Winter is my favorite time of the year to ride my fatbike, it opens a whole different world of exploration possibilities. But, cold weather does present its own challenges that that can be overcome with the right gear. I have tried a lot of products over the last four Winters and have come up with a new list of some of my favorite items that I use regularly. This is part two of a three part series where I highlight my favorite Winter fatbike gear.
Bontrager RXL Waterproof
Softshell Split Finger Glove
When the temps dip into the teens and below I like to continue to ride without pogies but I need a pair of gloves that will keep my hands warm. To achieve this I wear the Bontrager RXL Waterproof Softshell Split Finger Glove. When it gets below zero I can extend my ride time by adding pogies to my bars if the conditions demand.
These gloves have a Profila Softshell outer lining that is windproof/waterproof combined with 100 grams of 3M Thinsulate insulation and a full finger fleece lining providing a comfort zone for hands in extreme cold weather. The split finger and inForm cushioning allow for dexterity when braking and comfort in the pressure areas of the palm that mittens can't provide. Available in XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL at Penn Cycle and other fine bike shops for $69.99.
45NRTH Bergraven Gaiters
After last weekend's trip to Cuyuna where over the two days I was there we received about 5 inches of fresh powder, I was glad I had my 45NRTH Bergraven Gaiters. The snow was deep on the trails and lakes and the groomer hadn't been out yet so keeping the snow out of my boots and my legs warm was definitely a plus.
My friends and I like to venture off the beaten path in the Wintertime for areas normally not available during the warmer months and that will take us to places like lakes, creeks, marshes and woods where the snow is deeper and may involve some "hike-a-bike" sections. These definitely do the trick for this type of riding.
Bergaravens are easy to put on and take off and have tear-resistant outer shell with 100 grams of Primaloft Eco Gold insulation. They will keep your legs warm and make sure snow stays out of your boots. Available in 38-40 (Small), 41-43 (Medium), 44-46 (Large), 47-50 (X-Large) at Penn Cycle and other fine bike shops for $85.
HotHands Toe Warmers
Sometimes those expensive cycling boots or regular Winter boots need a little boost to help keep your toes warm when riding for hours out in the cold. My toes have a tendency to get cold easily, even in the 20's°F. HotHands Toe Warmers are super thin and can be placed on the top or bottom of your toes with a stay-in-place adhesive that sticks to your sock. They last for hours, are pretty inexpensive and will extend your ride time. When it is really cold out I will place a set on the top and bottom of my toes to really keep my feet warm. HotHands Toe Warmers are available at sporting goods and hardware stores for around a $1 for a two pack.
The Sticky Pod is a product I highlighted earlier this Fall and I've continued to use throughout the Winter as my compact tool kit for rides. Depending on how light I travel, I will put it in my hydration pack or back jacket pocket. The larger model holds everything I need for trailside repairs including my compact frame pump in the event of a flat or change in tire psi. This compact kit has room for a chain tool, master links, spare derailleur hanger, multi-tool, zip ties, CO2 cartridges/inflator and a tube patch kit. You can even put your smartphone in the side that has the plastic window for safe keeping and easy touchscreen access. Available from Miles-Wide Industries in two sizes and color choices from $14.99-$17.99.