Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Winter Weather Riding

Well, sad to say, but winter is here. Ok, technically its still fall, but the weather is now cold enough to warrant getting set up correctly for winter. The temp is now dropping regularly below 60 degrees, and that is plenty cold enough for most.

I decided a couple years ago however to not stop riding when it got cold. Simliar to when I was a kid, I did not want to stop just because it was freezing outside. Indoor trainers just don't get me going like I would like either.

So what to do?

First off, you must be dressed for success. First layers need to be insulating layers which do a good job of wicking. For that, I use some Nike Cold Gear that my brother-in-law got me for Christmas. I follow that up with a set of insulated Sugoi tights (again a Christmas present, this time from my father). Over the top of all of that is a Nimblewear wind jacket. The jacket fits well and cuts the wind back very effectively. I really like the Nimblewear stuff!

To cap all that off, I like to wear a cycling cap under my helmet, as well as some Sugoi full-finger gloves and some Woolie Boolie merino wool socks under my shoes.

Next in line is getting the bike right. A lot of people would just hop on and go. Thats really not the way to go though. So, first off, I go with good tires for winter. Wide tires. More comfort. No issues. Next up, I don't ride my steel bike during winter. Why chance rusting out a vintage Colnago and all those beautiful components. I stick with my carbon bike for winter. Finally, I use only components with sealed bearings. Why leave any of that to chance.

One other great little thing I added to the bike a couple years ago was a fender set. I use the Crud RoadRacer fenders. Still relatively new, but very effective. Light and easy to install. I can't say enough great things about these fenders. I will likely put a little more reflective tape on them at the ends to give some more visibility.

Last thing on the bike is a blinky light. It is inevitable that you will get stuck out after dark on a winter ride. Why chance getting hit because they can't see you?

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