If you’re a cycling fanatic, you really love to go outside and exercise and the cold weather isn’t going to stop you. But if you’re planning to bike in these colder months, you should take extra steps to protect yourself. What most people forget to do is taking into consideration all the factors regarding biking in cold weather. If you plan to do so, here are some cold weather advice for cycling fanatics.
Prepare for the environment
On of the most important things you should consider when biking in colder weather is your safety. Depending on what month you’re going biking, you should take extra steps to ensure your safety. The following factors should be taken into consideration when going cycling in colder weather (depending on the seasons you’re in).
Are the roads icy or dry? If there’s any problem with the road (ice, snow-packed etc.) you should choose a different route with a low traffic volume.
Did you plan your route? Try to minimize the downhill section so you don’t get chilled and catch a cold.
Is your bike ready? If you’re a cycling fanatic, you’ll surely have a mountain bike which is a better option for biking in the colder weather. A road bike may not perform as well in these conditions. In the same time, you’ll want to have a lower tire pressure to get better traction and handling.
Prepare for the weather
When going out cycling in cold weather you should always think about your health and the clothing you’re going to wear. There 4 body zones you really need to pay attention when exercising in cold weather. We’re going to talk about all 4 zones in the following paragraphs, so you’ll have a better understanding on what type of apparel to get for the colder weather.
Your core. The most important part of your body you’ll want to protect in cold weather. When looking at cycling apparel, you should always consider the rule of layering. This means you’ll be wearing varying weights of clothes with the sole purpose of getting rid of moisture, trap the heat your body is providing and block the cold from getting close to your core.
Examples: lightweight but high-performance polyester-based fabric next to the skin to keep the moisture away. On top of that wear something to trap the warmth but also provide a slow breathing for the fabric. On the exterior choose something made from nylon to keep the wind away. Avoid cotton next to skin as it traps moisture and lets heat out pretty easy.
When choosing the apparel you use for cold weather cycling, don’t forget you also need a place to put all your valuables. You’ll need to find room for keys, phone, credit cards, small battery for phone and headphones.
A light belt should be the perfect choice. We don’t really like to put our phone on an arm band because it will keep interfering when we look in certain ways and the headphones can easily get tangled putting us in danger. You can add your valuables with no problem in a light belt.
Your head. A lot of our body heat is lost through the head and an important amount of blood circulates in this area so you should keep your head warm to keep your body warm. Depending on how cold the weather is, you can opt for ear bands, ear warmers or a skull cap of synthetic fabric should be just fine.
Your hands. You’re best option here is to choose cycling gloves because almost all models are cushioned on the palms helping the circulation in that area. Choose sturdy gloves in case you fall and if the weather is extremely cold go for mittens.
Your feet. They are probably the most exposed parts of your body when cycling. They move all the time through the cold air, more than the other parts of your body. You have to think about the heat you’re going to lose in this area. In the cold weather, choose thermal cycling socks that keep the moisture away. To further protect your feet in this weather you can also opt for booties or toe covers to keep your feet warm and not affected by the freezing wind.
If you don’t have the money or time, just go out and get some bags from the convenience store and wrap them around your feet but inside your shoes. They’ll also keep the wind away but they won’t be as reliable.
There you go, now you’re prepared to go out biking in the colder weather. Ask your cycling fanatics friends and they’ll tell agree with our advice. If you plan to bike colder weather, prepare for the environment and take care of your whole body, not only your feet or hands!