Cold Weather Riding Tips

Cold Weather Riding Tips

With spring right around the corner, you’re looking forward to getting out on your bike once the warm weather arrives.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until it’s 75° and sunny to enjoy a bike ride. Getting out for a ride in less than optimal conditions can be just as fun and challenging, as long as you are properly dressed and prepared.

The PWR Dually model features an all-wheel drive traction control system that thrives in adverse riding conditions. This bike has the ability to negotiate challenging terrain including snow and ice, rocks and sand, and everything in between. No better time to put the Dually to the test than in the transitional season from winter to spring when conditions may be less than ideal. 

Keeping Hands and Feet Warm

Enjoying a ride during cold weather is all about being prepared and wearing weather appropriate gear. Not much ruins a cold weather ride more than freezing cold hands and feet, so protect them. Wear a mid to heavyweight glove with wind protection and good dexterity to keep hands warm without sacrificing control of the brakes, shifter, and electric throttle and power system. If the temps are floating around or below freezing, consider layering with a lightweight glove liner to increase warmth. It’s not a bad idea to keep a couple of those disposable hand warmers in your ride pack just in case you get a few miles out only to find your digits have turned to icicles. 

Keep your hands warm during cold weather rides.

Warm footwear is another critical piece to enjoying a ride in chilly temps. If you prefer to ride with clipless pedals, there are some great cycling specific cold weather boots on the market that can accept a cleat. If you’re using platform pedals, a good pair of waterproof winter or hiking boots paired with some thermal socks work very well at keeping feet warm during winter rides. Like with your hands, focus on layering in extremely cold situations. A polypropylene sock liner paired with a thermal weight merino wool sock is a great pairing for sub-freezing temps. Again, layer from the start and be prepared to add or remove a layer as the ride progresses and conditions change.

Warm winter boots keep your feet warm during cold weather rides.

Keeping The Body Core Warm

After your hands and feet are taken care of, it’s time to focus on the primary motor—your core. If your body core is cold, you’re in for a bad time on the bike. A cold core is the result of poor layering. The theme of staying warm during cold weather rides is “dress in layers”. To simplify dressing in layers, think base-thermal-protection. 

Use a base layer to provide a consistent and comfortable layer that can provide some warmth and help keep you dry if you start sweating. This layer doesn’t have to be heavyweight, especially if you’re riding in milder temps. 

The thermal layer is where the magic happens. This is where heat is trapped in the insulation of the layer and provides warm feedback to the base layer, keeping you consistently warm and toasty. A fleece pullover, a down vest, or a warm sweatshirt are all good options.

The protection layer is what protects you from the elements. Both jacket and pants need to appropriately provide protection from the elements. This layer needs to be windproof or at least wind resistant to keep the warmth in the thermal layer. Without it, all your warmth will get blown out by the wind as you reach high speeds during your ride. If there’s the chance of precipitation during your ride take that into consideration when choosing your protection layer. 

The Takeaway

Don’t let the cold weather win. With a little extra clothing and some fortitude, riding in cold weather can be a great time. Commit the time to building a cold weather gear kit, and the rest is easy. Dress in layers, keep your hands and feet warm, and protect your core from the wind. Now, get out and ride!

PWR Dually out in the winter elements.