Riding in the summer is 100% more comfortable than the winter. No argument. But, zwifting all winter may be 100% of a bummer. So, get out in the cold, ride your bike, feel that cold air in your lungs. Below are some tips beyond the typical, "dress in layers", "wear our wool cap", "use this jacket", you need these full length bib tights, etc.
1. Start with hot water in your bottle. The first 30 min will be filled with warm sips. Ever drink warm Nuun? Now is your chance. it's extra fizzy.
All Downhill, Ornot
2. Try to start with a tailwind or up a slight hill. The worst way to start out a winter ride is immediately bombing down a cold descent before your body is generating heat. If you live on the top of a hill… push ups and jumping jacks before you head out. We could all use a few extra push ups right?
All the Snacks
3. Food! Take some snacks, you know what’s worse than getting those hunger pangs in the summer? Getting them in the winter when you’re still 30 min from home. Riding in the winter is all about being as comfortable as possible and hunger does not make for a comfortable ride. Technically when it's colder you are burning more calories too. So, snacks!
Cold Snacks, Ornot4. Food again! - We love bar bags. Snacks for days… but if it’s really cold out, consider putting some food in your back pockets. Or if you're out for a long time, cycle food from your bar bag into your back pocket to warm it up when its on deck. It’ll keep your food from becoming brittle and hard to chew. Cold Bobos are no fun, take it from us.
Stay dry-ish - We love Fenders!5. Fenders, mudguards, whatever you want to call them, get them! Want some cold feet? Ride on roads with snowmelt without fenders and spray your shins and shoes with freezing water. Run some fenders on your bike and stay dryer and thus warmer. Clip on fenders have come a long way, these are STILL our current favorite clip on fenders - they are full enough to really keep you dry. If you've never ridden with fenders before, now is the time to start!
Toasty Gloves6. Before you leave, put your socks and gloves on a radiator, heat vent or crackling fire before you leave. Starting with warm hands and feet will keep them warm longer and thus, you warm longer.
PoorTex™ / aka Produce bags / aka warm feet7. Wet roads - You're only as warm as your feet. Put a plastic produce bag over your shoe and under your shoe cover. This will keep your feet dry and warm. It’s a technical process we refer to as PoorTex (TM). This is essential if it's going to rain, or be wet, but can even work when it's simply cold out. If you know it's going to be wet, put these on before you leave the house. No need to cut out the area for your cleat, the bag is thin enough to allow you to clip in (on most pedals). We recommend packing 2 of these in your bar bag no matter what. You never know when these magic little bags may save your feet from numbness. If you don't wear shoe covers / booties. PoorTex can be used in-between 2 pair of socks under in a pinch. The possibilities are endless.
Always take a Vest8. Take a vest. It doesn’t really matter what temp it is, take a vest. If you didn’t layer correctly under a magic shell or Micro Climate, pop on a vest (or even under the jacket). If you thought a thermal jersey was enough, but then you got a flat, put on that vest. Vest, vest, vest.
Coffee Coffee Coffee9. Coffee stop! - Ok, you’re going to stop and get some coffee and a snack. Ohhhh, it’ll be so warm inside (Ornot, Pandemic), but if you are going inside, take off a layer. Let it dry out a bit. Take your gloves off, let them dry out a bit too. If you’re just stopping for coffee outside, but need to use your hands put those gloves under your jersey to keep them warm.
Warm Toes10. Hand / foot warmers. If it’s really cold, or you’re headed out for a big ride, consider using those hand / foot warmers things. Put them on the outside of your shoes (on your toes) and under your oversocks. If you have room inside of your shoes, they can go there too, but avoid stuffing your feet into cramped shoes. Hands cold? Put them on the backside of your hand in-between 2 pair of gloves. It's a heat sandwich.
With these tips you should be ready to head out and brave the cold, Ornot.