With the winter mountain biking season upon us for another year, we look at some of the things that we can do as mountain bikers to make the winter season easier, more rewarding and ultimately - more fun to ride in.
Although there are some brilliant, crisp and clear winter days to head out on the bike on - poor weather conditions and the cold can lead to rides being cancelled - and a drop off in training. The secret to getting out during the winter months is to invest in the right kit to take the harshness out of the winter weather.
Without further ado, we'll run through our recommendations to making winter cycling more bearable.
Mountain Bike Trousers
Mountain Bike Trousers were almost unheard of prior to a couple of years ago. Shorts were typically worn, but during cold weather spells - nothing can compete with mountain bike trousers for coverage and warmth. These trousers have been designed to keep you dry and comfortable whatever the weather is doing. They have been designed ergonomically to fit through the full range of pedalling motions and when paired with waterproof mountain bike socks, then you are onto a winning combination, whatever the weather.
Pack Plenty of Food
As well as providing the energy required to keep your body functioning the cold weather - the right cycling nutrition and energy bars, provide a much needed morale booster on cold days when a refuel is needed.
Pack a Flask
This is an incredibly simple thing to do, but instead of chugging from a bottle of cold water when you take a break, you can enjoy a warming cup of tea or coffee.
If you can, plan a route to encompass a good pub or cafe. Although it can be hard getting back onto the bike after a sit down next to an open fire, overall these breaks keep you warm, and happy to be out on two wheels.
Bike Cleaning Products
Invest in the right bike cleaning products, to keep your bike in pristine condition after a winter ride. As well as keeping your bike looking good - it’s also important to keep the bike clean to protect the components from premature wear and tear from dirt and grime.
Change Of Clothes
If you are driving as part of your day mountain biking, ensure you have a set of warm dry clothes in the car to stick on as soon as you finish, as driving home in wet mountain biking kit (or your pants) is not advised.
Change of Rubber
If your mountain bike tyres are worn down and are suffering from a lack of tread, then the lack of grip will be incredibly noticeable during winter months. Winter is also a good time to invest in a mountain bike tyre with a more aggressive tread pattern, helping you find purchase and grip, whatever the ground conditions.
Mountain Bike Lights
Even if you do not plan to ride in the hours of darkness, it’s always a good idea to ride with bike lights during the winter months. These lights can be switched on in an instant if light conditions become poor, or you have to ride home via the roads during low light conditions. A range of bike lights are available to purchase online, with LED and battery technology providing fantastic levels of performance.