Winter Biking Tool Box

Getting Technical on Winter Clothing

clothingtechSouth Shore Cyclery's Tips

Every time of year we come to the point where we must say good by to the warm weather.  We start watching the leaves change, then they begin to fall, and the weather starts to nip at our nose.  For most, their bikes are already put away, for others they're getting ready to endure the colder months.  South Shore Cyclery is open all year round to keep those cyclists riding.   Below are some helpful tips to ride all year round.

 Check the weather outside!  Put on enough clothes so that you are still cool; if you put clothes on and you are already warm, once you start pedaling your body will heat up and cause you to sweat. Sweat, as a result will make you colder; a great way to overcome this obstacle is layering.  Take advantage of the advanced technologies in cycling gear.  All the different layers allow you to easily peel articles off when you start to boil and just as easily to throw it back on.  Fine tune you layers by referring to this cold weather clothing guide.

Most of us wear day-to-day a cotton t-shirt, when riding this can soak up sweat.  Not allowing the moisture pass through; this making you vulnerable to freeze and/or hypothermia.  Successful efforts have been made to resolve the age-old issue, with the development of shirts designed with fabrics that incorporate what is known as “moisture wicking” technology.  Put in its simplest term, this means the ability to pull moisture away from the body so that it can evaporate quickly, keeping the skin dry and cool.  Merino wool or combed wool are perfect for exercising purposes, itchless so it can be worn close to your skin.  Antimicrobial synthetics are worth buying also because it doesn't hold odor like poly based clothing.

Along with worrying about temperature and how cold it is outside, also think about the wind factor!  Windproofing, synthetic 

Windproofing materials are essential to keeping you warm during your ride.  Keep the wind out and the warmth stays in.

There are certain parts of your body that do not create heat and through insulation helps keep hands, feet, neck, and other parts of your body warm.  Popular materials, Gore-tex, thinsulate, and varities of polypropylene are great for waterproof, windproof, and breathability, but the best part is their lightweight properities.  You can also stay warm with thicker, tightly knit wool, nylon or rayon fabrics, but they will be heavier on your body.

The Arms, Torso, & Legs

torso Keep your core warm.  The layers against your body should have wicking technology so your sweat goes to the outside layers. A mid-layer of light fleece or insulating wool may be a good idea, and a windproofing outer layer will protect you from outside draft.  

As, for your arms, arm warmers can be used to keep arms warm in semi-cold conditions. The convenience of arm warmers are that they can be rolled down or taken off and stored in your jersey pocket.  

Leg warmers also have this convenience when paired with shorter cycling tights.  Another rule of thumb is to keep knees covered anytime the weather is below 50 degrees. This helps keep them warm and protected from the cold air, thus keeping them properly lubricated and functioning. For colder weather, full cycling tights range from lightweight to heavy and waterproof, or you can find insulated cycling pants.

Get Your Bike in Gear


Another way to a more enjoyable ride is to make sure you are on the right bike!  With the colder weather in Wisconsin comes snow; winter is rough on bikes as the salt can corrode cables and spoke ends.

  Some people use a second beater for the winter or a dedicated low maintenance single speed or internally geared commuter.  If you aren't ready to purchase another bike for this season, there may be ways to winterize your steed.  

Light Up Your Life With Winter Riding


It's important to stay visible on the road with chances of snow, grey days, obtrusive mounds of snow, low lit situations to no light at all.   

There is a range of the different lights that are available for your ride.  Check out some options below.  With price comes brightness and distance that your light will expand.  We definitely recommend a front (white) & rear (red) light when riding in these types of conditions.

Winter Maintenance


Keep your bike clean to ensure your ride is still working by spring.  This will save you the hastle on costly repairs.

Chains & Gears:  To minimize the damage, clean your chain and gears often, every few days (no removal of the chain is needed).  Clean the chain with a rag and degreaser then re-lube it.  Running it through all the gears after.  WARNING:  MUST BE VERY CAREFUL IF YOU ARE CLEANING A FIXIE, A RAG HAS POTENTIAL TO GET CAUGHT IN THE CHAIN AND TAKE ANY FINGERS WITH IT!!!  Use q-tips and rags to get in between each link if there's a lot of built up gunk on the chain or inbetween the front and rear gears.  The use of chain lube will vary with conditions and choice of chain lube.  We recommend White Lightening's Wet Ride, the thick consistency of the liquid will stay hold on your chain through rough conditions.  To keep your chain from corrosion use KMC Rust Buster Chains (only comes in single speed & 7/8 speeds).

Winter Protectants for Winter Riding

Cables:  Regularly lube any cables your bike might have with a light penetrating lube, like Tri-Flow.

Frames:  It is most important to keep your steel framed bicycles protected during winter weather because of the wetness outside: your bike could have potential to rust from the inside by getting into the tubes.  To prevent this from happening you will have to completely disemble your bicycle.  Use J.P. Weigle's Frame Saver to completely coat the inside of the steel tubes to providing a long lasting barrier that prevents from rust forming inside the bike.  JP Weigle's Frame Saver treats 3-5 steel frames.

Wheels & Crankarms:  REMEMBER SALT IS YOUR WORST ENEMY!  Clean your wheels and spokes regularly.  The rims of your wheels should be scrubbed well and don't forget your spokes.   This will extend the life of your wheel set.  A drop of lube where the nipple meets the rim will help remove and repel salt.  Also, a rag can be used to clean the hub and your crankarms.  A q-tip works well inside and around the bottom bracket.
Keep Your Bicycle Rust FREE!

Great Winter Bikes


There are some bikes built for winter, larger clearance for larger tires, internally geared hub to keep salt and grime away from gears, and maybe equiped to install extra accessories such as fenders and racks for your waterproof panniers!  We've got some bikes in stock and ready to ride.  Check them out!


ONLY $2,199.00


NEW 2015 MODEL $1,025.00



AWESOME 2015 PRICE $650.00