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Quick tips for winter riding??(9 posts)

Quick tips for winter riding??cory
Jan 17, 2002 10:59 AM
I'm a newspaper reporter working on a story about winter cycling. Got all the usual stuff about clothing and fenders and whatnot, but if anybody has some tips ("spray PAM on your derailleur to keep snow from sticking;" things like that), I'd be glad to have them. They can run with or without your name. If you don't want to post here, you can e-mail me at
A couple ideasAlex-in-Evanston
Jan 17, 2002 11:54 AM
Use lip balm on every ride or you'll be feeling it later.

If you stretch after the ride in the summer, try before in the winter. It helps to get out there loose.

Start with scalding hot water in your bottles, and it won't freeze as quickly.

If you're out on a ride and discover you've dressed too lightly, find a newspaper and lay it between your chest and your shirt (or down your pants). Paper is an effective windstopper.

Avoid getting sweaty at all costs. It is better to be chilly and dry than sweaty. That sweat will eventually turn you into a popsicle.

Hope these help,

Lets see....MB1
Jan 17, 2002 12:25 PM
Use rugged equipment. No reason to run light stuff in the winter since you are wearing a ton of clothes anyway. Don't want to get a flat or have a bike problem while it is cold out.

Take it easy on the hills, don't want to get all sweaty on the climb and freeze on the downhill. Plus you got to be careful of icy spots in turns so don't go screaming fast downhill. Run easier gears in the winter so you can climb with less effort.

Bring lights. Gets dark early...

Wear bright clothing. Easier for drivers to see you on gray days.

Never ride alone. Let someone know your route and expected return just in case...

The winter isn't the best time to go exploring new routes. Don't get lost out there.

Keep your cell phone handy, charged and warm. Batteries don't work as well when they get cold.

Pay close attention to the weather and the forecast but don't believe those happy faces on the telly know it all.

Ride lots, winter is a good time of year.
A couple more...DINOSAUR
Jan 17, 2002 5:12 PM
Dress in light layers, but don't overdress. If you don't feel chilly the first five minutes of your ride you wore too much clothing.

Drink plenty of fluids. Your body works very hard to stay heated and you perspire more than you think. Drink plenty of fluids or you can become dehydrated. They say your body needs more fluids in the winter than the summer months.

Watch for black ice on shaded corners. I avoid riding early in the morning to avoid this problem.

Don't rest for too long, keep moving. I've got chilled repairing flats. Work fast and carry two extra tubes.

Invest in a good gore-tex winter jacket. The type that has just the gore material in the front and sleeves work best. The full gore jackets don't breath well and you will overheat.

The hardest part about winter is just getting out there. I have some of my best rides in the winter.

Oh, if you go down on your bike the layers of clothing will help prevent road rash.
re: Quick tips for winter riding??.
Jan 18, 2002 9:11 AM
Pop your bars in the oven for a coupla hours before you go out - keeps your hands nice and warm (you still need gloves though).
re: Quick tips for winter riding??MJ
Jan 18, 2002 9:30 AM
re: Quick tips for winter riding??Dog
Jan 18, 2002 9:32 AM
*Drafting behind someone keeps you much warmer

*Heavy skin lotion or waxey creams keep your skin warmer

*Keep the extremities (ears, fingers, toes) warm at all costs

*Wool is great for jerseys and socks

*I'm warmer riding in the drops rather than sitting up on the tops or hoods -- less frontal area

Even better-rideon the back of a tandem.MB1
Jan 18, 2002 10:12 AM
In the winter Miss M wears a lot less clothing when she rides on the back of the tandem then when she rides her single.

Of course she could be working a lot harder having to push me around....
re: Quick tips for winter riding??tarwheel
Jan 21, 2002 12:25 PM
Always glad to help a reporter. (I was a newspaper reporter and magazine editor for 15 years, and now work in public affairs.)

1. Ride with a group and take turns leading to cut wind resistance. Wind is worse than the cold, same principle as wind chill effect.
2. Get a flashing tail-light and wear bright clothes. Poor light sneaks up awful fast on short winter days.
3. Wear t-shirts made of polypro or some other wicking fabric.
4. Toe covers on shoes.
5. Invest in a good pair of gloves as hands get the coldest first.
6. Wear a vest because your chest takes the brunt of the cold wind.
7. Wear tights, without pads, over your regular shorts or bibs.