Low temperatures, viscid asphalt and bad weather. During the cold months, the handling of a bike changes drastically and you have to deal with reduced braking power, stability and control – in short, grip. However, there are a few precautions that allow you to ride safely even during the winter and avoid unpleasant inconveniences.
Aluminium or carbon wheels? Which are the best for riding in winter?
Winter is not the season to focus on weight and aerodynamics: for efficient and continuous training, it is good to choose wheels that ensure safety in all conditions. Although the disc brake technology has partially solved the braking problem on a wet or muddy surface, it is still recommended to install a low profile aluminium wheel. Thanks to a lower aerodynamic sensitivity, this solution provides a better handling, as well as greater comfort in long distances. For those who ride with rim brakes, aluminium wheelsets will surely increase the brake power.
Choose the right tyres for riding in winter.
There are slight differences between a winter tire and a summer tire. The tire compound should have tread patterns and – of course – designed to work even at low temperatures. Puncture protection is ideal for tackling dirt roads with gravel, salt and debris. The surface of a good winter tire has grooves on the surface rubber which allows for better control in wet and dirty asphalt conditions.
In addition, tire width should generally be larger, approximately between 25mm and 32mm, because a larger footprint increases stability in poor grip and also comfort
it is also recommended to travel at slightly lower pressures, up to 1 bar less than summer tires.
How to ride in winter
even if we have chosen the best tire and wheel options, the main goal for riding in winter safely will be our control. First, always look ahead and try to distinguish dry asphalt from wet surfaces. Gentle and careful movements are required.
But keep in mind that on dry asphalt we have less grip than in summer due to the low temperatures. Finally, but not least, low temperatures are an important pollution factor. The dirty air contaminated by the gases of the cars remains on the ground, so the road is dirt and weak of grip.
Love your bike
Due to the salt on the roads, an amount of pollution and rain and mud, our bike will not only be dirty but also attacked by corrosion agents. Cleaning the bike very often will be the key to preserving it to the best and loving it.