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Tips for Winter Cycling in NYC

By Anelisa Nokoyo

Table of contents:

Introduction Essential Cold Weather Gear Navigating NYC's Winter Streets Route Planning and Destinations Winter Bike Riding Tips FAQs Other Winter Activities in NYC Winter Cycling Resources Conclusion


Winter transforms New York City for its intrepid cyclists, turning familiar streets into a mosaic of icy patches, chilling winds, and sporadic snowfalls. This season not only tests the resilience of cyclists, demanding strategic navigation and careful planning, but it also reveals moments of unexpected beauty and tranquility that are uniquely visible from the saddle. Whether you're a delivery rider braving the cold to earn a living or a casual cyclist seeking the thrill of frosty rides, we've assembled essential tips for staying warm, safe, and protected. Use this guide to ride confidently in cold weather, embracing both the challenges and the serene beauty of cycling in a wintry New York City.

Essential Cold Weather Gear

Properly gearing up is foundational for comfortable and safe winter cycling. Proper attire and safety equipment will keep you warm while enhancing visibility and protection against the elements. Here's a breakdown of the essential winter cycling gear:

Layer Up: Begin with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat at bay, add an insulating middle layer for warmth, and top it off with a windproof and waterproof outer layer to fend off the chill and moisture. This combination ensures you stay dry and warm, regardless of how low the temperature drops.

Insulate Your Extremities: Your hands and feet are on the frontline of the battle against the cold, so the right protection is critical. Whizz's waterproof Bike Mitts and warm Riding Gloves will keep your hands cozy and nimble, ensuring you maintain grip and control over your bike. Similarly, thermal socks and waterproof shoe covers will keep your feet snug and dry.

Whizz Bike Mitts

Whizz Riding Gloves

Protect Your Face and Neck: A winter face mask can shield you from biting winds and help prevent your glasses or goggles from fogging up. Whizz's Winter Face Mask is designed with the urban cyclist in mind, providing warmth without compromising on breathability or comfort.

Whizz Winter Face Mask

Stay Visible: With shorter days and longer nights, visibility becomes paramount. A reflective safety vest ensures motorists, pedestrians, and other cyclists see you. The Safety Vest offered by Whizz is lightweight, comfortable, and designed to make you stand out for all the right reasons.

Whizz Safety Vest

Riding in snowy conditions demands respect for the elements. Here are some safety tips for winter cycling:

  • Enhance Traction: Snow and ice can reduce traction and increase stopping distances. Improve your grip on slippery surfaces by using winter tires with deep treads and lowering your tire pressure for more ground contact.
  • Control Braking: Allow longer braking distances in winter conditions, applying your brakes gently and evenly to avoid skids. Be especially wary of black ice, which is most common during early morning and late evening. Keep your hands warm and responsive with Whizz's waterproof Bike Mitts for more precise control.
  • Regulate Temperature: Ironically, overheating can be an issue in cold weather when you're heavily bundled up in clothing. Stay cool and control perspiration by dressing in breathable layers that wick moisture away and can be shed as needed. Choose gear that protects you from temperature extremes, like Whizz's wrapped Chain Lock that shields your hands from painfully cold steel.
  • Navigate Seamlessly: Keeping your route clearly in view while navigating through snow can be challenging. Whizz's handy Phone Holder offers easy access to navigation apps without compromising safety or requiring that you remove your gloves.
  • Optimize Your Ride: Consider making Whizz your delivery partner to get the most out of your rides this season. Whizz's sturdy e-bikes help keep you safe in hazardous winter conditions with reliable traction and responsive brakes. Add Whizz's Winter Pack and get the most critical safety equipment for your cold-weather rides.

Whizz Winter Pack: Chain Lock, Phone Holder, and Bike Mitts

Route Planning and Destinations

Exploring NYC on a bike during winter can reveal a city full of charm and beauty you would otherwise overlook. Strategic route planning during this season allows you to avoid hazardous conditions and enjoy the best of what the city has to offer.

Prioritize Maintained Paths: Focus on routes known for regular winter maintenance, such as major bike lanes and paths in parks like Central Park and the Hudson River Greenway. The City of New York tends to clear these paths more quickly after a snowfall, ensuring safer riding conditions.

Explore Winter Scenery: Destinations like Rockefeller Center, with its famous Christmas tree, and the serene, snow-covered landscapes of Central Park offer unique experiences that are particularly magical in winter. Riding to these locations can provide a refreshing perspective on the city's iconic sights. However, popular spots may be more crowded, so it's best to avoid those routes if you're in a rush.

Use Apps and Maps: Leverage cycling apps and city resources to plan your route. Real-time updates can inform you about path closures or hazardous conditions, helping you make informed decisions about your journey. Keeping your phone mounted on your bike also helps you stay informed of your route while riding.

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Winter Bike Riding Tips

In summary, remember these tips to help you navigate the chilly urban streets safely:

1. Regulate Your Body Temperature: Dress in breathable layers to avoid overheating and manage sweat. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add an insulating layer for warmth, and finish with a windproof and waterproof outer layer. This combination of clothing ensures you stay dry and warm throughout your ride.

2. Protect Your Extremities: Use Whizz's Bike Mitts and Riding Gloves to keep your hands warm and in control. Add thermal socks and waterproof shoe covers to ensure your feet also stay dry and snug.

3. Face and Neck Protection: A winter face mask will shield you from the cold and help keep your vision clear. Whizz's Winter Face Mask is designed for warmth, comfort, and breathability.

4. Increase Visibility: Shorter days mean less light. Wear a reflective safety vest to ensure others see you. Whizz's Safety Vest is lightweight, comfortable, and highly visible.

5. Enhance Traction: Opt for winter-specific tires with deeper treads and consider slightly lower tire pressure to improve grip on icy surfaces.

6. Control Your Braking: Anticipate longer stopping distances on snow and ice. Apply brakes gently to both wheels to avoid skidding, especially on black ice. Practice your winter biking skills in a safe area before taking to the streets.

7. Seamless Navigation: Mount your phone to your bike for easy access to your route. Whizz's Phone Holder provides easy access to navigation apps without compromising safety or requiring you to remove your gloves.

8. Route Planning: Choose well-maintained paths known for regular snow clearance. Utilize apps and maps for real-time updates on path conditions and closures.

9. Explore Winter Scenery: Take the opportunity to visit scenic spots like Rockefeller Center and Central Park in their winter glory, but be mindful of crowds in popular areas.

10. Equip with Whizz: For a comprehensive solution to winter riding challenges, consider Whizz's Winter Pack, which includes waterproof Bike Mitts, a sturdy Chain Lock, and a convenient Phone Holder. And remember that Whizz's e-bikes can power you through your toughest winter delivery route safely and comfortably.


Q: Is it safe to bike in NYC during winter?

A: Yes, with the right preparation and gear. Focus on staying visible, riding cautiously, and being well-equipped for the cold.

Q: How do I keep my bike in good condition during winter?

A: Regular maintenance is key. Clean and lubricate your chain frequently, check your brakes and tires for wear, and consider using fenders to protect against road spray. If you rent an e-bike from Whizz, we'll take care of the routine maintenance for you!

Q: Can I use my regular bike for winter cycling?

A: Yes, with modifications such as winter tires and fenders. However, some prefer using a dedicated winter bike to avoid road salt and slush damage to their primary bike. Intense winter conditions may also make an e-bike more attractive for easier cycling.

Q: What should I do if I get too cold while riding?

A: If you start feeling excessively cold, especially if you notice numbness or tingling in your extremities, it's crucial to stop and seek warmth immediately to prevent frostbite. Plan your route with potential warm-up stops in mind. However, using the right gear will help prevent you from getting too cold in the first place.

Other Winter Activities in NYC

Of course, winter in NYC is not ONLY about cycling. The city offers a diverse array of activities that can complement your winter cycling routine:

  • Ice Skating: Take a break from your bike and enjoy ice skating at rinks across the city, including the iconic Rockefeller Center, cozy Bryant Park, and Central Park's Wollman Rink.
  • Holiday Markets: In November and December, you can explore the many holiday markets available in different boroughs, where you can enjoy seasonal treats and find unique gifts.
  • Cultural Experiences: January and February are perfect for exploring indoor cultural venues like museums and galleries, offering a perfect way to spend a day off the bike. Remember to secure your bike properly with a solid lock for peace of mind.

Winter Cycling Resources

For those looking to connect with the cycling community or learn more about winter riding, NYC offers a wealth of resources:

  • Bike Maintenance Workshops: Organizations like Bike New York offer classes on winter bike maintenance to help you keep your ride in top condition.
  • Group Rides: Joining group rides can be a great way to stay motivated and learn from more experienced winter cyclists.
  • Online Forums and Social Media: Engage with local cycling communities online to share tips, ask questions, and stay updated on winter cycling events.


Don't let chilly weather leave you hibernating inside this winter! With the right preparation and equipment, winter cycling in NYC can be a deeply rewarding and exhilarating experience. Use the strategies in this guide to embrace the season and safely optimize your cycling in snowy conditions. If you're a delivery rider working through the winter, adapting to the season's demands is crucial for both efficiency and safety.

Whizz e-bikes excel in this urban winter landscape, with designs focusing on durability, traction, and braking precision for secure travel under frosty conditions. Their ergonomic features and pedal assist help reduce physical strain and enhance comfort, whether you're on a delivery run or joy-riding on snow-laden streets. As the cold sets in, remember that the right approach and equipment, including a Whizz e-bike, can turn every ride into a triumph and let you experience the city's unique winter charm.

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