Wint Get a winter bike, or make your bike more winter friendly Fewer gears are better as deraileurs and shifters don't like to work very well after being a-salted. Think twice before you choose big fat knobby tires. A narrower tire will cut through the snow better but some knobs are good for traction, consider that most often city streets are more wet and slushy than snow covered. Choose a bike with a heads up riding position, and possibly a slightly smaller frame than you would normally ride to provide better agility should you have to dismount in a hurry. Fenders will help keep you dry and comfortable Choose the right gear. Good gloves or mitts will make your ride far more enjoyable. Chose something that allows you to still have a good feel for the controls. Liner toques that fit under your helmet will keep you warm and allow the safety of a helmet. Good ones are made of lycra or a wind-stop fabric such as Polartec or Gore. Another option is to wear a Ski or Snowboard Helmet, these are much warmer than the bike helmet/toque combination and still offer a great deal of protection. I even add a pair of goggles to keep my face warm! Wear layers and remember that you will quickly warm up as you start riding. Dress as if you were standing/walking in 10-15 warmer weather. A full winter parka might be overkill and leave you sweaty when you get where you are going. Footwear is another make or break, some sort of waterproofing is necessary either an over-booty or good waterproof boot will keep you comfortable. Rain pants will help you stay warm and comfortable. Safe winter riding Visibility, remember it gets darker much earlier in the day so lights are a must. Drivers do not expect bicycles to be on the road in the winter months so do everything you can do increase your visibility, wear bright colours, turn your lights on, and use lane position to give drivers advance notice that you are in the lane. You can get a set of rechargeable lights for around $50 that you can charge with your phone charger and they'll last longer and be brighter than the AA/AAA battery types. Lanes are narrower with snowbanks - use a full lane when there is not enough room for a car plus one meter plus a cyclist plus a meter to the snowbank. In other words, you should almost always take a lane. Allow more time for braking and slow down when turning or changing direction. Even if the pavement is dry cold temperatures will drastically reduce tire grip as tires are harder. If you have any more tips to keep riding through the winter please add them at
Winter Riding
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