I know this might be tough for some of you to hear, but winter is right around the corner. Now is a good time to start getting your bike ready for the colder, sloppy weather and shorter days. I have been a year round bicycle commuter for 17 years and car free for 12 of those years. You’d think I would have everything dialed and ready but different winters and ever-changing technology always make it interesting. Believe it or not, this is my favorite time of year to ride. A freshly fallen snow and making the first tracks through it can be calming. Early mornings when you are the only person out and your lights are guiding the way is a fantastic way to start the day. Here are some of my go to’s for getting my bike ready and keeping it rolling through the winter months.
Winter helmet- This will keep you safe AND warm. You can even get one with a rear light built in! Check out the Louis Garneau Ghost or Voice models.
Fenders- I like to think of these as not only something to help keep you dry and warm, but your bike as well. A good set of full fenders will keep much of the road slop off the moving parts of your bike like derailleurs and brakes.
Lights- The days are shorter and dark in the morning. Chances are you will need a front and rear light. Even for riding during the day, it’s a good idea to have on. Especially when the snow is falling. Check out our light selection. There is something for every level of riding you want to do.
Rustproof chain- That’s right. You can get a chain that will not rust. Made by KMC called the Rust Buster. A great addition to any winter steed.
Studded or winter tires- The roads get icy and slick. Just like a helmet is important to protect you, good gripping tires keep you upright. You can chose from many studded tires OR a non studded winter tread tire.
Bike Parking- Your bike will get filled with snow, salt, and almost anything that sticks. Find a good place to park your bike that has a drain nearby. I talked a little last month about bike boxes working great for catching the melting slush and snow. Keep an old towel or shirt near to wipe the bike down after riding.
Have a wonderful Winter riding season! I hope to see you out playing in the snow!