Our best tips for cycling in winter
Always happy to pedaling in the cold , spent the beautiful days?
With the arrival of in winter, bike rides become more perilous. Between the half-light when getting in the saddle and slippery roads, cyclists, less and less visible, are also more vulnerable. However, living in the city, the bicycle remains the ideal means of transport.
As proof, two-wheeler enthusiasts keep increasing. So how to continue cycling in winter ? If, being well equipped and being extra vigilant are the keys to pedaling safely in the cold, this article is full of advice to prepare yourself well.
How to be visible by bike in winter?
From mid-October in some regions, the light weakens and morning mists appear. To enjoy your bike ride in complete safety , it is imperative to anticipate your visibility to other road users.
Customize your bike
Don't underestimate the shape of your bike! Between the handlebars, the wheels, the frame, the luggage rack, the mudguard and the pedals ... Fluorescent signs are everywhere! To equip your bicycle , mountain bike or hybrid bike, you will find:
- Reflectors or reflectors to wedge in the spokes of each wheel.
- Reflective sprays to spray on your frame.
- Flashing diodes on the end of your pedals and handlebars.
- There are even horns with integrated lighting .
- Hazard spreaders placed on the left side or laser projectors ensure that the Motorist keeps his distance when overtaking.
Secure from head to toe
More than your bike, it's up to you to be visible. To do this, there is no shortage of ideas for road safety accessories .
First of all, avoid wearing dark clothes in order to stand out from the winter tone. Indeed, dressed in light colors, your silhouette stands out better against motorists who pass you. This is why textiles incorporate a reflective surface where the headlight lights pass.
You can still add:
- A certified retro-reflective vest above the jacket and the backpack.
- Reflective armbands on the legs and arms. Some models have flashing LEDs.
In winter, cyclists' hands are strained with cold and wind. Combine business with pleasure by opting for comfortable gloves, suitable for cyclists and fitted with reflective strips or other LEDs.
Indicator lights are now everywhere, even on bike helmets!
How to pedal in the cold safely?
Check your bike before riding on snow
During the winter months, the roadways are wet, covered with water, snow or frost.As with cars, the pressure of your tires must be perfectly adapted to the conditions of the road
As a reminder, a slightly under-inflated tire grips the snow better and prevents skidding. For residents of regions that are often snow-covered, thin so-called "winter" or "wet condition" tires exist and improve grip. Indeed, their "softer" rubber resists low temperatures. p >
By the way, some components of the bike don't like too cold winters. So, for saddle inseparable (even in cool weather), be sure to use your de-icer and grease:
- The string.
- The brake sheaths and cables, or hydraulic brake hoses.
- Derailleur housing and cables.
Otherwise, bicycle covers protect these more fragile elements during long parkings in the open air.
As for electric bikes , their battery tends to discharge faster. Check your charge level before you hit the road!
Change your driving mode
Have you ever been surprised by an inconspicuous cyclist ? Discreet and silent on the roads, they slip easily between cars.
With an increase in accidents of 47% in winter, cyclists are the first to be affected by distracted motorists. Unaccustomed to road cohabitation, with an ever-increasing number of bicycle users.
In addition, the low winter light decreases the attention of motorists and their appreciation of safety distances. It's up to you to measure the dangers.
- In town, choose cycle paths, obey Stop signs and traffic lights.
- Outside built-up areas, think of cars that tend to accelerate and the lack of exterior lighting.
Rain, frost, snow, wind and darkness are the daily winter of cyclists. Faced with these difficult conditions, measure the condition of the roads and drive with caution at this time of year.
How to dress for winter cycling?
As winter approaches, most cyclists swap their bikes for the comfort of their car or public transport. Indeed, who is not discouraged at the sight of rain or ice?
For fans and hotheads, cycling in winter is not a punishment, as long as you opt for an appropriate outfit.
- Cover and protect your hands from the cold with special cycling gloves.
- Invest in a coat that covers your buttocks. Do you like to feel the fresh air pass behind your back?
- Opt for waterproof ankle boots.
- Multiply the base layers under your windbreaker. This technique is still more effective in retaining heat than a huge down jacket.
- Those most exposed to low temperatures opt for thermally insulated clothing.
- Wedge a hat or a balaclava under your helmet. Not to mention the scarf to protect you from the cold.
Is it raining? Where is the problem ? Take out your waterproof parka, the poncho, the over-pants and arrive at your destination clean and dry!
For ecological reasons, the maintenance of your physical form or the practical side, cycling in winter remains a fun activity provided you adopt the right reflexes With all these advice in hand, you are now ready to get in the saddle and face the end of the season calmly..