For our blog this week we have some tips for all those looking at preparing their road bike for the winter and all the joys the seasons can chuck at it. Enjoy those winter rides and ride with confidence all year round.
A dedicated winter bike might well be one bike too many for you to get a pass from home so your only sensible option could well be some carefully thought through purchases to tweak your road bike with bikini weather a distant memory. Of course those unrestrained by the n+1 number of bikes desired knock yourselves out with the full range of any bike for any season. Lucky buggers!
First tip is for winter tyres increasing your tyre width up to 25mm or 28mm if your rims and frame clearance will allow. All season tyres are a must as the roads get more slippery and speed gives way to safety with puncture proof capabilities more valuable. Sitting roadside in January with the rain lashing your back and a bike light for comfort in the dark while you thrash about to change a tyre isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. Although awesome tyre changing practice.
Mud guards although ugly are a necessary evil to protect your bike and you from the elements. Traditional metal guards are not the only option with lightweight plastic alternatives equally effective. With plastic and composite materials weight does not need to be your enemy with mudguards needing only add a few extra pounds. Watch how the guards are mounted though with poor quality options likely to bounce free and find you retracing your steps to recover them from the road.
Lights day and night are essential to keep you visible as possible. Early rides in winter coupled with low sun conditions mean daytime use is just as relevant for making you as visible as possible. Go for as many lumens as your bank balance will permit. Anything below 300 on the front really isn’t enough to see by and if your night rides include some off road conditions crank that number up well beyond 600 if possible. Lights that project some arced rays also really help to ensure you can’t be ignored.
Spares for that unwanted repair are even more of a must. Hopefully you take this precaution all year round but if not then a saddle bag with spare tubes and coupled with a pump are a must. Punctures suck but face up to it they happen and better prepared than ringing home in the rain begging for a lift when that puncture hunts you down.
Clean that puppy. Winter roads and rain mean your bike takes a beating. Clean all moving parts after each ride and don’t be shy with the lubrication. Show that baby some love or your chain won’t make it to see next Spring.
Final one is you. Take a long hard look at your wardrobe and consider do you have everything for cold and wet days. Don’t forget areas such as your neck and head. Under that helmet in December can be a pretty chilly place.
About the author – Billy is the founder of Trivelo Bikes and a lover of the sun but continues to try and supplement the turbo trainer with winter rides resisting hibernation.