So winter is here, the roads are gritted, it’s colder and wetter and getting in a quality ride to keep you in form is a real hardship. As tricky as it may seem there are ways to keep you in shape and we want to share our top tips on how to make you riding experience as good as it can be this winter.
The vast majority of the time you’re held back in winter by the weather. Sometimes is pouring with rain and sometimes it’s bright and sunny but the roads are iced over. In order to overcome this, tradition states that moving over to a specific winter prepped bike is the best and most common solution. The idea came about when pro riders, who were off season, would ride in a much more relaxed fashion with comfort the main goal in mind. This trend has gradually been copied by amateur riders and is one of the best ways to keep your legs spinning over winter. But what makes a winter bike?
It's all about disc, tyres and mudguards
Chief among which is finding a bike that will cope with the harsher conditions. Improved stopping power can be solved with disc brakes as well as winter specific tyres that will also aid cornering in addition to providing better puncture protection. With disc brakes becoming the benchmark, summer bikes equipped with discs are being more commonly used throughout the year as they deliver a more exciting ride without the compromise on braking. Adapting your summer bike can be as simple as fitting a set of easily detachable mudguards to reduce spray on you, your bike and the riders around you
Alternatively, a more popular option is a separate dedicated winter bike with wider tyre clearance, full mudguard mounts and a more relaxed seating position. With cost generally being a limiting factor, a lower specked bike is what’s most frequently used. The idea of not riding as hard should surely be reflected by the quality of what you’re riding? On the contrary, we are more commonly seeing higher specked bikes with carbon frames and higher quality group sets being ridden over winter as people demand a greater ride quality regardless of the conditions. However, regardless of what you’re riding it’s guaranteed that you won’t be riding as far or as often.
So what is your alternative? The choice for virtual and reality riding is ever expanding and with turbo trainers become increasingly popular more of the cycle community are using a home setup as an alternative to battling the elements. With a broad range of trainers on the market, selecting the right trainer for you can help improve your strength over winter whilst allowing you to fit in additional rides that are shorter yet more effective. Nowadays, trainers are used as a real alternative to riding outdoors and with the development in technology they bring you the quality of an outdoor ride from the comfort of your own home.
On the contrary, we understand that nothing can defeat getting outdoors so the option of getting out on your mountain bike seems logical right? As a matter of fact, mountain biking is a great way to improve your bike handling skills, keep up your fitness, enjoy the outdoors and potentially enjoy a new discipline of cycling whilst opening up the opportunity to discover unexplored terrain.