Winter is characterized by cold temperatures, which can be highly uncomfortable. The best way to enjoy cycling through winter is to prepare ahead of the ride. You must wear suitable clothes, and plan your route. Riding during winter is tricky, considering the vast amount of snow, cold, and ice. However, the trick becomes more straightforward when implementing the top five bike riding tips discussed in this article.
Study the Environment
No matter how eager you want to experience winter bike riding, it will become a flop without adequate preparation. Foremost, you should check the weather forecast to know if it will rain. Riding during winter could be fun, but riding at extreme temperatures or excessive rainfall is unsafe. Also, avoid hilly or slippery areas, and stick to well-maintained roads. Below are other things to note while studying the environment.
Choose a Short and Safe Route
While studying the environment, always pay attention to the shortest and safest route. Even if you plan to explore by riding longer, make sure you do it in a group. Since it is winter, you will barely see people on the road, which could have helped during an accident. Thus, the best is to implement measures that ensure safe winter cycling.
Avoid Dirty and Messy Areas
People living in cities may need help to get a route free of debris. However, you may still choose the road with minimum dirt. Dirt may not only cause rust to your bike, but it will also stain your clothes. This may, in turn, cause discomfort while riding. Installing ebike fenders is an excellent way to avoid road dirt. Fenders will help protect you and your bike from water and salt that may have accumulated on the road.
Use Routes of Lesser Traffic
It would be best if you also avoided places with massive traffic. This may cause a delay, especially when the ground is icy. You should also obey the traffic rules in major cities. The legal authorities are less concerned if the atmosphere is cold or not. Abiding by road rules will prevent you from facing legal charges.
Connect With Other Riders
You may also watch out for cycling buddies while studying the environment. Cycling buddies will contribute to the fun experience and create a fantastic time together. You may also include games or other fun activities as you take breaks while riding. You will likely be exhausted if riding at high speed and pedal-assist function. Do not hesitate to break your journey, which you can also spice up.
Pay Attention to the Wind
You may navigate somewhere else when the wind is massively in your direction. You may also start your ride from the headwind, then continue to the tailwind. It is much easier to handle headwinds at the start of your ride while you engage in tailwinds on your way home. Since most riders are tired during the second half of their journey, they need to avoid excessive wind directions.
Enhance Your Visibility
The weather could be clearer during winter, as the atmosphere may be covered with fog. Thus, you need to install front and rear lights to boost your visibility. This will help you see ahead and alert you of any possible accident.
Since it’s winter and there are usually fewer people on the road, most riders fall into the error of being overly relaxed. This error may result from other road users, which will be difficult to avoid under poor lightning. Thus, sharp lightning prevents you from the consequences of a carefree attitude from other road users.
You can also boost your visibility by wearing bright-colored clothes. Ensure the gears from your head to your toe are not dull colors, even though you are not riding into the night. This is particularly helpful during the twilight period. More so, your clothes should be protective and warm.
You can wear fingered gloves and thermal socks to warm your hands and feet. You may also wear layered clothing, a light dress underneath, and a jacket as a protective layer. However, ensure the fabrics are not too tight and can resist water and wind.
Another reason layered clothing is recommended is to allow you to remove an extra cloth if you get wet. It also helps you to be more comfortable, as you can get rid of your jacket if the weather gets too hot. Invest in your comfort, and you will enjoy your winter cycling even better.
Even though the indoor temperature is not the same as the outdoor temperature, training yourself will prepare your mind. If you find it challenging to ride effectively indoors, consider being extra cautious about winter cycling, especially if you are a competitive rider. It is easier to lose control on slippery surfaces. Take turns slowly and give yourself plenty of time to stop.
However, cyclists who engage in high-intensity workouts may find winter cycling exciting and comfortable. You can go from low to moderate and to high ride intensity. If you are not satisfied with riding in cold weather, you may also get a trainer to put you through. However, always be patient with the learning process.
Take Care of Your Electric Bike
All the above tips are only helpful if the electric bike is in good condition. Thus, you need to check the battery, motor, brakes, and handlebar condition. Make sure the handlebar is not loose, and you can balance your hand well on it.
1. Checking the e-bike battery: Every manufacturer indicates the distance an electric bike can cover per single charge. Thus, check if the battery is fully charged and can cover the stipulated length. It is also highly encouraged you take an extra battery with you. This is because some factors may run out of battery power faster than usual. For instance, you are riding at high speed or applying excess energy from the motor system.
It would be best if you also learned about the primary method of replacing a drained battery. Fortunately, manufacturers now install removable batteries in electric bikes, unlike the integrated batteries in the past. Take an extra battery of the same electric bike with you because some electric bikes may need to be fixed when used with an unfamiliar or low-quality bike component.
Check the handlebar: Your hand should be firm on the handlebar so it doesn’t lose its grip. If there is any sight of a loose bolt, make sure to fit it before going for winter bike riding. You can regulate your speed when you are well-balanced on an e-bike. It will also help you achieve your fitness goals faster by strengthening the muscles in your upper body.
2. Check the motor system: Your motor system can either be built as a pedaled or throttle mechanism. If you are using the pedaled tool, set it to the suitable mode. Most electric bikes are usually fixed in low, middle, and high mode, which also dictates your ride speed. However, remember that the higher the mode, the higher the rate, draining the battery faster. This article recommends you ride at low speed to enjoy your winter cycling better.
3. Clean the gears and chain: Riding during winter can be pretty messy, so apply lubrication to your e-bike chain after every ride. Your electric bike needs to be lubricated regularly to avoid dragging its movement. However, you may get an alternative to a chain drive system, which could be a shaft or belt drive. The shaft and belt drive barely need lubrication and are easier to maintain.
4. Prepare the e bike tires: Your electric bike tires majorly determine their motion on the ground surface. Winter tires are designed to provide better traction on snowy and icy roads. Thus, choosing a tire with a wide contact point, low pressure, and knobbier thread is highly recommended. By doing this, you will experience no dragging while riding in winter.
Take Care of Yourself!
Bike riding tips are complete with emphasizing the importance of self-care. If you are riding a long path during winter, hydrate yourself. Consider buying electric bikes with racks, like the Haoqi Ebike. This way, you are sure to keep your backpack manageable. You may also take some fruits and snacks along with you. Make sure to replenish your energy before you wear out.
The above bike riding tips are not only applicable when you ride in winter. You can also apply some for summer riding. However, consider paying more attention to suggestions such as layered clothing due to the temperature differences. Also, you should get the right electric bike that is most suitable for you. Most manufacturers usually indicate recommended maximum load weight in the user’s manual. If an e-bike is not meant for you, achieving a successful ride with these tips may not be easy.