The winter isn’t for cyclists… or is it? With the right preparation you don't have to lock your bike up in the garage, you can still reap the health benefits and save money on a daily basis. Last winter, the snow and ice did not limit the terrific experience of cycling. If the freezing weather and icy roads don’t faze you then get ready to ride!
Don't forget that just as we have to keep ourselves warm in cold weather, our bikes also need regular maintenance over the winter. It’s best to take your bike to a repair shop for a full service but there are some minor repair and maintenance jobs that you can do yourself, for which your bike will be most grateful; apply an anti-corrosion agent like WD40 sparingly on the turning parts. Before greasing the chain, wipe it with a soft dry cloth. Salted roads are your bike’s enemy, so it’s really important to take steps to prevent corrosion after each winter ride. Brake shoes can be replaced more often, but only buy high-quality brakes, and use them carefully on ice-covered roads.
Don't set off in snowy, rainy or slushy conditions without a mud-guard. Also, bear in mind that it’s easier to ride with lower tire pressure and aluminium parts are more resistant to the hardships of winter weather than steel parts. In the winter braking is less efficient and brake shoes are subjected to more wear due to the moisture.
In harsh winter weather it’s best to wear three layers: an underlayer, then some kind of insulated sweater or fleece and on top a waterproof layer (goretex). Your clothes should be comfortable and should not limit your movements. Most importantly, they should keep you warm without you overheating.
Visit our Hints and Tips article, where you can find useful ideas for maintaining your bike and riding it safely; then the only thing left to do is to get on your bike and fully enjoy the experience and freedom of biking.