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rjs0702 10-09-08 04:35 PM

tips on winter cycling for my first winter
I have never ridden in winter, this will be my first time. Are there any tips or advice for winter riding? also, any good sites or places with good deals on winter clothing?

AEO 10-09-08 04:40 PM

nashbar has a sale for cold weather gear right now.

get studded tyres, ski goggles and warm water/wind proof gloves.
try and stay out of snow ruts.
take it easy, it's easier than walking on snow and ice with regular shoes.

GTALuigi 10-09-08 04:42 PM


shoe options




rjs0702 10-09-08 05:07 PM

i'm in NC so it aint too bad as far as snow and ice go, so i dont think i need tires...but thanks for the advice, i didnt even know they had tires for that. I'll check out the links too, thanks.

modernjess 10-09-08 09:42 PM

Just wondering what is winter in NC?

I'm thinking it's probably a lot like mid to late fall here in winters hell hole, Minnesota. It shouldn't be too hard to find a good clothing set up for that.

andrelam 10-10-08 10:29 AM


Originally Posted by rjs0702 (Post 7634998)
I have never ridden in winter, this will be my first time. Are there any tips or advice for winter riding? also, any good sites or places with good deals on winter clothing?

There are two "new" problems you experience during Fall through Spring that you don't tend to get during the Summer:

1. Staying warm and dry - The nice thing is that as you get into Fall you slowly adapt to the cooling conditions. You have to find out what layers work for you at what temperatures. There have been various threads in the last few weeks regarding clothing so I'll keep it brief. Most importantly don't over dress. If you feel warm and comfy BEFORE you get on your bike, you'll be over-heating in no time. Layering is your best friend. You'll be amazed at how little clothing your body needs while cycling. The coldest I experienced in West NY last Winter was 2F with a wind chill of -26. My core was covered with a T-shirt, long sleeve jersey, a fleece coat (from, and a thin shell)... no heavy coat required or desired. Hands and feet need extra protection as they get cold the easiest. By mixing and matching a few key components such as a breathable coat, a shell, vest, and long sleeve jersey you can be comfortable over quite a range of temperatures.

2. You have a lot less daylight than during the Summer. If you are commuting or riding regularly, you'll end up riding in the dark quite a bit. Descent lighting to BE seen and to SEE is critical. You don't have to spend a forture, but you need to ensure that you are not a "ninja" on the road... You need to address both active lighting, and passive visability. Basic reflectors don't help much. They are better than nothing, but that is not saying much. Sheldon Brown did a very nice job on his web site explaining why relectors are nearly useless.

Active lighting: There are loads of options and the cost vary a lot as well. For the back you'll be hard pressed to beat the value of the Planet Bike SuperFlash. You can get them regularly for around $20 on-line. I've seen this side by side with the Dinotte light. The Dinotte appeared a tiny bit brighter, but considering is costs 5 times as much I'd rather buy 2 super flashes and use one on solid and one on blinking. For Front you can go with Battery or Generator hub lighting. I chose the generator hub path. I have the DLumotec Oval Plus. The light is very descent, but has been superseded by the even better IQ Fly. Sadly the IQ fly came out about 4 months too late for me. I also have a PB Blaze 1 Watt light that I've used on my road bike this Fall for club rides for some visability as the sun was setting. I just ordered a Cronometro Nob from Peter White so that I can use the Blaze in addition to my DLumotec. I can use the Blaze in stobe mode and REALY make myself seen on the road. That flash is bright and very noticable.

Passive lighting: I don't care if an ANSI Class II vest looks dorky, but it makes my whole body much more visable. With the Hi-Vis lime Yellow, I can be seen much better during low light conditions. The large 3M reflective bands reflect extreamly well. My wife has ridden behind me in a car and tells me that I light up like a Christmass tree. I also added some 3M SOLAS tape to my rear fender, sides of the bike in a few key spots, and to the back of my helmet. This stuff is super reflective and also adds a great deal more visability. I do have two standard reflectors on the back of the bike, but they are pretty much useless, the 3M tape is 100 times more visable. The Axiom Panniers also come with a descent swath of 3M reflective tape on the back and also help add to the visability.

As far as tires, etc. I need studded tires where I live in the Buffalo NY area as we constantly get snow throughout the Winter (Lake Effect snow). The road crews do a good job plowing, but there are ice spots about. I need every bit of help I can get to stay upright. I all honestly I'd be better served by a mountain bike with somewhat wider tires, but my hybrid with 700C*35 Nokia W106's works acceptably. You need to determine what kind of weather you'll be experiencing. If you get mainly rain, or dry cold, than just about any tire will do. If you have more extream weather, then you may need to get tires to work with your climate.

Happy riding,

CastIron 10-10-08 11:08 AM

More lights than you think.

Always carry an extra layer for your head, hands, and body.

Allow more time.

rjs0702 10-10-08 01:39 PM

Thanks for the advice. I don't have lights, and didnt even consider it til now. My climate here is mostly dry, cold so I dont need new tires. But the layering thing is nice, I knew to layer, just not what to purchase. Thanks.

GTALuigi 10-10-08 01:54 PM

yeah for cheap and kick ass good lights check out the P7 topics on the accessories section of the forum
here is the link with good sample pictures
there is another one that talks more about it in details

scoatw 10-10-08 04:11 PM

For clothing I'd suggest. First, spend the bucks on a good Rainjacket. They're water-proof and wind-proof. I wear a ShowersPass, but the one I have they don't make anymore. With a good baselayer underneath. I wear a SportHill Traveller jacket underneath, which is good down to about 20f. Anything lower I just add a fleece vest.
......... Check out Ski clothing or Cross Country Ski clothing. It's warmer and cheaper than bike specific clothing. Cabelas, Lands End, Sierra Trading Post, Campmor, LL Bean are the places to look for good outdoor gear. Get a good balaclava. I like the one from Sierra Trading Post. It's light. Costs $6. And its good to about 25f. The ones in the bike shops are too thick for mild stuff in the 40's, and they cost too much.
..........Read blogs from folks in Alaska and Canada who know what cold is. This forum is good too. has good info. Foxwear clothing is good. SportHill is the best. IMO. Google around for the best prices. You'll save money that way. Campmor has good, cheap Snowboard Mittens. Most riders will tell you mittens are best for the hands. They keep you're fingers warmer. Light up for those dark mornings and get an extra wheel-set with Nokians mounted on them. You'll learn as you go.

yoyostock 10-13-08 03:06 PM

Get a good set of lights. Depending on how fast you ride, what route you take, and who else is using that route, you'll need bright enough lights not only to see yourself (so you don't outride the light in front of you) and "be seen" by others - people running or riding in the opposite direction as you, and most importantly, cars. I have a set of NiteRider Minewt Duals. Those are plenty bright and I've found that I can ride pretty much full speed with them and feel comfortable doing that.

soderbiker 10-13-08 03:38 PM

Good tyres is a must
good clothing
water , dont forget to drink water .
here is sweden where its winter year round ( hahahaha ) i have a layer system .skullcap .long sleeved coomax layer 1 , layer 2 and a shell = layer 3 , water proff wind proff .and most of all hestra winter mitts .

Newspaperguy 10-15-08 03:49 PM

Winter where I live means temperatures below freezing and snow on the ground for a few months, which means dressing for the weather becomes vitally important. If you're getting sub-freezing temperatures, you need to protect your head, hands and feet as they get cold first. Get a toque (knitted hat) to wear under your helmet. I'd also suggest using a different helmet for winter, something a little bigger to accommodate a toque.

Closed Office 10-21-08 09:28 PM

The sig site article is about winter bicycling in Calgary for quite a lot of years,
with a bit of entertainment thrown in. I basically don't use anything different
on the bike, and just normal winter clothes. For boots, a pair of Greb Kodiac
(sp?) hiking boots about 10 inches high with winter socks in them. Simple.

bikegeek57 10-29-08 08:28 AM

be willing to experiment. layers layers layers. I am also new to winter riding. Am located in HotLanta. right where it is a cheery 37 degrees and breezy. glad I had my layers on my commute this morning. toasty but began to sweat so one layer too many. will experiment a bit more. lights are your friend.

bikegeek57 10-29-08 08:32 AM

forgot to mention department: gloves. my thumbs usually get cold first so I make sure to use good full fingered gloves or mittens depending on how cold it is. booties. my feet are the second thing that gets cold. so I invested in booties to cover my shoes. wow what a difference. no cold feet today. am thinking this is gonna be the year I ride all winter through. nice thing about winter... not having to share the bike racks!

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