3 Reasons Why Winter is Mountain Biking Season


We’re here with another segment in our mountain bike monthly feature….this time Greg from Singletracks is here to give you 3 reasons why winter is mountain biking season.

3 Reasons Why Winter is Mountain Biking Season

by Greg Heil

My road biking compatriots tell me that we have some of the best road riding on the East Coast here in Dahlonega, Georgia. Since the local mountains were once the most challenging stage in the Tour De Georgia and are now home to the popular Six Gap Ride (drawing 2,500 riders), guess I believe them. Still, when the winter makes its annual appearance, many riders who primarily roll on the pavement take to the woods… and here’s why:

1. Lack of Light

Unfortunately, we don’t have nearly as many hours of daylight during the winter months, which can turn dangerous on the road. Sure, you can strap on a headlamp and a taillight, but even in the best of conditions battling traffic can be dangerous. Pedaling the roads at night truly opens you up to a bad accident.

Mountain bikers, however, don’t have to worry about thousands of pounds of metal controlled by human beings more concerned with their cell phones than the bikers that they’re hurtling past at 60 miles per hour. Consequently, we just strap on high-powered helmet lights, head into the trees, and just keep riding all winter long!

2. Less Wind Chill

Riding a mountain bike creates much less wind chill than riding a road bike does due to the slower speeds. Also, since mountain bikers generally ride deep in the forest, the tight tree cover helps to cut down the speed of any regular wind much more than riding on a wide open road.

3. Fat Bikes

Fat bikes are a new breed of mountain bike that are quickly gaining a passionate following. While mountain bikes already have much fatter tires than road bikes, fat bikes take it to a ‘hole ‘nuther level with tires measuring 3” wide, 4” wide, and even wider! This wide width helps the bikes to float on loose surfaces such as snow and sand, and also allows the rider to run lower tire pressures without the fear of flatting. Lower tire pressures also help to increase traction, creating a bike that can perform comfortably in a variety of adverse conditions.

Instead of spending all winter on the trainer, try mountain biking instead!

Your Turn: How do you get the miles in during the winter?


Greg Heil started riding mountain bikes seriously in 2007, and since that time has ridden hundreds of trails all across the United States.

He is the Social Media Coordinator, and an editor, for Singletracks.com, which is your source for everything mountain biking: the number one mountain bike trail map database in the world, a daily blog, gear reviews, forums, photo of the day, and more! Be sure to drop by the site and check it out, and to “follow” them on Twitter.


Enjoy Your Ride

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15 Responses to “ 3 Reasons Why Winter is Mountain Biking Season ”

  1. bob on January 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Winter is the best cause I never overheat.

  2. maddslacker on December 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    re: #2 .. what are these trees of which you speak?

  3. Myrna CG Mibus on December 7, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Rode trails in the dark for the first time last night with a group of friends – two on mountain bikes and three of us on fatties (I have a Salsa Beargrease). What a great time! Never thought mountain biking, let along biking at night at all, would be something I would do – but I love it!

  4. Michael Daugherty on December 4, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Thanks for the post, that is good to know.You will need clothes for winter riding, here is an article on that subject. Thanks http://www.mntbike.com/clothes-for-winter-riding/

  5. Shawn McAfee on November 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    This is 100% true! Thanks for pointing out the awesomeness of mountain biking!

  6. knucklehead on November 30, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Just starting my second winter with my fat bike (Sales Mukluk) . Winter biking is AWESOME! Riding trough the woods with a fresh blanket of snow under a full moon is a zen -like experience ….if you haven’t tried it yet, get on a fattie!!

  7. larryburke on November 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Night riding after a snowstorm is surreal. The woods are bright from all the snow and quiet after the storm passes. It is otherworldly. No lights are needed.

  8. chukt on November 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I get the miles in by riding that bike pictured in #3!!

  9. George on November 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    love number 3. I need to get myself a fat bike.

  10. Aaron on November 30, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Winter is definitely a great time to ride where I live now – Austin Texas. Days in the 60’s and 70’s – even low 80’s sure beats the 100+ degree days of summer. When I lived in Pittsburgh, winter was a different story. Cold and wet, with a lot of slush and mud making the trails a whole new type of challenge – and not a fun challenge either. I definitely don’t miss those rides.

  11. Aaronthestrong on November 30, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Agreed! I just got my first mountain bike (a sweet Kona Unit 29er) and I have barely been off of it since the weather turned.

  12. S Williams on November 30, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I totally agree. I switch from road to mountain as soon as the roads get messy and the temperatures drop. It keeps me riding and then I really look forward to getting back on my road bike in the spring.


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Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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