Five Staff Picks for Winter Bike Travel

December 16, 2014

The holidays are fast approaching, and there is a certain amount of angst in the air about gift giving. If your favorite cyclist is a winter rider and complains of feeling a bit exposed, here are five staff picks that allow us to ride our bikes to work each day:

Winter in Missoula is dark, and I mean D-A-R-K! The best safety measure you can take is to see and be seen. Darrah’s solution to this problem is the NiteRider Lumina 750 headlight. USB rechargeable, this baby will light up the trail like the Batman searchlight, and paired with the NiteRider Solas taillight, will let others on the road know you are among the illuminati.

As a daily rider, Arlen has well-used footgear!

Probably the toughest appendage to protect at this time of year is our feet. Winter or summer, Arlen’s choice of footgear is the same — Shimano Cleated Sandals. As a concession to the season, he wears them with Alpaca Wool Socks for that sporty-but-practical look. Since the ride is often sloppy and wet, Josh suggests adding Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier booties for toasty dry tootsies.

Nothing completes that “bike geek” look like Pearl Izumi’s P.R.O. Softshell Lobster Glove. The crustacean claw design may seem awkward but Lisa swears that she can shift just fine while keeping her digits warm and dry. Most importantly, there’s that essential “soft fleece wiping surface” on the thumb!

Julie’s favorite accessory is a neck gaiter, and my favorite winter fabric is merino wool. These are perfectly combined in the Icebreaker Flexichute, astonishingly effective for keeping the howling wind from that tender throat. If you’d prefer a non-animal fiber, Annette recommends the Turtle Fur neckwarmer. Who knew that turtles came in so many colors?

Of course, the ultimate in equipment for winter commutes is your ride. If you can’t afford to add a fat bike to your stable, Darrah’s Specialized Icebreaker studded snow tires come highly recommended. Stay safely upright with the 224 spikes on each tire!

However you ride this winter, and whatever your gear, the staff at Adventure Cycling wishes you safe travels and Happy Holidays!

Post by Mandy Hale | Top photo by Ken Exum | Remaining photos by Mandy Hale

ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team — Lydia, Darrah, Mike, Mandy, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to the Adventure Cycling tours department. Check out our 2015 Guided Tours today!


Royce Christensen December 16, 2014, 1:30 PM

Missoula, MT, winter 1983 and 1984, studded bike tires are unheard of commercially, so at the suggestion of one of the owners of New Era Bicycles, I made my own using 3/8", #10, pan head sheet metal screws. Used a couple of cut-up, silk sew-ups as liners between the tube and screws. The things weighed a ton, but talk about bite.

Mandy Hale December 17, 2014, 11:03 PM

And I bet it was much cheaper than the $100 per tire for these Icebreakers!!

arcticcamper December 31, 2014, 3:45 AM

I got my first set of studded snow tires, at ~$75 each, about ten years ago, when Rocky Reifenstuhl noted that the cost was much less than a single trip to the emergency room. They continue to keep me upright to this day.

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