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Essential Road Cycling Tips To Keep You Riding Your Bike In Winter

Essential Road Cycling Tips To Keep You Riding Your Bike In Winter


– Do you want to know
how to survive the winter whilst out on the bike? In this video, we’re going to take you
through some top tips on how to fully prep yourself
and your bike for the winter. – Yeah, we’re going to get
you riding in the wind! Rain or even snow. Before you do so, make sure
you click the bell icon, so you’ll get a notification
every time we upload a video. Right, what’s next? – First up, bike prep. (groans) (upbeat music) The first thing you want to think about is being visible on the roads. As the days get shorter
and nights get longer, being visible could
genuinely save your life. So if you haven’t already done so, invest in a good set of lights. Generally speaking, these days I do use a light
on my bike at all times but especially so in the winter. In the daytime, I’ll use
it with a flashing setting to increase my visibility
to oncoming traffic and other road users, but when the rides get darker, I’ll then switch it to its solid setting so I can actually see where I’m going. On the rear, I’ll
generally run two lights, one solid and one flashing at all times. One more thing you want to think about when it comes to your light setting, is the angle you have it pointed at. You don’t want it so high that
you’re lighting up the sky and blinding other road
users, but equally, you don’t want it pointing
just ahead of your wheel. Ideally you want to have it
somewhere just ahead of you around five to 10 meters
depending on your speed, so that you’re picking out all those imperfections on the road and increasing your own safety. (upbeat music) – During those wet and
quite dreary winter days, having a set of mud-guards
is an absolute lifesaver. It’ll not only stop you
from getting a wet bum, but it’ll also save your kit and prevent you from doing
a lot of bike maintenance. Now, if you’ve seen out on a club ride some experienced pros, you will notice that they’ve
got an extra little flap on the bottom of their mud-guard. And this is not only for them, but it’s also for the riders behind them when they’re on their group rides. It’ll stop them spraying,
getting filthy dirty. So, instead of going out on a group ride and losing friends, then you might actually be gaining them. Good little hack there. This is one I did earlier,
literally took me five minutes. Getting a can, pair of
scissors and some tape. And there you have it. I’m pretty happy with that, I might send it into Hack and Bodge. (boing) – One very important consideration to make when it comes to setting
your bike up for the winter is your choice of tire. There’s a few things you can do there. You can increase the width and you can also go for
a more durable tire, which should help cope in the conditions you often find in the winter. Traditionally speaking, roads aren’t as in good
a condition in the winter and debris is often washed into the road. So, having a more resilient tire that’s more puncture-proof, with something like Kevlar inside of it, will help prevent punctures. Something else you
could consider going for is a tubeless tire, such as we have here. This will seal all but
the worst of punctures whilst out on the road in winter. And then you could consider
the width of your tire. Now in the summer, I’ll generally run a 25
mill tire these days. Bike frames though do come with
a little bit more clearance, certainly since the dawn of
the era of the disc brake, meaning we no longer
have to fit a rim brake over the top of the tire. So I could quite comfortably
fit a 28 mill on here. I could then run it at lower pressure for a little bit more grip but also a little bit more comfort. (upbeat music) I love riding my bike in the summer. Mainly, because I don’t have to clean it after every single ride. But it is just a fact of life that as we head in towards the winter, the weather’s generally not as good and the roads are a bit dirtier, meaning cleaning my bike is
going to be part of my routine. I used to get so annoyed
when I came out the next day and found my bike was still filthy dirty. It hadn’t magically been cleaned overnight and the chain had gone orange. What I recommend doing is setting up a little cleaning station wherever it is that you finish your ride. That way you can rinse the
worst of it off quickly and easily at the end of the ride, when all the dirt and mud is still fresh, it’ll fall off much easier. And then lube it up and then put it away. Not only will this prevent your bike wearing out as quickly, it’ll also be much more enjoyable to ride. James, why didn’t you do that last night? – So, your bike is fully winterized. It’s now thinking about the clothing and what to wear for those temperatures. It’s all about layers, layers and layers. Starting off with the base layer, there are so many out
there from short sleeves, long sleeves, knitted, wooly. But finding one that best suits the temperature you’ll be
riding in is super important. It’s then going for some
thin thermal layers. That will trap the warmth
in and keep the cold out. A saying worth remembering is that you can always take
layers off when you get too hot but you can’t put layers
on if you don’t have them. And it’s then having a
cape in your back pocket. That will keep you warm on the descents and it’ll also keep you dry. (upbeat music) Now, one last thing to think about is that a lot of heat is
lost out of your head, your hands and your feet. So it’s really worth thinking about what to put on your
head, say, for example, something like Chris is
wearing, a skull cap, or maybe even a casquette like me. And then onto your hands. I’ve gone for some thin gloves. It’s only about 6 degree celsius and I find this is the
perfect temperature for these. And then on my feet, I’ve
gone for no over-shoes. If it’s not wet, I do kind of prefer it. – And the same thing for me and my hands, I actually prefer to have
my hands out at all costs, even if they are a little bit cold. Now it’s worth noting that
these are generalized tips for riding in a European winter and we completely understand
that many of you out there have much more severe
climates to deal with. – Yeah and make sure you
buy kit that’s appropriate for the weather you’ll be riding in. – If you enjoyed this video,
give it a big thumbs up. – And for more videos, click down there. Right, see ya!

69 comments on “Essential Road Cycling Tips To Keep You Riding Your Bike In Winter

  1. Everyone saying “that’s not real winter!” but I’m just saying for half of the world we are going into summer. It is Global Cycling Network so maybe it would be good to do some summer videos in December?

  2. A PLASTIC drink container, James! Not aluminum, also known as the sharpest edge in the world that will not only cut through your tyre but your rim and legs and maybe the tarmac while it’s at it.

  3. My tip for winter riding is to move to someplace where there isn't winterlike weather, such as Central Texas. :-0

  4. I glued small blinky lights to the heels of my shoes as Emma Pooley noted in an episode that lights that move in a human manner are more visible. I submitted a picture of them for Hack or Bodge. Dan was going to give me a Bodge, but Si referenced Emma's episode and convinced Dan that it was a hack. The only issue is that I can only use toe warmers and not full winter boots due to the light sticking out of the back of the shoe.

  5. Get a beater bike and ride 10-20 miles close to home. No need to do epic rides, just do something at least 4-5 times a week. Ever change a flat 20 miles out on a 20F day? I did, it sucks!

  6. Studded tires, balaclava, heated socks, lobster mitts, lots of gore-tex… Can't wash the bike if it never gets above freezing! Still ride daily as I can't stand indoor trainers

  7. I was wondering what the average age of GCN viewers is and how they break down by age groups (percentage under 20, in their 30s, 40s…).

    Is there a way to do a poll on one of the up coming videos? It may lend itself to age specific topics in the future. Not all of us are in our prime anymore.

    Just a thought.

  8. Helmet. Of course something for all year round but especially during the cold season. I got on an icey patch this week while cornering in the dark (I do have proper lights) and I slipped. While not going that fast, my helmet kissed the tarmac.

  9. Suggestion: recreate this video with JPow in the middle of January in Massachusetts. More interesting still, fly Hank and JPow to a Northern Midwest state like Minnesota for some ice racing.

  10. Me in south korea -11 degrees today : wearing a mask, ear warmers, two layers of winter jerseys and pants, toe cover, shoes cover, gloves and bar mitt on my bike. (it took years)
    After 30 mins cycling : nah, let's go home

  11. A slight improvement over the previous attempt but still missing info on socks, winter shoes/boots, lobster gloves and studded tyres. Looking forward to your summer suggestions but I am guessing not much different from the winter ones. Recently purchased a gravel bike for winter riding.

  12. Btw GCN ♥…..

    Advanced Merry/Happy Christmas GCN PRESENTERS! Keep up the Good Work in making Videos!
    Road to 2 MILLION!

  13. Maybe invest in a winter bike if you can afford it? That way you won't ruin those beautiful carbon wheels and have purpose made mud guards…

  14. Let’s talk about the Elephant in the room……or in my case the chipolata, psst, how do you keep your willie warm? Sorry ladies ☺️

  15. #1 for me is keeping your bike clean, I probably spend 8 hours a week just cleaning because of all the road salt in the US. Staying warm seems to be just a matter of trial and error; I'm a bikepacker so I just keep whatever I think I may need in my bags. Where I live it can be 104F in the summer and -20F in the winter. It just takes time to figure out what works for you, don't give up on cycling just because it seems uncomfortable. Winter is a magical time to ride and sleep under the stars.

  16. Santini Vega thermal, Assos base no helmet but ear covers and hate with top tie.. gotta look cool too..and its warm..

  17. Mudguard extension tip: old plastic milk bottle, cut to a triangle shape, attach narrow end at the top (obvs) using a cable tie. Does mean a small hole in your mudguard at the bottom, but it won't fall off and lasts forever!

  18. All good and well, but maybe also mention to look at what rules apply for the country you ride in. Here in the Netherlands blinking lights are not allowed and in the dark you need reflectors. Not that anybody cares about these rules when you look around when you ride 😀

  19. That hack with a piece of coke can is dangerous. Those edges are too sharp and it bends too easily.

    Ideally you glue on a piece of a similar fender.

    Or tape on a piece of tyre, a piece of a bottle, whatever. You can also buy extensions like an SKS spoiler, costs only a few €.

  20. As usual a bunch of people unable to grasps that a video uploaded a few days into "winter" can't possibly have been filmed in the middle of winter, but in autumn, but still complain that it doesn't look like "winter".

  21. Has anyone ever developed a Winter helmet, with fewer, or no vents at all? (Maybe it's something I should do, hmmm).

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