January 26, 2021
No matter the winter activity, it is vital your core temperature stays at the right level. Wearing an appropriate base layer, with or without sleeves is crucial. Solid cycling apparel and a good merino base layer absorbs sweat and insulates the body, keeping you comfortably pushing towards your goal. Even if you are a little chilly starting out, allowing your body to warm up without overheating once you get pumping is important. Wear multiple lightweight layers rather than one larger jacket. You can always shed layers and store them in a pocket or bag when your body begins to warm up. If you're in the market for winter gear, check out DNA Cycling's Winter Collection for some awesome cycling apparel.
Protecting your face with a balaclava and pair of glasses is often what it takes to stay warm and comfortable. In extreme cold, pulling the balaclava over your mouth can warm the harsh cold air entering your lungs. A pair of clear lens glasses are must as well. Carrying an anti-fog wipe with you as well will help keep the glass from fogging up on cold and rainy days.
Wearing well-insulated gloves, socks, caps, and overshoes helps your extremities stay dry and warm. Among other things, adding functionally stylish accessories to your kit is the key to looking and feeling good in the saddle. On wet days, carrying an extra pair of gloves in a ziplock baggie or waterproof bag is never a bad idea. To help keep your feet warm and dry, we recommend running a plastic baggie over your shoe and underneath your shoe cover. If you’re still getting numb toes or fingers, try running small hand or foot warmers in your shoe/shoe cover or double up on gloves with a warmer in between for ultimate comfort.
Winter riding doesn’t necessarily require buying a fat tire bike. While fat bikes can be an awesome winter riding option, dusting off your mountain bike can be just as fun. Trying to run slightly wider tires at the lowest tire pressure helps with traction in slippery areas. Besides that, adding a pair of studded tires to your collection can be considerably more affordable than buying a new bike. But if you do buy a new bike, we won't judge you... N+1 ;).
Adding fenders to your winter riding set up helps keep you and your squad dry. Functional fenders keep wet slush and snow off you and the people you ride alongside. There is nothing worse than a cold cold back. Head to your local bike shop to see which fenders will best fit what bike your riding on. Something as simple as plastic inserts from Ass Savers can save your bibs from a cold wet ride.
Finding time to ride in clear daylight conditions gets more difficult as the winter sun sets earlier and earlier. No matter the time of day or level of visibility, make sure you have lights and some piece of reflective gear no matter where you are. If you are in the city, don’t forget to stop for a nice warm cup of coffee… and even fill up one of your bottles with some warm water if you still have a ways to go!
While winter riding is a fun way to mix up your routine, it demands a little extra care and attention after the fact. Salt and dirt can cause considerable damage, especially over time. Applying something like Muc-Off protective spray after your clean your bike helps to protect against expensive damage and wear. You can never do enough maintenance on your drivetrain and chain during the winter season. Run wet-lube on your chain to deflect snow or rain and don’t forget to wipe it before your ride.
This might be a no-brainer, but this has to be one of the most important tips. Know what you’re getting yourself into and prepare for the worst. Check the forecast for where you’re starting, where you’re ending and everything in-between. I run a bike computer with weather alerts on it to notify me if weather starts to go south. If you’re unsure on what the weather might be like, we recommend using the app Epic Ride Weather and they will help provide you with an in-depth report on what to expect on your route.
Take it from us. You won't regret adding some of the winter riding tips into your routine. Building physical and mental strength while finding joy in challenging riding will help you own a sense of accomplishment during the off-season. Not to mention, warm weather rides will be a walk-in-the-park once the warm weather comes around. There is no better way to show off your winter riding attitude than by sporting a stylish Thread + Spoke lifestyle tee. Let people know what you're about on and off the bike. Shop Thread + Spoke collections to find the right style and design for you.
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