Want to Ride Your Bike in Winter? Know How!

Do you have what it takes to ride your bike in the winter? Turns out, winter riding isn’t as different as you may think. If you’re about to set out for the first time down a snowy trail or city street, use these commuting basics. From city bikes to adult tricycles virtually any type of transportation can still be safely used in the winter.

Go Slow

Don’t hit the most demanding trail at the beginning of winter. Go for a ride around your block or on a flat, easy trail. Riding in the winter isn’t difficult, but it can feel a bit disorienting at first. You’ll need to experiment with the right amount of clothing, tire pressure and other factors, so go for a few short rides before setting out on miles of riding.

Pick Your Path

It’s possible to travel up hills and over unplowed trails, but it will make your commute feel far more strenuous. If you’re commuting in a major metro area, look for plowed bike trails. You may be surprised at how many trails are freshly plowed after each snowfall, which makes your winter commute very similar to your summer one.

Ice can be an obstacle while biking, but both powder and packed snow are surprisingly easy to navigate with any bike. Don’t attempt miles of unplowed riding right away, but test out some short, familiar paths to see how your bike handles the snow.

Prepare Your Bike

You can use any bike in the winter, but there are a few reasons why you may want to swap out your city bike for a fat tire or other commuter. City bikes don’t have the same traction as a fat tire, and the thin tires may be more difficult to keep control of as you ride over patches of ice. A fat tire bike, on the other hand, has large wheels with plenty of traction. These durable bikes are a natural choice for winter roads and trails.

If you’re already happy with your ride, consider dropping the tire pressure. A lower tire pressure gives you more traction. This can be dangerous in the summer, when sharp rocks and sticks can puncture your tire, but snow cover protects your tires during your winter commute.

Dress Appropriately

Some winter commuters start by bundling up with all of their arctic-rated gear. Remember that you’re going to be working out while you ride, so you’re going to be sweating and heating up. Dress in layers and experiment with the ideal amount of clothing for the temperature. Protecting your extremities can help retain heat, so wear a hat under your helmet and keep your feet and hands warm.

Upgrade Your Bike

From narrow, snow-covered trails in the woods to a freshly plowed city path, your winter commute will be far easier and more enjoyable with the right bike. Shop for fat tire bikes for men, cruiser bikes for women and other types of bikes designed for your body type and commute style. Keep cruising on two wheels throughout the winter to stay fit and stay positive.

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