Yes, you can ride your bike in the snow. However, winter bike riding is slower than regular riding with a lower seat and customized riding technique plus a plethora of other precautions. It can be challenging to avoid crashing in the snow, but taking these precautions and controlling your speeds will limit the severity of any crash. Winter riding is enjoyable and peaceful, with cyclists learning how to move over the snow. This article best explores how to enjoy bike riding in the snow.
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Top Expert Backed Tips for Winter Cycling
Many cyclists will hang up their bikes at any sign of snow, but they will have overlooked the potential benefits of riding in winter. Cyclists develop better breathing techniques, burn calories and enjoy themselves thoroughly while riding about safely. Even though they will be limited to slower movements, the techniques and skills required to keep cycling will make riding your bike in the snow an enjoyable experience. If you are thinking about riding your bike in the snow, here are the top expert-backed tips to consider.
Wear the Right Clothing
Your cycling gear will affect your ability to ride regardless of the weather. Wearing wrong clothing or shoes can increase the risk of injury when cycling. For winter, getting the right clothes will be crucial to enjoying an uninterrupted cycling experience. You should layer up properly to avoid freezing over in the middle of your biking.
Consider covering your core and work from there, putting on a few more layers to help you out. Remember, you should not be warm when you go outside to ride your bike. If you are slightly cold but ready to ride, your level of layering is just right. You should consider applying sunscreen to any exposed skin since this will protect you against UV radiation.
Your Old Bike Might Still Work Fine
You do not have to buy a bike to enjoy cycling through the snow unless you need to replace your old one. While fat bikes are very attractive, you may not necessarily need the four-inch tires to move better through the snow. However, fat bikes will be a great match for your snow cycling experience.
You may need to run the lowest available tire pressure without getting any pinch flats to better ride through the snow. While your old bike will work well, MTB and fat bikes may be better suited for the experience. Instead of replacing your old bike, you can add a new winter rider to your garage. Remember to experiment with your tire pressure to avoid having to change flats in the middle of riding.
Clean Your Bike
You should always clean your bike before storing it after cycling in the snow. Cyclists need to be more aggressive with their cleaning efforts after riding in the snow because their bikes will have picked up plenty of salty and dirty water. If left unchecked, snow can cause corrosive damage to your bike parts over time. You need to wash, or at the very least swipe down, your bike before setting it aside after a ride. You should also look to dry it completely before storage to do away with any excessive moisture. Remember to check your fenders since these keep the icy spray away from both you and your bike.
Watch Your Hands and Feet
Your extremities will give you out to the cold faster than any ill clothing choice might. During winter, your hands and feet will get cold quickly. Your cycling experience will be heavily affected by a poor choice of shoes or gloves. Always consider the right shoe selection and wear an ideal pair of warm socks.
Your riding gloves may be too light to offer sufficient cover during winter, which would necessitate adding a second pair under them. Some bikers even wear disposable surgical gloves underneath their biking gloves to generate additional heat. While your hands could become sweaty and clammy, it would be better than frozen fingers and interrupted cycling patterns. Remember to pick out air-activated heat packs for your shoes and gloves as an added layer of warmth.
Pack Extra Gear
You should pack heavy when planning for winter biking. This will help you counter any experiences to prevent lengthy delays on the road. You could consider packing multiple gloves for shifting temperature levels, an extra pair of socks and multiple tires to address any problems quickly. You can even share out some of your gear with cyclist friends who may not be well prepared for the snow. You can raid your sporting equipment store for quick additions, especially for additional gear. Your ski helmets and gloves will offer great value or use in the snow, albeit with an increased risk of overheating.
Keep Your Liquids Hot
You should insulate your liquids to avoid freezing out. Even though you may not notice it, cycling in the snow will cause heavy sweating that will necessitate hydration. You need to keep your temperatures consistently high while remaining hydrated to enjoy cycling for longer periods. You should consider taking up a double insulated flask to keep your liquids hot throughout your ride.
Top Tips to Improve Your Descending
Despite being highly enjoyable, descending can be a pretty tough part of mountain biking. If you are looking to improve your skills, here are a few pointers that will help you out.
Mountain bikers who have specialized in descending tend to let loose and leave the bike free to move underneath the. Even though you may feel tense and grip up on your handlebars, cutting a little free will be key to descending right. You will be better able to avoid a crash by maintaining a strong core and loosening your knuckles. Remember to let your arms and legs synchronize with the bike movements for a successful descent.
You should never feel the tension when descending. Instead, let loose and look forward. Descending bikers will have a better chance of manoeuvring their bike if they have eyes on the road. This will help you avoid getting caught out or crashing due to sudden changes in the trail. Anticipate your movement in advance to help maintain your speed when going downhill.
Twist the Levers
If you set up your brakes well, you will have an easier time going downhill fast. Many cyclists will point their levers to the ground, but this is better suited for climbing, saddle riding and slow snow cycling. Riders can become unstuck due to the high-pressure levels on their wrists. Instead of the standard placement, twist your levers upwards for a more flat or neutral setup. While it will take some getting used to, twisted levers will ensure better control as a result of your stronger wrist position.
Drop Your Seat
Dropped seats are one of the biggest game changers for descending. Most bikes are designed to have adjustable seating, with some options even enabling hydraulic tweaking at the push of a button. Descending cyclists need to stay on their feet to improve their level of control, which is provided by lower seating.
Learn From the Pros
You should always find someone to challenge your descending skills. The best descending cyclists will offer vital insight and techniques to help shape your own style. You can emulate their bike choices and techniques in order to develop and improve your descending skills.
Whether you are going up or downhill, snow can be a pretty tough challenge to encounter. If you have the right bicycle, gear and technique, you should be able to enjoy winter cycling. Remember to pack more than you need to avoid any lengthy hiccups to your experience.
Is biking in the snow safe?
If you actively take up measures to protect yourself, biking in the snow will be safe. Consider your clothing, liquids and bike before going out into the snow.