Plenty of cyclists hang their bikes once winter comes. This time of the year is commonly given a bad rep as more unforgiving to bike enthusiasts. However, it’s one of the most enjoyable seasons to ride through. You don’t only burn more calories. Your body also learns how to use oxygen more wisely.
Winter cycling is tons of fun but you should look after yourself during this season. Allow us to help you out by sharing with you useful winter cycling tips below.
Use your lights
It’s good news that more riders are using their lights in daylight. It’s even more crucial to use them particularly during winter when it can get extra gloomy.
Buy small, rechargeable LED lights and place them where necessary. The best part is many of these lights won’t hurt your pockets. Just don’t forget to charge them before you head out. This will give you the peace of mind even when you get stuck in the dark during shorter days.
Just like in cars, fenders installed in bikes keep your ride from getting dirty. It also adds another layer of protection against snow and other winter stuff that can affect your bike’s components.
You can opt to use clip-on fenders, as other fenders may not fit bikes that have dual-pivot brakes. You can also make your own fenders by cutting a plastic 2-liter bottle in half lengthwise and using zip ties to mount it securely.
Wear the right clothing
A common mistake among winter cyclists is they layer too much clothing because they think it would be too cold. However, you must remember that the purpose is to sweat. You shouldn’t layer on too much that it’s practically unlikely for you to sweat it out.
Some of the essential winter garments are a waterproof jacket, wicking undervest, windproof gilt, thermal bib tights, overshoes and thermal gloves. You must also make sure you have the right pair of winter gloves because your hands are most susceptible to getting cold first.
Nourish yourself with food and water
Your body can get dehydrated at any temperature. This is why it’s best to keep yourself hydrated throughout your ride. You can mix your beverage with warm water so you don’t feel the chilling effect right away. You can also make a pit stop at a café for something to warm you up.
Snacking is also essential when you’re doing long endurance sessions during the winter. Some protein bars may get too hard when temperatures are low. That’s why it’s better to snack on food gels, rice cakes or even dried fruits during this season.
Your body needs fuel to help you pedal through a particularly crucial and cold ride. So do not skip on bringing these healthy snacks with you.
Clean your bike right afterwards
All the slush and moisture from the snow can corrode your bikes if left unattended. So make sure the moment you get home, you clean your bicycle right away. Use a thick lubricator such as NixFrixShun to ensure all your parts run smoothly.
Never use WD-40 on your bike. However, you can spray a bit of it on your bike chain to get ride of excess moisture. For more information on proper bike maintenance, click here.