The snow is falling, the roads are icy and biking season is over, right? Wrong. Dean Eyre of Cadence Cycle in Whitehorse offers seven suggestions for pedalling through the winter.
-Make sure your ride is well lit. Cover your bike with reflectors and reflective tape and install a headlight. With winter comes darkness, and if you’re not visible to traffic you’re likely to become roadkill.
-Invest in a pair of studded tires. Regular rubber is fine for the summer, but if you want to keep from slipping and sliding in the winter, metal studs are essential.
-Get a tune up. Riding a bike through one winter causes as much wear and tear as four summers. So before you start pedalling through the powder, it’s smart to make sure your bicycle is in tip-top shape.
-Lock your suspension. If your bike has shocks, deactivate them. They don’t work very well in the winter and can be badly damaged by the cold. The benefits aren’t worth the risks.
-Keep your bike cold. It’s tempting to bring it inside after a winter ride, but constant freezing and thawing causes corrosion and clogs the gears and chain with grit and grime. Better to let your bike chill outside with the huskies.
-Lower your tire pressure to about 20 or 25 PSI to get more contact with the road. Better yet, purchase new, fat tires. Go with the biggest tire your frame will handle.
-Switch to the lightest chain oil available, something labelled for dry conditions. Heavier oils get dense and gummy in the cold and will make your chain stick. But in the shoulder season, when you’re riding in slush, switch back to something heavy so it doesn’t wash off.