Cycling can be one of the most joyous activities in the UK - when the weather is right. When the weather gets tough however, is when some fairweather cyclists take a break from cycling and wait until the weather returns back to better conditions, to head out again on two wheels. This also applies to commuters, with many bike commuters jumping on trains and buses, as well as in their own motor vehicles to commute during the worst weather months.
If you brave the winter commute on a bike, there’s a few things you should know - but overall, commuting on your bike in winter is the perfect way to keep fitness levels up, travel costs down - and most importantly, the best way to gain admiration from your colleagues.
Below are our tips and tricks to make the winter commute more bearable, even enjoyable:
Invest in the right cycle clothing
At Westbrook, we want as many people to get into cycling as possible - at a price point that they can afford. If there’s ever a time however, to invest in cycle clothing - it’s during the winter months. Proper cycling gear will help keep you protected from the weather, as well as other motorists during low light conditions - high visibility colour schemes, as well as waterproof and windproof materials make sure that you remain safe and comfortable.
It’s the small design tweaks in cycle clothing that makes all the difference here, such as extra long sleeves to keep your wrists and arms covered - even when your arms are outstretched onto the handlebars of the bike.
It comes in very dark, very fast during the winter months - which means that bike lights are not only required by law - but are very important in allowing you to see where you are travelling. Most importantly, bike lights allow other motorists to see where you are on the road - helping prevent accidents.
Waterproof Cycle Luggage
It’s no good getting into the office after a predictably wet commute, and having to dry off your papers on the radiators. Invest in the right cycle luggage and your belongings will arrive at the office with you, in perfect condition.
Consider Different Routes
It’s a much more troubling experience being on the road with vehicles in the dark, so look at your usual route and see how it can be amended to encompass more cycle lanes, if you commute on a gravel bike or a mountain bike - have a look at semi off road paths and shortcuts that you can take.
Look after your extremities
Your hands and feet are amongst the first areas when cycling to feel the cold - so make sure that you invest in a good set of cycling gloves and shoes - keeping the most important areas of your body, both warm and dry.
Mudguards & Fenders
Mudguards and fenders are a relatively cheap addition to your bike - they make a fantastic difference too, preventing spray and road grime from spraying up your back.
During slippery and wet conditions, keep your bum planted firmly on the seat of the bike - ensuring that there is weight over the rear wheel of the bike - allowing for maximum grip.
Just do not attempt to ride across ice.
Check the weather forecast
It’s important to look through the weather forecast for the full day, as the weather on the morning commute can be very different to the weather on the evening commute.
Get your Bike Serviced
Your bike needs to be running well during the winter months, brakes and tyres need to be working well for your safety, so it’s well worth getting your bike serviced, and even upgrading some parts on your bike.
Commuting Cycling Gear
At Westbrook, we supply everything our customers need to make commuting through the year as easy as possible, ranging from the perfect commuter bikes right across to the right waterproof clothing.
You can browse the full range across our site.