Winter Cycling ：10 Expert-Backed Tips
You Need To Know
Cycling in the winter does not sound appealing to everyone. Still, a bike ride in the winter can be a lot of fun with the right cycling gear and accessories. Whether you're getting on a mountain bike or putting up miles on a road bike, you can also enjoy your bike ride during the colder months. And you know: winter miles = summer smiles…
In order to keep cycling with a smile on your face in the winter, we give some tips in this blog to help you as a cyclist get through the winter. Cycling in the winter can also be a lot of fun. Perhaps the most important tip to keep cycling in the winter: keep yourself warm! If you get cold, get wet or for some other reason are not comfortable on the bike, it is difficult for even the biggest die-hards. Therefore, make sure you dress yourself warmly from head to toe.
Here are my tips:
Avoid the cold with a warm cycling hat or scarf
Did you know that you lose by far the most heat through your head? Moisture and wind ensure that your head cools down quickly. With a good cycling hat or scarf you not only keep your head and neck warm, but also dry. Make sure that you lose as little heat as possible through your head.
Put on warm, dry and breathable winter cycling gear
You also need sufficient insulating cycling clothing for the rest of your body. There is a lot to choose from when it comes to winter cycling clothing. In addition to a wonderfully warm cycling shirt or cycling jacket, also provide yourself with winter cycling shorts. Base layers are key. Starting with a warm base layers keeps you nice and warm throughout your rides.
Is it not too bad with the cold, but does the rain come down in torrents? Then good waterproof or water-repellent cycling clothing will help you through every shower. The idea that waterproof cycling clothing is only sweaty is no longer valid.
Provide a wind and waterproof cycling jacket in the rain A good cycling jacket will keep you warm and dry.
Keep your feet warm with winter cycling shoes or overshoes
Cold feet are also a reason why people prefer to leave their bicycle in the shed in the winter. But that is not necessary at all when you use warm cycling shoes for the winter. Winter MTB shoes and winter road bike shoes are wind and waterproof so you can continue cycling without getting numb toes. There are even shoes that protect your feet from temperatures well below freezing.
Do you really want to err on the side of caution? Then you can choose shoes over your winter cycling shoes, namely overshoes. This keeps water and cold out even better so that your feet stay even warmer. The fact that your cycling shoes stay nice and clean by using overshoes is a nice additional advantage. As an extra bonus, overshoes also keep your beautiful cycling shoes clea.
Keep your hands warm and dry with cycling gloves
Cold hands do not make any cyclist happy. Fortunately, there are many different cycling gloves, also for winter. And just like with all other winter cycling clothing, you can really make it as crazy as you want. You can go for super warm and waterproof so you can brave even the worst snow storm on the bike.
Good cycling gloves not only keep your hands warm and dry, but also give you good grip on your handlebars in wet conditions. The advantage of cycling gloves is that they have more padding than regular gloves. You can also move your fingers a little more freely to keep good control.
With cycling gloves, make sure that you can still operate your brakes and shifters properly.
Wear reflective cycling clothing
Standing out during the winter months is essential for a cyclist. In these dark months, a cyclist is difficult to see in traffic. That is why it is useful to wear reflective cycling clothing. This way you ensure that you can safely participate in traffic.
Reflection not only ensures that you are seen better, but it also helps other road users to estimate how fast you are going. It is therefore good for your own safety to make yourself visible by means of reflective cycling clothing. Make sure you are clearly visible to other road users when cycling in winter conditions. This is always important, by the way.
Use good bicycle lighting
In addition to reflective cycling clothing, good bicycle lighting is also very important for your safety. First of all, it is nice that you see a lot of your surroundings yourself. Especially if you ride at high speeds, such as on a racing bike or mountain bike. More importantly, other road users can see you too. Read all about the different types of bicycle lighting in our bicycle lighting buying guide.
Mount 4 season tires on your road bike
Even in winter you can safely hit the road with the road bike with the right tires. With 4-season tires you provide more grip during the cold days of the year and therefore increased safety during your ride on the road bike.
4 season tires have more grip and a higher puncture resistance than summer tires. The increased grip on 4-season road bike tires is due to a softer rubber compound. These tires can therefore be used in the winter during cold and wet conditions. with 4 season tires you can also cycle in winter on the racing bike. With 4 season road bike tires you can cycle all year round under any circumstance.
Maintain your bike
If you take such good care of yourself in the winter, you should definitely not forget your racing bike, cyclocrosser or mountain bike. If you like your bike a bit, make sure you take good care of your steel steed. Road salt, for example, causes your bicycle to rust faster. It is also best to clean and lubricate your bicycle chain regularly. Do you want to keep your bike clean for a little longer? Then you can easily mount mudguards on both your road bike and mountain bike. In our blog you can read how you can best clean and maintain your road bike or MTB.
Stick to familiar roads
If you ride during the winter it’s important to stick to roads you know. On those roads you know what to expect. During those dark cold days you don’t want to be surprised. If you know the route, that is a big advantage in the dark. During your regular lap, you know every pothole, all road narrowing and every sharp bend. It's safer and it feels familiar. Meet up with others if you have the chance. Not only is it more fun to cycle together, but you are also not alone if something happens to one of you. You are also less likely to disregard it.
No bike trainer at home? Come on, push through and get out into the cold! Then you can reward yourself after your bike ride with a warm shower and a nice cup of hot chocolate. It probably tastes extra good when you've worked hard for it. You can also treat yourself to a bicycle gift. Then you are immediately motivated to jump on your bike again. Cycling in the winter doesn't have to be a punishment.