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Winter Cycling Tips from the Redbeard Bikes Pros

If the bike racks on Jay Street are any indication, cold weather doesn’t stop DUMBO workers from commuting via bike. Kasia at Redbeard Bikes (69 Jay street) has some suggestions on how to survive your winter ride (via the shop blog) below.

Whether you hail from Eastern Europe, Canada, or the American midwest, you’ve probably heard the expression, “There is no bad weather; only bad clothes. Here at Redbeard, we agree one hundred percent. If you want to ride your bike all winter, you will need the right clothes…and a few other things. We wrote you a cheat sheet.Don’t have a bike? January and February are the best months to buy one! The shop is quiet, so you’ll get lots of personalized attention…and when spring comes, you’ll be fitter and faster than everyone who took the train all winter.

1. Socks & Gloves

Feet and hands get cold first. Wool socks will keep your feet toasty. They retain heat well and wick away moisture. And you don’t need to wash them after each wear! Gloves are tricky. Are they waterproof? Windproof? For what temperatures are they designed? You may need more than one pair to get you through the winter. How far do you usually ride? Do you ride in heavy rain, or just drizzle? We’ll help you find the right glove. We even have some on sale — real steals.

2. Hats, Face Warmers, Balaclavas
Most of us don’t have a big red beard to keep us warm! If the temperature is below freezing, don’t leave home without a Gore hat and facewarmer, or a balaclava.

3. The rest of your outfit
The rule of thumb is: several breathable thin layers, and a waterproof and/or windproof shell. Our favorite pieces include the Gore Windstopper Phantom Jacket for guys, and the Velocio Mid-Jacket or Gore Windstopper Soft Shell Jacket for gals. Pop in and try on these gems.

4. Fenders
Keep your butt and back dry with a rear fender. Better still: get a full coverage set (front and rear) and keep the salt spray out of your face.

5. Waterproof panniers or backpack
Whether you ride with a rack and panniers, or a carry a backpack or messenger bag, that thing better be waterproof! We whole-heartedly recommend Ortlieb. Browse online, or better yet, bring your stuff to the shop and see which bag holds it best.

6. Friends who ride
Whether you’re commuting, or training, pair up with a friend to stay motivated! Friends don’t ride? Spend some time at Redbeard Bikes (or anywhere in DUMBO) and you’re bound to meet someone!

7. Indoor Trainer &/or Spin Classes
Let’s face it. There will be days when the roads are icy, the temperature is in the low teens, and the wind is roaring 20 MPH. Turn up the tunes and jump on your indoor Cycle Ops trainer. Or zip over to your favorite gym for a spin class. The Fitness Guru here in DUMBO just added a Bike ‘N Rip class: spin followed by boot camp.