Dressing for Snow.

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So. You just bought yourself one of those new fangled bicycles with the big tires, what now? Chances are this will be your first dabble in the wonderful world of snow riding. While some of the basics in staying warm and dry may carry over from the road or mountain, fat biking has it’s own unique take on things.

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First off, riding in the snow is hard work, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to stay warm. Layers are important. Start with something light as a base. Layer #1 should be a normal pair of bibs and a light LS base. Over that a standard SS Jersey. This SS Jersey will give you an area to stash food and bottles where they won’t freeze.

The next part of the outfit, and the most important IMO, is a good pair of waterproof pants. Snow is wet. Once you get wet too it’s game over. While something like the Specialized 686 pants may seem like they have a steep price tag, they’re worth every single penny. Even well below Zero Degrees, I’ve seldom worn anything but standard bib shorts underneath.

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Continue that theme up top with a waterproof shell. Get it one size too big so you have room to stash bottles in your jersey underneath. This system will get you down to around 20 degrees or so, I’ve run this down to -20ish. If you get cold easy add a thermal LS Jersey under the shell and you should be good to go. Everyone’s sensitivity to cold is different so experiment. Just make sure you don’t start sweating, the second you feel overheated strip a layer off!! A general rule of thumb is if you feel warm at the start of your ride, you’re overdressed.

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Your head. I’m out of the loop on this one, I just wear a cap no matter what and seldom cover my face. I guess if you don’t have a beard or wear glasses you can use a Balaclava?

I also prefer using Pogies on the bars instead of wearing gloves. Not only are Pogies a lot warmer and more comfortable, they also give you another warm area to stash snacks where they won’t freeze. YAY!!

Feet. I use 3 different set-ups depending on the temps, all with one pair of wool socks and a vapor layer. Specialized Defrosters above 20, 45NRTH Wolvhammers under 20, and 45NRTH Wolfgars under -20. Albeit at JayP’s I wore the Wolvhammers at -40 and was fine so I’ve never been able to use the Wolfgars. All of the shoes are 1 size too big. When it comes to feet, circulation is your best weapon, tripling up on socks and stuffing your foot in a shoe won’t end well.

 

That’s it!! Go ride in the snow!!

 

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