Autumn is coming, with winter shortly after, but that doesn’t mean the end of your riding until spring rolls around again.
With a few simple accessories, you can extend your cycling season and ride right through the year. Here’s our checklist for autumn readiness.
When it’s wet, the lubrication will wash off your chain more quickly. So apply, and then reapply. It’ll keep your chain and gears running smoothly.
With your bike in a stand, or upside down, put the bike in the biggest gear and backpedal while dribbling lube on the chain as it turns over the rear sprocket. Watch your fingers. Wipe off the excess from the chain with a rag as you slowly backpedal. Again, be careful of your fingers and don’t let the rag get caught in the chain. Wipe off the excess again until the chain is shiny. You can ride right away, but if you let the extra lube evaporate for a few hours (or overnight) the chain will be drier and attract less gunk. If you hear your chain squeaking or it appears very dirty or very dry, relube!
Get lights. Bike lights come in two main categories: lights to see by and lights to be seen by.
If you’re riding in urban environments, the streetlights are often enough to see by, but you still need some good flashing white (front) and red (rear) lights so that you’re easily seen by other road users. It’s common sense, and it’s the law. It’s also worth having some spares lying around, or clipping a couple of extras onto your helmet or backpack for massive visibility.
If you need to see in the dark, where there’s no light at all, a helmet or handlebar mounted light of at least 2 or 3 hundred lumens is great for most on-road and path riding. Look for USB rechargeable lights so you can top up the charge during the day, then blaze a trail at the light.
No one likes a wet bum. Fortunately, a solution isn’t far away. Full-length mudguards don’t just keep you dry, they also protect your drivetrain. If you’re not sure what will fit your bike, get in contact and we can discuss the best options. Luckily a lot of our bikes already comes with mudguards such as our popular Ladies Classic (colour matched mudguards) and City 1. So if you are looking for a year-round bike, make sure to choose one with mudguards as standard!
4. Tyres, brakes and general condition
The change of seasons is a good time to remember to give your bike some love. Make sure that the brakes are in good working order with plenty of material left on the brake pads, and that your tyres aren’t worn out. The extra grip and puncture protection is worth double-checking. For some reason, people seem to get more punctures when it’s raining. It’s likely to be because more gunk is washed into the street, but some theorise that it’s because sharp materials become more lubricated and can puncture tyres more easily at a microscopic level.
It’s also worth checking out some water-proof, water-repellent and high-visibility clothing options. A few little things like a reflective slap-band for your trousers can keep you safer and more comfortable for very little outlay.