Cycling during the colder, autumn and winter months provides some of the very best cycling there is - whether it’s mountain biking or road biking, stunning scenery and cold, crisp weather makes for a very rewarding experience - not to mention enjoying the comments of how tough you are to be enduring the very worst weather conditions.
One of the biggest problems cyclists face during the winter months, is suffering from cold hands. A combination of windchill and low temperatures can leave your hands feeling uncomfortable, and in some cases - unable to properly operate the gear and brake levers on your bike.
As all weather cyclists, we have put together a list of tips and hints for you to be able to overcome the cold, and enjoy a warmer and more comfortable ride.
Keep Your Full Body Warm
When the body is cold, heat is drawn away from your extremities - such as your hands and feet. This heat is then pumped into your body to keep your vital organs warm. To minimise the heat which is lost from your hands - keep your core warm. Wear a decent base layer, with windproof and waterproof jackets which keep your body warm across all weather conditions.
Choose the Right Gloves
Choosing the right gloves for your cycling requirements is very important - think about the levels of warmth and protection you need from the elements. Also consider what features you need - smartphone compatible fingertips and bright, reflective colours if you use these gloves on your winter commute. Depending on how cold the weather is, you can pair up a thinner pair of gloves with a thicker pair.
Protect your Circulation
To avoid numb hands - ensure that you are not restricting circulation to your hands by wearing unsuitable and overly tight fitting clothing. Ensure that any backpacks you wear are comfortable and not restricting blood flow - especially on the commute.
Move Your Fingers
One of the best ways to keep the blood flow in your hands pumping is to give your fingers a wiggle as you ride. When safe, you can also do some larger arm exercises.
Keep the Rain Out
Waterproof Cycle clothing will keep rain away from your body - keeping you warm and dry. Waterproof gloves are the obvious choice for hands, and if you are not using waterproof gloves - try and carry a second pair of gloves.
One of the best ways to keep warm, and keep the blood flowing through the body - is to cycle harder and faster. On colder days, stick to flatter routes which will help you regulate your temperature better.