Biking winterWinter is quickly approaching and soon the snow will be as well.  In the summer, commuting to work on a bike is not a big deal and does not require a lot of effort in terms of dressing for the weather. When the snow comes around, commuting turns into a completely different story as cyclists have to battle the chilly commutes.  Many times those who choose to commute to work are avid cyclists, however; many snowy or chilly weather conditions may not be accounted for.  While it is not incredibly common to ride in the winter, here is a list of must haves for commuting in the cold.

The Necessities

There are a few necessities every rider should have when riding, regardless of whether conditions.  When weather conditions get chillier these necessities become even more important.

  • Helmet:  Snowy weather conditions can create accidents that could potentially throw you off as a rider, be prepared and protect your head.
  • Good brakes: Bikes must be equipped with the ability to start and stop on a turn of the dime, even in bad weather conditions.
  • Durable clothes: Cyclists must be equipped with the right type of clothes to protect themselves from the frigid temperatures they could encounter.  These temperatures will feel even more chilly when the rider is biking and be particularly painful to the riders. However, it is important to not overdress or you as a rider could be very uncomfortable and it could also slow movements if you are too bundled up.

Durable Tires

One essential element of a good tire is its ability to grip wet surfaces.  In the winter cyclists may encounter ice, slush, snow, or water and tires need to be able to withstand the differences in conditions and keep the bicyclist on the road.  In general, tires should be kept at a lower pressure in order to get better traction.

If you are going to be riding in especially snowy conditions, mountain bike tires are usually suggested for their bigness and their squish-ability,however; it could be particularly hard to pedal fast due to the sheer friction of these tires. There are some companies which make studded snow tires; these tend to be expensive and hard to find.


Most of the time, the winter takes the rays of day and creates pitch darkness.  For many riders who are commuting in the cold, the chances they will be biking in the dark is increased substantially. Because of the darkness, it is important riders have the right lights to keep them illuminated for automobiles.  LED lights are typically the best lights.  They must be secured both in the front and in the rear of the frame to provide light for where you are going and oncoming traffic.

REI has compiled a more extensive list that you can check out here for your winter riding. Depending on how severe the weather conditions are, you should be more cautious because more severe weather creates more opportunities to be involved in accidents.

Christensen and Hymas serves those who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence.  If you have been injured, call today for a free consultation, 801.506.0800.

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