10 Tips for Cyclists: Keeping Safe in the Winter Months
25 October 2016
Winter can be a tough time for cyclists. It can often feel like the weather is conspiring against you, while motorists seem to be even more aggressive than usual.
So here are ten winter cycling tips to help you stay as safe as possible during the colder months.
1) Eat Appropriately
Before you even get on your bike, make sure you've eaten right. You may not need fuel for your bike, but your body definitely does when you’re cycling! Make sure you eat something that will keep your energy levels up, something high in carbs would be perfect.
2) Wear Appropriate Clothing
It's important to keep warm while riding in the winter; you don’t want to freeze up while trying to steer your bike! We recommend getting specialist cycling gear (as opposed to generic sports wear) as it will fit your body properly in key areas while you ride. Don’t 'cheap-out' and just wear a fleece as these can get wet easily and tend to trap sweat in, which will have the opposite effect and leave you shivering!
3) Invest in a Set of Winter Tyres
Don't make the mistake of keeping your thin summer racing tyres on during the winter. They won't offer nearly enough grip for frozen roads and they'll wear out a lot quicker, which could cost you a lot of money to replace come summer. Invest in decent tyres with a lot of grip and thick, hard wearing rubber.
4) Make Sure You Have Good Lights
The days are a lot shorter in the winter, meaning you are much more likely to end up riding in the dark. Don’t get caught out by the sun setting while you're out and about; invest in some good lights to ensure other road users can see you. We recommend the Eveready LED Bike Light 2pc. These amazing lights are extra durable, light and bright, shining up to an impressive 60-80 lumens!
5) Make Sure Your Body is Visible
A lot of people assume that they will be visible enough with lights on their bike. This may be true for keen eyed motorists, but why risk being caught out? We recommend buying some high visibility clothing to wear. A high-vis jacket is an essential, as is the Ultra Cycle LED Bicycle Armband Light. This armband works as a reflective aid but also has lights attached to make you extra visible. And the huge battery can last for 36 hours in constant light mode and 24 in flashing mode.
6) Keep Your Phone Safe
You may need your phone in case of emergencies and as we all know, lycra shorts sacrifice pockets in order to be as streamlined as possible. A great way around this is the Ultra Cycle Sport Armband Phone Holder. The armband is made of reflective neoprene material to keep you visible and comfortable. It also features a water resistant PVC screen to keep your phone safe and allow touch screen use without removing the phone.
7) Invest in a Pair of Fingerless Gloves
It's important to wear gloves in the winter so that your hands don’t get numb from the cold. This is especially true for cyclists, who are travelling at high speeds in the open air. Fingerless gloves are best as they keep your hands warm but maintain maneuverability in your fingers for changing gear and braking. The Ultra Cycle Premium Fingerless Cycling Gloves are great because they feature shock absorbing foam on the palms and ventilation on the back.
8) Stay Hydrated
It's important to keep hydrated while cycling. The cold winter air may trick you into thinking that you’re cool enough but you will be losing fluid as a result of physical activity, and this fluid needs replacing. We recommend the Ultra Cycle Adjustable Bottle Cage for keeping your bottle securely fixed to your bike.
9) Stay Comfortable
Your body will be under much more strain than it usually is during the summer. For this reason it is important to keep yourself as comfortable as possible to avoid peaking too soon. The Ultra Cycle Gel Bicycle Seat Cover fits mosts seats and the gel contours to your body, while the padding keeps you as comfortable below as possible.
10) Keep a Puncture Repair Kit
This is an obvious part of cycling, but it should be stressed that it's extra important in winter, when the conditions are much more likely to give you a puncture. We suggest the Ultra Cycle Bicycle Pump & Repair Kit 3pc as it comes with a fold away pump for maximum convenience.
So there you have it. Be sure to check out our Bicycle Accessories page for even more amazing bike products!