Tips for cycling in the snow

Photograph by NZPA (I wish I'd done this but I didn't! If anyone's up for recreating it down London Fields later let me know!))

Photograph by NZPA (p.s. if anyone is up for recreating this at London Fields later let me know!)

Being back on my bike for the first time in 5 weeks as I cycled into central London last night felt like heaven despite the snow. Chris mused that in an ideal world in weather like this he’d add a front disk brake and cyclo cross tyres to his fixed gear bike to make the ultimate two wheeled snow-mobile but as that probably isn’t feasible to most of us here are my top tips for cycling in the snow:

+ Stay in the seat if possible – As soon as you stand up your weight moves forward losing traction in the rear wheel.

+ Let your tyre pressure down a little to increase grip.

+ Follow the tread patterns in the road – this is where the snow has already melted. Take a defensive line and don’t be intimidated into cycling in the gutter, on treacherous cycle paths or icy parts of the road.

+ Take wide corners – Slow down before reaching your turn to avoid breaking in the corner.

+ If there are no tyre tracks to follow, ride in the powder rather than smooth snow as smooth snow is often icy.

+ Wear glasses – Snow will sting your eyes making it difficult to see. I’m yet to find a pair of cycling glasses I like but my prescription vintage specs from Klasik have large lenses and do just fine.

+ Layer – Wrap up warm, our cashmere jerseys are perfect for keeping you warm and comfortable in the snow, I layered two together with a wind proof jacket, two pairs of socks and lined leather gloves. In comments on the London Cyclist website Andreas also recommends Northwave thin neoprene inner (with suede palms) with Pearl Izumi waterproof outer shells. Chris is coveting Vans water resistant AWT trainers, although hard to find and doesn’t look like they’ve considered a ladies version. I find that patent leather shoes are great in wet weather, water resistant and glam.

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5 thoughts on “Tips for cycling in the snow

  1. Pingback: Milano Fixed Archive » stile

  2. My first time cycling in the snow was tonight(28/11/10) and it was snowing and the thing is it was funny for me as the bike was sliding from side to side and the best bit was i did not even need to change gear as i stayed in the low gear and with the thickness of the snow it felt like i was in high gear
    but at the end of the day its just fun

  3. Pingback: How to bike in the snow | Tucson Velo

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