winter cycling

News as of January 4 - Ride Updates and Winter Riding Clinic this Weekend

Topics Included in this Edition:

  • Brutiful Roads Triple - Adventure road ride series that begins in remote locations no more than a 1 hr drive from either here or Ride Studio in Lexington - it will NOT be running tomorrow, January 5, due to rain. This means next Saturday it is likely to be running. Be sure to RSVP so you get the latest news from us as to when it will be running and other very important details!

  • Winter Riding 101 Clinic: Learn how to Enjoy Staying Outside on your Bike. We’re hosting, CRW is bringing snacks and drinks! Be sure to RSVP! Only a couple of spots are left! It’s this Sunday, January 6 3-5pm

  • Nailing Your Nutrition, Riding to Lose Weight Seminar is happening Tuesday, January 15 at 7:00 pm, be sure to RSVP to attend. CCNS is presenting valuable insight.

  • Lactate Threshold Testing - CCNS is offering LT testing on January 15 during the day, be sure to reserve your test slot!

  • Weekly Group Rides for this weekend:

    • SELF-LED THIS SATURDAY: Sunshine Express Road Ride - Saturday Mornings 11:00am Rollout - This ride is self-led if you want to ride, it’s going to be raining, so come with the route.

    • Beowulf Terrain Ride - Gravel bikes, cross bikes, mountain bikes - Saturday Mornings 11:10am Rollout - Canceled for this Saturday due to WET trails. We run this ride when the trails are DRY and/or FROZEN!

    • BiFrost Offroad Ride - Mountain bikes, fat bikes, any bike with studded tires - Sunday Mornings 9:00am Rollout Sponsored by Honey Bikes! - This ride is LIKELY GOING TO BE A ROAD RIDE this Sunday due to wet and soft trails. However, watch our Instagram/Twitter Saturday evening for an update as to what this ride will be for this Sunday morning!

  • Gravel and Winter Bike Feature - Honey Allroads - perfect for winter and gravel riding!

Honey Allroads is the best value gravel bike on the market. Get one to be ready for upcoming spring events!

Honey Allroads is the best value gravel bike on the market. Get one to be ready for upcoming spring events!

Winter News - Start 2019 With Rides and Clinics!

Our latest newsletter just went out. If you’re not yet registered to receive it, be sure to Subscribe Now! We email no more than twice a month. It’s a good way to be sure you’re up on our special rides, weekly rides, and very useful clinics! Check it out!

Topics Included in this Edition:

  • Brutiful Roads Triple - Adventure road ride series that begins in remote locations no more than a 1 hr drive from either here or Ride Studio in Lexington

  • Resolution Ride - Ride on Tuesday, January 1 at 11am, RSVP’s important since we won’t know the best route or bike type until just before this ride due to weather

  • Winter Riding 101 Clinic: Learn how to Enjoy Staying Outside on your Bike. We’re hosting, CRW is bringing snacks and drinks! Be sure to RSVP! January 6 3-5pm

  • Nailing Your Nutrition, Riding to Lose Weight Seminar is happening Tuesday, January 15 at 7:00 pm, be sure to RSVP to attend. CCNS is presenting valuable insight.

  • Lactate Threshold Testing - CCNS is offering LT testing on January 15 during the day, be sure to reserve your test

  • Weekly Group Rides for this weekend:

    • Sunshine Express Road Ride - Saturday Mornings 11:00am Rollout - This ride is on, it's ideal road riding weather this weekend. Two speeds: 17-18mph average and 15-16mph average.

    • Beowulf Terrain Ride - Gravel bikes, cross bikes, mountain bikes - Saturday Mornings 11:10am Rollout - Canceled for this Saturday due to WET trails. We run this ride when the trails are DRY and/or FROZEN!

    • BiFrost Offroad Ride - Mountain bikes, fat bikes, any bike with studded tires - Sunday Mornings 9:00am Rollout Sponsored by Honey Bikes! - This ride is ON for this Sunday since the trails will be frozen. Studded tires are REQUIRED to participate this Saturday for the safety of all.

  • Gravel Bike Feature - Honey Allroads

Honey Allroads is the best value gravel bike on the market. Get one to be ready for upcoming spring events!

Honey Allroads is the best value gravel bike on the market. Get one to be ready for upcoming spring events!

Winning Winter: Wearing the Right Clothes

Much of the fun of winter cycling comes from being outside pedaling with the thrill of an adventure, and the discovery that winter cycling can be quite comfortable and enjoyable. It's all a matter of dressing appropriately. You'll find that one of the bigger issues of cold-weather cycling comes in the form of over heating and then subsequent freezing. Prevent over-heating or freezing with the right clothes, and a very unique, unforgettably fun cycling experience ensues.

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Here is what we recommend wearing. We get these recommendations directly from personal experience. We love winter riding and have done quite a bit of it. So, we've tried a lot and have arrived at tried-and-true recommendations. The winter of two years ago, with many feet of snow, found us outside riding frequently. The more it snows, the more we are excited about riding outside in it. 

Fingers and Toes

What freezes first and is most painful if not properly dressed? Almost everyone agrees it's the poor fingers and toes. Fortunately, there are perfectly cozy fixes to make them happy.

45NRTH knows winter riding and the best possible attire for it. We've got a full size range of their boots in stock. The Wolvhammer model is the most perfectly suited to New England winter riding.

45NRTH knows winter riding and the best possible attire for it. We've got a full size range of their boots in stock. The Wolvhammer model is the most perfectly suited to New England winter riding.

Boots are significantly better than shoe covers to keep your feet warm. One reason why feet freeze so quickly in the cold is that the cold air quickly penetrates the thin sole of a cycling shoe, especially where the cleat is attached. These boots make a huge difference in warmth and they are light and move well so that pedaling is still easy.

For gloves, fingers stay warm if they're together. For this reason, we recommend 45NRTH 4-finger gloves with liners and Pearl Izumi lobster gloves. These gloves allow plenty of dexterity for shifting on drop-bar and flat-bar bikes. 

The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. AmFib Lobster Glove keeps fingers together, and very warm.

The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. AmFib Lobster Glove keeps fingers together, and very warm.

The 45NRTH Sturmfist 4-finger gloves even include merino wool liner gloves to be worn underneath.

The 45NRTH Sturmfist 4-finger gloves even include merino wool liner gloves to be worn underneath.

Our product testers who have the most sensitive hands and who have Raynaud's have found these gloves to do the trick to keeping hands warm for long, 3+ hour cold-weather rides. We suggest sizing up to allow for more room for fingers to move around within the gloves and a bigger chamber for warm air to reside.

Keep Your Noggin and Surrounding Parts Warm

A big source for heat loss comes from your head. And your sensitive ears, being affixed to your head, really need to be kept warm, too. We suggest a comfortable wool cycling cap that is made to be worn under a helmet. Separately, use a neck warmer to cover your neck, mouth, and nose, depending on how cold it is. It's useful that these two things are separate since it's often necessary to use them in different ways during the course of a single ride. Start really well bundled up, and have the ability to move things around as the ride progresses and you warm up. 

We designed a 3-season wool cap for the purposes of keeping your head warm, ears properly covered, and a bill to keep the elements off of your eyes. It fits well under a helmet, too.

We designed a 3-season wool cap for the purposes of keeping your head warm, ears properly covered, and a bill to keep the elements off of your eyes. It fits well under a helmet, too.

A neck warmer is best if it's wool. Like everything 45NRTH produces, their Blowtorch gaiter is wonderful in its simplicity and effective in keeping comfort levels high on a ride. 

Limit the Layers

As nice as layering is, it's not always beneficial to layer too much. There is a fine balance between temperature control, breatheability, and feeling constrained, and uncomfortable. 

The easy solution to this dilemma is to invest in a winter jacket and winter bib tights with a built-in chamois. 

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Take this supremely comfortable, very innovative jacket made by Velocio. It's warm. And it breathes well. It's been created with the idea in mind that a single layer under it is all that is necessary on the coldest days. Imagine not having to get a whole bunch of layers gross and sweaty. Keep the laundry pile small, and discover the joy of putting on a warm jacket that has proper temperature control in mind for the duration of any pace bike ride. 

The women's Velocio tights are made as comfortable and cozy as the men's with the addition of a rear zipper. The zipper allows for quick nature breaks without having to completely disrobe. This is a game changer for women who love to ride in winter.

The women's Velocio tights are made as comfortable and cozy as the men's with the addition of a rear zipper. The zipper allows for quick nature breaks without having to completely disrobe. This is a game changer for women who love to ride in winter.

If you haven't experienced the sheer pleasure of putting on winter tights with nothing underneath them, you have to do it to know just how great it feels. The fuzzy inside of the tights is instant warmth, comfort, and the chamois is arguably the most comfortable chamois on the cycling market today. You'll want to run outside and play in the snow the moment you put these on! If you're used to wearing tights over a pair of cycling shorts or bibs, you'll see how much extra compression and discomfort is introduced as a result of wearing too many layers. Try these and you'll find you're looking forward to cold days to have an excuse to put them on. 

45NRTH has introduced an apparel line, the Naughtvind, for this winter that has cold and protection in mind. They have a very protective jacket, full pants, and thermal bib tights with chamois built in. 45NRTH is used to riding and designing apparel and equipment for Minnesota winters. Everything they produce is very high-quality and well thought-out. We and Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington are two of very few 45NRTH apparel dealers in all of New England. Check out their stuff on our shelves.

That's all there is to dressing for the winter. The basic concepts are:

  • Invest in a few, key pieces of clothing that are built for winter cycling. There is a noticeable difference between good winter clothes and great winter cycling clothes.

  • Take especially good care of your fingers, toes, and ears. Suffering in the cold is not only painful, it's dangerous, and unnecessary.

  • When in doubt, go up a size. Having more room for warm air inside your clothes whether we're talking about gloves, boots, or jacket, is always a good thing.

  • There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. We look forward to the winter and the riding we get to do in fresh snow every year. The reason is that it's fun, always a memorable experience with friends, and not something we do out of any need to suffer.

Taking on the Winter by Bike

Every winter, we look forward to the snow. Riding in the snow, in the dark, on- and off- road is not something we do because we're trying to prove anything or show how tough we are. It's genuinely fun to be outside in the snow. Maybe it's just us extending our childhood of playing in the snow, and being able to couple this with spending time with our riding friends. 

Winter riding simply involves having the right clothes, tires, and pedals. There are many options for each and maybe surprisingly, snow and winter riding often results in the funnest rides of the year.  

We'll be talking about winter riding a lot here since there is a lot to say. 

For starters, we want you to be sure to get ready for the great winter rides we have in store. When the snow hits, it's too late to start getting you and your bike ready.

Here is a winter prep checklist:

1. Get all of your winter clothes out and see what's missing. Here's what's necessary:

  • Hat that fits under your helmet, make sure your ears are covered
  • Neck gaitor 
  • Base layer
  • Long-sleeve jersey or Short Sleeve jersey with arm warmers
  • Jacket
  • Winter tights
  • Wool socks, make sure they fit in your shoes
  • Shoe covers, or, better yet for much more warmth: winter shoes
  • Winter gloves. Lobster gloves or 4-finger gloves work particularly well

2a. Get a set of studded tires. This way, there will never be a day all winter when it's too icy to ride. There are 30c knobby studded tire options and 38c knobby tires that ride well, aren't too heavy - yes, studded tires are heavier than what you're used to riding, but they can have a nice ride quality, too. 

2b. Consider a large diameter tire as in those that are found on fat bikes. Fat bikes with huge tires feel like they float over the snow. They are fun bikes! Fat bikes don't move quite as fast as bikes with skinnier tires, but less wind equates to a warmer ride. We have demo fat bikes for you to ride, just ask us to take one out!

We also have a special running to help you get on a fat bike: check out the details here.

3. Make sure your bike doesn't have road pedals. Mtn bike clipless pedals are easy to use in all weather. Most winter boots are compatible with mtn cleats/pedals. Some people prefer not to be clipped in to pedals in bad weather. There are very good platform pedals made for winter riding.

4. With so little light available, the chances of wanting to ride in the dark or getting caught out riding in the dark are very good. We suggest a nice headlight that you can simply keep charged and on your handlebars and a rear blinky.  

Questions on the best equipment for winter riding? We've done a lot of winter riding and have been part of many cold adventure rides. Ask us whatever you want to know!  Email: connect@rideheadquarters.com