Transitioning to autumn and winter riding

Get your bike ready as the weather turns

With the weather starting to turn, leaves starting to fall and winds starting to pick up, you might be wondering how you can keep riding into the autumn and winter months. Sure, while the weather might be slightly off-putting, that doesn’t mean you can’t get some lovely rides in. Plus, the colder weather makes the after-ride pub all the more enticing. 

So don’t store your bike just yet! The start of autumn and winter doesn’t mean you have to go into hibernation and stare longingly at your bike without taking it for a spin. If you take the appropriate steps, and make sure your bike is optimised for the change in weather, there is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to go for a refreshing wintery ride. In this spirit, we have compiled a list of handy tips and tricks to keep you on your bike throughout the cooler months. 

We would be remiss to not remind you to fit the appropriate accessories onto your bike that you will need to ride safely and comfortably in the wetter weather. 


Fit some mudguards

You might fall into the camp of people that (falsely) believe mudguards are ‘uncool’. You would be wrong. Mudguards do a wonderful job of keeping you and your bike cleaner and drier than you otherwise would be. And who wants wet socks? Nobody. Mudguards also prevent premature wear of the bike’s components, which extends their lifespan - it’s a win-win. 

Many cycling clubs won’t let you ride without mudguards in the winter, as they protect you and your fellow cyclists from road spray. So do yourself (and your friends) a favour and pick up some mudguards for the start of the rainy season. 


Add headlamps and lights to your gravel/ road bike

Even if you don’t plan on riding in the dark, with the shorter days just around the corner, you might find yourself riding home during sundown. In these cases, you will need to turn your lights on. It’s pretty self explanatory: you need to ensure that you can be clearly seen by other cyclists, as well as cars and pedestrians, whether you are on the road, or off-road on your gravel bike.

A common mistake is only mounting one set of lights on your bike. But what happens if your light fails mid-ride, or the battery dies? Always aim to have a main set of lights and a backup set just in case. You’ll thank us later.


Swap to puncture resistant tyres

As roads become slippery due to mulch and rain, leaves, drain covers and painted lines all become potential slip hazards. When you can’t avoid them, try steering straight through them and staying off the brakes. In the wintertime, you’re at an increased risk of punctures thanks to debris being washed onto roads. 

Swapping to wider, grippier tyres is the best way to ensure you stay safely on your bike in case you encounter a slippery road, while protecting your bike from punctures. 

If you really want to reduce the chance of flats, why not go tubeless? Setting up tubeless compatible tyres with a squirt of sealant inside will seal most punctures before you even know you have one. Check out our tubeless kits here


Keep your machine clean

Damp weather and road grime are a poor combination for a bike’s more intricate working parts. Keeping on top of your bike maintenance is essential for ensuring that your bike is rideable in the winter months. Giving your bike a quick rinse down after every wet ride, a wash with soapy water and a dab of lube will keep your bike on the road during the winter. 

Part of your routine bike cleaning and maintenance should be checking your cables. Dirt, leaves and other debris can get caught in your cables, which can damage your bike. Giving your cables a quick check and a quick clean after every ride is a sensible thing to do.


Happy cycling!

Autumnal and winter cycling can be some of the most beautiful and exhilarating riding in the year. Make sure you layer up, pack yourself a cuppa, and enjoy the beautiful scenery around us! Go get it!