Winter brings with it the end of the bike rental and bicycle repair season at Ma Bicyclette. This does NOT have to mean the end of your biking enjoyment!! More and more people are biking throughout our four seasons in Montreal, so why not give it a try??? Read on to catch some of our top tips and tricks to encourage happy and safe winter riding.
CHOOSE YOUR BIKE: Winter riding conditions can be harsh. Think salt, dirt and water, which, can wear down your components and even damage your frame. It’s time to store your favorite bike, and opt for that reliable stead you have as backup.
TYRES: Choosing the right tyres is especially important in wet and snowy conditions. Most of the time, roads are clear of snow and ice, but you should be equipped for the worst possible conditions. Your best choice is a studded tyre (like the Marathon Winter). With their metal studs, these types of tyres provide the best traction on ice. When there is no ice on the streets, you simply add pressure to prevent the studs from hitting the asphalt. It is also possible to use regular tyres. Some prefer knobby tyres (mountain bike-style tyres) but the important thing is the quality of the rubber. Usually, the more expensive a tyre is, the better its grip. Wider tyres can be ridden with less pressure, which, in turn provides you with more grip.
FENDERS: are a must! They will keep you dry and protect you from water and snow. For maximum protection, be sure to invest in a set of fenders that cover the entire length of your wheel.
DERAILLEUR: Single speed and fixed gear bicycles are becoming increasingly popular. One of their advantages is their low level maintenance.. During the winter months, your cables may rust inside their casings and water and dirt may seize your derailleurs. If you have a derailleur on your bike, be sure to keep it clean and lubricated. Same goes for your cables. A little chain lubricant goes a long way.
BRAKES. Disc brakes are the best in terms of power and performance. If you’re riding with rim brakes, you can change your pads for ones designed for wet conditions for better braking performance. With a fixed gear bicycle, you have an additional way to brake with your legs which can control your rear wheel.
Last, but not least, DON’T FORGET TO USE LIGHTS to make yourself visible to other road users. Use a front white light and a rear red one.
Have a good winter!
This post is also available in: French