Holiday Rides with Henry

Holiday Rides with Henry

RSC Alliance member and Super Domestique Henry van den Broek is treating us all to a series of holiday rides! If you are looking to end the year with great rides and good company, join us out on the road during the week of December 24 through the end of the year.  We are riding some of our favorite routes with great food stops along the way. We are even bringing back last year's Snowflake Century - a one hundred-mile ride in the shape of a snowflake!

If you complete the whole series you will be rewarded with a grand total of 375 miles in an eight day span - an awesome way to finish your season. All rides will start and end at the Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington, MA. See below for mileage and GPS routes.

We're now offering a commemorative t-shirt to celebrate your riding at this time of year and to offer a bit of motivation this spring if you aren't feeling like riding. It'll remind you of the riding you've done on the shortest and coldest days of the year!


  1. Saturday 12/24: To Blue Moon Cafe in Medfield MA - 58 miles* - (.5 mile gravel section)
  2. Monday 12/26: Woodmans in Essex - 80 miles* - (1 mile gravel road)
  3. Tuesday 12/27: Stow- 40 Miles
  4. Wednesday 12/28: Ride Headquarters in Sherborn - 60 miles
  5. Friday 12/30: Snowflake Century - 100 miles (Departs 7:30am)
  6. Saturday 12/31: The RSC Espresso Ride to close out the series - 37 miles

A few things to remember:

  • If you haven't filled out our Ride Waiver, you must do it online here prior to attending the first ride.
  • Please carefully read and be ready to ride by our Riding Rules.
  • All rides will depart from RSC at 8:30am with the exception of the Snowflake Century which will roll out at 7:30am.
  • The Cafe will be open for food and drinks at the start of the rides. However, our bike shop employees will not be available. If you need something before the ride, please email us a day in advance.
  • These are drop rides. The average pace of the rides is 17mph. If you cannot maintain the pace of the group you will need to find your way home. It is fine if you would like to see if you can hang with the group, just communicate with Henry if you need to drop off of the ride at any point.
  • Please consider the weather when choosing your tires. We recommend fenders for wet conditions.
  • All the rides' routes and distances are subject to change depending on weather and road conditions. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates.

Make sure you are well-equipped for the cold and wintry conditions. At Ride Studio we have a great selection of new winter apparel from our friends at 45NRTH , Velocio, and Giordana that is sure to keep you warm and comfortable out on the road. We have great options for studded tires, a must-have for riding on icy roads.

We look forward to finishing 2016 with you in style! Have fun and ride safe.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Ride Studio Cafe!

Thanksgiving Day Ride

Join us for a Thanksgiving Day Ride

We are opening our doors and the Cafe at 7:30am Thanksgiving Day, November 24, for riders. The ride has a RSC Super Domestique leading the way and it departs at 8:15am.

Group ride The route is ~44 miles in length on paved roads. Be prepared for a 17mph average pace. We'll split into two groups if we have more than 10-15 riders.

Note: the Studio will not be open at the end of the ride.

Join us for this festive, pre-feast ride!

Very Special Promotion for the Seven RedSky Bike

RedSky BikeVery Special Promotion: Seven Cycles RedSky Bike

Meet the Seven RedSky bike, Seven's newest bike model.

We are offering you a full build with 30% off Shimano Dura-Ace 9000* components! This offer is over a $1,250 discount to getting you on this incredible Seven Cycles bike. The deadline to order a bike and take advantage of this offer is Thanksgiving.

Here is a short summary of the RedSky bike:
The RedSky bike is a light-weight, pure performance bike with a large amount of versatility usually assumed to only be possible on disc-brake bikes.
redskybikeWhy the name?  A "red sky" in the morning means there is a storm warning.  Rather than be off the bike for the day, the RedSky looks for those days and relishes the ride.  Harsh conditions require the right bikeRedSky is that bike.
  • Lightweight:  A typical RedSky builds up at 1.5 to 2.0 lbs lighter than an equivalent disc brake bike.  The bike is the same weight as any lightweight road bike; the mid-reach brake calipers are only about 30 grams heavier than most lightweight short reach brakes.  The bike pictured tips the scales at 16.2 lbs with the MSO 32c tires; without pedals.
  • Tire Choices:  From a 23c road slick to a 33c knobby and everything in between, the RedSky is even more versatile than a true cyclocross bike.  The bike will also fit some 35c knobbies or slicks, depending on rim and brake caliper choice. This bike loves riding on dirt roads and trails.
  • All Weather:  Designed to fit fenders with up to 32c tires. Even 30c studded tires fit.
  • High Performance:  This design sacrifices nothing compared to any performance road bike.  It's fast, agile, and accelerates with the best of bikes.
  • Optimal Handling:  Seven's 5E fork allows for matching the fork rake to the frame geometry so there's no compromise to the bike's front end handling.
  • Hidden Fender Mounts:  At dropouts and chainstay bridge.  The mounts are there when you want them, but hidden when you don't. Adding rack mounts is a no-charge upgrade option.
  • Travel Bike:  Simple brake system makes for fast, easy, and lightweight bike travel. Any RedSky bike can be an S&S coupled bike for even easier traveling.

Our RedSky Offer to you is here. Note we will gladly make parts substitutions or offer you a quote for a different build you have in mind:

Frame: Seven Cycles RedSky S - Titanium frame
Fork: Seven Mid-Reach Carbon Fork
Components: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000*, mid-reach brakes, crank size and gearing your choice
Wheelset: Mavic Elite S
Support Package: Seven handlebars, stem, Zipp aluminum seatpost, Cane Creek headset, Fizik saddle and bar tape

Special Included Service and Support:

  • Professional Bike Build - a $413 value
  • Free service on the bike at either Ride Studio Cafe and Ride Headquarters for a full year
  • Free first Performance Package - a $150 value
  • Full professional fitting - a $225-$300 value

MSRP Price of the RedSky S: $7,542

Price of the RedSky S with Promotion Applied: $6,288
This is over $1,250 in savings!
Lead times with Seven are 3 weeks for an unpainted frame from the date of confirmation. Lead times on painted frames are 5 weeks.
* The offer for 30% off Shimano Dura-Ace parts is good until supplies last. Once they're gone, they're gone. The deadline on this offer is Thanksgiving Day.
Contact us for more details or to come in to demo ride our bikes to see why this is a bike that will change your riding life.
RedSky Bike

Tour Seven Cycles Monday, October 10

Tour Seven Cycles Monday, October 10

Seven Cycles is located just down the street from us in Watertown. Seven is a company full of bike building professionals. It is the place where custom bikes come to life and many new innovations in bike building have been created. Screenshot 2015-01-14 18.38.26

Seven has been making the finest bikes for 18+ years and their experience shines as they work. It's manufacturing at its best: handcrafted bikes are very carefully and perfectly built one at a time, yet the short lead times show efficiency, and a well-run business full of highly-skilled people who are passionate about what they do.


We're heading to Seven Monday, October 10. This is Columbus Day. The tour of Seven will begin promptly at 11:30am. Feel free to arrive 10 to 20 minutes early to check out their showroom prior to the tour. Please register by Sunday, October 9 by 5pm. An email will be sent to you with details and directions after you register. We hope you join us!


Ride down to the KMC Cross Fest and Watch Exciting CX Racing at its Best

Ride down to the KMC Cross Fest and Watch Exciting CX Racing at its Best

UPDATE: Appropriate-for-cyclocross rainy weather is predicted for Saturday. Therefore, we are CANCELING the road ride since a long day riding and then hours standing in the rain isn't the best mix. We will do this road ride event next year, so mark your calendars early! We *highly* recommend visiting the KMC Cross Fest this weekend, as it's going to be great racing and a lot of fun to participate as a spectator. 


The Cyclocross race scene is fun for everyone, no matter if you're a racer or spectator.

We are riding our road bikes down to the KMC Cross Fest taking place at the Thompson Speedway on Saturday, October 1.

The ride departs from here at 7:30am (we pushed the starting time by 1 hr since our original announcement). The route will be 92 miles in length (we'll email it to all who register the day before the ride) and we'll email the nitty gritty details too. Average pace is 16.5 mph.


  • Depart Ride Studio Cafe at 7:30am, we're open at 7am so you can have whatever you want from the Cafe and bike shop before starting the ride
  • First stop is at Ride Headquarters 26 miles into the ride. We'll depart with anyone joining us from Ride HQ at 9:30am.
  • Arrive by 1:30 at the Thompson Speedway. Change, get food, etc. There are showers on-site.
  • 2pm: Cat 2/3 Men Race
  • 3pm: Elite Masters Men Race
  • 4pm: Elite Women Race
  • 5:15: Elite Men Race
  • 6:30: Shuttle departs for Ride Studio Cafe (see below for details)

We are offering a shuttle to return back here departing at 6:30pm, at the conclusion of the Elite Cyclocross Men's race. The shuttle fee is $45. Otherwise, the road ride portion of the day is free.

The KMC Cross Fest is incorporating the Gran Fondo New England and Major Taylor Century on Sunday, October 2. Camping at the Thompson Speedway is an option. If you'd like to send down your camping things or anything else on the shuttle, we'll bring them down. You'll just need to find a way home on Sunday which will probably be fairly easy since there are many hundreds of Boston-area riders and spectators who will be driving back Sunday evening.

Registration for the shuttle is required by September 27. Registration for the road-ride-only option is required by 12pm Friday, September 31. Please fill out the form below.

If you'd like to ride your bike back to RSC, please let us know on your registration so we can provide you with the shortest-possible route back. We will also let you know if others are choosing this option.

We hope you join us!

Welcome Flight Coffee Company!

Flight Coffee Co logo On the heels of the recent upgrade to our drip coffee program, it's time to welcome our next guest roaster, Flight Coffee Co. Flight hails from just north of here in Bedford, New Hampshire. Started in 2012 as CQ Coffee by Claudia Barrett (aka CQ) they've quickly established themselves, producing several coffees rated in the 90s in Coffee Review. They’re almost single handedly raising the bar on coffee in New Hampshire and we’ve been really impressed by their ability to find unique coffees and really nail the roast.

IMG_9745 Case in point is the Toba Batak Peaberry from Sumatra, Indonesia. Sumatran coffees are famous (infamous, to some) for their pronounced earthy, spicy tones which take well to darker roasts, making them a relative rarity among specialty coffee roasters and drinkers who prefer more balanced coffees with sweeter flavors that really shine through light roasts. This Sumatran has a wonderful fruit flavor (“I’m leaning towards pineapple” Claudia told us) on top of root beer and subtle tobacco notes. It’s absolutely delicious and a real treat for us- a rare specimen of a fruity Sumatran that begs to be drank black. It’s on our shelves now!

Faster Coffee, Better Coffee

  Upgraded coffee offerings

Outstanding Drip Coffe Without A Wait

Last month we made some upgrades to our drip coffee program. Each morning, and all day on weekends, our new house drip coffee, George Howell’s Matalapa - a Cup of Excellence winning El Salvadorian - is available in 2 sizes, without a wait! Our old friend Sal, now head of training at George Howell, delivered our new FETCO batch brewer and helped us dial in the grind and brew parameters. We chose Matalapa for its remarkable balance and medium body, with notes of peach that sparkle when you drink it black, and maple syrup body that marries well with dairy. Always fresh, we brew a new pot every 30 minutes.

Raising The Bar On Our Pourover Coffees

"The best La Minita since the early 1990’s”. Who else but George Howell is qualified to make such a claim? People think of specialty coffee as something started by hipsters in Seattle or Brooklyn (or Somerville) just recently but George Howell has been procuring and serving world class coffees to Greater Boston since the 1980s, including a cafe right here in Lexington Center (now Starbucks) that opened back in 1986! With the introduction of our house drip coffee, we’re now able to try some unique and exclusive beans on pourover and are excited to start with La Minita. In George’s words:

'This is a grand cru estate coffee. We've found La Minita to be one of the most consistent, perfectly crafted estate coffees in the world, year after year. Consumers first became acquainted with La Minita in 1988 when George introduced it in The Coffee Connection. It became one of The Coffee Connection’s most in-demand coffees despite being, at that time, one of its most expensive.

La Minita is the applied to the green coffee sorting process. While many farm’s “first” (best quality) constitute 60% or more of their production after milling, La Minita selects slightly over 20%, eliminating all – or as close as you can get to all - defects which might blemish your cup.'

Our second new pourover is from Ethiopia. While George Howell's outstanding Borboya - long the best selling bean at the Studio - is from Ethiopia’s relatively famous Yirgacheffe region, Yukro is form lesser known Agaro. While Yirgacheffes are known for lemony, floral flavors and tea-like bodies, this Agaro has stone fruit notes (e.g. peach) and a fuller body (though still delicate) anchored in maraschino cherry. A great example of the diversity of great coffees found in Ethiopia, the birthplace of Coffee Arabica.

We're excited to share these coffees with everyone and looking forward to many more loving cups!

PMC Bike Promo - Ride a new bike at the PMC This Year!

Have a *New* Bike to ride for the PMC this year & we're contributing to your fundraising dollars!

Seven Axiom SL

The Pan-Mass Challenge is coming up and we want you to have the ride of your life out there. Having a new bike for this event is a capstone of the summer - and this will help keep you riding well into the fall, too. What does a new Seven bike mean to your riding and your PMC enjoyment? A lot.

  • The bike built for you will fit you perfectly. Say goodbye to aches and pains. Cycling isn't painful when a bike fits correctly.
  • A titanium frame is lightweight and it performs. The tubeset is chosen for you. Why ride a bike built for someone lighter or heavier than you? Get the acceleration, handling, and road feel that you want.
  • Get comfort and performance. We can't emphasize this enough. Sevens are no-compromise bikes. They are fast and light AND they absorb the bumps, cracks, and rough roads. Ride 100 miles and feel fresh at the end. You shouldn't get beaten up by your bike on a long ride. Trust us, this is easily achievable with titanium and a smart frame builder like Seven who designs the bike for you.
  • Enjoy what your bike looks like -  How do you want your bike to look? Aesthetically, there's almost nothing Seven can't do. Ask us for the colors and look you want. Your bike should look good to you!
  • So many options are available to you. Have you considered running a wider tire on your road bike? Did you know that there is almost no compromise to having your bike built to take up to a 35c tire? Would you like fender mounts? What about an option to put a rack on your bike in the future? Would you like to travel with your bike? Add S&S couplers for easy bike travel. Ask us. There's almost nothing Seven won't do to make your Seven the bike of your dreams.
  • Value - Not only do you get a hand-built bike that is made in Massachusetts, you get a lifetime warranty on the frame. Seven stands behind their frames unlike any other manufacturer. Get a bike now, it'll still be treating you well, like a new bike, many, many years from now. Sevens have longevity unlike most stock bikes that go out of style, have breakable frames, or use proprietary parts that are impossible to find in the near future. Seven builds bikes that aren't meant to be replaced.

Seven Cycles road bike

Here are three great options. As always, if there is something else you want, we're happy to spec it for you. Just tell us! The prices listed below don't include pedals or tax. Email us at for more information.

Seven Axiom S titanium bike with SRAM Rival 22 group set: 

[table id=166 /]paulbike


Seven Axiom S titanium bike with Shimano Ultegra 6800 group set:

[table id=165 /]2016_0114_22024200


Seven 622 SLX titanium & carbon bike with SRAM Red 22 group set: 

[table id=167 /]



Ask us for more information about any of these options or if you have something else in mind.


The options are limitless where it comes to Seven and the bikes they build for each person. No two are the same because no two riders are the same!

Honey 100 & Honey 101 Bike Promo

Have a New Bike to ride for Honey 100 & Honey 101

Honey-100-km-logo (1)The Honey 101 is coming up July 31 and the Honey 100 is happening August 13. We want you to have a new bike that's perfectly suited to having the most fun ever on one or both of these rides! The Honey 100 and 101 are mixed-terrain rides that include adventuring onto little-known side roads, dirt trails, single track trails, back alleyways, through places not obvious to ride.

A bike that is perfect for the Honey 100 is one that is perfect for any mixed-terrain ride, long days on dirt roads, studded tire winter riding and so much more.

Here are two great options...

Honey Allroads with Shimano Ultegra 6800:

This Allroads is shown with a special edition paint scheme. Price shown is for a one-color traditional Honey scheme.

[table id=163 /]

Honey Allroads with SRAM Rival 22


[table id=164 /]

Bikepacking with Joe Cruz: Stories, Images, and a Fearless Approach to Just Doing It

Bikepacking with Joe Cruz: Stories, Images, and a Fearless Approach to Just Doing It


Speaking from a lifetime of bikepacking experience, Joe Cruz is coming to Ride Studio Cafe May 26 at 7pm to share what he has seen and done with us. He comes from a broad perspective of world-wide riding adventures and bringing many photos from his travels. Joe lives in western Massachusetts so is familiar with the amazing bikepacking in our own backyard here in New England and across the United States. Much of his talk will focus on bikepacking that is approachable to those newer to it. He will address the fears of new bikepackers and offer his approach to managing fear. As he says, it's more about the way in which we create our own barriers that need not exist.

Joe Cruz image of bikepacking.

Joe is one of the bikepacking originals starting his bikepacking adventures in 1988 and spending significant time each year to trips that most people wouldn't think to attempt. In his work-life, Joe is a professor of philosophy, and he brings a philosophical and practical approach to the sport.

Bikepacking in the US.

His talk will be inspiring, motivational, and educational--and someone you shouldn't miss.


Not only will Joe treat us with his images and stories from bikepacking, but he'll also be bringing his fully-loaded, ready-to-bikepack Seven Treeline for all to see.

Read Joe's blog and check out his bikepacking images on Instagram.

Please RSVP early for Joe's presentation (scroll down) - there are very limited numbers of seats. We will provide appetizers and drinks throughout the evening.

Tour Seven Cycles

Tour Seven Cycles Friday, May 202016-01-11 14.58.33

Seven Cycles is located just down the street from us in Watertown. Seven is a company full of bike building professionals. It is the place where custom bikes come to life and many new innovations in bike building have been created.

2016-01-11 14.58.00 Seven has been making the finest bikes for 18+ years and their experience shines as they work. It's manufacturing at its best: handcrafted bikes are very carefully and perfectly built one at a time, yet the short lead times show efficiency, and a well-run business full of highly-skilled people who are passionate about what they do.


We're heading to Seven Friday, May 20. Hopefully you have some time to join us then. The tour of Seven will begin promptly at 11:30am. Feel free to arrive 10 to 20 minutes early to check out their showroom prior to the tour. Please register by Thursday, May 19, so we can give Seven enough notice of how many people to expect. An email will be sent to you with details and directions after you register. We hope you join us!

Ride on the Road: The Conjure Series begins February 27

Conjure Series: Summon Spring with Ride Studio Cafe’s Road Season Opener Saturday February 27 - Sunday March 6


The Conjure Series begins Saturday, February 27, kicking off nine days and two full weekends of road rides from Ride Studio Cafe. The Studio is your group riding home base, providing good food and drink to fuel you for base mile riding to conjure the sunny spring.

Screenshot 2016-02-08 19.00.38

We are riding at various times of day, in all directions, seeking out warm spots with good friends, old and new. The roads may still be cold, but our minds are set on warm, sunny days with flowers in bloom and leaves budding on trees. Think bunnies and tulips, shorts, and iced mochas.

We have a lot planned to keep you riding and smiling. Each day will offer a new route and good food either before or after the ride. Examples are pre-ride waffles, weekday post-ride lunches, and plenty of hot drinks to keep you warm. Will you join us in conjuring spring?

Complete ride series details, route details, and times can be found on the Conjure Ride Page. The routes will be posted at least 24 hours in advance of the ride start time. Due to weather uncertainties, we need will post the route when we're nearly certain we won't need to change it. 

What Makes this Series Special

Registration is free, rides are happening at all times to allow for everyone to join in, and provides you free, great food, and special vouchers that help you stock up on all of the spring necessities. The more you ride, the higher the value of the voucher you'll receive. There is even an Instagram contest to join in on. Check out the Ride Page for complete details & to register.

We hope you join us for this road ride series to conjure up a lovely spring!

Screenshot 2016-02-08 19.02.16


Welcome, Cafe Grumpy!

Welcome, Cafe Grumpy!


Ride Studio Cafe is incredibly excited to welcome Cafe Grumpy as our new guest roaster. Grumpy is a small-batch roaster out of Brooklyn, NY. Starting as a cafe in 2006, founder Caroline Bell has noted that roasting was naturally the next step for her passionate team to make. Already a local favorite in New York, Cafe Grumpy became renowned throughout the coffee industry for their expertly roasted coffee, orange color scheme, and trademark grumpy face logo. We are especially pleased to have them in the cafe since they were one of the first guest roasters that RSC ever hosted years ago, and their coffee is just as great as we remember!

Lauren Rothman from writes that Grumpy is "one of the first coffee companies to bring serious, thoughtfully produced joe to Brooklyn." This is the ultimate goal of Grumpy; to educate and involve their customers in the world of quality coffee. The coffee buyers and roasters at Grumpy, who all started out as baristas, are thoughtful in both the creation of their product and in the sourcing of their beans. They maintain close relationships with farmers in many different countries around the world, and want their consumers to know the farm that their coffee came from as intimately as the roasters do.

The staff at Cafe Grumpy are undoubtedly passionate about their product, but the quality of the coffee is not their sole focus. They also boast a great reputation for humanitarianism and social responsibility. They work closely with farms in many impoverished areas, and so they do their part to help the citizens of the countries where the coffee is grown. Most recently, they have formed a partnership with Action Against Hunger. Action Against Hunger is a nonprofit organization that provides aid to impoverished areas in need of safe water and good nutrition. Cafe Grumpy donates $1 from every bag of their Los Santos Guatemalan coffee to Action Against Hunger, in order to help those in need in the region that the coffee is grown along with many other areas in need.


Buy two bags, get a Grumpy mug!

Here in the Cafe, we are kicking things off with Grumpy on the pourover bar this weekend. Selections include Las Flores from Honduras and Kiamabara from Kenya. The Las Flores is a full-bodied coffee with notes of golden raisin, praline, brown sugar, apricot, and plum. The Kiamabara is a delicious Kenyan with notes of cranberry, vanilla, bergamot, and graham cracker. Both selections are available on Kalita, Chemex, and Aeropress.

To celebrate the arrival of Cafe Grumpy coffee on our shelves, we are offering a limited time promotion: if you buy two bags of Grumpy coffee, then you receive an orange Grumpy logo mug free of charge! The shelves are fully stocked with a great variety of offerings from Grumpy, so come in any time and bring home a taste of Brooklyn.

Tour Seven Cycles Monday, January 18

Tour Seven Cycles Monday, January 18

Seven Cycles is located just down the street from us in Watertown. Seven is a company full of bike building professionals. It is the place where custom bikes come to life and many new innovations in bike building have been created.Screenshot 2015-01-14 18.38.26

Seven has been making the finest bikes for 18+ years and their experience shines as they work. It's manufacturing at its best: handcrafted bikes are very carefully and perfectly built one at a time, yet the short lead times show efficiency, and a well-run business full of highly-skilled people who are passionate about what they do.

Screenshot 2016-01-03 14.25.13

We're heading to Seven Monday, January 18. This is MLK Day - a school holiday; hopefully you have some time to join us then. The tour of Seven will begin promptly at 11:30am. Feel free to arrive 5 to 20 minutes early to check out their showroom prior to the tour. We hope you join us! Please register by Sunday, January 17, so we can give Seven enough notice of how many people to expect. An email will be sent to you with details and directions after you register. We hope you join us!

The FIRST Snowfall Ride of the Season

Ride in the FIRST Snowfall of the Season with Us

One of our favorite pastimes is riding in snowfall.  You can hear the snow crunching under your tires.  It’s such a quiet time; all sound is suppressed by the snowfall.  No one is out on the roads and trails.  The world feels primitive.

The moment of the first snowfall is THE time to ride. We are leading a ride when this first snow hits!

Monday, December 28 Update: Twitter has the latest news concerning when we're rolling out in the first snow; snow is forecast to hit soon! We will likely be riding in the wee early hours Tuesday, December 29.

T-Rex in the snowstorm

We are ready.  Are you?

Ride Synopsis

  • We are leading a ride that begins here 60 minutes after the first snow of the season begins.
  • We won't be riding if the snow isn't going to last for the duration of our ride. Keep reading to understand how you'll know when the ride is a GO.
  • The ride will be 90 minutes to 2 hours in length total. No more. The distance of the route will take into account how hard the snow is falling & how fast the ride will be.
  • The route is mixed terrain. Expect to be on- and off-road, on trails and through woods.
  • The pace of the ride will be high enough to keep everyone working hard. This way, everyone stays warm. This doesn't mean we'll be moving fast considering studded tires and winter setups aren't exactly fast. The level of intensity will equate to how you'd feel if it were a nice day and you were riding 18mph on the road.

Here’s How We Plan for the First Snow

  • Be flexible.  We have no idea when it’s going to snow.  It’s most common for snowfall to occurduring the afternoon but it could be 2am or any other time.  A mindset focused on the ride, rather than when the ride will occur, is helpful.
  • Be ready.  Have a Snow Essentials Duffel packed and with you at all times – we provide some content hints below.  Have your bike ready to go.
  • The Right Tires:  Having studded tires is by far the best choice for the first snow.  Since we’re very likely to have a few days’ notice prior to the snow, you can time your tire install fairly accurately.  Once the first snow falls you may want to be riding studs for the rest of the winter anyway.  If you need tires, give the Studio a heads up.  We have a variety in stock and can special order anything you might want.  We’re also happy to do the install for you.
  • Headlight & Taillight:  Whether we’re riding at 2pm or 2am, you have to have at least one headlight to join us.  Snowfall makes it really difficult for drivers to see cyclists.  A headlight and taillight will save you.  Make sure you charge those lights a few days in advance.  If you’re looking to upgrade your light system, check in with the Studio; we have the best winter light systems available.

Blizzard in the City

Knowing When the Snowfall Ride Moment Arrives

We’re using Twitter and Instagram to keep people informed of when the ride moment is happening.  We’ll "Twinstagram" intermittently as the weather changes.  We’ll do our best to inform riders as the moment gets nearer.  The final Twinstagram will be 60-minutes before the ride begins.  That’s your klaxon to get your butt and bike over to the Studio for a very memorable ride.

If you don’t use either Instagram or Twitter, you’re going to have a challenging time joining us.  We will be posting some information on Facebook but we’re not using it as the go time alert. Watch the hashtag:


Tricks for Riding in the Snow

  • Traction:  Snow riding is all about traction.  Four ways of maximizing traction are:

o    Apply steady horsepower to the pedals.  This is a lot more difficult than it appears.  If you’re riding at 70 hp on a snowy trail, a change of 10%, or 7 hp, is a lot – and can be the different between maintaining your line and losing traction entirely.  Practice steady horsepower output.

o    Keep your bike upright, even while turning.  The more you lean into a corner, the less traction you have.  Most tires have less tread and fewer studs toward the sides of the tire.  Don’t lean your bike too much.  Riding upright keeps you upright.

o    Tire pressure:  Lower tire pressure provides better traction.  Of course, you want to balance this with the possibility of getting a flat.  We find that riding on an inch of snow is deceptive, in that you feel like the trail is really smooth, when in reality, all the obstacles are still there – and just as sharp – you just can’t see them, so your chance of getting a flat probably increases slightly.

o    Tires and treads:  Studs are best.  Wider is better than narrower.  Treads are better than slicks.

  • Be careful.  This may seem obvious but we see this as a fundamental issue each season in the first snow.  Taking a tumble in the ice and snow can be problematic; these falls are fast, unexpected, and hard.  Ride conservatively and don’t worry about winning.
  • No fenders:  Snow time may seem like a great time to have fenders, but it’s not.  Not only are fenders dangerous on mixed terrain – due to sticks and debris on the trail, it’s also likely that your fenders will get packed with snow and make your ride a lot tougher.
  • Batteries die.  Batteries don’t like the cold so they power down a lot more quickly than on an autumn day.  Three hours of battery life can become one hour – or worse – in the cold months.  Keep your electronics warm – in your jacket or jersey, not in your saddle bag – until you need them.  This includes your phone, backup battery, spare light, and your Garmin – if you’re not the ride navigator.

Likely Weather Conditions

It can’t snow if it’s too cold so it’s likely to be somewhere between 28 and 36 degrees.  Also, you’re likely to get a bit wet as the snow melts on you; gear that leans toward rain protection can be useful.

Always Be Prepared:  Snow Essentials Duffel Have your Snow Essentials Duffel in your car – if that’s your mode of work transport – so you’re always ready to roll.  In that bag, we recommend:

  • All the clothing you typically use for 30-40 degree riding.  Clothing that likes wet conditions isn’t a bad idea, either.  Note:  We’re only including the gear that people often forget when they’re in a hurry, and riding in unexpected conditions.  If you forget to put your bibs in your Snow Essentials Kit, we have no sympathy!
  • Headlight 100% charged and ready for 2.5 hours of use.  Ideally, two headlights – one on your bars and one on your helmet.
  • Taillight batteries in good condition.
  • Winter shoes or your autumn shoes with overshoes.
  • Long thick wool socks
  • Helmet – with light mount ready to go.
  • Long finger gloves, possibly with liners.
  • Three season cap that covers your ears.  A brim will be appreciated – it can help keep the snow out of your eyes.
  • Neck gator
  • Protective glasses if that’s your kind of thing for riding in a snowstorm.
  • High-vis vest if you like to be visible.  If there’s ever a time to increase your visibility, it’s during a snowstorm; drivers have a really difficult time seeing cyclists through snowfall.
  • Towel to dry off after the ride.  The Studio has towels, too, but a big towel that travels with you can be nice!

Winter lights - photo - Rob Vandermark

For the Diehard Riders That Are 100% Committed

  • Drop off your Snow Essentials Duffel and your winterized bike at the Studio within two days of the expected snow date.  That will make it easier if you’re coming from work.  Make sure you have some kind of obvious name tag on your bag and bike so we don’t recycle them by accident.  We’re always tight for space at the Studio so only drop off your gear if you’re 100% certain you’ll be riding with us.

The Studio Is Here To Help

We have just about anything you could need for winter riding, including:

  • Lots of studded tire options.  And the tubes needed for each tire size.  We can help determine the ideal tire size for your bike and guarantee what will fit and what won’t.  Not all studded tires are created equal.  We can help determine the right price point for your riding needs.
  • Studded tire installation help.  Studded tires are often the toughest type of tire to install because they’re thicker, stiffer, and sometimes are steel beaded.  We’re happy to help.
  • Lights:  We have the toughest winter lights available.  We’ll help you determine optimal number of lumens for your needs.  We'll help you determine where the best mounting spot is on your bike or body.  The best kind of taillight for visibility and longevity.  So many options – all with different strengths and weaknesses.
  • Gloves:  We have everything from lightweight full fingers to deep winter 45Nrth gloves and liners.  Come by and try the array or models and sizes to determine the ideal setup for your type of riding.  We can help with determining which are best for wet weather, for glove liners, or for the coldest days.  Lots of glove options for lots of kinds of riding.
  • Winter Shoes:  We’ve got 45Nrth Japanthers and Wolvhammers in stock.  We’ll help you find the right size, and install cleats on your new boots, too.
  • All winter clothing, including deep winter tights and a range of jackets for all conditions.

We hope to see you in the first snow!