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Monday, February 13, 2012

Frozen Ride: Tips for Wintertime Biking [gearjunkie.com]


Be it for fun or utility on a daily commute to work or school, bicycling does not need to end when the snow flies. I have ridden year ‘round in Minnesota, my home state, for several seasons, including in snowstorms and on days when the mercury has plunged to zero degrees and below. No doubt, biking in the winter is difficult and cold. But if you slow down and gear up right riding through the white months can be manageable and, some days, even a joy. Here are a few things I have learned along the way. —Stephen Regenold
Hands and Feet — Focus on the extremities. They are often the first to feel the chill on a winter ride. I wear thick gloves down to about 25 degrees, and then mittens below that. My feet are kept warm in insulated clip-in bike shoes made for winter. Another alternative are shoe covers, which fit over normal bike shoes to block wind and add warmth.
Specifically, I wear the Pearl Izumi Barrier GTX shoes most days. They are average in weight for this kind of shoe (about 20 ounces per foot) and also average in warmth (they are good to about 10 degrees F for me). Lake Cycling has insulated leather biking boots that many winter riders I know swear by, and most of the big bike-shoe brands carry a winter model as well.

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