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Winter bikes

What kind of bike do I need for winter cycling?

Your bike will experience some wear and tear while cycling in the winter, but with proper maintenance and care it will take you from home to destinations across the city.


The five changes outlined below can help you continue cycling during winter weather conditions on most bikes.


Your bike will work best if you maintain it regularly throughout the winter. Snow, dirt, and slush can damage the moving parts of your bicycle over time. If you wipe down your bike using hot water or a bicycle specific cleaning solution, you will wash away any dirt or grime before it has the chance to settle in. If it is particularly wet and slushy out, try to clean your bike more often.

Ongoing maintenance

All moving parts on your bike should be lubricated using a bike grease or lubricant. A dry lubricant will keep parts from accumulating dirt and grime. Oil based lubricants will keep your bike functioning in the winter but they accumulate dirt, so you will have to clean your bike more often to prevent added stress on moving parts.

When you are greasing or lubricating the parts on your bike make sure to apply it to the:

  • chain,
  • pivots in the derailleur,
  • brake levers, posts and pivots,
  • gear shifters, and
  • cable housing ends.

'Bicycle Typogram’ by Aaron Kuehn'

Your bike will function best if it is not exposed to freeze and thaw conditions. If you are able to, bring your bike into a warm area, do not forget to wipe it down and let it dry completely before taking it back outside.

To learn more about how to take care of your bike consider taking a bike maintenance course. They are invaluable and are offered at a variety of locations across Calgary.

Another option is to take your bike to a local bike shop for a winter tune-up.