Got a bike and have discovered the joy of cycling? Think you can't bike through winter? You can! Get you and your bike ready for winter with gear and accessories. Our first recommendation would be full fenders, for sure! They'll keep you dry (from below) on rainy, snowy, or sleeting days. They're also helpful when the precipitation isn't coming down but the roads are still wet. Also, they help to keep your bike itself a little cleaner and less salty which can extend the life of your components.
Aside from fenders, we recommend a good set of bright lights (white in front and red in back) as there's a good chance you'll be riding in the dark on your way to and/or from work, as well on other errands. Rechargeable lights are our favorite as you don't have to worry about buying batteries and depending on how often you use them, you only have to charge about once a week. The brighter the better, since visibility decreases greatly for motorists in rainy and snowy conditions.
You can purchase both the fenders and light sets on our webstore. If you purchase the fenders please make sure to purchase the installation labor charge as well, and expect a few days turnaround time for installation by our Service Department.
When it comes to clothes, we suggest purchasing some nice merino wool base layers. Thin merino tights are great under your regular jeans or pants and a long sleeve merino shirt works well under sweaters, and warmer jackets. Wool is much better than cotton as it will keep you warm even if you get wet, and it doesn't smell as much when you sweat. And having various weights of layers allow you to modulate your gear to adjust to various temps and precipitation conditions. Same rules apply for socks, get mainly merino socks in various thicknesses and don’t overdress. A basic mistake when riding in winter is overdressing. If you put on too much gear, and end up breaking a sweat for too long, you could end up getting cold from the moisture inside your gear. Start your ride chilly, and the action of riding will warm you up in no time.
A good pair of gloves are very important as well. Thinner wool or cotton ones work when it's dry, down to about 40 degrees, but below that you'll want to get something that is windproof and/or waterproof with some insulation.
If you think you'll be riding no matter the weather, we can't speak highly enough about rain pants. They are not the most stylish things but will keep your legs toasty warm and dry in a chilly downpour. There’s also a thing called pogies, commonly referred to as Bar Mitts. These are like big oven mitts that attach to your handlebars, encasing your brake/shift levers. We all use various pieces of gear, and experimentation should be expected to figure out what works best for you. Some other gear to consider are things like: neck gaiters, ski goggles, balaclavas, shoe covers, arm warmers, boot gaiters, and don’t forget to alway carry an extra pair of dry socks.
We are always excited to get more cyclists on board for winter riding. It may seem daunting, or a big investment for all the gear. But we promise it is possible to be dry, warm, and comfortable on your bike in the wintertime, and that riding through any type of weather can be accomplished by anyone!
Check out our friends' advice too!