Posted by: VPSN | January 16, 2012

6 Things You Should Do When Cycling in Icy Weather

Don’t let the frosty mornings automatically dissuade you from riding, but do be careful! There are some tips to keep in mind on chilly days when the roads may be slick for bike tires.

A few things to keep in mind that may help:

  1. Make sure your brakes are in good working order (and that the road will let you stop). Go test the conditions in advance. If roads are just too icy for your bike, consider a different mode today. If things are looking viable, then when you use your brakes, make sure you give yourself extra time to stop. Leaving enough room to pump your brakes on and off also helps prevent sliding.
  2. Let a bit of air out of your tires so that it is at the low end of your tires recommended range. This means there’s a bit more surface area to grab the road, but not so much that it makes it harder to ride. If you have the choice to take a mountain bike with bigger knobby tires, this will fare better than a road bike with skinny ones.
  3. When taking corners, slow down! and make a wider turn if possible. It is much easier with frost to slide out to the side if you are making a sharp quick turn.
  4. Take your time. Factor in some extra trip minutes to let yourself be safer.
  5. Don’t forget to be visible to other road users – wear some reflective stuff, and use your lights (front and back and side if you can) any time the weather isn’t clear and bright.
  6. Bundle up, leave early, and have fun!

What are some other tips for biking in cold, snowy and icy weather? Let us know! Leave a comment on this post or on our Facebook Page



  1. I’ll add (after this morning’s incident): Don’t clip in to your pedals. Felt MUCH better being able to put a foot down on the ice without having to worry about unclipping first.

  2. Especially #3! That’s how I ended up losing two and a half teeth last April. So now, my #7 on this list would be, “Avoid cycling in icy weather!”

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