Setting Up Your Bicycle For Winter Riding

For my winter riding I’m using my 2008 Specialized HardRock XC Disc. It is a mountain bike but I bought it to ride on paved trails during the winter. It doesn’t take long to figure out that you need more than just a bicycle to ride during the winter.

One of my first purchases had to do with the sun going down earlier and earlier. So I purchased bicycle lights. At the very least you need a light in the front and back so other people (and especially cars) can see you. That means you don’t have to spend a lot of money. However the more money you spend the better “you” will see. The cheaper lights don’t put out a lot of light, they are only meant so other people can see you. When you get into the higher end bicycle lights they are designed to help “you” see.

As for the rear of your bicycle, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. The rear lights are only to help other people see you. So you can buy your rear light on the cheap.

Get rid of the Clipless Pedals. Cycling shoes are not warm. You can buy covers but if you don’t have to ware a special shoe you have many more options when the weather gets cold. From tennis shoes to boots, they are much warmer than bicycling shoes. Plus (this is my personal opinion) not having your feet locked into the pedals gives you a better chance of recovery if you hit a slick spot on the Trail.

Fenders are not always required during winter riding but usually a few days after a snow fall the weather gets warmer and the snow melts. And when that happens you will want fenders on your bike. Even if the temperature isn’t warm enough to melt the snow, if you ride on the streets the chemicals used will melt the snow and you will want fenders so you don’t get as wet as you would without them.

I have also installed Studded Snow Tires. At the very least you should get tires with more aggressive tread. But I would recommend getting Studded Snow Tires. These tires really help during the winter. They also have a more aggressive tread pattern. But I recommend not buy tires with hardened stead studs. They will wear out very quickly. Spend the extra money and get carbide studded tires. If you are thinking about getting Studded Snow Tires then you are probably a serious biker and you should spend the extra money and get the carbide studded tires.

Riding your bike in the winter can be hard on it. Therefore it will require extra care. Wipe down your bike after every ride. Lubricate it often. And at the end of the winter riding season take it to your bike shop and have them do a thorough tuneup on the bike so you can use it for a long time to come.

Top Tips for Keeping Your Bicycle in Self Storage

With winter quickly approaching, it’s nearly time to store the bike away once again. If you want to free up some valuable space in your house or garage and are planning to keep your bicycle in a self storage unit during the colder months, here are some great tips to ensure that come spring, your bike is still in tip top condition.

Hang your bike or store it upside down

It might sound like a pointless exercise, but one of the kindest things you can do to your bike while it’s in self storage is to ensure that the tyres are inflated. Believe it or not, if you leave your bike upright with flat tyres, it’s equally as damaging as physically riding your bicycle with a flat tyre and you’re likely to be left with distorted rims and ruined tyres.

As well as ensuring your tyres are pumped up, you can remove the pressure from them by hanging your bike up while it is being stored. If this isn’t possible then storing it upside down will also do the trick.

Keep rust away

Keeping rust away is hard work and sometimes we even unknowingly do more harm than good. If you decide to give your bike a good wash before putting it into self storage for example, make sure you dry it thoroughly because any excess water will cause rusting if you’re storing it away for a long period of time.

It’s also important to think about the temperature you will be storing your bike in – especially during the winter months. A dramatic change in temperature will result in condensation building up along the tubing which in time, will result in rusting. If you have a steel-frame bike in particular, don’t store it in an unheated space because you could come back to a lot of damage.

Fix any damages

Before putting your bicycle away for the winter months, inspect it for any damages and address them appropriately. It can be tempting to brush off any issues as you won’t be using it for a couple months, but neglecting these things can pose unnecessary hassles and problems which you will just have to deal with when you take your bike out of storage.

Protect it from dust

Anything that is stored for a long period of time without being touched is going to gather dust. To prevent it from settling on your beloved bike however, a simple dust sheet will do the job and it also has the added bonus of proving an extra layer of warmth.

Riding A Bicycle To Work Supports Weight Loss And Dress For Comfort With Cycling Specific Clothes

Riding a bicycle to work or using it for other commuting errands is a great way to support a healthy weight loss program, lower stress and save money on auto expenses. Triple-A now puts the cost of operating a vehicle at over $8000 a year so every day you ride your bike to work you could be saving $20 or more!

I love riding bikes and often recommend using a bicycle as part of wellness and weight loss coaching for my clients.

Once you have your bike set up (that article is available here as well) it’s time to set yourself up. Always ride with a helmet. Helmets can cost between $40 and $250. All have to pass the same safety standard and offer the same level of protection. The difference in price is the weight and ventilation. Higher quality materials found on the more expensive helmets allow the manufacturer to use less material so the vents are larger, making the helmet more comfortable in warmer weather.

Glasses are recommended to protect from foreign objects as well as keeping your eyes from drying. Glasses designed for cycling tend to wrap around your face for more protection and many come with interchangeable lenses for different light conditions.

There is nothing wrong with riding to work only on very nice days. If you want to be a serious commuter you will dress for the bike and change at work. Own a pair of quality cycling shorts or cycling pants. These have a pad that increases comfort and wicks perspiration and come in styles that are both close-fitting and lose fitting. Most cycling-specific clothes are made from materials designed to wick perspiration away from the body. A cycling “jersey” is handy because it has pockets in the back for small items but other styles are also available.

One challenge to commuting on your bicycle may be weather that is very cool one way on your commute but more temperate the other way. Layer for cold weather. A common mistake made by novice cyclists is over dressing. Layering makes it possible to peel some clothes off and adjust as you warm up or the conditions change. Own a set of Gore-Tex outer clothing. Gore-Tex protects from wind and cold and even precipitation while still breathing and allowing perspiration and body heat to escape. Cycling has some very specialized garment options that make your riding more comfortable. Two favorite accessories of mine are arm warmers and a vest.

Arm warmers are basically tubes, like open-ended socks, that slide over your arms from wrist to shoulder. They are made from fabrics that trap heat while wicking perspiration and are perfect for time when you start a ride and it’s cool but warms up. You can peel the arm warmers off and stuff them in your bag similar item called either knee warmers or leg warmers are available for your legs.

Another specialty item is a vest. Cycling vests stop the wind in front but are well vented in the back. When you ride in cooler weather your front gets hammered by wind chill but your back side, from head to toe, is not affected. Traditional jackets or vests will cause over heating and profuse sweating whereas the specialty cycling items will allow your body to regulate its temperature. When you warm up the vest will roll up the size of a baseball and tuck into your jersey or bag.

Gloves are a nice accessory and you’ll appreciate them if you ever fall. We all put our hands out in the event of a fall and gloves will protect your hands from injury.

For most people they will be riding in the early morning and late afternoon and exposure to the sun is not a major concern. You should always use a quality sunscreen while riding a bike and even if you will be riding in lower light conditions using a quality skin product will help protect your skin from the effects of exposure.

Another specialty item that can increase the comfort and pleasure of cycling is a cycling specific shoe. There are many “pedal systems” to choose from but there is nothing wrong with the pedals that come on your bike. Cycling specific shoes have stiffer soles so that when you pedal it spreads the pressure evenly over the ball of your foot. A good cross-training shoe may also work but then generally have thicker, wider soles. The cycling shoes also allow for the use of “cleats” which you may or may not use.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your clothing. With some practice you’ll know what to wear for the conditions.

Choosing a Bicycle Chainring – Ride Your Bicycle Right

If you have been riding your bicycle for some time now then you are probably familiar with the bicycle chainring. Chainrings are the part of the bicycle, which translates the energy you inject into the pedal into the energy that makes the wheels move. A typical chainring will have up to 60 teeth in its edges, and these teeth are used to catch the links of the bicycle chain itself. If you observe, you will notice that a chainring is located at the front wheel of a bicycle, secured by another part called the spider. The spider, in turn, is connected to the crank that supports the pedal. As a result, once the pedal is turned, the motion is transferred to the spider and chainring as well.

Going classic

If you are buying a bicycle chainring for the first time and are not sure as to what kind you should buy, classic chainrings would be a good option for you. These chainrings are made up of a single ring and a hollow middle. The rim also features four boltholes so the chainring can be easily attached to the wheel. If you have a light bicycle, then this is also the recommended chainring for you.

Extra strength

If you are looking for a bicycle chainring that adds extra strength to your bike, then you should consider spoked bicycle chainrings. These Chainrings have two rings-an inner and an outer. These rings are then connected by spokes, sometimes ranging from four to five. If you are using this chainring, be sure that you fit it over accurately or it can gradually slow down your pedaling.

Solid and sturdy

Unless you are planning to use your bike for racing, disc chainrings are also something that you should consider. The disc chainring features a solid disc construction with a central hole so it can be easily fitted over the spider.