You may not realise it, but winter is a great time to ride your bike. The crisp weather often makes for some stunning winter scenery and there are also many health benefits of riding in the cold. You’ll burn more calories, train yourself to breathe more efficiently, and elevate your mood!
To enjoy these health benefits and get the best out of your winter ride, we’ve compiled a list of tips for cycling in winter like a pro. Keep reading to learn more.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
A great winter ride starts with the right cycling clothes. It’s important to keep the different parts of your body warm so you can cycle efficiently and enjoy your time outdoors.
Most of your body heat escapes from your head, so good headwear is essential. A beanie under your helmet, a head warmer, or a headband will definitely keep your head warm on those brisk winter night rides.
TORSO: Multiple layers are the way to go. Some of the best winter cycling garments to protect your upper body are:
Cycling jerseys: The best cycling jerseys allow airflow to prevent sweat from accumulating. They are slightly longer in the back to keep you covered while in your riding position and have rubber stoppers around the hems to keep the jersey in place.
Cycling vests: Vests help you stay warm and dry. A good cycling vest is lightweight and compact, windproof at the front, and has good ventilation at the back.
Cycling jackets: A fundamental part of your winter bike riding gear. They’re light, but still provide a good level of warmth and protect you from the wind and rain.
Arm warmers: Arm warmers are a practical way to stay toasty. Once you’ve warmed up, easily slide them off and tuck them in your pocket.
Leg and knee warmers: are great additions to any winter riding kit, as they allow you to keep your lower half sheltered from the cold and can easily be removed once you have warmed up or if the weather changes.
HANDS AND FEET
Your extremities get cold quickly when you ride your bike in winter, so it’s important to have the right gear to keep them insulated.
Winter gloves: Bike gloves cover your hands, protect them with additional padding, and let you ride comfortably.
Cycling socks: Cycling socks are made with fabrics that control moisture, so they keep your feet warm and dry.
Shoe covers: Otherwise known as overshoes, shoe covers help to protect your feet from wet and cold conditions during winter riding.
BOOST YOUR VISIBILITY
Days in winter are shorter and darker, so even if you’re not planning to ride during the night, it’s important to increase your visibility to other road users.
When you’re riding your bike you must be able to see properly, and be seen!
You will need a front bike light, a rear bike light, and reflectors to keep yourself and others safe.
Remember that having proper lights on your bike is not just a good idea; it’s the law! The New Zealand Cycling Code states:
“You must use lights between sunset and sunrise, and at any other time when you can’t clearly see a person or vehicle 100 metres away – about the length of a rugby or football field. You must have one or two front lights on your bike. Only one front light may flash. Front lights must be white or yellow. You must have at least one rear light. Any rear light may flash. Rear lights must be red.”
We have all the lights needed to comply with these rules, so you can make sure your bike is all set for safe early morning or evening rides.
• Make sure your bike tyres are in good condition or even consider getting a new set to assure maximum grip during your winter bike rides.
• Clean your bike after every ride. Make sure you have the right cleaning products to keep all your bike components clean and lubricated.
• Before winter starts it is a good idea to take your bike for a service and a thorough tune-up at your local 99 Bikes location.
It’s always beneficial to plan your route before you go for a bike ride. This is particularly important during winter rides, as some roads can be more affected by winter weather conditions and you may find yourself caught in the dark if you ride in the evening. We recommend using the Google Maps bike routes feature.
KNOW YOUR ROUTE
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELFMake sure your normal cycling nutrition and other routines don’t go out the window in winter! Even if it’s cold it may still be sunny, so apply sunscreen to any exposed skin and keep properly hydrated.
TRY AN INDOOR BIKE TRAINER
Indoor bike trainers are a great cycling alternative if the weather isn’t ideal. Our smart trainers deliver a realistic ride feel with incredible stability and power. Whether you need to keep up your training regime or want to enjoy a fun workout, indoor trainers are the perfect winter cycling solution!
Ride safely this winter with quality cycling gear from 99 Bikes
Make sure you have everything you need to cycle safely this winter. At 99 Bikes, we have all the bike accessories needed to get yourself and your bike ready for the colder months ahead. If you are looking for advice about a product, our team of cycling experts are always happy to help. Head into one of our stores across the country or shop online today!