1. Adjust the tire pressure!
Adjust the tire pressure depending on the snow. With a fatbike, you can ride with a low pressure resulting in lower ground pressure and better traction. It depends, however, on the snow condition. If it’s fresh snow and loose, then ride with low pressure. If it’s hard-packed, you can ride with a higher pressure.
2. Use flat pedals!
There are very few really warm boots with cleats that are suitable for use when the temperature drops below -20° or even -30°C. Snow packing underside your sole is also a risk that makes it difficult to get back into your pedals. With flat pedals, you can choose whatever boots you want. Ski touring boots are actually great because they are made for this environment, and they have quite rigid soles.
3. Ride smooth
If it’s slippery and soft, stay in your seat and try to ride smooth. If you stand up, you will probably spin and lose traction.
4. Eat and drink
You will need a lot of energy, but ordinary bottles will freeze fast and become ice clamps. A thermos with some hot drink will stay liquid for many hours. Even an insulated bottle works for some hours. Our favorite is a hot broth made from reindeer!
Bars and gels will freeze, so keep them inside your jacket unless you have steel teeth.
5. Don’t wear too many clothes
Even in quite cold temperatures, you will not need a lot of clothes. When you bike, you will quickly be warm. If you get too warm and sweaty, it could be dangerous because when you stop, you will start to freeze fast. “It’s a deadly sin to sweat when it’s cold” is something that recruits at the arctic ranger units learn the first day of their duty
6. Never, Never use cotton underclothing
When you get sweaty, the cotton will cool you down. Instead, use merino wool underclothing or synthetic underclothing. It’s not a problem to wear cycling bibs and then merino wool underwear over them.
7. Bring extra warm clothes
As we saw, we should not wear too many clothes when we bike, but when we stop we have to put on some warm clothes. Bring a down jacket, extra warm gloves, a warm hat and maybe warm cover trousers. Warm shorts (synthetic or down) could be great to keep your thighs and but warm without being too warm.
8. Heated insoles could be great (for a ride up to a couple of hours..)
Today there are many models of heated insoles, and when it’s nasty cold they could be great, especially for shorter bike rides up to a couple of hours. For longer tours, there is a problem with how to charge them, however.
9. It’s not necessary to use studded tires, but they are great on icy roads..
Studded tires are great on icy roads, but they do not help much in the snow. You will get better traction with a deep tire pattern.
10. If you get too cold, get off your bike and take a short run
Sometimes it gets too cold. When the temperatures drop below -30°C it could be hard to keep your feet, hands, thigh, and but warm. If you run around a few minutes, it will help your body to get warmer and circulate the blood into all parts.
11. Bring a headlight and keep the battery warm
From December to January, the Sun never rises over the horizon. It’s the time of the Arctic Night. Because of the white snow filled landscape, it will never get pitch black, however, but you certainly want a headlight. To prevent the battery from running low in the cold temperature, choose a model with a battery that you can keep under your clothes to keep it warm.