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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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Cheap Winter Bike Riding Tips


This morning it felt like early spring outside, and it made me yearn to see more fair-weather cyclists try out winter bike commuting.

Cyclists are often gearheads, and winter cycling offers a plethora of opportunities to indulge in consumerism. Often, the products designed especially for cycling are more effective.

However, there are cheap ways to stay warm and dry on a bike:


-Use plastic bags over your feet to keep your shoes dry.

-Use old lawn signs to create fenders.

-Take an old wool turtleneck, cut off the neck and use it as a neck warmer or headband to keep your ears warm.

-Buy lined work gloves at a hardware or gardening store. They will keep your hands warm and they're about a third of the cost of winter bike gloves.

-While you're in the hardware store, look at their rain pants, they're often a lot cheaper. You may need to wear light pants or shorts underneath, as they often don't breathe as well.

-The Urbana-Champaign Smile Politely website (from which we got the above photo) has a whole section of articles on Cycling on the Cheap.


Add a Comment


Kathleen McDade/TechnoEarthMama

January 16, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Another good buy -- wool sweaters from the thrift store. I got a lightweight merino sweater (from the mens department) that was perfect as an outer layer for milder weather, or an inner layer for cold weather. Until it shrank in the wash. :-)

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