck. Studded bike tires are ideal for winter riding. You can also add bike tire chains for even more traction.
Remember Food and Water
Just like biking any other time of year, you need to consider how to bring food and water along for the trip. Since weather may be an issue, take along weather-safe containers that prevent liquid from getting inside. Don’t just place food in a basket or expect to let your lunch hang from a bag hung on your bike. Attachable hard coolers or just a hard storage box should do the trick. For water and other beverages, take a durable bottle, such as an insulated model.
In addition to taking all the right gear along with you, make sure you have the right bike for the job. From hybrid bicycles for sale to tough mountain bikes, consider your path and weather conditions and be well prepared. By wearing the right clothing, making the necessary adjustments to your bike, and bringing plenty of nourishment to keep your energy up, winter riding can be a fun new adventure.