The Bike Tow Frame (Follow Me Tandem) – Frequently Asked Questions

The Bike Tow Frame (Follow Me Tandem) – Frequently Asked Questions

Let us help you to answer all those questions you have about a Bike Tow Frame.

Supporting you to get the right towing option for kids who are riding their own bike… so you can smile when you ride.

winter gloves

What is a Bike Tow Frame?

The Bike Tow Frame connects the rear wheel hub of the lead bike to the front wheel hub of the trailing bike making a very low stable bike to bike connection.

Why choose a Bike Tow Frame?

The advantages of choosing to tow a child with a tow frame is that you do most of the work for them and you make all of the decisions. The Tow Frame is a wheel hub to wheel hub design making it a very stable towing system. This stability makes this towing option suitable for long periods of towing and our choice for towing in traffic. This will broaden where you can ride and how far you can ride with your child.  You can also take them further or onto terrain that they may struggle to bike on their own e.g. up hills.

This provides more riding experiences for families with different aged children/children with different abilities and can provide a greater variety of experiences at an earlier age.

How does it work?

When in use the front wheel of the trailing (child’s) bike is lifted off the ground. The design prevents the handlebars on the child’s bike from turning, leaving the lead bike (adult) in control of steering. Your child can choose to pedal or not while being towed, making the ride easier for them and helping them SMILE.

What riding ability does the lead rider need to have?

As the rider of the lead bike you need to be capable of taking on the extra work and load that towing a child requires.  Do you have the fitness/strength required? Due to its stability the Tow Frame has minimal effect on both the lead and trailing riders balance.

What should my child’s riding ability be?

Due to its stability it can be very successfully used with children who are not very confident on the bike in all riding environments. Therefore offering you the ability to start towing your child at a slightly younger age than most towing options – 3 years old. You can permanently tow your child and then  choose to reduce to intermittent towing as the child becomes more competent or stronger as an independent rider.

You can use this bar from 3yrs to 9yrs and up to a maximum combined weight of 45kg for the trailing bike and rider.

What riding environments and frequency of use is the Tow Frame best suited too?

The Tow Frame can be used for both long periods or towing or shorts periods depending on your child’s needs. It is suited to a wide variety of environments… in traffic, bike paths and due to its stability it can be used on easy off road trails.  It is very well suited to regular commute riding as a family.

Where does it attach? Is my bike and my kids bike compatible?

Tow Frame: Attachment from wheel hub of adult bike to wheel hub on the trailing bike. Learn more at Will a Bike Tow Frame Fit my Bike?

It is compatible with all wheel hubs and bikes, though some systems will require purchasing an additional adaptor.  It is not compatible with 29 inch wheels.

Will there be a anything permanently attached to the bikes?

Yes… the Bike Tow Frame is not quickly removed and therefore for ease of use it will be permanently attached to the lead bike. The kids bike will also have a kids receiver mount attached to the frame.

Can different family members and bikes be used to do the towing or be towed?

It can be great to have the flexibility to quickly change your towing product from one bike to another.  This allows different family members and bikes to be used.

Tow Frame: You can purchase additional kids mounting kits to use the same frame with more than one child’s bike.  As the frame itself is not quickly removed, for multiple adults to use, you can consider having more than one frame in your family.

What about E-Bikes and using a Bike Tow Frame?

It can be a great option to use an E-Bike for towing if your E-Bike is compatible for use with a bike to bike towing system (see above).  It will remove any of the barriers around the capability of the lead rider.  One of the challenges especially as your child grows is the weight you will be towing.  This can affect your ability to tow for very long or to maintain good balance and therefore a steady, straight riding line. An E-Bike gives you added power and the ability to cover greater distances.

As always be aware of your safety… E-Bikes give you the ability to travel at a much faster speed than you would achieve under your own power.  What does this mean when towing a child?  While it might not be an issue while going up a hill, what does it mean on the flat?  If this is how you will tow your child we recommend you spend longer in the practice/safe environment when you first get set up, going over balance and stopping distances.

LEARN MORE AT:  Towing Kids & Electric Bikes

 

How do you store the Tow Frame when riding and when it is not in use?

The Tow Frame is carried on the adult bike when not being used while you are out riding. It folds on itself and is hooked to your seat post rails.  In this position it will not interfere with any riding.

As it is not quickly removed from the adult bike, at home it remains on this bike.

Can I install the Tow Frame?

The Tow Frame does take a bit of time to set up as there are attachments for both the lead and the trailing bike. Once set up it is a surprisingly easy system to use.  We successfully set up the Bike Tow Frame so we are confident you can to.

LEARN MORE AT:  Attaching the Bike Tow Frame

Can I use it to ride with multiple children?

If you choose a bike to bike towing option you can place a second (we recommend younger) child on the bike with the adult rider.  There are two main things to consider when riding with more than one child…

Can the lead rider ride safely with the added challenge of weight and how this will effect balance?  Having two children with you will be challenging.  Think about your fitness & strength and the places you want to ride.  You should be a skilled rider to consider doing this.  An E-Bike will help enormously with your enjoyment of riding with two children.

How does the set up of the towed option restrict an attachment of an additional bike seat?  This involves thinking about the pathway between the two bikes as follows;

Tow Frame Multiple Children Options: Due to the hub to hub attachment you can choose to also attach a front, mid or rear bike seat. Being the most stable tow option it makes riding with another child a more viable, appealing option.

What do I need to know to ride safely with my child the first time and for regular riding?

There are some simple things to do and check to keep both you and your child safe when riding with a Bike Tow Frame – for the first time and as it becomes a regular activity for you and your family. Use our resources to help support your enjoyment of riding with a Bike Tow Frame.

LEARN MORE AT:  Riding Safely with a Bike Tow Frame

Want to understand more about all the options for towing kids who ride their own bikes see… Towing Kids Who Ride Their Own Bike – Buying Guide

Riding stories, support & solutions that will make you & your family SMILE.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

The Bike Tow Rope (Tow Whee) – Frequently Asked Questions

The Bike Tow Rope (Tow Whee) – Frequently Asked Questions

Let us help you to answer all those questions you have about the Bike Tow Rope

Supporting you to get the right towing option for kids who are riding their own bike… so you can smile when you ride.

winter gloves

What is a Bike Tow Rope?

The Bike Tow Rope is a bungee style towing product that connects a lead bike with an adult rider to a trailing bike. It allows you to tow a rider smoothly & safely without the threat and danger of a towing device dangling down into your wheels.  

Why choose a Bike Tow Rope?

The main advantage with a Tow Rope is that you do some/most of the work for the trailing rider which assists them in getting to places they may struggle to go by themselves. It can be used to take riders distances or through weather that they may struggle to manage if riding solo. It is light and easy to carry so can be easily carried for the “just in case” moments.

It can provide more riding experiences for families by assisting different ages and/or abilities.  It can provide a greater variety of experiences at an earlier age.

How does it work?

It provides a soft, progressive pull & will bottom out gently & safely at its max. The bungee tension & length has been customised for adventure sports so the trailing rider is far enough back to see the trail and manage terrain changes.  It is for uphill and flat terrain only.  It needs to be disconnected before going down a hill.  As this rope is non rigid it requires more learning to use safely.

What riding ability does the lead rider need to have?

As the rider of the lead bike you need to be capable of taking on the extra work and load that towing a child requires.  Do you have the fitness/strength required?

The Tow Rope is suitable to tow riders from 4 years to adults (max combined weight of bike & rider 225kg).  The ability to tow depends on the adult doing the towing, their strength & confidence and how long they can maintain this. Electric bikes remove these barriers and allow most adults to tow any child.  

What should my child’s riding ability be?

This towing rope (the Tow Whee) is suitable from the age of 4 years.  Kids this young need to be quite good independent riders to enjoy being towed and understand how to safely ride with assistance.

What riding environments and frequency of use is the Tow Rope best suited to?

The Tow Rope is designed for off road environments… trails and bike paths.  It should only be used on the road with confident riders who understand the risks with traffic. It is an adventure rope so it can be successfully used in other settings eg. cross country skiing or in reverse for downhill skiing (adult at back, child skiing in front).

Where does it attach? Is my bike or my kids bike compatible?

Tow Rope: Attachment from the adult seat/saddle to the steering tube on the trailing bike. LEARN MORE AT:  Will a Bike Tow Rope Fit my Bike

Compatible with all bikes.

Will there be a anything permanently attached to the bikes?

No… the Tow Rope is lightweight and compact.  It can easily be carried in a bag or worn diagonally, slung across your body using the Quick Loop Carabiner accessory. It is quick and easy to attach to both the lead bike and the trailing bike while enjoying a ride.

Can different family members and bikes be used to do the towing or be towed?

Yes it offers complete flexibility on who is doing the towing and who is being towed…  It is designed to be moved between bikes.  Nothing is attached to the bikes so any adult bike can tow any other bike.

What about E-Bikes and using a Bike Tow Rope?

It can be a great option to use an E-Bike for towing.  It will remove any of the barriers around the capability of the lead rider.  One of the challenges especially as your child grows is the weight you will be towing.  This can affect your ability to tow for very long or to maintain good balance and therefore a steady, straight riding line. An E-Bike gives you added power and the ability to cover greater distances.

As always be aware of your safety… E-Bikes give you the ability to travel at a much faster speed than you would achieve under your own power.  What does this mean when towing a child?  While it might not be an issue while going up a hill, what does it mean on the flat?  If this is how you will tow your child we recommend you spend longer in the practice/safe environment when you first get set up, going over balance and stopping distances.

LEARN MORE AT:  Towing Kids & Electric Bikes

 

How do you store the Tow Rope when riding or when it is not in use?

This rope is easily stored at home with you bike gear, it will take up minimal space.  When riding the light and compact Tow Rope can be carried in a bag or slung diagonally across your body (using the accessory sold separately – the quick loop carabiner) until required for use.

Can I install the Tow Rope?

Attaching to a lead and trailing bike is not technical at all, so yes you can successfully install/attach.

LEARN MORE AT :  Attaching the Bike Tow Rope

Can I use it to ride with multiple children?

If you choose a bike to bike towing option you can place a second (we recommend younger) child on the bike with the adult rider.  There are two main things to consider when riding with more than one child…

Can the lead rider ride safely with the added challenge of weight and how this will effect balance?  Having two children with you will be challenging.  Think about your fitness & strength and the places you want to ride.  You should be a skilled rider to consider doing this.  An E-Bike will help enormously with your enjoyment of riding with two children.

How does the set up of a towed option restrict the attachment of an additional bike seat?  As the tow rope is non rigid it does not interfere or restrict use of other kids bike seats.

Tow Rope Multiple Children Options: As the Tow Rope is most often used for mountain biking you need to be aware that full suspension bikes do not work with rear mounted kids seats so that leaves mid or front mounts.

What do I need to know to ride safely with my child the first time and for regular riding?

There are some simple things to do and check to keep both you and your child safe when riding with a Bike Tow Rope – for the first time and as it becomes a regular activity for you and your family. Use our resources to help support your enjoyment of riding with a Bike Tow Rope.

LEARN MORE AT : Riding Safely with a Tow Rope

Want to understand more about all options to tow kids who ride their own bikes?  See… Towing Kids Who Ride Their Own Bike – Buying Guide

Riding stories, support & solutions that will make you & your family SMILE.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

The Bike Tow Bar (Trailgator) – Frequently Asked Questions

The Bike Tow Bar (Trailgator) – Frequently Asked Questions

Let us help you to answer all those questions you have about the Bike Tow Bar.

Supporting you to get the right towing option for kids who are riding their own bike… so you can smile when you ride.

winter gloves

What is a Bike Tow Bar?

The Bike Tow Bar is a solid bar that is used to connect a lead (adult) bike to a trailing (kids) bike making a bike to bike connection. 

Why choose a Bike Tow Bar?

The main advantage with a Tow Bar is that you do the work for the trailing rider and you make all of the decisions. This will broaden where you can ride and how far you can ride with your child. As you are making the decisions you can take them into busy environments e.g. traffic that they would otherwise be unsafe in. You can also take them further or onto terrain that they may struggle to bike on their own e.g. up hills.

This provides more riding experiences for families with different aged children/children with different abilities and can provide a greater variety of experiences at an earlier age.

How does it work?

When in use the front wheel of the trailing (child’s) bike is lifted off the ground. A stabilising bar prevents the child’s handlebars from turning leaving the lead bike (adult) in control of steering. Your child can choose to pedal or not while being towed, making the ride easier for them and helping them SMILE.

What riding ability does the lead rider need to have?

As the rider of the lead bike you need to be capable of taking on the extra work and load that towing a child requires.  Do you have the fitness/strength required?   Often a tow bar is only being used for short periods of assistance so could you mange that?  The Tow Bar can cause some wobble for the lead rider if the child being towed chooses to lean… do you have the bike confidence and balance to feel comfortable with being pushed off your riding line?

What should my child’s riding ability be?

To Use a Tow Bar your child must be able to ride a bike with a bit of confidence. The Tow Bar does allow the trailing rider to lean so your child needs to be comfortable with this. Teaching them not to lean and reminding them frequently minimises this occurring.

You can use this bar from 4yrs to 9yrs.  The combined maximum towing weight of the bike and the rider is 36kg. 

What riding environments and frequency of use is the Tow Bar best suited to?

The Tow Bar is best suited to intermittent and short periods of towing when your child needs it assistance. It is best suited to bike path riding and easy wide trails. It can be successfully used in some traffic situations  It is important to understand the slight wobble and lean that can be experienced.  If towing in traffic is to be the primary use we recommend the more stable option of The Tow Frame (Follow Me Tandem).

Where does it attach? Is my bike and my kids bike compatible?

Tow Bar: Attachment from adult seat post to steering tube on the trailing bike. LEARN MORE AT:  Will a Bike Tow Bar Fit my Bike?

It is not compatible with carbon seat posts.  It needs a clear path way from seat post over rear wheel to the child’s bike.

Will there be a anything permanently attached to the bikes?

Yes… both the mounting bracket on the lead bike and the receiver mount on the trailing (kids) bike will be permanently attached to your bikes. You can remove these but it is time consuming… so not something you would choose to do regularly. The bar itself is then quickly and easily attached to the seat post mount on the adult bike.  From there it is easily attached to the receiver mount on the kids bike when out riding.

Can different family members and bikes be used to do the towing or be towed?

It can be great to have the flexibility to quickly change your towing product from one bike to another.  This allows different family members and bikes to be used.

The Tow Bar offers great flexibility for the family: You can purchase additional mounting kits for both the lead (adult) and trailing bike (child’s) to give you options.  This can be really handy, especially on the kids bikes. When riding with two or more children they can take turns at having some assistance.

What about E-Bikes and using a Bike Tow Bar?

It can be a great option to use an E-Bike for towing if your E-Bike is compatible for use with a bike to bike towing system (see above).  It will remove any of the barriers around the capability of the lead rider.  One of the challenges especially as your child grows is the weight you will be towing.  This can affect your ability to tow for very long or to maintain good balance and therefore a steady, straight riding line. An E-Bike gives you added power and the ability to cover greater distances.

As always be aware of your safety… E-Bikes give you the ability to travel at a much faster speed than you would achieve under your own power.  What does this mean when towing a child?  While it might not be an issue while going up a hill, what does it mean on the flat?  If this is how you will tow your child we recommend you spend longer in the practice/safe environment when you first get set up, going over balance and stopping distances.

LEARN MORE AT :  Towing Kids & Electric Bikes

 

How do you store the Tow Bar when riding and when it is not in use?

The Tow Bar is carried on the adult bike when not being used while you are out riding. It retracts, pivots down from the seat post attachment and clicks onto a bracket on your rear wheel hub.  In this position it will not interfere with any riding.  The bar itself can also be completely removed from the seat post mount leaving an attachment bracket on the adult seat post and a receiving mount on your child’s bike – these attachments are both permanent and not quickly removed.

As the Tow Bar can be disconnected from both the adult and kids bike it can be stored at home when not needed.   It is reasonably easy to do this as it is long and skinny – approximately 80cm.  

Can I install the Tow Bar?

The Tow Bar takes a bit of time to set up as there are attachments for both the lead and the trailing bike.  Once set up it is very easy to attach to the lead bike when you choose to take the Tow Bar with you on a ride. Also quick and easy to connect to the kids bike while on a ride. We successfully set up the Bike Tow Bar so we are confident you can to.

Can I use it to ride with multiple children?

If you choose a bike to bike towing option you can place a second (we recommend younger) child on the bike with the adult rider.  There are two main things to consider when riding with more than one child…

Can the lead rider ride safely with the added challenge of weight and how this will effect balance?  Having two children with you will be challenging.  Think about your fitness & strength and the places you want to ride.  You should be a skilled rider to consider doing this.  An E-Bike will help enormously with your enjoyment of riding with two children.

How does the set up of the towed option restrict an attachment of an additional bike seat?  This involves thinking about the pathway between the two bikes as follows;

Tow Bar Multiple Children Options: The path way of the Tow Bar means rear kids seats will not work so that leaves Mid or Front mount Kids Bike Seats.

What do I need to know to ride safely with my child the first time and for regular riding?

There are some simple things to do and check to keep both you and your child safe when riding with a Bike Tow Bar – for the first time and as it becomes a regular activity for you and your family. Use our resources to help support your enjoyment of riding with a Bike Tow Bar

LEARN MORE AT :  Riding Safely with a Tow Bar

Want to understand more about all options to tow kids who ride their own bikes see… Towing Kids Who Ride Their Own Bike – Buying Guide

Riding stories, support & solutions that will make you & your family SMILE.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

How to Choose the Correct Chamois

How to Choose the Correct Chamois

Padded bike pants or bike underwear, to use when riding a bike, have a chamois (padding) sewn into them. These types of bike garments are a great investment to help keep you comfortable while riding. The chamois sits directly between you and the bike seat. This helps to reduce discomfort and allows you to sit on your seat for longer periods of time or for several days in a row.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

The Make Up of the Chamois

If you gain a little knowledge about chamois it will help you to choose the correct bike pant/underwear for the type of riding that you do.

The Shape and Thickness – Todays chamois take advantage of technology and come in a wide range of shapes, densities and thickness’. The placement of padding, which is made from foam, is designed to match to how you will be sitting on your seat – your body position.  The density and thickness considers the time or length of your riding.

Moisture Wicking – For the chamois to perform well it needs to be able to wick moisture – pull moisture away from your skin and prevent bacteria growth (bacteriostasis).  As the chamois will be sewn onto the fabric of the pant or underwear it is also very important that this  fabric wicks moisture. Reducing the build up of moisture prevents chaffing that can turn into saddle sores.  The technology around this moisture management in chamois has really progressed in the past 10 years.

Breathability – A good quality chamois will also have a perforated base layer to increase breathability and aid in quick dry times.

For an overview of what padded bike pants are please read this story Fancy Pants – Why wear padded bike pants?

Choose the correct chamois

Chamois sewn into biking pants or underwear have different shapes & foam densities that match to different types of riding

Choose the correct chamois

Gender differences in chamois. Red = female.  Green = male

Type of Riding and the Chamois

The type of riding or type of bike you have will dictate how you sit on your seat.  This determines where your body makes contact with the seat.  Up right riders who sit with a straight back transfer weight directly down through their sit bones towards the back of the seat.  Compare this to a road rider who is bent forward and will have weight and pressure points more to the front of the seat.

These contrasts in body position go a long way to explaining why chamois come in different shapes and thickness’.  Padding and support will be placed differently for the maximum in comfort for the type of riding the chamois is intended to be used for.  Most companies offer a range of chamois across several different types of riding – Road, MTB, Triathlon, Urban, Crossover (on & off road), Indoor (Spin classes).  So it should not be an issue finding a garment that has the correct type of chamois for your needs.

Length of Riding and the Chamois

A Chamois will have different densities and thickness depending on the length of the ride it is designed for. For the best comfort on your bike the chamois you choose should match the time that you do or want to spend on the bike.

Generally the longer the length of riding the great density in the compression of the foam at key touch points in the chamois.  This helps with providing a feeling of protection even after long hours of riding, it shouldn’t feel like the foam has been completely squashed or collapsed.

Gender Specific and Kid Specific Chamois

Chamois will be different from men to women.  This is mainly concerned with the width of the pelvis – being wider in women – and therefore where the padding for the sit bones is positioned.  You will also spot differences in the length of the chamois and type of front support.

Chamois designed for kids are significantly smaller than an adult chamois.   They will suit from approximately 3 years of age. The cost of a kids chamois is usually kept down with a basic foam design but with more and more young children riding the range is expanding.  The biggest thing to be aware of with your kids is when to upgrade them into an adult chamois for better shape, comfort and protection.  Every child is different in terms of when they grow but most kids chamois will fit up to 10/11 years of age.  After this it is a good idea to consider whether a youth or extra small adult pair of padded pants/underwear would be a better purchase.

The Chamois’ goRide Chooses to Use

The chamois that we use in all our padded underwear options come from an Italian company called Elastic Interface.  They are world leaders in chamois development and have an amazing range that we choose from.  This enables us to match our chamois perfectly to the type of pants/undies we have designed.  Also to offer different chamois for the same garment depending on the support you need or the time/length of your riding.  For example our Womens goUnders have a minimal, up to 3hrs, sleek chamois for comfort both on and off the bike.  The endurance version of our Womens goUnders has an Endurance Crossover chamois with 2 density thickness’ and can be ridden up to 6hrs, either on or off road.

Since 2019 Elastic Interface have achieved Eco status with all their fabrics.

Find out more about Elastic Interface by visiting their website www.elasticinterface.com

Choose the Correct Chamois – Match your Type of Riding to Padded Bike Pants or Underwear

Who – Women recreation riding -Town, Commute or Bike Path.

Chamois match = On & off road Recreation Chamois.

Solution = Womens goUnders

Who – Kids having fun on the bike

Chamois match = Kids Recreation.

Solution = Kids goUnders

Who – Women recreation rider – Bike Path Trail Rider, Long Commute

1-3hrs Chamois match = On & off road Recreation Chamois. 

Solution = Womens goUnders or 3/4 Recreation Pants

Who – Women endurance rider -Bike Path Trail Rider, Long Commute.

1-6hrs Chamois match = Endurance Chamois.

Solution =  Womens Endurance goUnders, 3/4 Endurance Pants 

Who – Women Mountain Biker – Recreation

Chamois match = Off road Recreation 

Solution = Womens goUnders, Womens goUnder BoyLeg or 3/4 Recreation Pants

Who – Women Multi Day or Tour

Chamois match = Endurance Chamois, 1-6hrs

Solution =  Womens Endurance goUnders, 3/4 Endurance Pants

Who – Kids Bike Touring

Chamois match = Kids Endurance.

Solution = Kids Endurance goUnders

Who – Youth Boy & Men

MTB grip & minimal bell

Solution coming this Winter 2021

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

Mountain Bike Night Riding – get Ready

Mountain Bike Night Riding – get Ready

Mountain bike night riding – could this be for YOU?  Would this be a fun way to extend your riding season?  Find out what you need to stay safe on a dawn/dusk or night time mountain bike ride.  This is a simple guide for first time night riders so you can gain the confidence to get out there and give it a go.

Lighting up the trail - lights for mountain bike night riding

LIGHTS

A really important part of your whole night riding experience is having the right type of lights.  The more powerful the light the more expensive it will be.  A good starting set up of lights for night riding would be

  • front handlebar 2000+ lumens wide beam to illuminate the trail
  • along with a front helmet  800+ lumens to illuminate corners, changes in terrain – this light will track where your eyes look to

You want easy, flexible attachment options so you can get the lights on/off, move them when or if you need to.

Having a variety of modes so you can adjust the light according to whats happening e.g. less light to climb up hills, less light to ride through town, to the tracks.  This will increase your overall ride time.  When lights are used at full strength – as you will probably do when heading down the hill – it uses the battery power up.

Following on from this point… you need to have a fairly good idea of how long you will have light so you can plan a ride that matches to your light time.  Planning ahead if your battery needs to be charged, carrying spare batteries if this is how your light is powered.

You will also need a rear light preferably set on a steady mode so your friends can judge how far in front of them you are (flashing lights attract attention but can be hard for distance estimating).

For more on LIGHTS see The ‘Right’ Lights for Mountain Biking at Night
Enduro Mountain Bike Lights - 5000lumen.goRide

Small compact lights are a good option

Olympia helmet mount gemini bike light goRide

Helmet lights should be lightweight & easy to attach

night riding photo.goRide

Rear light on steady beam

CONTROLLING YOUR TEMPERATURE

Go easy on layers when heading up – try not to sweat too much.  Avoid wearing a bag that will trap moisture if possible – basically try not to make your clothing damp or wet as this will make you cold when you head into the fun downhill part of your ride.

Try to add warmth to places that suffer in colder conditions  – fingers/toes/neck/head.  These additions are a great way for you to feel protected and we would recommend thermal fabrics or merino.

Take or wear a jacket that will block cold airflow.  The air around you will not be warm, in winter at night time, in New Zealand.

winter warm combo

Add warmth to your extremities

Lightweight packable bike jacket. front orange. goRide

MTB jackets block air flow to keep you warm

SAFETY

Tell someone where you are going

Know what the weather is supposed to be doing – you can’t see any changes in the weather at night time or in limited visibility.

Keep to tracks you know – now is not the time to try something new.  If you are nervous about night riding for the first time it can be a good idea to start in some light/twilight.  This helps with your confidence and you can progress to darkness.

Get warm as soon as you get home – out of any damp or wet clothes, into a shower

get Ready and goRide –  Mountain Bike Night Riding

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Winter Riding Tips

goRide helps you find your riding SMILE.  Now it’s your turn….Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback will make us SMILE.

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Winter Riding Tips – Outwit the Weather

Winter Riding Tips – Outwit the Weather

Welcome to winter riding tips.  It is easy to enjoy this season on your bike or as we like to say ‘Outwit the Weather’.  You just need to be aware of what conditions you are potentially riding in and have solutions to any challenges.

To enjoy winter on your bike you need to get ready with some extra gear or bike accessories.  Some additions are for safety, others to help with your temperature management.  There is nothing worse than being cold when riding.  Add cold too wet and this can quickly lead to issues.  Not so bad if you’re riding in town and can get home quickly…  It can be a disaster if you have decided to ride in an isolated environment.

For more on hyperthermia head to the end of this story where there is a detailed description of mild hyperthermia and what to do if someone in your bike group has it.

Everyone will have a slightly different list of requirements to keep them smiling while winter riding.  Just pick out the tips you think apply to you, in terms of how you would like to ride in winter.  If your bike of choice is an E-Bike all this stuff applies – perhaps more – as you can go further and the weather may change on you.  You can also move faster with less effort so wind chill/warmth on the bike might be a bigger issue.

Drier Ride

Jackets are key – waterproof to water resistant.  Whatever you think matches the type of riding you are about to do.  Just make sure you have it on or with you.  It’s no good hanging in the wardrobe at home.  Jackets designed for wearing on a bike will work better.  Bike jackets are usually what are called lightweight shells – they have little to no insulating layers to allow for the fact you are exercising in them.  Be aware of length, a lot of bike jackets are short in design to not interfere with the seat when you dismount.  Also they are fitted so you don’t create a parachute when moving.

Try mud guards to reduce the spray.  These are great for commute riding to reduce the debris/grit/water from the road.  Also great for mountain bike riders to reduce the mud.

Maybe waterproof over trousers would keep you riding all year, this type of pant is a great idea for commute riders committed to riding in all weather conditions.

Know the weather you are heading into especially if its a big day ride, anywhere isolated or back country multi day riding.  What is the weather forecast and how quickly could the weather change?  If you are riding somewhere new or anywhere isolated always be over prepared, weather can be very unpredictable in New Zealand.  It is your responsibility to carry and use gear that will keep you safe.  Waterproof jackets with high breathability ratings are best matched to this type of riding.

HELPFUL LINKS:

Waterproof or Breathable? Bike Jackets Explained

Waterproof Lightweight Jacket - Madison - on rider. goRide

Performance waterproof jacket for top quality protection

waterproof town jacket. Yellow goRide

Waterproof Poncho for great coverage when riding in town

Winter riding tips - waterproof jacket. goRide

Waterproof Shell with good length & bold colouring

Warmer Ride

Layer up base, mid & outer layers.  This gives you flexibility as you warm up on the bike you can remove clothing or as you feel chilled or cold you can add protection.  Thermal jackets are designed to block wind flow and keep you snug.  All jackets will help with this, even a vest to protect your core is helpful.

Know about fabric, especially what you choose to wear close to your skin.  As you ride a bike and perhaps begin to sweat, base layers need to be pulling this moisture away this is called wicking.  Merino is great at this, cotton is not.  For more information see the link below about fabric choice.

Add length in gloves to full fingers options.  Add length in 3/4 or long pants.  Waterproof over trousers are generous in sizing & shape so layers for warmth can be worn underneath.

Protect extremities – merino socks for toes, a headband or beanie under your helmet for your ears, neck warmers or scarfs for around the neck/upper chest and fleece lined gloves for fingers.  Extremities can be a real challenge to keep warm while riding in the cold (any temperatures under 10 degrees), especially if you already have circulation issues.  Again layer up and try to keep moving them, readjusting position, wiggling fingers or toes all helps.

HELPFUL LINKS

Riding Clothing – Fabric Choice

Be Warm on a Bike

winter glove fluoro

Winter Fleece Glove in HiVis colour

Headband and Neckband goRide 600w

Headband & Neck Warmer – merino lined

Thermal Jacket - reflective banding. goRide

Thermal Bike Jacket for warmth

Be Seen When You Ride – Be Safe

Visibility is often an issue in adverse weather which winter often brings.  Heavy rain and low light levels can make it difficult for drivers to see bikes.  Winter also means shorter days so you are much more likely to be riding at night time.  It is NZ law to ride with one front & one rear light 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise.

To help, even during daylight, we recommend

  • using lights.  If possible two on the rear, one positioned high, one attached lower e.g. on your helmet/high on a backpack and on your seat post/rear carrier.  One flashing to attract attention, one constant to help the driver judge distance
  • wearing bright outer layers, a bright helmet or a bright coloured back pack all helps
  • reflective strips or covers work really well in low/poor light or night riding situations.  On jackets, trousers, bags or bands that you wrap around your upper arm or leg
HELPFUL LINKS

Be Visible Product Page

The Right Bike Lights for Commuting

Bike Light Features

Visibility Cover over bag

Bag Cover & Safety Vests are easy solutions to visibility on a bike

Signs of Hypothermia

If you are bike touring in conditions with a significant Cold Challenge – Temperature, Wetness, Wind combined with fatigue, poor food intake and/or dehydration you need to be aware of the risk of mild hypothermia

  • Watch for the “Umbles” – stumbles, mumbles, fumbles, and grumbles which show changes in motor coordination and levels of consciousness
  • Shivering – not under voluntary control, not easily stopped
  • Can’t do complex motor functions (single track riding) can still walk & talk
  • Numbness in periphery (hands, feet)

Heat Retention + Heat Production less than Cold Challenge = Hypothermia

What can you do for mild hypothermia?
  1. Reduce heat loss by adding layers of clothing, getting dry clothing on, increasing physical activity or providing shelter.  Use a survival blanket
  2. Add fuel & fluids. It is essential to keep a hypothermic person adequately hydrated and fuelled
  3. Add heat, fire or other external heat source.  Body to body contact. Get into a sleeping bag, in dry clothing with a normo-thermic person in lightweight dry clothing

(Source: Outdoor Action Guide to Hypothermia & Cold Weather Injuries.  By Rick Curtis)

get Ready and goRide –  Outwit The Weather – Winter Riding Tips

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

How to Wash a Bike Jacket

Be Visible on a Bike

 

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