Just because the weather starts getting colder doesn’t mean your biking routine has to take a hibernation break. The only time the weather is too cold for winter biking is when a cyclist is ill-prepared. With some planning and a few alterations, biking in cold weather is fun and easy.
Benefits Of Winter Biking
Bike riding in winter is good for fitness, the planet, and the wallet. While your neighbors are up early scraping snow and ice off car windshields and wasting expensive fuel to warm up their vehicles, you will be ready to head off to your destination.
Tips For Cycling Cargo Bikes In Winter
Winter cargo bike riding is an experience of a lifetime that is easy to prepare for. Here are a few tips for staying safe and comfortable while bike riding in winter:
Ride A Bike You’re Familiar With
You know your bike, which is essential for safety, especially if you plan on riding a bike in the snow. You can purchase a bicycle for winter biking if you need a new one, but with a few minor alterations, three-wheeled cargo bikes are flexible enough to be used as both summer and winter bicycles.
Gear Up for Safety
Making sure you have the right gear is an excellent start for biking in cold weather. Daylight is scarcer in winter, so bike lighting and clothing reflectivity are vital. In case of equipment failure, front and back lights need backup lighting sources, so add at least two bright lights to each area. Add safety lights with non-synced blinking patterns to helmets or clothing to increase visibility for drivers sharing the roads. Don’t forget that battery charges don’t last as long in cold weather, so plan accordingly.
Winterize Your Gear
Before riding a bike in the winter, you’ll want to make a few adjustments to ensure winter biking is safe and comfortable. Tires are a great place to start. The more surface area of your tires, the better control, but you don't have to get new tires to achieve this. Underinflating your cargo bike’s tire pressure or adding studs to your tires will give you better traction and control in icy conditions.
Now that the tires are ready for bike riding in winter, it’s time to add fenders to your winter cargo biking gear. Fender add-ons will prevent riding clothing from being ruined by road slush thrown up by the tires. Fenders are easy, cost-effective additions that will pay for themselves over time.
For the best results when biking in cold weather, store your cargo bike under a cover in an unheated, protected space like a garage or covered porch. Continuous extreme temperature changes cause condensation on a cargo bike's frame and cable housings which can rust or freeze cables, both scenarios cyclists want to avoid at all costs.
Keep Your Bike Clean
Riding your cargo bike in snow and slush exposes its components to high amounts of salt and dirt, which causes damage over time. It's essential for a winter cycling routine to include a wipe-down or wash after each ride. For extra protection, spray WD-40 on your bike frame before riding to repel damaging contaminants during winter adventures. Clean your brakes and bike chain after each ride for added safety. Chains should also be lubricated every week or so with high-quality chain oil and grease.
Layer Up Clothing
Layering clothing correctly will prepare you for bike riding in winter. Choosing the wrong clothing can turn a pleasant ride into a shivering, sweaty hassle. Start with a base layer that warms the core, then layer additional items that can be removed or added depending on how warm your body gets. It's better to start a ride when you are a bit cold, so avoid adding too many layers.
Vent Out Sweat
Accumulating sweat can cause significant problems for cyclists biking in cold weather, so take the time to find proper clothing. Adding a windproof jacket with venting options to breathable layers will help keep sweat from ruining winter riding.
Protect Your Body
Our bodies are the ultimate gear to protect, and winter biking requires different types of protection than other seasons. Cold fingers and feet can affect braking speed, so pack extra gloves and socks to make sure you can keep your extremities warm. Quality eye protection is vital for riding a bike in snow since the white landscape bounces higher levels of UV rays into the eyes, and the cold air can dry eyes.
Ease Into a Winter Routine
Winter biking conditions can make riding more of a challenge than it usually would be during warmer days. Start small with shorter rides until you feel comfortable with weather-related surroundings and new winter cargo biking gear.
Give Winter Cargo Bike Riding A Try
Some people might not associate cycling with snow and ice, but winter cargo bike riding is an adventure every adventurer should try. There are so many beautiful landscapes and sights that someone can only experience by riding a bike in the winter. If you are ready for your next winter adventure, Ferla cargo bikes are perfect for getting you started.