Non-slip tires, additional lighting and the right saddle will get you and your bike safely through the winter despite snow, ice and cold. With our four tips, your bike will be winterized.
Winter-Proof your bicycle! Winter is coming! The snow in 2021 is predicted to be heavy! And with it icy roads and slippery paths. Those who, despite everything, cannot bring themselves to climb into overcrowded, stuffy trains and UBahns and do without their bike, are advised to wrap up warm and ride very carefully and winter-proof their bicycles!
Even during the corona pandemic, many prefer to use their bike than public transport. With these four tips you will get to your destination safely in winter despite snow and ice by bike:
1. Winter-proof your bicycle with non-slip tires
A good investment for snow-covered paths: spikes. The tire coats with small metal tips are not cheap (from around 50 euros), but are worthwhile if you use them for several winters. The disadvantage of the spikes: it is less comfortable to drive on asphalt. Better all-rounders are simple winter tires for bikes, they also offer grip on wet snow and are much lighter than spikes.
▶ You can get pure winter tires without spikes from Continental, for example; Continental also has a winter tire especially for e-bikes in its range.
▶ The bicycle tire specialist Schwalbe, on the other hand, only offers winter tires with spikes because, according to Schwalbe, these are “the only safe solution” for snow and ice. Unlike cars, spikes are allowed on bicycles in Germany.
▶ A homemade alternative: tie several stable cable ties around the tires at short intervals, cut off the protruding ends – and you’re done. But be careful: the DIY winter tires are only suitable for bicycles with disc or drum brakes. Also, do not try it out if your bike light is powered by a dynamo.
2. Winter-proof bike: more light when cycling in winter
The dynamo theme also plays a significant role in winter. Anyone who has previously been on the road with a side-running dynamo should replace it with a hub dynamo in winter at the latest.
Reason: Side runners slip on wet and cold tires, the light does not work. A hub dynamo is therefore a must on every winter bike.
Many manufacturers now also offer hub dynamos with automatic parking lights. This is particularly worth considering in the dark winter – this is how drivers recognize you: inside, even if, for example, you have to stop at a red light.
▶ If you want to put your bike in the right light, you can rely on spoke reflectors. It is best to put the small tubes in each spoke of the wheel. An additional bike coat with built-in reflectors, and the whole bike reflects.
3. Have the right bicycle saddle
The right saddle makes your bike winterproof: If you are currently using inside gel saddles, it is better to mount a different saddle during the cold season – the gel quickly becomes rock-hard at sub-zero temperatures.
▶ A coated saddle cover protects against moisture, cold and cracks. With a comfortable cover made of faux fur, it is nice and warm even on the cool leather or plastic saddle.
▶ In addition, you should definitely set the saddle a little lower. If you have to brake or stop unexpectedly, you can use your legs to support yourself more quickly.
4. Follow proper cycling technique for winter: safety winter tips
Make sure you are cycling with safety in mind. The following are tips for cycling in the winter:
- Keep a greater distance than in summer.
- Brake early and moderately.
- You should NOT brake or pedal around corners , especially on a solid snow cover or slippery road.
- Avoid steering movements on black ice and let the wheel roll without braking.
- So that you have a better grip on the road, let some air out of the tires .
In order to protect yourself against accidents, the following applies: Drive a little slower than usual to avoid emergency braking.