This is a series of posts aimed at the beginning winter rider. More seasoned riders may also pick up a few tips along the way. It contains tips and strategies for staying safe and warm when enjoying the outdoors during the most beautiful season…winter.
Zippers? What, do they make special zippers for winter cycling? Well no, not exactly.
This is your typical zipper. It’s a very good zipper. Feels solid in your fingers. Durable, won’t break under the roughest yanking and pulling. Easy to grab with your bare hand……ah…..we’re talking winter riding here. There’s no bare hands. Chances are you have a glove, or maybe even two pairs of gloves, or a mitten. Thus making it much harder to grab that zipper. Have you ever been riding along in the winter and wanted to open your jacket a bit to help vent some air so you don’t overheat. You might have learned how much more difficult it is to grab that zipper with a gloved hand. This is what zipper pulls are for.
You may already have zipper pulls on some of your outerwear. Lots of brands already include them with new products. The zipper pull makes it much easier to find and adjust your zipper, or open and close it, with a gloved hand. Some clothing may not have them or only have them on the main zipper. I always have extra zipper pulls laying around. I add them to zippers on pockets, zippers on bags, zippers on framebags….you name it. Anything I might want to open or close with a gloved hand gets a zipper pull. I buy small packs of zipper pulls at outdoor stores like REI. A pack of three or four costs a few dollars. If you search for “zipper pull” you’ll find zipper pulls in every size and shape.
If you go back to the top picture, you can see even the “gas tank” bag on my bike has a zipper pull on it’s double zipper
Why is this important? It’s part of staying warm. Anytime you expose skin to the cold air, you lose heat. For many people keeping their hands warm is one of the biggest challenges of winter riding. Zipper pulls allow you to do things without having to lose precious heat by removing your glove.