Although we've been blessed with a glorious summer, the daylight hours are getting shorter, and so it's time to get ready for winter cycling. It doesn't matter if you are on a bicycle tour, are a weekend warrior cyclist, or one of the millions of people who cycle to work everyday. These tips on how to get ready for winter cycling apply to all.
Get Ready for Winter Cycling
Firstly, start checking your bike over. In particular, make sure your brakes are in good working order. They might need tightening, or new brake pads fitting. The brake cables may be frayed, or even worse, a wheel rim may be split. That's a hazard right there. Take a look at your tyres as well. Are they developing cracks, or becoming bald? Don't put off replacing them, just get it done. By having good tyres, and brakes capable of stopping the bike when needed, cycling in the rain (which goes hand in hand with winter cycling unfortunately!), will be a lot less dangerous.
Secondly, have you got any lights? This is one of the main things to attend to as you get ready for winter cycling, and you have two choices. You can either get lights to be seen by, or you can get lights to see by. Have a read of that sentence again, and I think you will get my meaning. That set of lights from Aldi for a fiver may do the job of making you more visible to other road users in the dark, but are they any good to actually see by? Probably not. If you spend longer than an hour a week cycling in the dark in total, I would suggest you get more powerful lights. Magicshine do a range, as do other specialists. In fact, if you get a decent set of high powered lights, it will open up a whole new world of night time cycling, be it on roads or rough tracks.
Thirdly, have a look at your clothes. No, I don't mean are you looking fashionable right now. I mean are the clothes you are cycling in up to the job? To get ready for winter cycling, you will need clothes that will keep you warm and dry. It might also be helpful if they are reflective for when cycling at night. There is such a huge range of winter cycling clothes available, it would be impossible to list them all here. However, if I were to mention one brand it would be SealSkinz . They offer a range of waterproof and warm clothes suitable for winter cycling, and in particular, I would recommend the socks and Sealskinz beanie hats, which i cover in this Sealskinz hat review. A good pair of warm, waterproof gloves such as the Altura Nightvision gloves also go a long way into making winter cycling a more enjoyable experience.
And so there we have it. Follow the above steps as part of how you get ready for winter cycling, and you will be able to keep those wheels turning all the year through. If you have any other suggestions, tips or advice on winter cycling, then please leave them in the comments section below.