Most of the bikers go into hibernation mode in winters because biking is the activity of winters and they need to shift to winter sports like skis and snowboards. They are many myths about mountain biking in snow due to which some bikers just completely give up bikes in winters. Biking in winters is one least explored adventure and we can’t just give it up for sake of other sports.
There is so much to experience in the snow while biking which we miss by storing our mountain bikes for summers. Although winter biking comes with a few slips and crashes that risk can be managed with a few tweaks in our bikes and techniques of riding.
Now we will talk about the type of bike that works perfectly in snowy conditions. Fat tire bikes are tailor-made for snow. It is a topic of controversy in a few biking communities that why we need to change our bikes for winters but you don’t have to buy a new bike, even if we replace our tires with fat tires mountain bikes will work great.
If a biker has no familiarity with the track he used to bike he can face a hard time in winter because trails will be covered with a blanket of snow and you don’t know where are bumps, dirt, and turns. This is will turn biking into the ultimate challenge as the joy of riding in snow brings a whole new experience.
Few bikers struggle with cold and can’t bike in below-par temperatures so for them biking in winter is never recommended as you don’t need to be hard with yourself.
Fat bikes are the first choice of bikers for biking in harsh weather as these bikes give so many advantages to bikers in tough conditions. We will discuss a few great advantages of fat tire mountain bikes
Advantages of fat tire mountain bikes
- There is not much difference between normal and fat-tire mountain bikes except for tires and wheels.
The contact area
- of these bikes is larger than other bikes which makes them more stable in snow
- Fat bikes provide bikers with greater stability than normal mountain bikes
- These bikes are tailor-made for snowy and sandy terrains.
We have reviewed a few fat tire bikes in our recent posts which you can read below
Tips for mountain biking in snow
Move to fat-tire bikes
If you have a traditional mountain bike and you live in a region where winters are prolonged then you need to switch to fat-tire bikes. If your budget is not allowing buying a new bike then you can even go for a simple tire change. Fat bikes and snowy terrains are made for each other and it is a never-ending love story.
Lower the psi
Higher tire pressure is never recommended for snowy and sandy tracks. Even if you have a traditional mountain bike you need to lower the tire pressure before having a ride as high psi will make your tire bounce. Low pressure allows more surface contact. Just reduce 2 or 3 psi pressure and you are good to go.
Adjust your seat
For riding a bike on snow you need to lower your seat as you need a firm road grip. A lower seat will allow you to have more balance and you will get more traction from both tires. As snowy surfaces can be slippery so grounding feet quickly is vital.
Use mountain biking shoes
Usage of shoes specifically made for mountain biking is necessary if you are biking on snow. To avoid any frostbite you need to protect your feet. Always keep your feet warm during biking.
Choose appropriate mountain biking gloves
Although thick gloves make it hard for you to bike properly but gloves on snowy tracks are an important part of the gear. Choose gloves with a thin palm which will allow you to grip the handle firmly.
Wear mountain biking googles
Googles will increase visibility for you when you are on track. Googles are a way better choice than sunglasses as it can repel fog and ill protect your eyes from flying snow.
Ride with flat pedals
Flat pedals make it easy for you to pedal on snowy track as it is hard to get cleat back into pedal after lacing foot on the snow. Flat pedals make it possible to bike with hiking boots.
Keep yourself hydrate
Always keep a hydration pack with yourself. Dehydration is the main reason behind frost bites so to save yourself from dehydration fill your hydration pack with something hot like tea, hot water, or coffee.
Watch out for patches of ice and deep snow
Be prepared for patches and deep snow on the track. If snow is too shiny then it can be an indication of a patch ahead. In case you get stuck in the snow then stay calm and don’t panic. Try to coast over the ice safely. The depth of snow never remains the same on track as few patches get more sunlight and few remain in the shade of trees so keep yourself mentally active and observe track with focus.
Choose only familiar trails for biking
The familiarity with the trail plays a great role in biking. A trail covered in snow will hide so many rocks and roots of trees so if it is your first time on any trail in snow it can give you hard time.
Prepare yourself for a different experience
You will not have the same experience of mountain biking in winters which you are used to in summers. Be prepared that things will be different this time around. Snow biking is not an easy pie and if you are doing it the first time.
In a nutshell biking in winters is fun and adventure of extreme level but you need to do it with all preparation. I hope we were able to summarize all tips in this blog post. The blog section of bikedestiny.com is full of such resources please head over to the blog and explore more. Happy reading.