The Onewheel is an absolute joy to ride and winter riding can be just as fun if you do it the right way. Future Motion makes some recommendations regarding winter and your Onewheel. Here are my top Onewheel Winter tips that Future Motion did not mention in their Onewheel Owner’s Guide to Winter:
1. Dress for Success
When I take a bunch of scouts to go snow camping each year in February I tell them there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. This statement is mainly to get the point across that the boys need to be prepared and have the correct winter gear to avoid hypothermia and I think it also applies to the Onewheel.
Hypothermia happens when your body loses heat faster than it can create it. Normally your body likes to be around 98 degrees Fahrenheit but when your body temperature drops below 95 degrees you officially have hypothermia.
Because the Onewheel does most of the hard work for you when you are riding, your heart rate does not increase as much as if you were riding a bike, running, skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing. That is why dressing warmly is so important.
Cold winter air will blow right through you as you travel 15 miles per hour if you don’t dress accordingly. So here is how I recommend you dress to stay warm on those frigid days:
“He was wearing all cotton, which is the worst fabric for cold, wet weather. … The weather just got the best of him,” said the Alaska State Trooper about a hiker who died of hypothermia. In the cold, cotton kills and wool warms.
Cotton absorbs water and takes much longer than wool and synthetic fabrics to dry out. If you are wearing cotton and it gets wet either from rain, snow or sweat, that moisture will make you miserable because water conducts heat away from your body 25% faster than just air. Also, the water takes up space between the fibers of the fabric that normally would be occupied by warm air and as the water evaporates, that results in an even more rapid cooling effect.
So stay away from cotton when riding in very cold temperatures and stick to wool. Merino wool has a very nice feel and is a great option. Synthetic materials like polyester are less expensive than high quality wool products and can perform nearly as good.
I like the feel of Merino wool for my base layer and I find that it keeps me the warmest. Do yourself a favor and get a good top and a bottom like these from Amazon.
To keep those feet warm, invest in some good wool socks like these.
The simple idea to dressing for very cold temperatures is to have a base layer that wicks away moisture, a middle layer that traps body heat, and an outer layer that protects from wind, rain, and snow.
Make sure to dress in several layers, starting with a good base layer like the one suggested above. The second layer after your base layer should be able to trap heat. Down and synthetic down products are great for this. The final layer or shell needs to be wind and waterproof.
The other advantage to wearing layers is you can shed layers as you get hot and you can add them back as you get cold.
Keeping Your Head Warm
You can lose a lot of heat from your head. Most traditional helmets try to provide a lot of ventilation to keep you cool. If you find your head getting cold, you can try a beanie but sometimes it is hard to fit a beanie under your helmet.
To keep your head, ears and face warm get a balaclava which will provide protection from the cold and fit right under your helmet. Again, something in Merino wool is best to help wick away moisture and to keep you warm. This product is what I love and use from Amazon.
Keeping Your Hands Warm
The problem here is finding something that will fit under or over my existing wrist guards. I wear Hillbilly half finger glove type wrist guards and love them. They have saved my palms and wrists multiple times while still letting me use the touch screen on my cell phone. Unfortunately, they do not keep my fingers warm.
The size of these wrist guards keeps me from wearing a glove over them so I like to wear a glove liner underneath which also has touch screen capabilities like these gloves.
2. Expect More Rapid Battery Drain
Batteries do not perform as well in extreme cold so expect and plan for decreased range. Also, just as Future Motion recommends, do not leave your Onewheel in the cold when not in use. In very cold temperatures, the battery may stop working all together and you will have to bring the battery in to warm up slowly before it will become operational again.
3. The Days are Shorter in the Winter
If you will be riding in the dark, make sure to wear reflective clothing so you can be seen by traffic. I also like to use a small flashlight like this to help light the way.
The strobe function on this flashlight is a great way to make sure motorist see you. This is one of the highest rated flashlights on Amazon and it is my favorite flashlight because it is inexpensive, small, durable, and only uses one AA battery. Check this flashlight out on Amazon.
Read my other article on how to safely ride at night.
If you have not seen the official Future Motion recommendations for your Onewheel in the Winter, here it is: