Mountain biking is an excellent activity for adventurous people, but are you sad that you have to put your bike away when winters come? Or are you scared that you will get hurt in the slippery snow tracts? Or you get cold very easily and have to give up on your hobby during winters? Or you recently started mountain biking, but you have to put it on a break because winter has come?
You don’t have to be afraid of mountaineering biking in the snow. Mountain biking in the snow done correctly can prove to be highly beneficial for you! If you mountain bike in the winter, you will stay healthy year long. It has been scientifically proven that people who exercise more are less likely to get sick than people who like to stay on the couch.
Furthermore, if you pace your mountain biking throughout the year, there are fewer chances of you experiencing burnout when you start biking in spring. In addition to that, as few people choose to bike in the winters, you will have the trails all to yourself. This means that you can explore and try new tricks without the hassle of other people bothering you or vice versa.
But hold your horses! Don’t just go around mountaineering biking on your own without taking any precautionary measures. Mountain biking in the snow seems fun, and it is fun but only if done right. If you don’t take care of certain things, it can be very underwhelming and even dangerous. So have a fun time mountain biking in the snow by following the tips mentioned in this article.
How to Mountain Bike in the Snow
Clothing is a significant part of our lives. It not only gives you a way to express yourself, but it’s also your protective armor. Ensure you are dressed in the proper attire because if you are not adequately dressed, there are chances of getting frostbites.
The thing that you need to make sure of is layering. Layer your clothes and even pack an extra layer of clothing in your backpack in addition to a windbreaker. You never know when you might need this extra article of clothing. Gloves are the second thing you need to take care of.
Wear the kind of gloves that keep your hands warm but also don’t restrict movement. Furthermore, you have to remember to wear waterproof gloves and avoid woolen gloves as they get wet. The chances of getting frostbite increase if your gloves get wet because they will make your hands wet.
If your gloves are warm enough, no problem. You can layer your gloves for better insulation. Wear your waterproof gloves over workshop gloves. Additionally, you can use cycling pogies for extra protection. Pogies are a kind of cover that you wear over your bike’s handles, and these keep your hands warm while also saving them from getting wet.
Your face is usually the most exposed part of your body while riding a bike, so make sure you cover it during winters. You can wear a balaclava mask under your helmet using it either as a headband or a full face mask. Also, wear some sort of fleece neck warmer, which you can roll up to cover your face when the need arises.
Your feet are surprisingly the part of your body that quickly gets cold while mountain biking. That gives your more reason to project it properly. Warm socks and shoes are your best friend while biking in the snow. You can wear a plastic bag over your socks to increase the insolation, keeping your feet nice and toasty.
Riding shoes are great from mountaineering bike riding but leave them at home in winters. It is better to wear winter riding shoes or hiking shoes. These shoes will give you better traction on the pedal as well as the snowy ground. Moreover, you can use shoe gaiters over your boots. Gaiters are shoe covers that keep your feet and calves waterproof. This is extremely helpful when you’re riding in thick snowy tracks.
Update your Bike
Your bike’s tires are one of its most essential pieces of equipment. That is the reason why you need to make sure that they are correctly taken care of. For wet and snowy tracts, reduce the pressure of your bike’s tire. You will sufficiently increase the tire’s traction on the slippery and muddy track by doing so.
The amount of pressure you need to drop depends on the conditions of that day, but you can reduce it by 15% initially and start there. Furthermore, your bike should have knobs on its tires for maximum grip. You can also opt for getting spikes on your tires, but you don’t have to spend money on them if you can ride fine without them.
Your cleats are likely to get all clogged up by the snow, so it’s better to have flat pedals. Switch your bike’s pedals to flat ones in the winter season so your shoes can clip easily to the pedals. These pedals provide you with an increased grip and support, so your feet don’t slip off the pedals while riding.
Know your Snow
If you’re accustomed to snow, then you must know that not all snow is the same. So for each type of snow on the track, you have to take different measures. Light snow is ideal for biking, so if you see a light powder of snow only a few centimeters thick, you should have little to no problem riding.
On the other hand, you should avoid wet and heavy snow like the plague because it’s challenging to navigate. If you still want to ride through it, make sure that your tire pressure is appropriate. You also opt for spikes to ride through heavy snow. If none of the tracts seem ideal for off-track biking, stay on the road and enjoy the view.
As the day proceeds, the snow slowly melts, making the tracks slippery, which can be dangerous. So if you want to avoid sliding on a slippery track, start riding early. In the early hours of the day, the snow will be firm, and it should give you a pleasant and safe route to ride on.
While riding, your body posture is very crucial to your safety. When mountain riding in the snow, stay seated. This position will put weight on the rear tires, which significantly increases the tire’s traction. Additionally, you can lower your seat. By doing so, you lower your center of gravity which gives you more balance and stability.
Sliding is normal when mountain biking in the snow. That’s why, while riding downhill, sit firmly but not rigidly. Give your bike space to move because if you try to control every little twist and turn, it can backfire instead. Also, you have to remember to brake before taking corners, not during them.
In addition to that, keep your eyes on the track for any possible obstacles in your path. Make sure to look out for potholes and ice patches which can be extremely dangerous. Furthermore, falling is something you can’t avoid entirely while biking in the snow. So if you’re about to fall, try to fall on the snow as it’ll give you a softer landing.
Remember to stay hydrated! This is very crucial as dehydration is one of the most common reasons for frostbites. So keep a bottle of water with you when you go riding. Furthermore, carry a backpack to store your essentials like your water bottle, extra clothing items, an air pump for your bike’s tires, etc.
Mountain biking is an extremely entertaining and healthy exercise as you connect with nature while also staying fit. There are many advantages of mountaineering biking, but winters seem to dampen the fun because the snow and cold make it difficult to bike. But you don’t have to worry anymore! You can still enjoy mountain biking even in the snowy winters.
Keep yourself hydrated by not forgetting to drink water during your rides. Stay warm by properly layering your clothes. Your bike’s tires are essential, so make sure to keep them in top condition when you ride in the snow, and don’t forget to watch out for the different kinds of snow. Follow these tips and tricks, and you should be good to go.