winter cycling

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