Rock Talk

Biking to Work in the Winter

Last updated on May 16th, 2017 at 02:40 pm

No matter how you get to work in the morning, winter always complicates the commute. If you’re among the growing population of commuters who are strapping on a helmet and hopping on a bike, winter can be a particularly challenging time.

Here’s how to make sure your two-wheeled steed is ready to face Old Man Winter.

Maintain your bike

The ice, slush, salt and dirt your bike is exposed to throughout the winter can be damaging, so you’ll want to clean it more regularly than you normally would. A simple mixture of soap and water should do the trick most of the time, but more hard-to-tackle grime might require rubbing alcohol. Pay special attention to your wheels and chain since mud can get caked inside spokes and links.

Chains and brake and transmission cables should be lubricated to prevent them from sticking.

Consider your tires, pedals and fenders

Riding on slippery, snow- and ice-covered roads can be tough without the right wheels. To keep you upright, you’ll want your tires to have a better tread pattern to help with gripping than a standard smooth-tread wheel. And if you’re really going off the beaten path, you may want to consider studded tires to help with traction.

  • Tip: For an inexpensive winter hack, try to zip tie method to improve grip

Everything is slippery in the winter. When it comes to pedals, you’ll want to make sure they have good gripping power so your feet don’t slide around when pedaling. Plus, consider the fact that you’ll probably be wearing big winter boots, so you’ll want to make sure the pedals are large enough for your feet to fit comfortably.

While cruising down wet roads, your wheels are kicking up dirt, grime and other elements. Protect yourself from wheel spray by strapping on temporary fenders so that your wheels are covered.

Dress for the weather

You may see them, but drivers don’t necessarily always see you. While biking, it’s important to be as conspicuous as possible by wearing bright colors and reflective gear.

You should also consider mounting a light on both the front and back of your bike. That way you’ll be seen when the snow starts to fall or when it gets dark.

Whether your commute is 10 minutes or an hour, you’ll want to make yourself as comfortable as possible while riding. Wear thick socks, comfortable riding shoes, and above all, always wear a helmet.

For more information and tips about winterizing your bike, check out these articles from Gizmodo and PhillyVoice.

Plymouth Rock Assurance wants to know if you bike to work? What tips do you have for riding in the winter?

Click here for more information about insurance in your state.

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