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5 tips for winter rides

by Kim Gintrand
winter iceland cycling road

This time of the year where the temperatures drop below 10 degrees celsius, where blue skies are becoming a rare thing and hot chocolate is the only thing we can think off. Welcome to winter!

It is hard to train during this season and sometimes it can be more appropriate to stay off the bike when it is snowing outside. I’ll give you my 5 tips for winter rides but also some alternatives to cycling that will help you stay active. 

#1 Take a pair of changing clothes with you

The first error that you will do is to forget a pair of changing clothes! This is the key to a nice ride during winter, keeping you from freezing whenever you stop more than 2 minutes. If you are planning a ride this winter, I would advise to take an extra pair of base layer. It is similar when you climb a mountain path. I found it so much more comfortable to change at the top! It will avoid having wet layers on and therefore being extremely cold. If you are a woman, make sure to take an extra pair of bra with you, or even better, don’t wear one at all!

base layer assos of switzerland winter kit cycling gravel riding iceland trip
@snorrithor @assosofswitzerland

#2 Dress appropriately

Wearing the right clothes will limit yourself from being cold. Make sure that you have waterproof tights and overshoes. Accessories such as a headcap, winter gloves, neckwarmer, and sometimes face mask, are important to have or you won’t be able to make it more than 10 minutes out. The choice of your base layer is also important, make sure to choose a breathable one, but warm. Same thing for the winter jacket. If you have a good winter jacket, you won’t need many layers. For example, while I was in Iceland, I only had a base layer and a winter jacket to ride between 0 and 5°C. 

The must have during winter : winter jacketrain jacketwindbreakerovershoeswinter glovesneckwarmerlong sleeves sking layerwinter bib tightswinter head cap

winter iceland cycling road
winter iceland cycling road
@snorrithor @assosofswitzerland

#3 Ride the routes you know

If you don’t want to have some bad surprises 50km from your house with a flooded trail for example, I’d recommend that you plan carefully your rides during this season. Shorter rides are also more appropriate as you never know how the weather can turn out an hour later. You will be able to get back home more easily if you have planned a ride that isn’t too far from your home. You can still plan a long one that pass by your house a couple of times 🙂

winter iceland cycling road
@snorrithor @assosofswitzerland

#4 Have the right bike set up

Make sure that you have the right type of tires and section. I tend to have a wider section up to 50’s. My go to are the Tundra  from Hutchinson.

#5 Try other sports

The other option that sometimes can be the best, is to try another sport! There are many indoors sports such as climbing, tennis, badminton, squash that are great cardio exercises. If you really want to spend some time outdoor, then go trail running, hiking or skiing 🙂 It could be also a great time to work on your core, strength, and mobility. It will help you prepare your body for spring and prevent a lot of injuries.

trail run winter annecy tips activities

The most important in all of this, is to not push when you don’t feel like it. Make sure to listen to your body as winter is also the time where a lot of people get sick and their immune system are weaker. On that note, stay healthy and active! 

And if you have any advices you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! 🙂

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