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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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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

  1. Ludo 08/11/2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Winter is the perfect season for cycling. It does not matter if it’s snowing or roads are icy because it’ll also affect public transport anyway. But better safe than sorry: good clothes, studs, lights are a must.

  2. Darren Rowe 09/11/2012 at 10:11 am #

    I’m lucky in that I’ve only got a short commute as I live and work out in the sticks, but I’m quite happy cycling to work every day. I can regret it at times when the wind off the North Sea whips up, but it’s still more convenient for me to cycle than take a bus.

    I don’t cycle when there’s snow, but then I run to work off-road instead, which I reckon is safer than driving in that weather.

  3. Chris 09/11/2012 at 11:46 am #

    I’ll be rippin’ on the bike whatever the conditions, even if it’s heavy snow I’ll just use the MTB instead of my road bike.

  4. Wayne 11/11/2012 at 6:18 pm #

    I bought merino and enduro socks from my local cycle shop in Gravesend. I use Enduro overshoes in the wet and I’ve managed to keep dry and warm for the last 2 months. I don’t expect that to change from now to March. I still might invest in some Lake or Shimano winter boots but right now I feel like I might “survive”. Having said that snow my actually change my mind!

    As for some good places to get clothing, try Lidl or Aldi. Both from time to time do great offers on real quality base layer items from Crivit and one other name I can’t quite remember. I also get muddy fox items from Sports Direct because they are so so cheap. Lastly, want a great item to chuck on your bike to stop your back getting sweaty….Get the Union 34 bag….

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