Just because the weather is starting to change does not mean you have to put away your bicycle for the winter months. You can continue to ride your bicycle, even when it is rainy, snowy and even icy outside. However, you do need to take a few extra precautions in order to stay safe in winter weather.
#1 Light Up Your Bike
During winter weather, the visibility outside can become less than ideal. It can be more difficult for other bikers, drivers and pedestrians to see you when it is raining, snowing or foggy outside. In order to make sure that your bike is visible to others, you need to make sure that your bike is properly lighted.
To start with, add lights to your wheels. You can add lights that go all the way around your wheels, in a variety of different colors. As the wheels are the biggest part on your bicycle beside yourself, it makes sense to light them up first.
Next, you should add magnetic or fixed lights underneath the seat of your bike, facing outward. It can be a steady or blinking light. These types of lights look more like a taillight on a car and help drivers spot you.
If you really want to be visible, you can invest in a turn signal light. It hooks up to the back side of your bike. To activate the turn signal, you just have to push a button on your handle bars. This will allow other motorists to clearly see when you are turning, no matter the visibility.
If you have at least the three types of light systems listed above, you should be visible enough on the road. You can also increase your visibility by adding headlights, wearing a helmet with reflective tape or lights on it, and wearing a reflective vest when you bike.
#2 Keep Your Bike Clean
It is easy for your bike to get caked in dirt, water and grime during the winter months when you go riding. All of that debris can build up on your brakes and chain, and cause them to not work as effectively.
There are a few ways you can keep your bike clean in the winter time. You can use a hose to rinse off the debris, then wipe your bike dry with a towel. If you don't have a hose, you can take it through a u-wash car wash and clean it that way. You can also just use disinfectant wipes or a wet rag to wipe off your bike every few days.
You want your bike to be working as effectively as possible, and in order for that to happen, you need to keep it clear of dirt and grime.
#3 Dress In Warm & Breathable Clothing
Finally, you need to find warm and breathable clothing that you can wear while biking. If you bike for more than a few minutes, your body is going to warm up and you will start sweating, which is why you want to make sure that all your clothing is warm but also breathable at the same time so you don't become drenched in your own sweat.
To start with, you'll want to make sure that your under-layer clothing that is closest to your skin is composed of breathable material such as wool or a synthetic material. Next, put on a warm beanie or nylon skull cap underneath your helmet to keep your head warm. Then, put on a neck warmer or scarf that will cover your chest, neck and face, while still allowing you to breathe.
To keep the snow and rain out of your eyes, you'll want to put on either glasses or goggles. For your hands, wear thin wool gloves that will allow you to grip your handlebar underneath a pair of warmer mittens.
Finally, you'll want to wear warm, waterproof boots that will keep your feet dry throughout your entire journey.
Biking or getting bikes for rent during the wintertime is entirely possible; all you have to do is make sure your bike is lit up and noticeable when you are riding, dress warmly and keep your bike clean.