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Tips for cold weather cycling

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Tips for cold weather cycling

Humans are not born to be cold. We like our internal temperature to hover around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. When it is down an inch, the body will play a defensive role to protect our organs-in extreme cases, to protect our lives. This is not to say that we should ride bikes and surf on the sofa all winter, but when we ride bikes in cold weather, it’s important to understand what’s going on with the body so that we can respect the weather, understand our limits, and of course Dressed accordingly. Here are what happens when you are out riding in the cold and what you can do to protect yourself.

Your muscles are tense

The moment you walk out the door, you can feel your muscles preparing for the cold. They contract and feel tighter, limiting your range of motion, which makes the first pedaling feel much more difficult than in comfortable 70-degree weather. You can counteract this support effect by warming up indoors for a short time. Then when you go outdoors, give yourself extra time to relax. If you want to play in a cold environment, warm up as much as possible until close to the start time. Then continue to move until the gunshot goes out.

Your blood moves inwards

Your body will protect your organs first. This means that your blood will diverge from your limbs to the center of your body, which is why it is difficult for your hands and feet (or even your face) to keep warm, even if it is only a little cold. Obviously, you need to respond accordingly by protecting your head, feet, and hands with warm clothes, such as a beanie that covers your head and eartips, insulated gloves, and warm socks and shoe covers.


Another tip: keep your core temperature, it will keep you warm because your body is not so stingy with blood flow. Investing in a good foundation layer is a good starting point.

cold weather cycling

Changes in your heart rate

Usually, your heart rate will drop due to the cold because it starts pumping less blood to your skin and limbs. When you start exercising, your heart must work harder to stay warm, while also pumping blood to your working muscles, so your heart rate may be higher than when you do the same amount of work in warm weather. This extra load can also cause blood pressure to rise. To solve this problem, please warm up thoroughly and don’t expect to set any PR when the temperature drops to the deep freezing zone.  Cold weather cycling  has its own challenges-setting a new record is not necessarily one of them.

Your airline shrinks

In sucking cold, dry air juice warm and moisture from your trachea and lungs, it can make you feel short of breath and even trigger exercise-induced asthma for those who are susceptible to breathing state. Once again, take a moment to warm up so that you don’t get out of breath when you first go out. You can also put on a neck guard and pull it over your mouth to heat the air before it enters the lungs.

Your nose is dripping

It is the responsibility of the nostrils to heat and humidify the air drawn into the lungs. When you breathe hard in cold and dry air, your schnozz will run over speed, increasing fluid production and causing excess fluid to drip out. Nothing can stop it, but having a pair of high-quality gloves with soft nose wipes can help prevent rubbing yourself.

You pee more

When your body pumps more blood and fluid to your core to protect your organs and keep you warm, your brain receives signals to reduce your body’s overall fluid volume, so you want to urinate more frequently. Women can avoid taking off all their clothes when running water is needed by wearing a bib with a vertical tail or a backless (or ordinary non-bib leggings designed for cycling in cold weather). With these, you can listen to the call of nature without exposing too much skin’s influence on the elements. If you can’t decide what pants to wear, here are the best cycling shorts for all riders.


Remember, even if you are not as thirsty as in hot weather, you will still lose water. So keep you hydrated. Don’t know how much water to drink? Follow this daily H2O guide.

cold weather cycling

You feel very energetic

Exercise in cold weather is refreshing, the air is colder and the humidity is usually lower. In addition, because your body must work harder in the cold, your endorphins will get a greater boost, which is a good way to overcome winter depression.

You may start to tremble

If you still lose more heat than you produce (despite your careful warm-up and stratification), then you will feel cold. Your skin will have a so-called sense of fear-“goose bumps”-this is your body’s response to trying to create more insulating air space in your fur. But because you don’t have any fur, it is generally quite ineffective. The next step is shaking, or involuntary muscle contraction to generate more heat. This works to a certain extent. When you get to the point of shaking, it’s time to find a place to hide and warm up. You don’t want to enter the field of hypothermia.


So, as the weather gets colder, what else do you need to do to continue riding? On the one hand, learn to wear warmth on the bike. Although this means investing in winter clothing, it does not require bankruptcy. Try these techniques and you will ride warm and strong throughout the winter.

General rules

When preparing to ride in cold weather, a good rule of thumb is to be a little bit cold at first, as you will be very warm up after about 10 minutes of pedaling. If you wear too much, overheating can make people uncomfortable, so you may need to try it before you can make the right choice.


First, consider the layering rules. This is a technique of wearing clothes of different weights, designed to absorb, capture, hold and block. The overall purpose of layering is to trap insulating air between layers of clothing and then retain heat.


Attach a light-weight, high-performance polyester core sweat-absorbing fabric to the skin. Several manufacturers produce high-quality, high-performance fabrics designed specifically for cyclists. This type of clothing will absorb moisture from the skin, keep the skin and clothing dry, and avoid loss of heat due to evaporation.


Next, wear something that has the ability to keep warm (polyester is also good here), which can not only keep warm, but also make the fabric “breath” slowly. Modern synthetic fabrics such as polyester are breathable and can help you stay warm for longer.


Outerwear has two functions: to keep warm, while blocking cold air and wind. Outerwear should be used as an insulation layer and windshield, because circulating in cold air will increase the wind chill coefficient. Fabrics like nylon serve this purpose well. Natural fabrics such as wool and cotton will get wet and stay moist, so don’t wear cotton T-shirts close to your skin, thinking that it will serve as your main moisture-wicking garment.


In addition, if you do not wear a windbreaker while riding and find that you need one, please insert some newspapers into your cycling suit. Insert it into the front to block the oncoming cold air, and insert it into the back to conserve the core heat and act as an insulator. You will see amateurs and professionals use this technique on long, cold downhills.


About 30% of body heat is lost through the head. There is a lot of blood circulation in this area, so if you keep your head warm, your body will stay warm. Depending on the severity of the cold, different levels of headgear can be used. Ear straps or ear warmers are a good start. The synthetic fiber scull cap is a good lightweight remedy.


Don’t forget the eyes. Traveling in cold air can cause tears in your eyes, making it difficult for you to see clearly. Choose a good pair of cycling glasses, bend around your face and protect your eyes from wind and other elements, without fogging. Good glasses, like all good riding gear, are a good investment.


Breathing is another way to lose heat, so if you don’t wear a balaclava, fold the headscarf into a triangle and tie it to your nose and mouth—just like the robbers in the old westerns. This can distinguish between a comfortable ride and a miserable ride. Remember, don’t enter the bank like this.


I recommend cycling gloves for several reasons. Most riding gloves have cushions on the palms to provide proper circulation in different hand positions on the handlebars. If you fall, gloves can also protect your hands from road rashes. In winter, full-finger gloves are a good idea, or use cycling gloves in more extreme conditions.


Since your feet are stepped on and agitated in the cold air more frequently than other parts of the body, they need to be protected from the cold. Like the head, body heat is also largely dissipated through the feet. For riding in cold weather, use heavier thermal cycling socks to absorb moisture and retain heat; choose socks made of synthetic fibers.


In cold weather, cycling boots are a good choice to put on your shoes. Boots are designed to hold your pedal cleats and provide insulation for your feet and ankles. If the weather is not cold enough to wear boots, please wear toe covers. Toe covers and windbreakers have the same effect on your chest: they prevent cold air from entering your feet.


If you are not wearing short boots or duvet covers while riding, and your feet get cold, buy plastic bags from a convenience store or grocery store and put them on your feet (inside your shoes). While you are making it, you might as well ask for a cup of hot coffee-hot coffee will help you heat your core from the inside.

cold weather cycling


Another rule of thumb is to keep your knees covered when the weather is below 50 degrees. This helps keep them warm and protected from cold air, so that they maintain proper lubrication and function. For semi-cold weather, short cycling pants are a good choice; they fall below the knee and do not cover the entire leg.


Riding leg warmers are also very convenient because they can be pulled up and down quickly and easily as needed. For colder weather, complete cycling tights range from lightweight to heavy-duty and waterproof, or you can find insulated cycling pants.


Like cycling pants and cycling pants, arm warmers can be used to keep arms warm in semi-cold conditions. The arm warmer is very useful for days when it first gets colder and then gets hotter as the sun comes out. As the weather warms up, the arm warmer can be rolled down or removed and stored in your sweatshirt pocket. Similarly, the thickness and degree of insulation of the warm arm vary.


In the cold winter, as described above, wear a long-sleeved sweatshirt (insulated or uninsulated) for your middle clothing.

Basic clothing

Now that we have learned about cold weather clothing to protect the body, please don’t forget the basics: a suitable helmet, high-quality cycling shorts with suede, and suitable cycling shoes.


Now, fully equipped with everything you need to stay warm in the cold, you are ready to go on the road all year round. You will like it, and your buddies who ride bikes in good weather will be envious. So go out and ride. Don’t let a cold day trap you inside, just be prepared for the cold.


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