Answered: Are cruiser bikes good for winter?
I don’t ascribe to this philosophy.
I don’t care if I have 5% body fat.
I don’t need to test myself or to set my edge.
I need to ride bikes.
Because it’s my happy place.
It’s where my mind gets free. It’s everything and nothing all at once.
While I have been a tough guy a few times at a high level, I am not a tough guy. I don’t give a shit how tough you are. I suggest you try to stop giving a shit too.
One of the main reasons is… It’s ALWAYS the guy who says he is a tough guy who is the biggest pile of damaged goods.
Don’t ask me how I know. But trust me, if you present as a tough guy, you are almost certainly hiding something (from yourself, from your family, who knows, but stay away from me, FFS.)
So I don’t Wim Hof Method. I don’t ‘tough’ guy.
But I do ride my bike in cold weather, because I LOVE riding my bike.
I need it. I need it so bad I ride a stationary bike in my basement when it’s too cold to ride outside.
Cruiser Bike Mystery School is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I ride when it’s 33 or above, with no recent snow. I don’t ride on snow. You can get a fat tire bike. I don’t do that. I don’t find it cruisy enough.
Yes, I think you can. Here’s how I do it.
First, I think you have to get rid of the idea that you have to be comfortable all the time. I worked as a snowboard instructor in Colorado for a few years.
There are trade-offs. If you want to snowboard, you have to go out, in the snow – where it’s cold and uncomfortable.
But, if you bring the right gear, you can have an enjoyable time.
In exactly the same way, you can ride your cruiser bike in winter.
Step One: Layers – Stack layers of insulation against the cold
- Exterior Layer: I use a rain jacket as my outside layer in the winter. It’s light and I can strip it off easily.
- Interior Layer: I don’t ride under freezing very often, but when it’s super cold or windy, I wear long underwear. I can’t tell what it’s made of b/c the tag has survived too many trips through the washing machine.
- Gloves: Wool mitts/gloves. I have two pairs. One I bought at the hardware store for $5.00. (Not a joke) They have a retractable wool mitt that reveals half finger gloves, which are great for operating my iPhone. I also have a pair I got from Ortovox in 1995 for $50. I would punch you in the face if you tried to take those mitts from me. I love them so much.
- Socks: Wool socks. Go to any sock store and ask for wool socks. They are generally expensive, but worth it.
- Headgear: I wear a full helmet from Protec, which keeps the cold out and my brains in. I also wear a wool hat and and wool gator. The hat is from Giro and the gator is white labled by my local bike shop, Goldfinch Cyclery. I recommend all of those items.
Step Two: Go Ride Bikes
- If you get sweaty, don’t stop for too long. The wettness will freeze and make you VERY cold.
- Relax your spine. Shivers seem to germinate from a rigid spine.
- Have fun. Doing something that most people won’t do gives you a unique point of view. Have fun with it.
This gear set-up is cheap and it allows me to ride in pretty cold weather, up to about freezing. Past that you start risking blood vessel damage in your extremities, which I suffered from as a snowboarding monk. There is no badge for being too cold unless you consider permanently broken blood vessels on your nose (not cool).
The important thing to note is that you don’t have to go ride in the cold unless you love riding bikes so much that you really WANT to go ride your cruiser bike in winter more than you care about being uncomfortable.
It’s not about Wim Hof or any other tough guy feign game. It’s about finding your Cruise. It’s about getting closer to what you want. It’s about being successful in YOUR own eyes.
Can you really use cruiser bikes good in winter?
Sure, but to us, that’s not really what it’s all about. It’s about going to ride your bike and unlocking the levels of your life that get exposed on the ride.
In Cruise We Trust – Brian
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