Winterizing your bike can be completed in just a few minutes and it will
ensure that you won'tget stranded. As with a ride in the spring or summer,
it is important that your bike be in good repair. Extra attention should
be taken to keep the bike clean, especially the chain. It is important
to Keep the wheel bearings, brake cables, derailleurs, and brake levers
Having good tires is a must for winter riding. If you live in a wet climate,
narrow tires with widely spaced knobs are best. In the snow a wide tire
with widely spaced knobs is recommended. Studded tires are very effective
if you will be riding in snow or ice exclusively. You can make your own
studded tires by inserting #2 machine screws through a tire. Use an old
tube between the screw heads and the inflated tube to prevent flats. In
the snow use a low tire pressure between 30-40 PSI.
Fenders are very useful for winter riding. They keep much of the mud,
snow, or water off of your bike and your body. Aluminum or steel fenders
are best in extremely cold climate.
When the roads are wet it will make braking harder and your stopping
distance will increase. On the road, leaves, manhole covers, and gravel
can be challenging. Anticipate braking and be aware of turns. Keep things
smooth on the turns and avoid braking during a turn. Driveways lips when
icy or wet can cause problems. Enter them perpendicular to avoid slipping
the front or wear tires. Bicyclists are not as visible to cars during
the winter months. Ride defensively! The days are shorter so use a front
and rear light and wear reflective clothing.
On the trail in wet or icy conditions, rocks, leaves, sticks, and other
obstacles become potential hazards. Braking when the rims and pads are
caked with mud or snow is very difficult. V-brakes stop much better than
traditional cantilever brakes. Tread lightly to prevent soil errosion.