Top Tips for Riding in Autumn & Winter
by Robert Thorpe & Larisa Chinces
by Robert Thorpe & Larisa Chinces
Autumn and winter riding can be amazing. It’s a different kind of challenge, often trying to catch the weather. We thought that we’d help you out over the colder months, with a few simple to stay safe and get the most from riding outside during autumn and winter.
The biggest obstacle to riding at this time of the year is the weather. Cold, often damp and frequently windy – it’s not always fun. Our tips take this into account and will hopefully guide you to get the right kit too. Here goes anyway…
1. If you can’t get out as often as usual, get yourself an interactive indoor trainer. We’ve been taking a close look at Elite during 2021, and they have a great selection. An indoor interactive trainer will help to keep you ride fit and focused. Nadezhda has also been looking at the top 5 indoor trainers on the market right now, and you can read her blog by clicking here.
2. Wear good kit, including a good base layer. Don’t wear too much though, as you’ll overheat once warmed up. In terms of kit, here’s our list of autumn and winter essentials:
• Overshoes – always useful in keeping your feet warm and dry and feeling snug. After all, they do most of the work.
• Good warm socks. Don’t just pick the same socks that you use in summer. Your body and your feet need more protection, so get cold weather socks.
• Bib tights that are insulated and also help to shed rain. Brands like ALÉ produce clothing specifically for cold and wet conditions, through their Klimatik range. They also tell you the ideal temperatures for each item in the range.
• Jersey and jacket –yes both. Temperatures and conditions vary dramatically during autumn and winter, so have both options available. Once again, take a look at the Klimatik range from ALÉ and at the great technical kit from Q36.5, also from Italy.
• Base layers – have options. Have a good light weight option and a good warmer option, and make sure that it’s breathable and fits closely.
• Gloves vary massively, so invest in a couple of good pairs. Once again, have a really warm air for those colder days, but also have an option available that’s less chunky for those days when the sun actually pops out.
• Neck warmer and head cover. You lose most heat through your head, so protect it in the cold winds. Trust me, you’ll thank us if you get a good neck warmer and head warmer from brands such as GripGrab who specialise in keeping you warm.
• Glasses. Make sure that your glasses have a variety of lens options for the lower light conditions. There’s likely to be more debris on the roads too, meaning that your glasses will provide two way protection.
3. Take nutrition with you, including properly formulated fluids, and drink often. Take a look at @voomnutrition who work closely with elite athletes from a wide range of sports. Don’t rely on that isolated café being open in winter.
4. Let someone know where you’re riding and how long you’re likely to be. Put a light on your bike to compensate for the darker overcast skies. The roads and the trails will be trickier during autumn and winter, so make sure that your family don’t have to worry too much. If you alter your route on the ride, text them and let them know.
5. Make sure that your bike is serviced, that you’ve got tools and tubes with you and that you know how to use them. Use the right tyres for the conditions and check your tyre pressures. Check out Pirelli and Schwalbe for lots of options for all year riding. You need lots of grip in winter, so make sure that you change to the right winter riding tyre. Don’t over oil your chain, and use the right oil. Too much oil will simply attract muck from the roads and trails. Clean your bike straight after the ride. It’s looked after you, so look after it.
6. Have fun! 🙂
Taking these few simple steps will ensure that you stay out riding and smiling all year long. If you need any tips on kit, then visit our reviews section, where Larisa and the team work closely with the best brands, finding out which kit is top for different times of the year. Now, off you go and have a great ride!