Winter fitness: prep your bike

If staying fit equals pedal power regardless of temperature dips, you'll want to ensure you and your bike are winter-ready this season. On December 27, renowned science and technology magazine Wired offered a few tips to keep you safe and warm when traveling in chilly conditions.

In the article, Todd Down, professional bike mechanic and author of The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair for Road & Mountain Bikes, shared his tried-and-true methods for winter cycling:

1. Prep your wheels: Studded snow tires are a good bet, especially if you live in an icy area. Mountain bike tires, cyclocross tires, or any tires with a thick tread are ideal, Wired stated. Snowy roads and street slicks are, obviously, a bad combination.

2. Keep it clean: If you're riding on roads that freeze, chances are officials are sprinkling salt on the road for traction, which is corrosive to your bike. Wipe down the bike as soon as you get where you're going, and wash it as often as possible. Keep the rest of the bike clean and your chain and brakes well-oiled.

3. Use a fender: "An absolute must for those slushy, sloppy days," states Down. "Full fenders will not only keep the salty, oily spray off you, but they'll minimize how much gets thrown on sensitive parts of your bike," such as the brakes, the crank bearing, and steering bearing. 

4. Light up: Use a bright, white headlight and red taillight at all times, even during the day.

5. Wear layers: Moisture-wicking base layers work to remove the moisture from your skin and keep you warm and dry. But be sure to add gloves, a face mask, and a thin head covering under your helmet.

For more tips or to share your own, visit here

Read more on winter cycling:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/01/42-tips-to-bike-all-winter.php

http://www.suite101.com/content/winter-cycling-clothing-essential-bike-gear-to-stay-warm-and-dry-a320127
http://gearjunkie.com/winter-bike-commuting-10-tips-to-ride-safe

Watch a video on winter cyclin basics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhEW-45yi6k

 

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