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Cycling On Snow Without A Bowl? Our Pro Tips

Cycling on snow Serenely

Are you one of the seasoned adventurers who cycling under the snow ? Are you tempted by a family walk in the white landscape? It is true that it is exciting! But for how long ? Between the cold, the risk of accidents due to skids and fatigue…

Are you sure you are well prepared? If it's possible to bike in the snow , read these little tips from the experts to ensure a snowy mountain bike ride in complete safety and serenity.

Adapt your bike riding on snow

velo sous la neige

Powder or slush?

Riding a bicycle on snow or ice is quite an art. As on foot or by car, it is preferable to analyze the snow-covered surface before setting off. This makes it easier to pedal in powder than on melted snow. Indeed, the liquefied surface of the ruts is a new potentially frozen and slippery area.

Some parts of snow-covered roads are more dangerous than others. This is the case for markings on the ground (pedestrian crossing, white line, stop strip) with increasingly slippery surfaces.

Forget the sidewalks! Firstly because they are prohibited for cyclists . But above all, to avoid having a strike on this ice rink filled with clumsy pedestrians!

Maintain control

Moderate your pace, because in the event of sudden braking, the bowl is guaranteed.

Driving on snow is difficult for all road users, including pedestrians.

Indeed, who really knows what they are rolling on under a blanket of snow? Because, faced with a hidden obstacle, the bike stops suddenly and can, depending on your inertia, tip you over the handlebars. In addition, the speed does not help to counter the resistance of the snow. Especially if its texture varies along the way! The alternation of soft and hard parts can throw you off balance.

Slipping and losing control of a vehicle is no warning, so to avoid accidents, keep your distance and take your time.

Even more so in the turns! Stay straight and go wide so as not to hunt on patches of ice.

Good practices

Pedal slowly, but surely. In the snow, it is better to stay in the action than to be carried away by the speed. By playing on small gears, stay in control of your two wheels and avoid falls. The same goes for the brakes, brake at the rear rather than at the front.

Finally, optimize your balance:

  • Lower your saddle to decrease your distance from the ground. Your feet, more flat, keep you from falling.
  • Swap the backpack for two saddlebags on either side of the luggage rack.

Equip and take care of your bike in winter

Daily maintenance of your bike

Who says snow on the roads, says salting. If salt improves our grip on ice, it is not the friend of bikes. Very aggressive, salt, left on for several days, risks damaging the chain, sprockets and derailleur. Remember to rinse and dry your bike before putting it away.

As for electric bicycles, secure the batteries: charge them regularly and keep them warm each time you park.

  • Oil the brake linings to prevent them from seizing up in the cold
  • Check the visibility of your lights and reflectors, valid on the bike as on your clothes.
  • Think of the de-icer to open your frozen padlock.

You will understand, if cycling in the snow is possible, storing it away from humidity, salt and frost will prolong its life.

What outfits to ride in the snow?

Because flakes rarely come without the cold, it is important to cover yourself well when cycling in the snow . But not just any old way!

The extremities of the body are the most sensitive to low temperatures. They are the ones who must be kept warm.

  • Put on warm gloves, especially suitable for two-wheeler driving. You will also find protections such as sleeves for the hands to be fixed on the handlebars.
  • For your little feet, padded and high-top shoes will protect your sore toes.
  • As for the head, the caps and hood under the helmet will save your ears from pinching sensations. Curl up your lower face in a plush scarf and voila.

For the rest, the ideal is to dress in thin layers . This allows you to keep your original outfit if you are going to work and to add a sweater, a vest and a jacket. Efficient and practical, this onion technique cuts the wind chill induced by speed.

For the more cautious, insulated underwear regulates body temperature. A few pedal strokes will warm up the rest of the body and the mind.

Choice of tires to catch snow

If the snow falls regularly every winter, investing in a fatbike (bicycle with rough tires with wide treads), allows to obtain a larger contact surface and to regulate the stability. Otherwise, swap your bicycle for your ATV and slightly deflate the tires.

The thin tires, on the other hand, cut through the snow with ease without increasing the weight of your car.

If you live in mountains and snowy areas, studded tires grip snow very well, provide more traction, but slow down. This option concerns mountain bikers who are more adept at summits than "vélotafeurs".

While mountain biking or hybrid bikes are more suitable for snowy ground compared to other means of transport, cycling in the snow is not without risk. Just like driving your car, adapt your driving and stay alert. However, with these new tips filled with caution and specific equipment, you too can become a brave cyclist braving the cold and white gold. Ready to feast on the powder? Discover our articles to equip you correctly.

Do you like to cycle in winter? Read this article.



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