If you need to cycle in the snow, here are some sensible tips from Hövding on how to bike in snow.
The “Beast from the East” hit areas of the UK this week, making travel difficult for a whole variety of transport types. Many who cycle regularly call it a day rather than bike in snow, but it is possible and these tips from Hövding are useful. Hövding designed an “invisible cycling helmet” a while ago. Being based in Sweden, they know a thing or two about snow in winter and ways to bike in snow and have kindly provided these tips.
- Decrease your tire pressure if you are going to bike in snow. The minimum PSI marked on the side of your tire is recommended.
- Remember not to brake too sharply. This will result in skidding and potential loss of control, putting yourself and others in danger. It makes sense to just use your rear brake and apply it as gently as possible, and avoid braking altogether if that is feasible.
- In addition to the above, be prepared to brake much earlier than you usually would.
- If you are able, invest in some anti-fog glasses. These can help with the poor visibility and ensure the snow stays out of your eyes! There is a good reason why people who go skiing wear ski goggles.
- Avoid metal on the roads. Manhole covers, gutters, grates, etc. can be even more slippery in icy conditions.
We would add to this last item, to stay out of gutters as puddles are more likely to form there and could have frozen.
One quick adjustment you can also make on your bike is to lower the saddle slightly, which lowers your centre of gravity. You won’t go so fast but then is you are out on your bike in snow, you won’t be setting Personal Best times anyway. There is an added advantage that a lower saddle would mean that you can get your feet down on the ground quicker should you need. This is also a time for flat pedals and not clipping in.
Obviously, if you are going out on your bike in snow, the temperatures are cold. Dress accordingly! And read what we had to say about the red hot chilli version of cycling socks!