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5 Secrets to Keep you Warm While Biking in the Winter

“There is no such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing”.

- Scandinavian Proverb



One of the best ways to enjoy winter is to dress for the weather and get outside!


The first season we started biking in the winter, we noticed something fascinating - we hardly ever complained about the weather.


We realized that biking helped us acclimate to the shifting temperatures and embrace the reality of the season, because we were dressed for it!


If you're ready to brave the elements by bike, here are 5 things you needs to do to stay warm and enjoy the ride.


1. Protect Your Eyes and Face from the Cold Wind

The first time I rode my e-bike in the winter I was surprised at how the cold wind hit my face. I felt like my eyes were going to pop out, right after my tears turned to icicles.


When I got home, I dug out my old snowboard helmet and goggles, it made a HUGE difference.


Wearing a ski or snowboard helmet with goggles helps insulate your eyes and face from the piercing cold wind.


TIPS:

  • Look for a helmet that has vents to help keep your goggles from fogging up.

  • If you wear glasses, it is possible to find goggles that fit over them, depending on the size and shape of your glasses.

  • Most snowboard helmets come with a fleece lining so you don’t need to wear a hat underneath. But on really cold days, wear a thin buff to cover your ears for extra warmth.

Don't forget a merino wool or fleece buff to keep your face warm!


2. Wear Wind Proof Gloves


When you're riding at 20+ km/h on an e-bike, the wind chill factor can be surprising.


Make sure you have a good pair of wind-proof gloves to keep your hands warm.


You want something warm enough to block the wind but fitted enough to operate your e-bike.


We have found that a pair of ski mitts or gloves work well.



3. Use Winter Bicycle Pogies


Do you find it difficult to brake and shift gears with thick winter gloves on? Pogies are the answer.

Like a giant pair of mittens that fit over your handlebars, Pogies will keep your hands warm so you have the freedom to operate your bike with bare hands or a thin pair of gloves.


Support local and get a pair of handmade Winter Bicycle Pogies from our good friend, Doug at Coldbike: www.coldbike.com/product/winter-bicycle-pogies/


He's not paying us to share this. We just love them enough to tell you about them 😉


4. Be Smart About Base Layers


Quality base layers, such as Merino wool, allow you to dress for the destination and the ride. When you use your bike as a mode of transportation, wearing your everyday clothes is ideal.

We recommend a Merino wool base layer because it helps keep you warm while riding in the cold and helps regulate your body temperature once you've reached your destination inside.


On colder days, you can add a wind-proof outer layer, such as wind proof snow pants, for extra warmth.


We don't have affiliate links set up yet but if you're looking for recommendations, we have had great success with lightweight Ice Breaker base layers (number 200-230) for rides in -15 under an hour taking us to an inside destination where we don't want to overheat.


5. Get yourself a Pair of Long Underwear, Wool Socks, and Insulated Wind Proof Boots

Cold feet is one of the main complaints people have about biking in the winter.


If you take care of your feet, you'll last longer and have more fun biking in chilly temperatures.


For city riding in the winter:

  • A pair of wool socks and good quality boots go a long way. We use Ice Breaker or Smart Wool socks and Blundstone boots.

  • Make sure no skin is exposed.

  • Base layer pants will help the circulation in your legs and hips keep your feet warm.

  • If your feet get cold, stop and walk around to get the blood flowing.

  • Switch to composite pedals to reduce heat loss through your feet (see the link in the Coldbike article below).

If you're still getting cold feet, read these two articles for sound, tested, helpful advice:


1. Our friend Doug @coldbike wrote an informative article about the science of keeping your feet warm. He covers conditions ranging from city riding to winter bike-packing. You'll learn a lot! Read it here.


2. In this article, Tom Babin unpacks the moment he realized his feet weren't cold anymore. His summary "Buy warm socks. Wear good boots. Enjoy winter." seems obvious but unless you've mastered the art of keeping your feet warm through the winter, you'll benefit from reading it.


Let us know how you go! We'd love to hear about your winter biking journey. Is there anything else you've found helpful to keep yourself warm and riding longer?

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