Flighthub’s Guide to a Two-Wheel Winter in Montreal

02
Feb
2016

winter-cycling-app

How to gear up for winter biking in Montreal

It takes a particular breed of people to commit themselves to winter biking. Not only are you living and breathing the cold and dreaded winter season, but biking through a snowstorm isn’t what most people consider a good time, or a favorite winter activity. But for the bold bikers of Montreal, FlightHub has created a quick how-to guide for those considering to go two wheels during the winter.

What to wear

Half the battle of winter biking comes from withstanding the elements: between the sleets of ice, the snow blizzards and the plummeting temperature, even the thought of leaving your house might deter you from biking outside. But Montrealers are known that the key to surviving and thriving winter weather is measured in layers.

FlightHub review suggests finding the right balance between layers; though it may be cold out, you don’t really need as many sweaters as you think you do. Try finding long-sleeved undershirts and long underwear made out of synthetic fibers such as fleece or polyester. Avoid anything made with cotton as this fabric is a terrible insulator. Layering gives you the option to remove items when you get too hot, which will happen as you’re exercising.

Next thing to consider is finding the proper gear to care for your extremities. Though your core and legs may be hot, your fingers and toes won’t be. FlightHub recommends staying away from mittens and instead opting for some very good quality “Lobster Gloves” which allow you dexterity as well as keeping in the warmth you need! For your feet, make sure your shoes or boots are at least semi-waterproof because things can get a little wet down below. Shoes like Blundstones coupled with warm, thick socks usually does the trick.

How to get your bike ready

Buy a winter bike. This option may break the bank at first, but you’ll be thanking FlightHub later when you realize all the damage you saved on your good summer bike. Between the changing temperatures and the freezing cold, winter will do a number on any steel frame bike. Even if you have an aluminum frame, be wary of the damage that might come from use.

Once you’ve got a winter bike in your possession it’s time to outfit that little sucker: FlightHub recommends putting in (at minimum) 32c tires with treads. Having treads on your tires will help in the general movement of the bike, enhancing your stability and mobility while you ride.

Adding full fenders to both front and back tires of your bike is also highly recommended to keep your bike in tip-top shape.

How to maintain your bike during the winter

Join a local coop! These establishments are great resource in helping you navigate the ins and outs of your bike, and teaching you how to fix it yourself rather than relying on bike shops to do it for you. Coops are usually open throughout the week in various times and have knowledgeable staff ready to teach you the biking ways.

Image c/o www.mtlblog.com

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3 Responses to “ Flighthub’s Guide to a Two-Wheel Winter in Montreal ”

  1. Timothy J. McCorkle on February 5, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Highly recommend Continental Top Contact winter tires… Went out to the snowMobile Drags On Syracuse lake, Indiana last winter. NO Slips or falls… Even the sledders were impressed.

  2. Gerald Rhodes on February 2, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    I admire those of us who get out in the snow and brave the elements. I have all the gear to keep myself warm. I will ride even if the temps get down below freezing. I need to break out my cross bike with knobby tires to tackle the snow. I like the idea of studded snow tires. It is always about being prepared.

  3. Richard Masoner on February 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Good stuff. A couple of other suggestions:

    * In sloppy / salty areas, that second winter bike doesn’t need to break the bank — I’d suggest a cheap craigslist special that you don’t mind destroying. The disposal bike can be important also because maintenance can be a real headache in the winter. It’s not like you can hose the bike down when it’s five degrees below freezing.

    * Tire treads can be a blessing a curse. Some make traction worse because snow is packed in between. Widely spaced lugs work best. Even better, use studded tires.

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