Do not hang the bike on a nail when the temperature goes below freezing.
Too many cyclists leave their bikes in the garage as soon as the temperatures drop.
Yet cycling in winter is very fascinating
As your body struggles to stay warm, not only do you burn more calories, but your lungs learn to use oxygen much more efficiently, according to research from Northern Arizona University.
Plus, getting around (safely) can be incredibly fun.
Below are 10 things you should - and shouldn't - do to make the most of your winter cycling season.
1 - Use thermal clothing
You have to dress like an onion.
This thing they tell you since you were a child and you had to go on a trip with the teachers.
When it comes to winter cycling clothing, start with thermal technical underwear.
The ideal would be to dress as follows:
- Long-sleeved thermal underwear shirt
- Lightweight long-sleeved shirt
- Winter thermal jacket
- High visibility windproof light jacket
It is easy for all this clothing to be "too much" as soon as the air temperature heats up.
For this reason you must have a handlebar bag that can help you manage these changes.
A bag like Kelly, with front laces, allows you to store a jacket without any problem.
2 - Don't buy a new bike
Fat bikes are great and it's not uncommon to find photos of these bikes in the snow on the Internet however but you don't necessarily need four-inch tires to have fun in the snow.
You could then think of using your usual bike but it is possible that in the various steps it is easy to find salt and this can damage the frame.
Rather than ruining your main bike, opt for your old long-ignored 26 "MTB that collects dust if you have one.
A couple of studded tires make a huge difference.
For more stability on snow and ice you can consider reducing the tire pressure slightly.
If, for example, as in my case, you are used to pedaling at 4 bar, you can consider reducing the pressure to 3.5 bar.
Also, try to use the widest tires you can fit on your bike.
More grip will make your rides safer.
You may have to vary the tire pressure during the lap.
So remember to bring a small and powerful pump.
In a frame bag like Giovy you can store a pump that is 20cm long
3 - Wash your bike after every ride
Riding in mud and snow will cause a lot of salt and dirty water to fall on bike parts, which can cause corrosion and damage over time.
Make sure you wash the bike, or at least clean or rinse it, as soon as you finish each ride.
A small trick can be to use WD-40 on the clean frame before a ride in order to have a little help repelling ice and dirt.
After cleaning, spray it on the bike chain to get rid of excess moisture.
4 - Protect your hands and feet
There are two articles I have written that speak very highly of this issue.
Your hands and feet usually cool first, as your body focuses on keeping your chest warm.
Keeping the ends warm is the key to a pleasant winter run.
You can use very tight textile gloves under your winter cycling gloves.
Like the ones that mechanics use: with the rubber part on the fingertips and the fabric on the back of the hand.
You can also buy a box of hiking hand warmers (Thermopad)
Some of these hand warmers last up to 10 hours, so you can reuse the same pair to get home as you did on your morning commute.
5 - Bring extra equipment
I always carry two pairs of gloves, one heavier and one lighter, to handle temperature changes.
A lighter pair of gloves can also offer a little more finger dexterity, making flat tire changes quicker and easier.
An extra pair of woolen socks tucked into a resealable plastic bag can be a godsend if you accidentally step your feet in a puddle or frozen stream on the trail.
6 - Don't be afraid to use a ski helmet
A ski helmet offers several advantages when riding a bike.
First he is completely repaired.
You have the ability to adjust in airflow and the visor allows you to avoid the classic fogging for glasses
7 - Bring a Thermos with something warm
I will ride in winter only for the well-being that gives me opening the Thermos and drinking a tea or a coffee together with a tart.
There are several specific thermoses for bikes but they are expensive if they are large.
I have a normal and also very large thermos that I put inside my Betty seatbag.
8 - Use the mudguards
A seatbag like Betty or Derby as well as containing different material for your outings is also ideal as a mudguard.
9 - Make sure you are visible
Daylight is poor during the winter months. even in broad daylight the fog can put you in trouble.
For this reason I almost always use a fluorescent yellow windbreaker.
I like being prominent.
But caution is never too much.
For this reason I have also put small flashing lights in my bags that always work.
Good cycling bags should always include the possibility of installing lights.
10 - Protect the skin
Even if it is winter, it is still important to apply sunscreen to any exposed skin, such as the face, when cycling during the day.
This is especially true when there is snow on the ground, as snow can reflect nearly 90% of UV rays.
Your skin can dry out seriously even on those frigid winter walks, and applying a protective like sunscreen or moisturizer can help your skin retain moisture.
Also, don't forget about cocoa butter for the lips.