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Winter Cycling

There’s no need to stop cycling in the winter months – here's how you can stay warm, dry and visible.

Winter is no obstacle

To keep warm, dry and visible cycling in winter you may need a few extra items of kit. See the list of tips below for the equipment you are likely to need. Your local bike shop can advise on specific products.

Clothing

A warm, waterproof and breathable jacket keeps out the weather, enabling you to stay dry and not get sweaty. Most regular winter riders keep a pair of waterproof over-trousers in their panniers. You can also buy over-shoes for the occasional heavy downpour.
Waterproof gloves will keep your fingers warm and dry – the better designs have reinforced and padded palms for comfort.

Visibility

When it’s getting dark at 4pm, chances are you’ll be cycling in the dark often. Reflective materials on your clothing or your bike help you be visible to other road users.
You must have front and back lights on your bike by law. You should have a white light on the front and a red light facing backwards. Modern lights are cheap but make sure you select the right light for the type of cycling you are doing. Some lights are very bright and not suitable for busy roads as they can dazzle other road users.

Mudguards

Many bikes come without mudguards. Buying a set will keep you (and the cyclist behind you!) from getting wet and dirty. Some snap on guards can be quickly fitted, but these are less effective than those that fit closely around your wheels.

Tyres and brakes

Wet, cold roads make punctures more likely. So examine your tyres regularly, replace tyres that look worn (tyres with a Kevlar layer improve puncture protection), and check that your brakes work before setting off.

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