Don't let winter put you off riding. Keep your momentum and enjoy the outside with our simple hacks that will save you and your bike from the harshness of winter weather.
Stop getting cold hands and feet
When the weather is cold, your blood vessels constrict and warm blood is directed towards your working muscles, reducing warm blood pumping to your feet and toes.
Apply a small amount of embrocation balm or Deep Heat-style cream to your toes and upper foot. Embrocation and Deep Heat mildy irritate the skin, causing blood vessels to dilate, bringing more blood to an area.
Take cues from double glazing. It is proven that double and triple glazing insulates your home much better than a single pane.
Create multiple pockets of warm air to act as an insulator. Don't choose the thickest gloves you can find — try riding with a thin woollen pair or glove liner and a neoprene or windproof cycling glove on top. Add a set of Endura waterproof shell gloves if the weather turns wet or snowy.
Choose a mid-weight sock that will allow you to wiggle your toes. Don’t cut off the circulation by choosing an ultra-thick sock. Opt for a midweight merino sock and add a toe cover before pulling on a winter bootie.
Make your kit water-resistant. Stop spray from the road giving you that damp, soggy feeling when riding.
Apply Water Repellent Outdoor Fabric Protector to the back of your tights at the knees, shins, and across the lower back. Don't forget to spray your arm and knee warmers. It won't make the garment totally waterproof, but it will delay water from soaking into the material.
Ditch the brain freeze
Make your own insulated water bottle. Attach folded strips of tin foil around the wate rbottle. Ideally you want the tin foil to be two sheets thick.
Use duct tape to fix the tin foil in place, and wrap a layer of tape around the bottle to stop the foil ripping when you take it in and out of your bottle cage.
Don't forget to pour warm water (not boiling) into your bottle before your ride to offset the wind chill effect on your drinks.
Protect your components
Winter weather can accelerate the rate of wear on your components, which will make it harder to cycle and could break prematurely, leaving you to walk home.
Keep spare oil in an old sushi soy sauce bottle. If there is an unexpected downpour and your chain starts squealing, add a few emergency drops to make the rest of your ride more bearable.
Switch your chain oil. Chain oil fills the gaps in the chain links and keeps out dirt and grime. But wet weather and road spray wash off chain oil, allowing dirt and grit yo get into your moving parts, causing wear and that crunchy pedalling feeling.
Chain oil formulated for wet weather is harder to wash off. Clean your chain first. Use a degreaser and chain cleaning device, then apply the wet oil. We recommend Fenwick's Chain Sponge and Fenwick's Wet Weather Chain Lube.
Switch to wider tyres. If you can fit wider tyres on your bike, go up a size. They
will provide more comfort on poor surfaces and better
grip in the wet and on ice.
Winter tyres feature wet-dispersing tread, and often additional rubber in the
side walls to protect against punctures.
Stop the rust while you sleep. Water-displacing spray like WD40 or Muc-off's MO94
don't just help to loosen stuck metal parts — they drive out excess water to keep rust and corrosion at bay.
After a ride on wet roads, you'll probably leave your bike to hang in a cold corridor or shed, which allows water to sit and corrode rather than evaporate. Before heading indoors, give your bottom bracket, brake mounts, seat post, and pedals a quick spray.