7 affordable and effective ideas for preparing you and your bike for autumn and winter riding. That’s all your excuses gone now.
Re-waterproof your jacket
Don’t have the funds to splash out on a new decent waterproof jacket? Eek a bit more life out of your current jacket by giving it a once over with some re-waterproofing spray.
It’s not a cure-all and it won’t last forever – a treatment lasts about three months – but it can be an ideal stop-gap to get you through to the January sales time.
If you’ve changed wheel sizes recently then chances are you won’t yet have a shed full of tyres to pluck from. No, you can’t make your old 26″ tyre pile fit by using a massive tyre lever.
Debate will forever rage as to which mud tyre is best (it depends!) but in my experience, for MTB just get ones that looks like gappy knobbed motocross tyres. And get them in a tyre width size down from your usual one ie. 2.2 if you normally run 2.3 tyres.
For road it’s a no-brainer: Continental GP4000S II.
Wet weather brake pads
For disc brakes, go with sintered pads. The slight trade off in bite and feel is worth the increase in durability.
For rim brakes, you’ll not regret getting some Swissstop BXP pads.
Socks or overshoes?
There’s no need to go all-in and get a whole new pair of shoes. Simply combining your existing cycling shoes with an extra bit of something is all you need to do.
For road riding, get some overshoes.
Overshoes don’t work when mountain biking (they get damaged and also don’t fit well over MTB shoes). Waterproof socks are the answer. They’ve come on a long way since they first came out a decade or so ago. They’re less wetsuit-like and significantly thinner, shaped and more comfortable.
Winter gloves don’t have to look like boxing gloves. If gloves get too bulky they really reduce bike control.
The vital quality you need from an effective bad weather glove is for it to be windproof. It’s wind chill that leads to cold hands.
Gloves that have extended cuffs – that overlap with your jacket – are also very effective in wet conditions.
Road – yes.
MTB – no. Get some clear-lensed eyewear instead.
This doesn’t mean “get the thickest stuff you can find”. Thick lube glues filth to your drivetrain and makes it wear out really quickly and shift poorly.
Modern do-it-all lubes are amazing. They’re not mega-cheap but you don’t use much of it and it’ll save you money on replacing drivetrain bits.
Get out there!
That’s all your excuses gone. Hop on your bike and have a blast.