Monday, April 1, 2013

Winter cycling do's and do-not's

Sometimes, you'll see some people riding a bike during winter and you just say to yourself :
« This guy is crazy! ». Well, if you really think about it, maybe it isn't that crazy to do. Winter cycling is something that you can do. Here's a quick glimpse at some winter cycling do's and do-not's.

1. The good bike to possess

Having a cheap road bike during snowy conditions won't get you really far. The best type of 2-wheeler you can have is a normal bike with large tires. Without these, you'll have a lot of problems standing straight and keeping your balance. So, about the tires, larger is better. Plus, since your bike will be exposed to snow, icy water, salty water and wind, rust is more likely to appear and it's quite normal with these conditions. So, a steel-framed bike, not too expensive and well maintained will do the job.

2. Your winter apparel

As you may know, clothing is really important and with freezing conditions, it's even more important. Look out the list below for things you might need for your ride.
  • A good winter jacket.
  • Waterproof and warm gloves (ski or snow gloves do the trick)
  • Goggles or glasses
  • A toque/beanie or a warm helmet
  • Some facial protection like a big scarf or a face mask
  • Good boots that can keep your feet warm
  • Pants cover or snow pants

The thing that you have to protect the most is your fingers and your face since both parts are the most exposed parts when you ride. Also, there is a product called pockets hand and feet warmers that can be really helpful by putting them in your gloves and in your boots. It can be really practical going out for a ski trip but does the same thing for a long bike ride.

3. Keeping it fixed

The biggest challenge for your car during winter is to keep it fixed and good to go. Well, having a bike is the same thing but in a smaller scale. WD-40 will be one of your best friend in many situations for your gears and oiling up some other parts like your brakes and your wheels will help you maintain it. Plus, doing a complete anti-rust spray before the season will greatly help your bike to stay in shape all year long.

With that said, search for a cheap road bike or just a normal one, fix it, upgrade it if you need to and be even more careful on the roads.  Ice and snow can be tricky sometimes, well all the time.

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