Cycling in winter weather

winter-bikeWinter cycling is not easy the best of times as the evenings come early forcing you to pedal home in the dark. Snow can block roads and cycle paths and your feet and fingers get extremely cold.

Here are 10 tips for better cycling in the winter months:

  1. 1. Follow the plough – roads are regularly ploughed of snow so plan ahead and adjust your route and go where the roads have been ploughed and roads that have been gritted.

  3. 2. Road conditions – many roads will have been gritted, sanded to eliminate snow and ice. Check your local council website for further information.

  5. 3. Ride steady – On slippery stretches slow down and stay loose. Brake only on the rear wheel to avoid spinning. be ready to take your feet off the pedals if the bike starts to fishtail or tilt.

  7. 4. Watch out – car drivers are less aware of cyclists in winter. Ride defensively and wear bright clothing.

  9. 5. Choose the right bike – don’t use your £3000.00 full suspension mountain bike as snow, salt and grit can destroy gears and suspension. Designate an older bike for winter riding if possible and show bright lights and winter wheels.

  11. 6. Cold and clean – Store your bike in the garage if you have one a room temperature bike can cause ice to form on the brakes and gears.

  13. 7. Go studs – Carbide studded tyres can increase grip on snow and ice.

  15. 8. Go fat – use big tyres as they let you float through snow and prevent tyres getting trapped in ruts in the street.

  17. 9. Headwear – Jacket hoods are a no-no as air funnels in as you move inflating the hood like a small sail. Instead wear a balaclava followed by a helmet.

  19. 10.Public transport – many buses and trains cater for cyclists so cycle near these routes should you need a bale out to get home.