Winter Riding

More cyclists are choosing to remain on their bikes year round. Winter riding improves balance and keeps you active during the off-season. Winter riding involves minor changes to the bike and requires proper clothing.

Fortunately, mountain bikes are designed to handle all types of conditions, muddy trails or snow covered pathways. Before embarking on the snow, some changes must be made to the bike, especially the tires. To provide traction on snow and ice, riders should reduce tire pressure and consider studded tires or chains, which are available from your local bicycle retailer. Installing clamp-on fenders is a good idea when the snow melts. If you are using clip-less pedals, you should change to clips or platforms because the shoes required for clip-less systems provide little warmth. These pedals allow you to wear heavier footwear or boots.

Winter riding also means a change in the way you dress. Dress in layers with polyesters or other synthetic fibers; try to stay away from cotton-based materials as they tend to trap moisture. Clothing such as ski gloves, jackets and pants are ideal for cold days, while fleece items and turtlenecks work well in moderately cold temperatures. Try not to overdress because you quickly get warm once you start riding.

Don't forget to wear insulation underneath your helmet. Ski caps or headbands can be fitted underneath helmets because they are adjustable. It is especially important to wear a helmet in the winter when hidden ice patches can cause falls.