Get ready for winter cycling
Advice and tips on how to get you and your bike ready for winter cycling
Winter can be a tough time of year for your bike. Rain and salt on the roads can all contribute to increased wear and tear. We would recommend the following:
- Give your bike a pre-winter service.
- It’s better to proactively avoid mechanicals rather than having to fix something by the side of the road in the dark and the rain.
- Mudguards, mudguards, mudguards.
- Reduce maintenance and therefore costs by keeping your bike cleaner.
- Keep yourself dryer and cleaner too.
- Consider fitting more robust tyres with a greater level of puncture protection. Winter time can often be typified by more debris on the road.
- Ensure adequate lighting. It’s preferable also to have at least two rear lights – you won’t see when the batteries have run out until you get home or get squashed so better to have a back up.
- A flashing front light is ideal for getting motorists attention. A constant light however is much better for depth perception allowing motorists to better judge the speed of approach. Again a combination of the two is preferred.
Whilst many people like to wear waterproofs the reality is whatever option you choose you may well get that boil-in-the-bag feeling. A waterproof is a necessity in the biggest of downpours but at other times a more flexible approach may work.
- A windproof/showerproof may be lighter and more breathable.
- A gilet with cycling jersey and arm/leg warmers gives masses of flexibility in being able to take layers on and off to suit, particularly if the weather conditions change from one end of the day to the other.
- Overshoes are great for keeping feet warmer and drier.
- For longer rides and more extreme conditions winter cycling shoes are a superb albeit pricy investment – definitely good value for money when you take into account that you will get years of use out of them.
- Softshell jackets work really well on very cold days and offer a good amount of water resistance without compromising breathability in the way many waterproofs do.
- A good pair of windproof gloves may be more than enough to keep your hands warmer without compromising dexterity. Thicker, insulated, waterproof gloves are great on the coldest and wettest days.
- A Buff/multi-tube works really well at keeping ears and head warm without being too bulky under a helmet.
Our experienced sales staff can talk you through any of the above options and what will work best for you and your bike. Please feel free to come in to either of our stores to find out how we can help keep you cycling through the winter.
Posted on 16th Oct 2013