Staying Warm During Winter Cycling: Tips and Tricks
When it comes to winter cycling, staying warm is crucial. Here are a few tips that have worked for me:
Warm Up Before You Start: After the bike is setup and I'm fully kitted up in my riding gear, before launching on a winter ride, I make sure to get back in the car and warm up the fingers and toes, especially when the temperature is 20°F or below. I have 2 friends with Raynaud's and this really helps their hands stay warmer during the ride.
- Dress Like The Temperature Is Warmer Than It Really Is: If your trail starts with a climb right away, you'll heat up and start sweating fast. If you dress and layer like it's warmer than it is - you may be more comfortable. Even starting on flat trails will get your temperature up. I always have a Warmfront tucked away, but put it on if I have been cold for at least 15 minutes.
Use Multiple Pairs of Gloves: I always carry three pairs of gloves with me. I start with midweight gloves in the pogies, have lighter ones in my jersey pocket under a thermal jacket, and heavy weight gloves in my frame bag for extreme cold. If my hands start getting cold, I make sure to carry the heavy gloves in my jacket, but over my jersey, with the insulation facing my body to prevent them from getting wet from sweat.
Keep Latex Gloves Handy: I also keep a few blue latex gloves in my frame bag for any necessary chain repairs or adjustments while out on the trail. They may not keep my fingers warm, but they will at least keep them dry.
Have a Whistle on Hand: I've given a few outdoor whistles to my cycling group, just in case we get separated on a climb and need to signal each other.
Set Realistic Expectations: I've learned to set realistic expectations for my rides, especially in harsh weather conditions. I focus on riding until I'm done, rather than striving for a specific distance or time goal. I may push myself a bit, but I always stay aware of the risk of summit fever.
What are your favorite hacks and tips?