Cycling tips for Winter Part 2 – Your Bike
By Charlie Sciberras
Have the winter months put you off going for a cycle? Don’t worry, we have a few bike maintenance tips to help your bike be the best it can be.
1. Give your bike some TLC
If you have been riding in harsh conditions, you may want to consider spending just 5 minutes caring for your bike to keep it in tip-top condition.
We recommend giving your bike a rinse and quick wipe down to help remove all that dirt and grit, do not forget to pay extra attention key areas such as wheel rims, gears, chain, and brakes.
Be sure to use a cloth or towel to dry the bike off, as well as using some WD40 to disperse excess water within the moving parts.
Finally, be sure to finish caring for your bike by adding bike oil to the gears and chain.
2. Be sure to start slow
It’s important to not sprint off as soon as you leave your house, it takes a while for your body to warm up properly, especially your joints and muscles.
We recommend you leave earlier so that you can ride a little slower to allow your body to warm up, to ensure you are safe when riding.
3. Use quality tires
This isn’t winter dependant as whatever the weather, you should always have good tyres on your bike, they are of course especially important in winter.
An excellent quality set of tyres will help you grip to the ground to prevent unnecessary skidding while also limiting the chance of you having to tend to a puncture in the freezing rain and sleet.
A top tip is inflating your tyres a little less than you would normally can improve their traction in slippery conditions.
4. Ensure your feet are gripped to your pedals
Slippery pedals can lead to accidents, therefore it’s essential that you either use clip-in pedals or purchase some extra grips which you can easily fit yourself.
5. Avoid gutters
Frozen puddles form in gutters which makes them hazardous for cyclists, you are better off staying in the middle of the lane as cars will have cleared most of the snow in these areas.
Keep clear of leaves, manhole covers and cracks in the road as they can be unexpectedly slippery.
6. Make sure to always be in control
It’s important to know how to stay in control with snow and ice as they are extremely hazardous for cyclists.
If you come across ice, we recommend that you don’t pedal, keep your steering straight and don’t break as this will probably cause you to slip and fall.
If you are riding on snow, be sure to keep testing your brakes as they will be wet which makes them less efficient.
We also recommend wearing a helmet to help keep you safe should you fall off your bike.
Finally, if you have read all our tips and still don’t feel confident cycling in the winter, there is no shame in leaving your bike locked up in the shed until spring.