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.