Winter Riding

October 29, 2014

So the days are getting shorter, the air is getting colder and the ground is getting wetter. These three things, when put together, don't equate to the most perfect conditions for being outside, but if you want to ride your bike you kinda need to suck it up and get on with it rather than living inside for 6 months of the year.

 

That being said, it doesn't have to be miserable. With the right kit and the right attitude *cheesy thumbs up* you can still get out on your bike and enjoy this time of year in relative comfort.

 

Equipment prep

 

Two major changes to get your bike winter-ready:

 

1. Lights. 

Do you want to see or be seen? This is a big decision that will have a big impact on what you buy. Do you want to highlight your presence to traffic, or to other bike users on a cycle path? If this is the case a decent set of lights shouldn't set you back more than about £50. However, if you're planning off-road night rides after work or all day epics at the weekend you need a front light that will bust out some serious lumens. Ideally, having one light helmet mounted (to see where you're looking) and a "flood" light mounted on the handlebars (for more general vision) will set you up well throughout the winter. Hope do a great range that's worth checking out (#madeintheuk) (www.hopetech.com)

 

(image from here)

 

2. Mudguards

Yes, they can be naff. Yes, you don't want your brand new, carbon endure-specific weapon to end up looking like a shopper bike (not that there's anything wrong with shoppers, but you get the gist), but sticking on a discreet guard like the "Marsh Guard" (http://marshguard.com) will go some way to prevent the splattered streak of mud up your back, across your face and possibly in your mouth.

 

 

Clothing Prep

 

You're going to be wet, you're going to be cold. Accept it and then make the changes to your current kit to make it ready for winter.

 

1. Embrace merino

Merino wool is pretty special stuff. Not only is it a natural insulator (a thin jersey next to the skin will keep you toasty) but also it's naturally antibacterial, so won't smell! Wear a base layer under your jersey and a pair of tights under your baggies to keep your core temperature up without loads of layers flapping around on that epic descent.

 

2. Waterproofing

A jacket is a given - keep your torso dry and it will stay warm. However, be aware of the difference between waterproof and water-resistant. A water-resistant jacket may seem like a bargain, since you can pick them up for around £50, but they will only keep you dry in a light shower, and probably not withstand a million washes. More to be used as an emergency cover-up. A waterproof jacket, by contrast can cost upwards of £150, but will last forever. Rather than coatings on the surface of the fabric there will be an additional layer within the construction that keeps the water out but still breathes, so will ensure you don't feel like you've been boiled alive at the top of a climb!

 

Another great one addition to your winter wardrobe is waterproof socks - which may sound excessive, but they will be your best friends after splashing through endless puddles (read: ponds) in the middle of January. Sealskinz have the name for these, and for good reason (www.sealskinz.com)

 

3. Apres-ride

Finally, who wants to sit down and enjoy their post ride beverage of choice (Hot chocolate? Beer?) in grimy, soggy, freezing cold kit? Make sure you've got a change of clothes in the car, along with a hoody and winter hat to really thaw out all of these icicles.

 

 

 

Hope these hints and tips have been helpful - and stay tuned for out Autumn/Winter 2014 add-on clothing collection being announced later this week!



Size Guide

Women's Tops

UK USA Bust Hip Length (front)
8 4 87-90cm 96-99cm 53cm
10 6 91-94cm 100-103cm 54.5cm
12 8 95-98cm 104-107cm 56cm
14 10 99-102cm 108-111cm 57.5cm
16 12 103-106cm 112-115cm 59cm
18 14 107-112cm 116-121cm 61.5cm
20 16 113-119cm 122-128cm 65cm
 

Women's Shorts

UK USA Waist Hip Length (inside)
6 2 70-73cm 84-88cm 34cm
8 4 74-77cm 89-93cm 35cm
10 6 78-81cm 94-98cm 36cm
12 8 82-85cm 99-103cm 37cm
14 10 86-89cm 104-108cm 38cm
16 12 90-93cm 109-115cm 39cm
18 14 94-97cm 116-122cm 40cm
20 16 98-101cm 123-129cm 41cm
 

Men's Tops

Chest Length (front)
X-Small 87-91cm 55cm
Small 92-95cm 56.5cm
Medium 96-99cm 58cm
Large 100-109cm 59.5cm
X-Large 110-119cm 61cm
XX-Large 120-127cm 64.5cm
XXX-Large 128-135cm 66cm


Men's Shorts

 Waist Hip Length (outside)
28" 69-73cm 84-88cm 60.5cm
30" 74-78cm 89-93cm 61.5cm
32" 79-83cm 94-98cm 63.5cm
34" 84-88cm 99-103cm 64.5cm
36" 89-93cm 104-108cm 65.5cm
38" 94-98cm 109-113cm 66.5cm
40" 99-103cm 114-118cm 67.5cm

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