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7 Hacks For Winter Cycling

7 Hacks For Winter Cycling

– [Dan] There’s no reason
to stop riding your bike in the winter months, just because it’s a little bit colder,
and a little bit wetter. – [Matt] Yep, so coming up are GCN’s top winter riding hacks. (upbeat music) – One of the problems of winter riding, can be the lack of grip. Now it’s not just the wet roads, but also leaves and other debris, that affect breaking distances
and grip on the corners. – The solution, bigger tyres. Now we’ve got to the point now, where we are running 28c tyres, almost the entire year, for their comfort and for their versatility, but they are even more useful when it comes to the winter months, because you can run them
at much lower pressures, without any extra risk
of pinged puncturing. So I’m 72kg, I’m actually down
to just 60 psi in my tyres. Matt is slightly heavier,
and a lot more old school. He gets nervous at low pressures, but even he is down to 70 psi. What that means is a lot more grip, and a lot more comfort. – Comfort. (upbeat music) – Slush puppies are great in the summer. Quite refreshing, I think you might say, but are not quite so good when it’s freezing cold in the winter. Unfortunately, that is
exactly what can happen to the fluid inside your bottles, once your rides get down
to a certain temperature. – But the solution are
these thermal bottles. Great for keeping your
drinks cool in the summer, but also perfect from stopping your drink from freezing in the winter. (upbeat music) If there’s one thing that can
spoil a ride in the winter, that is cold feet. Now, over-shoes do a pretty
good job of keeping the wind out and keeping your feet
dry if the roads are wet. But they fall short quite often, in terms of keeping your feet warm. Now you could of course use thermal socks, but quite often that’ll mean that your feet are too tight, and you cut the circulation off, completely defeating the
object in the first place. – The solution, winter-specific
cycling shoes like these. And now the great thing
about these is there are no air vents, the outers are made from waterproof material,
and there’s loads of layers of thermal insulating
material on the inside. We’ve been using these
for the last three weeks, since the weather’s been
getting a lot colder. And we can say firsthand,
they keep your feet nice and snug and warm. – Do you know what, Dan? It’s a booty call. (upbeat music) – If you, like me, tend
to keep your modatill in a bag with your spare
inner tubes and tyre receptor, and it doesn’t come in its
own bag, like this one, then it is always best to wrap it in something like this. And again, this is especially important over the winter months,
when things can get very wet and soggy,
because it means there’s much less likelihood of something sharp on the modatill penetrating
your spare inner tubes and rendering them useless. – You don’t want your
inner tubes penetrated or better still, you could get a waterproof saddlebag, just like these. They’re quite neat, aren’t they? – Yeah, keep everything nice and dry. (upbeat music) The biggest and best winter
hack, is literally a hack. A winter bike hack. So when it comes to the
U.K., where the winters can be particularly grimy,
a cheaper second bike is the ideal solution. You can put your best bike away, ride through the winter, and not worry about wearing out expensive componentry. Plus there is the added
benefit, when you jump back on your best bike in the spring, you’re going to feel extra spritely. – Now, admittedly, here at GCN, we’re in a very privileged position where we don’t actually
have to buy our bikes. But back in the day, when all four of us, Lasty, Si, Dan and myself started out, we used to have a winter hack bike complete with mud guards,
it was nice and cheap. We could get as dirty as we wanted. They were actually called a hack bike. (upbeat music) You generally get a lot more
punctures in the winter, and you’ll certainly get
muckier when you’re fixing them. So a handy solution is to take a couple of these handy
little wet wipes with you, to clean your hands. – Fix your bike, clean your hands, job done. (upbeat music) – Our final winter riding tip is to stick to flatter roads
when the weather gets particularly grim, unlike today. First off, it’ll be a little bit safer, but secondly, it’ll stop
you from getting too cold. – Yeah, by all means,
do some shorter climbs, but save the longer
climbs for another time, because overheating on a long climb, and doing a very long
descent down the other side is a recipe for catching a chill. – Ooh, this is nice, isn’t it? – So those are our winter
riding hacks here at GCN, but as ever, we would
love to hear your hacks, if you’ve got any, for
keeping people on their bikes over the winter months. You can leave them in the
comment section just down below. – Yeah, and if you
haven’t already subscribed to the Global Cycling Network,
you can do so for free by clicking on the globe, and that way you won’t miss another video. Now for another winter-based video, how about clicking just down here, where we looked at the
effectiveness of mud guards, and boy, was that a cool shoot. – Yeah, or just down here is Si letting you know how to
winterproof your bike.

100 comments on “7 Hacks For Winter Cycling

  1. When it's actually cold – really cold – turn your bottle upside down in the bottle cage. Right side up may freeze the drops of liquid in the spout/mouth piece really quickly. Upside down and it won't freeze (at least not that quickly).

  2. Sorry guys but to me this looks like early autumn hacks 🙂 I live in Norway and here we love winter cycling (if not we would miss half the year) from Oct/Nov until Mar/Apr (depending on the conditions of course) it's spiked tires and real winter cycling. You have one good tip, that is a dedicated winter cycling boot, but more heavy duty like the Lake 303 or Wolvhammer. Your missing the two other most essential things and this first is quite embarrassing: Spiked tires – maybe not for the road bike but for the cheap winter bike you talk about or the CX if you have one. Cycling on a ice-rink is no problem with a nice spiked tire, the more (spikes) the merrier. The second tip is not as embarrassing but quite obvious as cold hands are a common problem, the solution is easy and completely revolutionary for winter cycling bar-mitts (I admit they don't look good but function over fashion). They come in versions for both Road/CX and MTB, and will completely stop you from searching the net for better gloves as they will keep you warm from the fingers to your elbow at least down to -10C. Then if the weather is really cold and additional pant over your regular winter cycling pants (yes you will need this) like the Assos Sturmnuss will help you keep both your feet and legs warm. With these additions to the cycling winter kit (and a good winter cycling cap and buff) it's possible to ride in conditions down to -15 (and even -20 if you want to work in rule #5). A great advantage of doing this winter cycling thing is that no matter what the weather is like during summer it's nothing like what you experience during the winter months. Summary: Spiked-tires, Bar-mitts and Winter-boots (and maybe an extra set of pants)

  3. Most influential episode yet! I just ordered the 28mm tires, waterproof saddle bag and replacement caps for my insulated bottles. Now to wait…

  4. Haha another Canadian here. Winter is more then a couple of degrees colder here. It's usually -20c and lots of snow from at least November to mid – late march. No green grass here!

  5. An alternativ to water tight saddlebags is the canisters with a screw on lid positioned into the bottle cage. These canisters comes in various sizes and can contain not only tools, bot also credit card, money, keys……..

  6. How do those Fizik Artica r5 winter shoes perform in the rain? I am sure they’re warm but does rain run down the leg and fill the shoe?

  7. i made my own spiked ice tires ( video link below, if interested)
    Thats my best winter bike hack, though, they really only work with lots of snow and ice, not good on bare roads at all…..and are obviously dangerous like any spiked thing.

  8. #torqueback I like to stop for a quick breather and stretch every few kms when climbing, only for a minute or so… Is this a bad thing?

  9. I live in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. this is the coldest capital in the world. I often cycle in -17c, my top hacks are, 1. fill your bottle with boiling water, this will give you access to your drink for about 1:15min until it is a ice cube. 2. sheep skin foot leg/gaiter. 3. cling film wrapped around your sock before you put your shoes on. 4. max 2 hour ride

  10. What the heck is winter like in the UK? Here in the US (Philadelphia, between DC and New York), summer gets to 95-100ºF and winter gets down to -5ºF (that's a range of -20ºC to 38ºC) I'm sure there are places the world over that get even colder…

  11. Which Canyon bike is it? Looks like an Aeroad? Did you really fit 28mm tyres as Canyon told me the max size I can fit to mine is 25mm… really interested to know if I can fit 28mm's

  12. HA HA HA HA!! "Winter" cycling in the UK! You should talk to my partner about WINTER cycling in Sweden. Try cycling to work when its minus 20 degreesC, snow drifts on the cycle path that you have to CLIMB over with the bike because the snow ploughs are not doing their job, and the wind is blowing at 15-20 metres per second (WINDY). Why doesn't GCN come to Uppsala for a visit and experience the pleasures of riding with proper winter tyres with spikes in them!! We'll be kind to you guys and only go out if its above minus 5 degreesC and no wind so you don't suffer too much!!

  13. Surprised you didn’t include wrapping your toes in aluminum, or aluminium if you insist. Best way I’ve found to keep toes cozy and I got it from you guys!

  14. Some interesting points. Annoyingly though winter shoes/boots sound great but most of them are either too expensive or too narrow. I've yet to find a pair of wide fit boots for under £100.

  15. Much like like Matt's tin foil tip, I use plastic grocery bags over my socks and under my shoes. This adds much warmth and water protection. However the down side is the shoe can still get wet.

  16. Damn, where the heck was that bomb shelter that Si stored his good bike during the "Winter Bike Segment?" Holy 1950s! Are the Winters in England that bad????

  17. Useful tips guys as ever, but I wish people would stop using the word “hacks”. What’s wrong with calling them tips rather than trying to be trendy by incorrect use of the word. You’re not chopping through undergrowth, gaining unauthorised access to a computer or riding a horse!

  18. Are you gaining unauthorised access to a computer, chopping through undergrowth or riding a horse? They’re tips not hacks, unless you’re trying to be a trendy American.

  19. Flat rides in the winter? You could have told me that before I started my everesting training (or wheelspining up 20% gradient rides).
    Most important thing for the winter is a decent set of full mudguards, mine broke a few weeks ago and it was depressing getting the bike covered in crud every ride until the new ones came.

  20. Are the Fizik Artica winter shoes that you show in the video warmer than using neoprene overshoes over your regular riding shoes? Did you upsize on the winter shoes to allow room for thermal socks or did you use the same size as your summer shoes?

  21. Pop quiz: Who are more annoying than the vegans? Answer: the people who insist on clogging up the comments section of every single "winter" video trying to play their childish games of one upmanshiip. NO ONE CARES!!

    These same people, seemingly, seem to think videos about "winter" should be filmed in February and released in March, ie early Spring……….

  22. Avoid hills, and don't sweat too much or you might get a chill on this winter. What? Try layering with wool. Layer merino under a wind breaker and ride hard!

  23. Definitely agree with the beater bike. But if you're in a true winter environment, a studded mountain bike tire is the way to go.

  24. Wear a cap under your helmet, Pearl Izumi makes a great one that cover your ears, my colleagues say it looks like a swimming cap, but at least it keeps your head warm. It's thin but if your helmet is a bit too tight you might want to go up a size. It's necessary with minus something degrees, comfy if it's just above 0°C (32°F for people using imperial units)

  25. My problem with winter is keeping my nose and ears warm. I hate my nose running while riding. what would you recommend?

  26. Its worth mentioning using booties with heated socks and heated gloves that are powered by aaa batteries or you can get the lithium ion rechargeable versions that are double the price. I absolutely cant stand wearing gloves while riding mostly due to the fact its hard to move in gloves and i cant feel my di2 buttons. If your like me and hate gloves they make ugly lookin bar mitts that you can just throw a pair of had warmers in. Its a great idea i got from trans am bike racers.

  27. Could GCN explain to me please the downsides of stopping for a coffee in a nice warm cafe in the middle of a cold winter bike ride?

  28. I've been known to use freezer bags on my feet to keep the toes warm in sub zero temps. Socks, freezer bags, shoes and the over shoes. Works a treat!

  29. Next time, avoid the whole "no true Winter" arguments in the comments and title the video "… for cold-weather cycling"; or, please provide some advice for cyclists who ride in winter conditions much worse than that seen here. A simple tip of the cap to riding on snow/ice, or riding on brutally cold days, would be appreciated.

  30. My personal hack is to replace my tight bike jacket by my old ski jacket and my bike gloves by my skiing gloves. Then i stay warm for hours

  31. My winter hacks/preperations grow a beard, get studded tires, glasses that don't fog, loose fitting clothes and never leave the bike outside on lowest gear.

  32. Gloves…….Get some latex or Nitrile gloves. Pop a pair or two in with your multi-tool. Invaluable to stop your hands getting covered in crap when you have a mechanical. I have a fair daily commute through all sorts of muck and when you puncture, your hands don't get covered with filth.

  33. Wait, why didn't you show any actual footage of riding in a winter? I don't see nearly a meter of snow, and -30C temperatures. Here's a tip for riding during actual winter – don't 😉

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