Top Winter Cycling Gear for 2016

Make sure you're properly prepared before you take your bike for a snow ride

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Cycling is one of the best alternatives of running as a cardio exercise. It’s easy, can be done anywhere at little to no cost, and it doesn’t take a high level of skill. Studies have shown that if you ride a bike to work, you will increase cardiovascular fitness by up to 7 percent.[slideshow:82189]

The sport is getting your heart pumping but it also improves general muscle function not just in the legs. Cycling involves every part of the body – your thighs, hips, knees and derrière will thank you. The opportunity and excuse to get outside and the lost weight come as a bonus. One less obvious health benefit of biking is better coordination. Your entire body is forced to work, which means that your feet-to-hands and body-to-eye synchronization is improving.

So don’t let winter inconvenience you. The air is clear and it feels fresher. The cold weather doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. You don’t even have to dress as if you’re going to climb Everest because cycling generates a lot of heat. Your problem will actually be how to stay cool.

Slips and falls are not as common as you think. Besides, even if you fall, it will be on softer surfaces because of the snow and the extra layers you’re wearing – much better than exposed skin on dry pavement.

When it comes to your bicycle – one of the better choices is an aluminum-framed road bike with mudguards, puncture-resistant tires and – very important – lights.

Last but not least, remember to have and drink water often. It’s even more important now when you have more clothing on designed to keep you warm. Try flipping the bottle upside-down so that ice will form at the bottom. This way water will flow freely and you won’t get a brain-freeze.

Click here to see what you can wear to make cycling in the winter as enjoyable and a comfortable as possible

More readings: 

8 of the Most Common Cycling Injuries and How to Prevent Them

5 Moves That Will Make You a Stronger Cyclist

The 16 Best Winter Drives in the U.S.