Tips for getting ready for those winter rides
Wintry weather shouldn’t stop you from getting out in the saddle and getting the miles in. But it’s important to remember that wintry weather brings with it a variety of challenges when riding on the road. Prepare yourself and your ride for cold-weather riding with our top tips.
Start from the ground up – if you only make one change to your bike this winter, make sure it’s your tyres.
During the winter months the roads are sure to be wet, cold and rough, so you need to make sure your tyres grip and are robust enough not to puncture.
They might not be the coolest bicycle invention ever, but a set of mudguards can make a great difference to your visibility and comfort on a winter road ride.
Spray from your front tyre can flick up to eye level and become a constant distraction, particularly at night when water flecks catch in headlights.
Road spray also flicks off tyres onto you and can turn a pleasant winter ride into a cold and uncomfortable experience.
Investing in just one mudguard will transform your ride.
Even in the daytime, fog, mist and gloomy days demand additional lighting to keep you safe. You might be able to see where you’re going, but even a covering of mist can be all it takes to stop a driver from seeing you.
It’s wise to keep your lights fitted on every winter ride just in case you get delayed and find yourself in need of a little extra light to get you home.
Saddle bag of essentials
There are few things more frustrating than a mid-ride mechanical and not being able to fix it. But add winter weather to the equation and you’ve got a really grim situation to deal with.
Don’t get caught out, fit a saddle bag to your bike and pack all the essentials you might need on a ride including a multi tool, inner tube, patches and energy gels.
It’s also a great idea to attach a mini pump to your bike, or at least make sure you’re riding with someone who has one!
In the middle of summer you wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without more than enough drink to keep you quenched on your ride. Yet in winter we can be tricked into thinking we won’t need so much to drink because it is cold.
You should take just as much fluid out to drink with you in the cold as you would on any other ride. The only difference is that the cold weather doesn’t make us want extra fluids, even though we still need them.
What are your top tips for winter riding? Let us know in the comments!