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December 04, 2010



For me the main thing with winter/snow riding is to just SLOW DOWN! I have never had any issues when I take it easy.

When it comes to clothing I think Copenhagenize.com says it best. Wear whatever you would walk in.

It's not colder riding a bike, in fact you probably warm up quicker riding a bike.


My advice: start with what you would wear for a long walk, then put somewhat more on your hands, ears and maybe feet and face, and less on your torso. Far from rocket science, but, like driving or taking the bus, it can take a few tries before you are comfortable. I've also picked up a nice warm Ski helmet for this winter, which is nice, but definitely not necessary.


I love riding in winter here in Southwestern Ontario. Pretty much all of my tips have ended up on my blog somewhere or other, but the following links point to the most straightforward (least goofy)points.



General advice - take care of extremities (head, hands, feet) and your core will take care of itself. Stick with it and you won't be sorry. I also favour the use of studded tires if you can afford them.


Properly inflated winter studded tires.


So long as GRT remains largely incompetent (rush hour? what's a rush hour??), inconvenient and overly time-consuming - not something that will ever change given the layout in this 'burb, I'll be biking :-)


To all the people that recommend slowing down when riding in the winter, I've got that covered. I decided to try the winter biking thing this year. When the snow fell, I put away my recumbent with 100PSI 26-406 tires, and pulled out my steel mountain bike with 60PSI 26" knobbies. Trust me, I'm much slower now.

I'm finding that thick tights, good gloves, and my regular winter coat are sufficient. The hardest part about cycling in the winter is how I have to keep adjusting my helmet strap depending on how many layers I've got on my head and face.


To the nice warm ski/snowboard helmet, add ski goggles. They do a great job of keeping icy cold wind off more of the face and out of the eyes.


And how do those goggles work with glasses, one might ask?


Well, Bill, you've just got to get some ski goggles that are roomier and intended to fit over glasses.

Jeff S.

I ride a recumbent trike so maybe I have winter issues that regular bikes don't have. But anyway, here are my tips:

Hydraulic brakes won't freeze when the temperature drops. And of course, they have phenomenal stopping power. If your derailleur line is freezing up, pump it full of grease and then thread the cable through.

Light yourself up like a Christmas tree to help drivers see you.

Don't assume any car will (or will be able to) stop; prepare for evasive maneuvers.

Avoid riding in the gutters to pass stationary cars - chunks of ice and other debris can hide under snow and kick you off your bike.

Bob McCullough

I have tried goggles over glasses and found it to be uncomfortable and very limiting to your periphal vision. I now wear Liberty Sport Dry-eyes. They are intended for motorcyclists. Basically a pair of sunglasses with magnetic rubber cups to protect from the wind. I had my prescription put in mine. They are wonderful. They do fog up when you stop at intersections, but clear instantly when you get rolling. Check out their website.

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Bill Bean

  • North America is eventually going to figure out that, for all the right reasons, we need more bicycles on our roads. Dust off your bicycle and go cycling. And if the gas-burning dinosaurs start to crowd you, it's your road and you paid for it. Take the lane for yourself.

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