Radfahren im Winter, Carver Fahrrad, Schnee, Winter, MTB, Mountainbike

Cycling in winter: 5 tips for safe cycling in the cold season

In the cold season, the bicycle remains a popular means of transport for many. Especially in the city, everyday life is still carried out on two wheels, even in rain, storm and snow. But how do you stay safe and warm while cycling in winter? In this article you will find five essential tips to brave the cold and overcome the challenges of road traffic.

1. How to make cycling in winter an experience with the appropriate cycling equipment

A winter-proof bike and appropriate equipment are the be-all and end-all for cycling in winter. You should definitely pay attention to the following aspects in the cold season:

  • Tires with sufficient tread
  • If necessary, reduce the air pressure in your tires slightly to gain more grip
  • functional brakes with sufficient brake pads
  • Front and rear mudguards
  • perfectly functioning lighting at the front and rear
  • Reflectors
  • Oil chains so that they do not rust so quickly in moisture and road salt
  • Oil the bike lock to prevent it from freezing

2. Riding a bike in winter - increasing your own visibility in traffic

In winter it is not only particularly cold, but also often dark. Many bike commuters ride to work in the dark in the morning and return in the dark. This makes it all the more important for you to be visible in traffic. With the following tips you can be recognized early by others in traffic:

  • a functioning lighting system
  • Reflectors in the spokes and on the pedals
  • reflective clothing or reflective elements such as bracelets or safety vests
  • Bicycle panniers or backpacks with reflective elements
  • Bicycle helmet with integrated lighting or helmet lamp
Carver Fahrrad, Strict-E, Mann auf Trail, Schnee, Winter

3. Wear appropriate cycling clothing

For cycling fun in winter, not only your own bike should be adapted to the environment, but also your own clothing. Nothing is worse than getting cold or wet while riding your bike. The tried and tested onion layer principle also works excellently when cycling. To do this, you should wear breathable thermal underwear on your skin, preferably made of merino wool or synthetic fiber. Cotton is rather unsuitable due to its high moisture absorption. This base layer keeps your body heat constant and regulates perspiration. A warming layer should be worn on top to protect against the cold from outside. A fleece jacket or something similar is ideal for this. Make sure to choose high-quality materials – merino wool is very popular, for example. The last layer should be a waterproof and windproof rain jacket so that moisture from outside cannot get to you through the integrated membrane. Taped seams, a large hood that fits over the helmet, cuffs and waterproof zippers are features that characterize a good bicycle rain jacket.

To keep your legs warm and dry, you can wear rain pants that you can put on over your normal clothes. You can either wear waterproof cycling shoes or use waterproof overshoes that you can put on over your normal everyday shoes or cycling shoes.

Warm, windproof gloves and cycling glasses with clear lenses complete your winter outfit. A thin hat under your helmet also keeps your ears warm. With a tube scarf you can also protect your neck from drafts.

When it comes to clothing for cycling in winter, it makes sense to pay attention to reflective elements and clothing that is highly visible.

4. Service the bike regularly

Cycling in winter means: cold, snow, ice, rain, wind, dirt and road salt! These factors are particularly hard on your bike in the cold season and can quickly lead to functional impairments. This makes it all the more important to carry out regular maintenance on the bicycle or to take it to a bicycle workshop. The drive and brakes in particular suffer particularly in winter, but at the same time they are the most important components of your bike. You can also increase the maintenance intervals by thoroughly cleaning your bike regularly. Various manufacturers offer special bicycle cleaners for this purpose.

However, regular maintenance is not only a guarantee for optimal functionality, but also for a long service life of your bike and its components.

5. Adapt your own driving style in traffic

In the cold season, road conditions can change quickly and make cycling in winter a real challenge. Where it was just dry there is now a sheet of ice or a deep puddle. It is therefore advisable to adapt your own driving style in traffic. Predictive driving is even more important in winter than it already is. At the same time, you should brake carefully and avoid sudden steering maneuvers. It is generally helpful if you allow a little more time for your usual routes so that you don't get hectic.

With these tips you can optimally prepare yourself and your bike for the cold season and enjoy your rides despite the cold, rain, wind and ice - cycling in winter doesn't just have to be cold and wet. However, there are also situations in which the bike is better left in the garage. If there is black ice or heavy snow, it is better to use alternative means of transport or local transport.We wish you a lot of fun on two wheels!

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