We’re back with Winterized, our guide to making riding in the winter slightly less crappy, and it’s the solstice! That means we can officially celebrate the shortest day of the year along with the first official day of the winter. Bittersweet, that one. We still have a long ways to go before we dig ourselves out of the dark, frozen days of winter, but at least we can take solace knowing that the sun will start to set later and later. When you’re trying to squeeze in those after work rides, every single minute counts.
“Good lights are super important for me in the winter as it gets dark so early. I use an 850-lumen bar light and 1000 lumen headlight from Light and Motion.
I recently bought some waterproof Fox gloves that are awesome! They aren’t super thick or heavily insulated, so they breathe and allow you to retain dexterity, but still keep your hands dry/warm. The Kona winter gloves are also super warm for really cold days.
Smartwool wolly-bully socks for toasty feet
Packable rain shell (mine is an Outdoor Research Helium jacket)
Also kinda random, but my roommate bought me some special “sports detergent” for washing all my gear because it gets extra wet/smelly in the winter.
I normally ride clipless pedals, but sometimes will rock flats when its super cold or snowy as the clips get clogged with snow or freeze.”
Name: Aaron Hogg
Kona gig: Kona Graphics Master
Bike of choice: Honzo ST
How Aaron gets Winterized:
“Because we have fairly mild extremes in Christchurch winter riding isn’t bad, but I do usually spend a lot more time trail building.
- Preheat your shoes and gloves. Keeping your shoes and gloves inside where is warm is pretty obvious but if you can get them up to body temp before going out into the cold you will be much happier. I’ll put all my gear on ~20 min ahead of time to start warming them up and instead of wearing my gloves for that time I’ll slip them under my jersey so they still get body heat.
- Get studded tires for your mountain bike. When it is cold and snowy out I find it much easier to motivate myself to romp around on the mountain bike with studded tires than to ride the trainer or go to the gym or try and find dry roads for a road ride.
- Get a climbing gym membership. Rock climbing is an excellent cross-training activity for mountain bikers in the winter. The indoor gym is warm and dry and it is a fun, safe workout that you’ll want to come back for over and over.
- The best way to keep your feet dry and warm is some Seal Skins socks They are the best socks EVER! RRT £24.99
- For the UK cyclist, they want a good glove that lasts but does not break the bank. Anything made by Endura is a winner. The (Endura Strike glove) is the one I use.
- As for the tyres, Schwalbe Marathon plus for MTB/Hybrid bikes and Durano Plus for road bikes. Very good kevlar tyres run about £34.99- £41.99 each. Food is an easy one. Clif Bar (peanut butter) is amazing. They taste great and give you a long-term energy boost like porridge. Clif Shot Blocks are great for a short-term term boost.
- Something that riders can do that makes a big difference is to clean their brakes after riding in wet conditions. Clean the breaking surface of the wheels and pads on a weekly basis. Then, if they have time, sand the rims down a little bit with some wet and dry sandpaper. This will make the pads last longer and stop the brakes form making a horrid squeaky noise.
- They could also help to stop rust/corrosion by spraying GT85/MO94 or any other good oil on the mechs, cables and shifters. This would help to keep their gears running better for longer. It will also keep their repair costs down. Just be sure not to put oil on any brakes.