Are you going to cycle through the winter?

Road bike travelling at speed

The leaves are coming down, the clocks have gone back and the weather reporters are presenting us with temperatures in the single figures.

Some cyclists will slowly start leaving their bikes at home. The underground will become their new daily ritual. They simply don’t want to cycle in the dark or in the cold.

There are those of us that will keep cycling. We grab our winter cycling clothing, we stick on our gloves and wait for winter to throw its worst at us.

I would hope that most readers will belong in the latter group, but I certainly don’t judge those who prefer spending winter on the underground with the company of a nice book.

Are you going to keep cycling through the cold weather? Or are you planning on switching to public transport? Let me know in the comments and share any tips you have for fellow cyclists.

Here’s a checklist of some of the best winter cycling cycling tips:

  • Bike lights are a must.
  • Lip balm is going to come in useful for dry lips.
  • Brakes! Make sure your brakes are well serviced as you’ll need the stopping power.
  • If you are getting too hot, make sure you are wearing layers. As your ride goes on, expect to remove your top and perhaps even your middle layer.
  • If you find your eyes are watering, a pair of clear cycling glasses may help keep the wind chill off your eyes.
  • Mudguards keep your back dry and the cyclists behind you will thank you.
  • Gloves are essential, especially as the metal on the brake levers can get very cold
  • Woolly hats with ear flaps are good for the coldest of days.
  • When real winter arrives, clean your chain once per week to remove any salt from the roads and use wet lubricant. Choose one day per week where you’ll do this so that you stay consistent.
  • For cyclists who wear glasses there are some solutions in the comments beneath this post on how to deal with potential issues.
  • Keep a spare pair of socks in your bag

As I’ve recently sold my hybrid bike to a good friend of mine, this winter I have only my single speed bike to tackle the winter. Let’s hope there isn’t too much snow, as I feel my thin tyres will be useless!

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68 Responses to Are you going to cycle through the winter?

  1. Ben Brown 31/10/2012 at 11:57 am #

    Abso-*******-lutely. Although my waterproof trousers are a bit mangled by the front cog from last year. Always looking out for how many other cyclists seem to be continuing through winter and it seems more and more are doing so. Different states of preparedness for each individual though it seems. Choosing a waterproof jacket with an easy to adjust hood is one essential I find.

  2. Liz 31/10/2012 at 12:02 pm #

    I’m going to give it a go – last year I resorted to the bus from November to about March, and I didn’t like it much. This year my commute’s a bit shorter, and I’m a bit more dedicated 😉 My main issue is the effect of the cold air on my asthma, crossing Waterloo Bridge with the wind against you makes it hard for me to breathe; so I’m making sure to carry an inhaler. I’ve also invested in a merino buff which I can pull over my mouth and nose to warm up the air as I breathe in.

    On a more bike-related note, I’m going to give my bike a maintenance check, and make sure it’s clean and well oiled. I don’t expect I’ll always want to cycle every day, but if I can manage it most days, that would be a step forward. If it gets icy, though, I’ll be on the bus!

    • Andreas 31/10/2012 at 12:19 pm #

      Nice Liz – pleased to hear you’ll be taking on the winter this year!

      Let me know how you get along with the merino buff – thinking of grabbing one myself for the cold cycles.

    • TonyD 02/11/2012 at 1:08 pm #

      I can certainly recommend a buff of some sort for keeping warm in winter.

  3. Chris 31/10/2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Damn right I will, I do every year, a pair of DHB cycle trousers, shoe covers, layers and a Buff or two to keep the cold at bay, Totally agree with a spare pair of socks though, soggy socks are just horrid. Bought some Endura Baa Baa socks last year that are awesome but yearn after those pricey SealSkinz.

    • Dougie 31/10/2012 at 5:23 pm #

      I wear SealSkinz whenever it’s wet but they’re an absolute essential when it gets cold too. Doesn’t matter how wet my shoes get, my feet are dry and warm when I get to work/home.

    • Greek Geeza 02/11/2012 at 12:24 pm #

      Something I picked up from last year: Wear a pair of shopping bags over your socks. Not completely waterproof, and not really breathable, but was a lot easier than struggling in and out of overshoes, and cheaper than waterproof socks.

  4. Piers 31/10/2012 at 12:14 pm #

    I am a cycle-commuter; I did not buy a bike to leave it at home half the year 😀

    Endura overshoes keep feet warm, and dry – cheaper and more breathable than SealsKinz…
    Lightweight waterproof trousers and a jacket keep the rain, and wind, off.
    Windproof gloves are a must.

    If there’s snow on the ground, lower your tyre pressures to give more grip.

    And no matter how cold or rainy it is, I’d still rather be riding in the fresh air than paying £4 a day to be sat on a packed tube/bus with lots of ill people!

    • Andreas 31/10/2012 at 12:21 pm #

      Totally agree with your Piers. There must be a study somewhere that shows cyclists get less colds!

  5. Jason 31/10/2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Only started cycling in March and there’s no way I’m packing it in just because it’s a bit cold or wet, if anything I’ll be less sweaty at the end of my 18 miles each way commute – not a bad thing. Also with less casual cyclists about the normal parts of my commute that are stressful due to other cyclists riding like idiots (cable st, looking at you) are much nicer 🙂

    One piece of good advice you’ve missed – on wet days especially about now with all the leaves on the road you really need to give a lot more time to brake

    +1 with the mudguards – it’s not good when you’re behind someone chucking up road crap into your face and on your clothes

    And whats with all the people riding without lights at the moment????

    • Gary 31/10/2012 at 1:32 pm #

      +1 on the lights malarky.

      Or those that have lights that are totally obsucred by their mudguards or backpacks.

      You can never have to many lights.

      Good advice about the leaves.

      Also, don’t ride over manhole covers whilst turning in the wet…….

  6. Marcus 31/10/2012 at 12:27 pm #


    On those super wet days, I leave the bike at home for safety. Driving a car in the rain gives me an insight into how much less visibility there is and therefore more danger of being hit, especially at night. I also own a road bike, so those tyres scare the living shit out of me when I have to brake hard…

  7. Joe Tanner 31/10/2012 at 1:18 pm #

    I have cycled to work though the last two winters. Here a re couple of my tips:

    – Invest in a snood. It’s a tube of cloth that is sort off like a scarf that in really cold conditions you can pull up over your ears too. I was given one from as a x-mas present last year and it has become my essential piece of cold weather kit.

    – winter gloves. I don’t tend to wear gloves during summer and warmer months. When it get cold, warm waterproof gloves are essential for me. If you have summer, finger-less gloves, these will be little help during winter.

    – be generous with the layers. If forecast is to be between 5-1 degree C, I will tend to wear long-sleeve base layer, long-sleeve jersey and a jacket, sometime with another short-sleeve jersey, or base layer, or gilet as well.

    – two pairs of socks on really cold days! Although, this year I may invest in over shoes, as they would have the added benefit of keeping me dry.

    • Gary 31/10/2012 at 1:26 pm #

      Overshoes definately.
      Dont invest in those silly waterproof socks as your shoes can still get soaked.

      • Mark Pownall 31/10/2012 at 3:59 pm #

        But you don’t notice. They also keep your feet warm. Less faff than overshoes

  8. Gary 31/10/2012 at 1:25 pm #

    A definate yes on this one. Why stop cycling ‘cos it is cold. Providing the conditions under tyre are suitable you should cycle.

    * Waterproof jacket in your bag, only for when its raining (which when you think about it, it doesn’t happen that much). I think I can count on both hands the amount of time I have got really really wet, wet enough to take your clothes off just inside the front door…….
    *Thicker gloves are a must as your hands take the brunt of the chill
    *Hat instead of helmet. Sometimes if its really cold I put a woolley hat on and dispense with the helmet.
    *Orange lensed glasses for the winter, these provide the flexibility needed.
    *Mudguards. I am just about to try out the Full Windsor clip on mudguard for the first time tonight on the way home (rain expected) to keep my 4rse dry. Don’t really care to much about those behind me (they can always overtake me 😉
    *Layers are a must
    *Hardcase tyres for the winter if you don’t already have them as there is usually a lot more grit and flint etc thrown up in the gutters to catch you out
    *2 spare innertubes, see above
    *Somewhere your bike can dry off naturally during the day, or you can dry it off. Take one of those really small WD40 in your bag so you can spray your drivetrain and BB etc to remove any excess water whilst your bike is stood during the day

    Cycling during the winter means you are hard as f………k and you will benefit from it bigstyle come next summer..

    Happy Cycling

    • Jason 31/10/2012 at 1:37 pm #

      why not wear a hat underneath your helmet? 🙂 (seriously)

  9. Mixk40 31/10/2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Have done winter for the last 6 years and over that time have collected some good kit !

    My tips – only in addition to the ones above !

    I wear a skull cap under the helmet and this combined with a buff in pulled up to form eye sockets only stops the brain freeze and shortness of breath ( I live a a top of a hill so do not need to pedal for the first 1/2 mile )

    The other one was that you need to be cold when you first get on your bike if you are warm then you will get too hot

    Gloves and layers are the way to go !

    Ride the road as they are treated cycle paths etc will not and if your route cuts through parks etc stay on straight lines ! Leaves on the top may be frozen but the ones underneath may not be !

    The last one ! Spare set of wheels with some heavy duty winter tyres ( spiked) so if it gets really bad then I it only takes a couple of minutes to change over!

    Did have two big falls in the snow 2 years ago including splitting a helmet on a metal post ( due to ice and a 90 bend on a cycle path ) even a car driver stopped to ask if I was ok !

    I find that if you stick with it your body will adjust to the temps ! Currently still riding with shorts and long sleeve base layer plus top and fingerless gloves and buff.

    Just in case you ask I commute on a MTB and ride a road bike for fun at the weekend !

  10. Simon Wilcox 31/10/2012 at 2:14 pm #

    First winter commuting on the bike for me so buying lots of kit – keeping it to less than a travelcard though so I’m up every month !

    These tips are invaluable – actually finding myself looking forward to the harser weather, if only to keep the lightweights off the roads 😉

  11. Cafewanda 31/10/2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I’ve cycled through the winter since I started 4 years ago. Enjoy cycling too much to stop.

  12. commuterjohn 31/10/2012 at 4:05 pm #

    If you cycled through our wet summer then winter should be a relief to have some dry days!
    I always cycle everyday all year through and when the weather gets to its worst then I bring out my mountain bike with its studded tyres.
    Lights above all else are the most important though, 2 sets front and rear and if one should fail then you know you are still safe.

  13. JK17 31/10/2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Definitely! I’ve just invested in a waterproof coat and pants. The best bike ride I’ve ever had was a six mile drudge alongside a hilly duel carriageway in shorts and a t shirt. I love bad weather cycling!!

  14. Nick peters 31/10/2012 at 4:59 pm #

    I’m a year round commuter. My best tip is a newspaper! Scrunch it up and stick it in wet cycle shoes to draw out the moisture, your shoes will be dry for the ride home. Works a treat.

    • Barton 31/10/2012 at 6:06 pm #

      I love this trick. I typically change the newsprint around lunchtime, just to make sure everything is all dried out. And at home, the stuffed, wet shoes go on the radiators so that they are nice and toasty for the start the next morning!

  15. babble on 31/10/2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Absoluuutely! I’ve been riding through the winter for a couple of decades now, and except for five years spent in London, my winters have all been Canadian.

    In Vancouver, that means weather much like yours in the UK – colder and wetter than the rest of the year, but not much in the way of snow. Usually, I take out the mountain bike on the days when we do have a fair bit of snow, but last year, the Amsterdam was fine for the couple of inches of white stuff we had.

    Re: your single speed – do you have enough clearance for a bit of a nobby tyre in the dead of winter when you’re likely to see snow? Also, there are studded options out there…

    There are days (like today) when it’s just chucking it down out there, and it’s a bit daunting to get on the bike for the commute, but in the end it always feels good to get there- better than it does when you’re crammed into public transit with all the flu bugs.

    The best bit? I’ve raised two children on bikes – one is in uni now, and the other one in grade four, and both of them ride through the winter, too, because they’ve done it their whole lives. They understand the benefits of life spent on a bike… it keeps you healthy, it literally makes you happy, and it makes you fit. What more could anyone ask for?

    Just be prepared for the dark and for the weather, and you’re good to go!!

  16. Barton 31/10/2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Nope. I stop as soon as the snow stays. It’s already below 0 C where I live and I’m still pedalling away. But when the first foot of snow comes to stay, I’m taking the train until it leaves. I don’t have the balance necessary to stay upright over the frozen ruts on the roads, and I live in somewhat hilly neighborhood where too many cars slide through stop signs/lights.

    MANY cyclists in my area bike year round – the bike lanes and trails are kept plowed and salted by the City, so it isn’t too hard. As I tell people who comment on the fact that I am still biking even though it was -4 this morning: it isn’t the cold, it’s the snow and ice that’ll get you.

  17. Samuel 31/10/2012 at 8:51 pm #

    Yeah sure, I will be flying to Australia for the winter next week so absolutely going to enjoy the perfect weather to cycle.

  18. Luis 31/10/2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Why are you asking that? I prefer the winter! Those rain drops on my face in the morning are the best thing in London!

    My general advise to beginners is: if you are not feeling comfortable, it’s because you don’t have the right gear. For example: put those overshoes on, put the gloves you use for ski (you will even feel like your are in the slopes!), get some good ear and/or neck warmers, etc.

    Enjoy the winter!

  19. Adrian 01/11/2012 at 4:17 am #

    I’m in, as always :-). i’m in the new forest again this year so just ordered spare rechargeable batteries and a windproof buff/mask from amazon to go with my specialized sub zero gloves and altura night vision jacket, still gotta get waterproof socks and trousers/shorts but i’m in no hurry.
    A thing i have noticed around here is that people seem to think that hi vis jackets are a good replacement for lights so was wondering what you guys thought about it??

    • commuterjohn 01/11/2012 at 8:27 am #

      Hi Adrian.
      Hi viz is only as visible as the amount of light shining on it.
      Your on a bend and a car is coming up behind you and their lights are not on you until they are right behind you, or a pedestrian won’t see you at all.
      Use lights always and make sure you are spotted early before your hi viz takes over.

      • Adrian 01/11/2012 at 9:39 am #

        Sorry, didn’t mean to make it sound like i was considering it, it’s just i have nobody round these parts to talk to about these things that confuse me and i always like to hear what other people think.

        • commuterjohn 01/11/2012 at 10:25 am #

          No problem, that’s what the blog is here for.

  20. Gizmo 01/11/2012 at 11:37 am #

    I’ve hardly commuted for a couple of months and as a result, over the last week I’ve already had my first “Tube cold” of the year 🙁 So, back on the bike as soon as I start feeling better.

    My tips:
    – windproof gloves, (I usually find waterproof ones too bulky, but I haven’t tried Sealskinz)
    – SPDs are now essential rather than optional: I’ve had flats slip off pedals and rip my leg open once too often
    – never, ever go out without a puncture kit
    – lights, lights and more lights. My Chinese-Magicshine-copies are going to get used a lot!
    – forget trying to set personal bests. Arrive alive.
    – avoid manhole covers like the plague
    – Rule #9. Always Rule #9.

  21. Patrick 01/11/2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Winter essentials to keep me going – skull cap (excellent for keeping your ears warm), buff, back up lghts, spare socks, arm warmers, and a water proof jacket one size too big (easier to get on and off). This will be my fifth winter on my bike and its only snow that stops me.

  22. Mike F 02/11/2012 at 10:23 am #

    All great tips. Another thing is to just relax while riding. I’ve had 3 shoulder related injuries/ accidents from being hunched or too tense while negotiating slippery paths or roads in cold weather.
    I keep riding single speed or fixed through winter for control, I find the slimmest knobbly tyres I can (for clearance) and under-inflate them so the contact patch is as large as possibke

  23. Mike F 02/11/2012 at 10:23 am #

    All great tips. Another thing is to just relax while riding. I’ve had 3 shoulder related injuries/ accidents from being hunched or too tense while negotiating slippery paths or roads in cold weather.
    I keep riding single speed or fixed through winter for control, I find the slimmest knobbly tyres I can (for clearance) and under-inflate them so the contact patch is as large as possible

  24. Adrian R 02/11/2012 at 10:24 am #

    I’m a glasses wearer, but have some Salice cycle glasses with prescription inserts so I can ride with clear wrap around lenses. Sent my prescription off to an online retailer and they were returned within 5 days. They’re brilliant and good for both summer and winter. They’re also good protection against stones getting thrown up by cars. One lens got cracked by such a stone and I don’t like to think what would have happened if I had been wearing much less robust (and more expensive) and smaller prescription glasses.

  25. peter walford 02/11/2012 at 10:45 am #

    I wouldn’t dream of not cycling thru the winter, but suffer from one problem which I don’t see anybody mentioning a solution to – nose drip ??

  26. Eric 02/11/2012 at 10:47 am #

    My main tip is quite specific, for single-speed riders with a flip-flop hub. It’s nice to freewheel around in the summer, but as soon as the weather turns colder and wetter (although it hopefully it won’t be much wetter than this summer) it’s worth switching back to fixed.

    Having to keep the pedals turning keeps you warmer, plus the direct drive helps you to slow down when brakes aren’t working so well in the wet. Single speed is great during the winter anyway as it’s so much easier to keep clean – essential when the gritters start up.

  27. John 02/11/2012 at 11:08 am #

    You mean there’s an alternative?
    Heresy to even suggest such a thing 😉

    As Dory* would say:
    “Just keep spinning, spinning, spinning”

    Been going a few winters now. Can be SO much faster than those metal boxes, even across a wiggly rural route when they take the parallel dual carriageway.
    And of course nothing beats the feeling of a nice cold crisp morning…

    * Finding Nemo

  28. Jordi 02/11/2012 at 11:18 am #

    All great tips. I’ve kept using the bike even during the big snowfall a few winters ago in London when all traffic ground to a halt (OK, I admit one day I stayed home, I use to cycle along the Lea River tow-path and it was physically impossible)

    Now I have a little one who I take on the child bike seat to the nursery and back. Any advice on keeping her warm through the winter?

  29. Cleo 02/11/2012 at 12:24 pm #

    How do people deal with snow and ice, particularly when it gets dark? I cycle through winter but have had a couple of bad experiences cycling in the snow. I hate the thought of getting the bus though!

  30. Greek Geeza 02/11/2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Cycling in winter is best! I don’t overheat as much, and there are less meanderers slowing me down

  31. Victoria 02/11/2012 at 12:44 pm #

    I am definitely going to try cycling through the winter (my first one) unless it gets really icy – there are some big hills along my route and I don’t want to risk skidding into traffic on the north circular. Sadly I haven’t been able to cycle this week as the boiler at work has packed in and there are only cold water showers – brrrrr!

  32. Kerena 02/11/2012 at 12:59 pm #

    I’ve managed to cycle through the last couple of winters on all but the worst days. However, like you Andreas, I’ve changed bikes this year & am now on a dual speed bike with skinnier tyres than the hybrid I had been riding – so, we’ll see how it goes!
    All those tips are really good – layers are definitely key and I swear by merino (all year round actually, but just more layers of it in winter!).

  33. Andy 02/11/2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Running a single speed as a fixed gear for the winter can be a really good idea. Much better traction and control in slippery conditions and better braking when its wet or icy.

  34. Kate 02/11/2012 at 2:11 pm #

    My answer is an enthusiastic and defiant YES! I started cycling everywhere last September and got through it just fine, apart from the very worst of days. And by worst I mean weather I can’t see through or that literally freezes me half way through my ride to the point where my joints don’t feel well oiled anymore. There are also days when I don’t take the bike because I have back to back meetings in town and therefore get to expense transport for that so I don’t bother riding and it’s a nice little break for me to enjoy the womb-like warmth of the tube every now and again anyway. Yesterday was the first time I double-layered and am pretty sure I’ve got my kit all worked out so all set. Plus, nothing wakes me up like a brisk blast of cold in my face in the AM and I am fresher and more alert when I get into work. I am also investing in better tyres this year after discovering that the original set which came with my Forme hybrid are a bit crap when it comes to ware and tear and puncturing in particular. So I feel all brand new basically! Bring it on Lady Winter! 🙂

  35. Elaine 02/11/2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Yes, I will be cycling this winter and wearing my cashmere over bamboo layers plus lots of high viz on top of coat, I use the canal system to get into work (I work in Manchester guys but like Andreas posts -) and its like a highway into the city with just a small section of on road stuff (past man united’s ground) into work it will however be my first winter but I am hopeful with still be a safe route even after dark. We will see.

  36. peter mccloskey 02/11/2012 at 3:41 pm #

    i cycle everyday to work but i chicken out when the roads are covered with snow-i have slipped on ice and hurt myself a couple of times in the past-keeping warm is no problem-keeping dry is more of a problem-keeping vertical on ice is too risky for me and i take public transport to work when it’s icy

  37. jason 02/11/2012 at 4:36 pm #

    the pleasures of the winter commute…i recommend a snood (a scarf tube) , my best story from last year was getting home and realizing my beard was frozen !!!

  38. Liz 02/11/2012 at 5:11 pm #

    I shall continue to commute and cycle for pleasure with friends throughout winter. Good winter clothing, thermal socks, overshoes and a buff are essentials for me. The weather has to be really bad to keep me off my bikes.

  39. Titan yer Tummy 02/11/2012 at 8:43 pm #

    Feet. My feet just get so 8loody cold.

    I will cycle all through the winter, except in snow.

    But oh my poor feet

  40. Steve H 02/11/2012 at 10:25 pm #

    I started cycling from Epsom to Kings Cross in June and the soaking of a wet summer didn’t put me off. August and September was great. I’ll cycle at least 3 days per week in the winter with the other two working from home and catching a film and a beer in Central London.

    Other than when it snows I plan to be on the bike.

    When I started I was worried that it was too far but I think there are a good number of people who go a similar route as I recognise people going up to or down from Cheam or on the Stockwell to Elephant and Castle dash. I love it and its so much better than the rip of trains.

  41. Phil 02/11/2012 at 11:01 pm #

    A head torch is useful in case you need to deal with a puncture / mechanical. (I commute on dark country lanes, not lit up London). If you get into it, get some winter cycling shoes that are better insulated and waterproof. Get a size that allows you to wear thicker socks.

    If you can hang up your cycle commute clothes to dry out. A slightly damp top in the evening soon drys in summer, but can be misery on dark winter ride home.

    Ice really isn’t that common, cold is, but you need cold and wet for the ice. If you do find yourself on ice, no brakes, no steering, just coast till past it. You can tell black ice as it will glint in a bike light. Otherwise if it goes quiet under wheels, you are on ice. For snow I dig out my mountain bike, great fun, and tyres perfectly suited.

    If you have panniers then have a spare emergency warm layer, in case of weather changes, or you end up walking…

    Enjoy it, I love cycling through the winter. The light comes back towards end of Jan. it is a magical time.

  42. Phil 02/11/2012 at 11:06 pm #

    Oh and glasses and rain, wear hat with a peak. Under helmet or on its own as you prefer. For misting up, a bit of spit rubbed in sorts that out, or get an anti fog cloth from a ski shop etc.

  43. Ken Rishton 02/11/2012 at 11:09 pm #

    Has anyone any advice to offer on the subject of overshoes. Are they effective in winter? I notice they vary in price – do I have to pay top dollar? I do not use cleats. Are there special overshoes for cyclists with or without cleats?

    I cycle to work twice a week (24 mile round trip) and would like to continue in winter. I cope admirably with the cold and wet (upper body) but travel to work with wet and extremely cold feet.

    I live in Lancashire and winters start up here in late July!

  44. Phil 02/11/2012 at 11:23 pm #

    If you don’t use cleated shoes. Take a look at mountaineering approach shoes with a goretex liner. Or you could look at sealskin waterproof socks. Neoprene overshoes work up to a point, but are a phaff, and Velcro comes undone. My winter (cleated) cycling shoes cost about £120, but its my second pair over 10 winters, and I find them well worth it.

  45. ross 03/11/2012 at 2:37 pm #

    +1 for approach shoes. I like my FiveTen ‘Camp Four’ shoes. Not too stiff. They’re not Goretex but an application of NikWax waterproofer does the job. GoreTex footware can be incredibly hot once you get indoors. Fine if you have change of shoes, but not always an option.

    Full mudguards significantly reduce how wet your feet get from front wheel splash.

    As for keeping feet warm, SmartWool or Bridgedale socks. I saw some of the latter for £5 in TK Maxx the other day, normally £12 or so.

  46. Leon 04/11/2012 at 9:46 am #

    To keep feet toasty in the depths of winter: Here is a recipe that works for me. First a thin plastic bag like the ones in the fruit & veg section of your local supermarket. This stops the evaporation cooling effect from your feet. Feet sweat a lot. Then one or two layers of Wool socks (wool retains it’s thermal efficiency when wet) Slip into (cycling) sandal. It is impossible to keep water out of you shoes. They will fill up and your skip will go white and soft.
    At least with sandal the water runs out of your shoes and your socks dry quicker. Keep a spare pair of dry socks for your destination.

  47. Graeme 04/11/2012 at 10:33 am #

    I’m going to stay on the Brompton throughout as I do every year. The winter tips are good but no mention of avoiding cold, wet feet. With urban gear overshoes may be sartorially challenging but hey!

    My tip for snow riding slicks: saddle down by about 2 inches (pedaling style not an issue in such circumstances) so that legs readily available as stabilisers where necessary.

  48. Jarek 04/11/2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Cycling all the way!!! Although I have never cycled during winter time, really looking forward to it. 3 pairs of socks and I should be ok:) . One more advice – don’t touch the brake lever with your tongue during winter!! Ouch!

  49. John 05/11/2012 at 4:02 pm #

    My eyes water occasionally and I wear prescription glasses. What’s the solution to this problem if cycling glasses are not available in prescription form or do not fit over my regular glasses and/or are too expensive? Your link for ‘cyclists who wear glasses’ does not provide a solution.

    When real winter arrives, why would I want to remove any salt from the roads? Oh, you mean, why would I want to remove any salt that’s come from the roads! Haha.

    • A 09/11/2012 at 12:27 am #

      Option 1: you can order prescription (sun)glasses for outdoor activities from oakley (expensive) or use google search and look for cheaper brands with similar products.

      Option 2: contact lenses (cheaper)


  50. Beth 05/11/2012 at 7:08 pm #

    I love cycling in the winter and much prefer it to summer as you can regulate your temperature more easily and use more layers when you need them. I”ve got a buff and a sleeveless fleece, and various other polo neck type things, but I don’t wear any special cycle clothing apart from my rain jacket and high vis. Tips would be take spare (warm) socks and gloves in case they don’t dry out properly at work, nothing worse than putting on damp mitts before a cold ride – yeuch. I’ve got a mountain bike so it copes Ok with most conditions, but I’m sh*t scared of ice after a slip a few years ago – I couldn’t even walk the bike away, I had to slide us both along about 100 yards on my knees – any sign of ice and I’m on the bus. Having said that, there is nothing better than cycling on a crisp, bright winter morning for making you feel glad to be alive, bring it on 🙂

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