Ok so the weather is bad, its dark after work and we don’t feel up for the usual Sunday rideout after a hard week at the office/construction site/shop/pub etc.. but don’t get too down about it as there are some things worth getting that will keep you on your bike longer or at least remind yourself that you are a biker. Following on from my previous blog I thought I’d share my top 10 festive bike products:
Bike+Motorway+Windchill=Misery. Heated grips help combat this.
In conjunction with heated grips can make winter commuting a pleasure. My favourite for warmth and price are Hein Gericke Pathans (and I’ve gone through a lot of winter gloves)
Ice cold air has a habit of blasting down the front of your jacket and circulating around your helmet, balaclava will keep the draughts out and keep your head/face warm.
Water and gritting salt quickly covers your visor in a layer of scum which reduces visibility, coupled with dazzling oncoming headlights is an accident waiting to happen. Keep your visor clean, keep your vision.
Grip is reduced this time of year, tyre condition is as important as ever, it takes moments to check your pressures, do it before every ride.
I will always use a scottoiler, chains are really important, expensive and often neglected. A Scottoiler will double your chain life which in turn will save you money.
The cold weather effects a batteries ability to accept a charge, its power output can drop and if sat unused could cause the battery to deteriorate enough to need replacing come the Spring. An intelligent charger will mean your bike will fire up on the button ready for the first ride of the year.
Keep your hands beautifully soft and clean by using Latex gloves during maintenance jobs. Keep a couple of spare pairs under your seat for any emergency roadside repairs.
Keep your bike under a decent quality cover to protect it, keep it out of sight of prying eyes (if kept outside) and most importantly to keep it (he or she) warm.
The grit used on our roads during winter has two functions, primarily to keep our road network free of ice and snow but secondly to destroy our bikes. Rinse your bike down after every ride (cold water remember, not warm as this will help speed up the road salts corrosive action), and give it a thorough clean with good quality products as often as possible.
All these products will make riding your bike in winter more bearable and will at least ensure it hasn’t been reduced to a pile of rust come next riding season.
Anything I’m missing? Let me know if you’ve got any other tips for winter riding!