Cycling In A Winter Wonderland!
Winter is coming… well for some of us anyway! Cold days and dark nights shouldn’t stop you from cycling and a few changes can ensure you are fully prepared to cycle in the winter conditions.
This week we’ve come up with a few ways which can help you prepare to ride all through the winter!
What Clothing Shall I Wear For Winter Cycling?
Cycling clothing is important for whatever time of year, however, it is arguably more important in the winter. Wearing the right waterproofs, thermals and windproof gear can keep you warm and dry on your cycle.
It’s sensible to layer up when tacking on the wintery conditions. However, it’s also important to remember that you will still generate heat when exercising, so make sure you can take layers off during your cycle. When deciding what layers to wear in winter, you want to aim for it to be warm without the weight. In other words, thin layers that can still keep you warm.
Having a waterproof, windproof, breathable jacket for your outer layer is desirable for the winter conditions. We also recommend investing in some thermal tights to keep your legs warm, as well as some gloves and thermal socks. Once you’re all layered up, you’ll be good to go!
It might be tempting to pile on the layers to protect you from the colder weather, however, you will get warm very quickly. Therefore, we recommend using cycle-specific clothing which is thin enough to stop you from over-heating, but will still protect you from the harsh winter conditions.
This may sound obvious, but cycling in the winter can be more dangerous so it is important to ensure you are riding safe.
Firstly, make sure you can be seen. Make sure you have working lights on your bike and make sure they are in a position where people can see them! In addition, wearing high-visibility clothing is important and a vital part of cycling in the winter.
Secondly, make sure you are aware of any hazards and avoid them. Cycling in wet/snowy conditions can be fun but can also be dangerous, so it’s important to take this into consideration. If you can’t avoid riding over a wet surface, make sure you’re covering your brakes and cycle cautiously in order to avoid injury.
Maintaining Your Bike During Winter
Maintaining your bike is really important, especially in the winter months. The wintery conditions may prove to be more harsh on your bike, so regular maintenance checks is a good idea. Check your bike chain, gears, cables, hubs and lights to make sure they are all working perfectly.
It’s also really important to ensure that your bike lights are working as in the winter, it gets dark much earlier, for longer. Checking your chain and cables for any built up dirt is also important. We have a blog on bike maintenance which you can check out here!
Do I Need a Winter Bike?
Winter months doesn’t mean that you have to get a new bike to take on conditions, in fact anything from a Cyclocross, to a Road bike or a Mountain bike can easily take on the winter weather. However, if you are looking for the best winter bikes then we have a great selection here at Reid.
If you’re looking for a bike specifically for wet, winter riding, having disc brakes, like on our MTB Pro Disc, might be a good option. Disc brakes offer more assured braking, especially in wet or icy conditions. Our range of Cyclocross bikes, such as the Granite 1.0 is also a good option for a winter bike due to its front and rear mudguard mounts, designed to take on muddy/wet conditions.
If you’re looking for a bike to take on the snow, our range of Fat bikes might be the perfect option for you. The large tyres increase balance, offering a confidence-inspiring ride. They also result in more balance riding across snow, making it the perfect snow bike!
Pack Extra Gear!
It’s a good idea to ride prepared during winter cycles, therefore, we recommend packing extra gear that could come in handy on your ride. For example, an extra pair of gloves if yours get wet, or a spare thermal in case you find yourself getting too cold. With every bike ride, it’s also a good idea to pack fluids to keep you hydrated. You could also keep your fluids in a coffee flask to prevent them from freezing if the conditions are extra cold.
The winter months might be cold, long and dark but this doesn’t mean you have to give up cycling! With the right clothing, safety gear and motivation you can continue to ride all throughout the winter.