Winter Cycling Gear Essentials
Winter doesn’t have to be an inconvenience when it comes to cycling if you have the winter cycling gear essentials. There’s no need to hang up your ride as soon as the temperatures drop, especially when your bicycle is your main mode of transportation. Just like driving a car, it is possible to ride your bike on ice or snow, especially when you’re properly equipped. Check out this list of essential winter cycling gear to get you started.
- Bike Lights. You’ll be spending a lot more time riding in the dark during the winter months, so it’s important to have bigger and brighter lights. This is especially true for those perfectly plowed roads, as it’s more difficult to see down a path of dark pavement. Snow-covered trails, on the other hand, provide their own natural brightening effect by reflecting even the dimmest set of lights. It should also be noted that many state jurisdictions require the use of bike headlights and taillights after sunset and during heavy snowfall.
- Studded Bike Tires. After lights, studded tires are perhaps the most essential piece of winter cycling gear, especially if you know the pain of crashing on a slick path. Unlike regular bike tires, studded-versions bite into the ice, which can be very useful in freezing rain and on roads that are not well maintained. When it comes to picking your winter-ready tires, a general rule of thumb is “the wider, the better.” Many serious riders and bicycle enthusiasts swear by Nokian, year-round, for their carbide-studded tips and wide-width.
- Thermal Clothing. The winter cycling gear you buy for your body can be just as important as the essential accessories you’ve picked for your bike. You’ll undoubtedly be generating heat during your ride, but your own manpower is still no match for below-freezing temperatures. Winter cycling tights are a favorite in cold weather conditions, as are thermal shirts, vests and jackets. The key here is layering. Prepare accordingly by layering vests over long-sleeve tees, followed by a thermal jersey. Athletic wear can be pricey, but scouring local department stores and online shops like Amazon are good bet for those on a tight budget.