In our Part 1 Guide to Autumn and Winter Cycling Essentials we talked about the importance of staying warm, keeping dry and making sure you're always visible on the road. So here are some more tips for how to stay on top of the chilly British weather!
Our Endura Baa Baa Merino Base Layers (£39.99 long sleeve) are perfect for when those chilly early mornings. Merino is ideal for cycling: it keeps you warm, it wicks away sweat, and doesn’t hold smells. The Endura base layer has flatlock seams, so it doesn’t chafe, and is mercerised, so feels great on the skin.
But Merino isn't just for base layers - it's great for protecting your face and neck too. Blasting down a hill at 35mph and being super aerodynamic on your way to work comes with its drawbacks! The wind feels so much colder when you're cycling as opposed to walking: any exposed bit of flesh can get bitten by the wind. I know the temperature has dropped when my neck, ears, and face start to feel cold. A neck warmer, like the Endura Baa Baa Merino Tech Multitube (£13.99) can be worn in many different ways and is essential for keeping these areas warm. When it’s cold, I never go cycling without it.
Don't forget lights! Knog Mob USB Rechargeable light (£34.99 each) are very easy to take on/off the bike when you lock up outside Sainsbury’s. They are super bright, waterproof, and have a variety of steady and flashing settings. The front light is 80 lumens and will last for 50 hours on the eco-flash setting. The rear light is 44 lumens and will last for the same amount of time as the front. They take a few hours to charge fully but will still work with minimal charge time. It’s a legal requirement to have bike lights when it’s dark so make sure you’re prepared as the winter nights draw in!
Looking after your bike
Ideally your bike would never get wet and dirty because these are the two things it likes least of all. If your bike stays wet for a prolonged period of time, parts start to rust and corrode. When this happens, they seize up. In the first instance, this means that your cables will develop a lot of resistance and won’t work as smoothly as before. Leave them to rust for long enough and they will cease to move at all. The aim is to keep moving parts clean, dry, and lubricated - that way you'll get the most out of them, both function and longevity.
To keep your bike happy through Winter we recommend degreasing and re-lubricating the chain at least once a month. It’s also a good idea to degrease the whole drivetrain (cassette, chainrings, jockey wheels etc). Get some Green Oil Degreaser (£6.99) and Green Oil Chain Lube (£5.99) from us and we can give you some tips on using it! There's nothing like a good clean of your bike to keep it running over winter; it’s one of the best preventative measures for bike troubles.
Let's talk mudguards
Ah mudguards, they’re not cool, but neither is a large wet patch on the back of your trousers and all up your back! In fact, that’s much less cool. Mudguards protect both you and your bike from the rain and dirt kicked up from the road. By the time you feel the wet patch seeping up your back, it’s already too late. And then you’ve got the misery of cycling the rest of your journey with a patch that's only going to get bigger. Get some mudguards! You won’t regret it! We’ve got SKS Mudguards (£34.99) that we can fit for you. Your bike will thank you for it, and you’ll have to clean it less often too. :)