How Cold is Too Cold for a Bike Ride?

Riding a bike allows you to get cardiovascular exercise while you have fun. Bike riding is great for your health, it helps you keep your weight down, and it builds both muscle strength and endurance.

Many people ride bicycles every day to get to and from work and physical exercise. Visit RSD Bikes to find latest information about bikes.

In the winter riding as a bike leaves you exposed to the cold air so exactly how cold is too cold for a bike ride?

Bike Riding in Cold Weather

The majority of cyclists will agree that when the temperatures outside drop to 400 F or 4.50 C it is getting too cold to be riding around town.

There are bike riding enthusiasts who ride when temperatures are much lower than this, but if you ride in lower temperatures, you need to take precautions.

The Risks Associated with Riding a bike in Cold Weather

Riding a bike improves circulation. It is a physical exercise that gets your heart pumping and helps you burn calories and increase blood circulation throughout your body.

In the wintertime exposure to the elements is one of the biggest concerns with bike riding.

When you are riding you push forward through already chilled air and that causes a wind-chill effect that exposes your skin to temperatures that are even lower than the actual outside temp.

How To Prepare for Winter Bike Riding

You can avoid exposure, frostbite, and many other complications associated with winter bike riding if you take the time to prepare properly.

Proper Clothing

We know that big and bulky coats can interfere with your ability to ride your bike.

You can however properly layer your clothing to create an insulating effect that will stop you from being injured by the exposure to the cold temperatures.

Be sure that you wear gloves to cover your hands and fingers. You also want to get a liner for your bike helmet that will help to protect your head from extremely cold temperatures.

Clothing to consider:

  • Protective eyewear
  • Cycling gloves
  • Overshoes or shoes designed for winter
  • Thermal bib overalls
  • Undershirts designed to wick moisture away
  • Waterproof jackets
  • Scarves tucked into the jacket front
  • Thermal socks

Increase the Lighting on Your Bike

It is harder for motorists to see the bike rider in some winter conditions. To make sure that everyone can see you and know that you are there make sure that you increase the number of lights on your bike.

These lights will alert motorists to your presence and may very well save your life.

Improve your Tires and Safety

Most people know that when driving in winter in areas where snow or ice may be present the application of snow chains and specialized tires will increase the stability of your car on the road. A lot of people do not realize that the same thing is true of bicycles. 

You are not going to put snow chains on your bicycle but you can put wider tires on your bike to improve your traction when riding over icy terrain.

You also want to get tires that are more puncture resistant to the frozen terrain are less likely to damage your tires while you are riding.

You can also let a little of the air out of your tires to improve the amount of traction you have while riding on slick surfaces.

Food and Beverage Considerations

You do not forget to carry plenty of water with you when you ride in the summer heat, but you may not realize that you need just as much hydration while riding in the winter weather.

Be sure to pack along plenty of water and help break the chill of the ride load your thermos with warm liquid instead of cold liquid.

Slow Down and Be Safer

The natural urge to ride as fast as possible so you can get out of the wintery weather as fast as possible will overtake you when you are cold-weather riding.

It is much safer for you if you slow down and take the time to navigate obstacles. By slowing down if you do encounter dangers hidden under snow or slick patches you are less likely to have a bike crash.

Caring for your Bike

The care you give your bike will make a big difference in how safely you can ride it in inclement weather.

The salt that is placed on roads can wreak havoc on bike chains so make sure you clean your bike chain and lube it frequently during the winter months.

After each ride that exposes the bike to dampness be sure to clean your rims and brakes to remove excess moisture.

A little prevention is worth a pound of cure and could mean the difference between you riding your bike and carrying your bike. 

Use Mudguards

Mudguards may not be the most fashionable accessory for a bike but they will help keep you drier while you ride in the winter.

The mudguard will stop the moisture from the road from being thrown upon you so your feet and lower extremities stay drier.

The benefits of Cycling in Colder Temperatures

Believe it or not, there are a lot of health benefits associated with riding a bike in colder weather. Some of these benefits include:

  • Increased calories are burned. When you ride in colder temperatures your body has to work harder and that means it takes more calories to fuel the ride.
  • It improves your mood and outlook. Winter brings a lot of depression because people are confined indoors and do not get as much sunshine and fresh air. Getting out of the house and taking part in a physical activity like bike riding will reduce your winter blues and improve your mental outlook.

Final Thoughts

How cold is too cold for a bike ride will be determined by how well you tolerate the cold and how badly you want to ride your bike.

Cold weather riding does present a few challenges for the cyclist, but with proper planning and preparation, you can ride safely and enjoy your outing even when it is cold outside.

1 thought on “How Cold is Too Cold for a Bike Ride?”

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge