More than any season, winter demands good gear. Keeping comfortable while staying active in the cold months is a challenge, as is staying upright on a bike or in running shoes on icy winter trails. Here are a half-dozen winter products for runners and winter bikers to improve their cold-weather fun--wind, snow, ice and all elements no matter.
Salsa Mukluk Bike
Classified as a "snow bike," the Mukluk has extra wide rims and wide tires to aid in flotation when your wheels are cutting through the fluffy white. This geared snow beast ain't a lightweight, however. It cranks at about 34 pounds fully built. $1,499. www.salsacycles.com
Icebugs ATTLA BUGrip
These trail-running shoes have integrated carbide tip studs for traction on ice. The shoe uppers are a waterproof/breathable build, and the low-profile rubber outsoles hide 15 of Icebug's super-grip studs per foot. $160, www.icebug.se
A Gear-Junkie-approved and must-have winter piece! The Original Buff, a do-rag made of seamless polyester fabric, adds warmth and wicks sweat. It hugs the head, face or neck to seal in warmth. Bonus: A Buff can be styled effectively for winter wear in several configurations -- beanie, neck gaiter, balaclava, or flowing "redneck-rag" style for maximum flair! $20, http://www.buff.es
A grid of metal spikes and a "harness" of rubber to loop over your shoe -- that's the gist of Kahtoola's MICROspikes, a shoe accessory that grips and digs in to let you hike, run, jump, and explore on snow and ice with traction heretofore unseen underfoot. Good for casual mountain climbs, too. (see top photo) $59.95, www.kahtoola.com
Schwalbe Ice Spiker Tires
Winter cyclists can suit up and ride snow and glare ice with the Pro HS 379 Ice Spiker tires from Schwalbe. Indeed, each Spiker tire is equipped with a veritable rolling gauntlet of 361 tungsten-carbide tips to slice and dice as you pedal and roll on the frozen trail. $125, www.schwalbetires.com
Lake Cycling MXZ302 Shoes
Leather uppers and a high-top fit qualify the insulated Lake Cycling shoes as bonafide "biking boots." But unlike clunky hikers, the MXZ302 model -- which has a turn-to-tighten BOA lacing system to seal 'em closed from the cold -- is cleat-compatible for clipless pedals and streamlined for turning the cranks, no matter how far the mercury dips. $269.95, www.veltecsportsusa.com
--Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.