There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing, as a sage adventurer once said. And with the right kit, plus a little adaptation of skills and mindset, the advent of winter shouldn't stop you getting out on your bike; if anything, it can open up a whole new world of night riding fun. Here's Rutland Cycling's fourstep plan to keep you cycling through the winter...
- A frosty winter cycle path at Rutland Water
Just as you might make adjustments to your car for winter, such as adding anti-freeze to your radiator and topping up all the fluids, a few simple checks and tweaks to your bike are also warranted to ensure you keep moving through the colder months.
A service is essential, making sure all moving components are sufficiently greased to maintain their free movement and to protect them from water. For extremely cold weather you can use a low temperature grease, and also fluids for hydraulic brakes, designed to work at sub-zero temperatures and not freeze up and affect movement.
A number of bike service options are available at our stores.
- The wide knobbles on the Specialized S-Works Storm tyres make them ideal for those winter rides
Fitting winter tyres is another option, especially if you ride off-road and are expecting snow. Wide tyres with spaced out knobbles, such as the Specialized S-Works Storm tyres work best, but for most of us, simply reducing tyre pressures a little to increase the contact patch on the ground will aid grip.
This, however, is a balance between grip and rolling resistance, so more grip means your bike won't roll as freely and will require more work.
- Slime self healing Inner tubes will allow you to enjoy your winter cycling without having to worry about punctures
Slime tubes are quite simply an inner tube filled with a protective gel which helps to prevent punctures, and are a smart option as rain-filled potholes hide all manner of detritus in winter.
If you get a puncture caused by a piece of debris such as a thorn, the slime will hunt out the hole in the inner tube and fill the hole by reacting with the oxygen.
Last, but certainly not least is bike lights! Lights to be seen, such as the Cateye EL135 are essential on the road, but if you plan to cycle off-road then powerful illumination from a set of lights such as the Exposure range will open a whole world of night-time riding.
If you have any questions about winterising your ride, don't hesitate to leave us a comment below and we'll be sure to answer it as soon as possible.