For some it's time to pack the bike away over the winter months, for others Autumn and Winter doesn't change their riding habits. Whatever you're going to do it worth getting you bike ready for the darker months so it emerges the other side in top condition for Spring. Winter cycling needs no introduction. It’s chilly and can be demotivating. To keep riding through our British winter a few simple tweaks to your bike will make things easier for you and for your bike.
Winter MudguardsMudguards not only prevent murky water from getting you soaked, they also prevent water from spraying into the face of whoever is unlucky enough to be riding behind you.
For mudguards you generally have two options. The first is the classic mountain bike mudguards you often see. They are cheap, easy to fit on almost any bike and they do the job.
There’s also mudguards that look similar to the ones in the picture above. They provide superior waterproofing but won’t fit all bicycle types. I recommended the SKS Bluemels Mudguards if you have the mountings on the bike, alternatively If you don’t have the proper attachments on your frame then the intelligently designed Crud RoadRacer is a great alternative.
You can easily ride out the winter without mudguards but your bike won’t thank you for it. All that murky water that is flicked up from the road often contains mud and petrol residue. Not an ideal combination for your chain, derailleur and brakes.
If you are riding with thin tyres for speed (23mm or less) then you may wish to consider something a little wider (25mm and above). This will provide a smoother ride and better grip. Also, look for tyres with additional puncture protection. This will help you avoid standing by the side of the road repairing a puncture in the rain.
Essential for the winter, even in the daytime, there are some great light sets available for all budgets. VCS carries a small range of light sets
During winter you need to step-up your cleaning and lubricating routine as it is washed away by rain and there’s more danger of rust. Remember to not go overboard as dirt will stick to the lube you apply and cause damage to your bike.