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Cycling through the winter

(17 Posts)
PhoebeMcPeePee Fri 07-Nov-14 18:20:00

After a particularly wet ride today, I started thinking ahead to when it gets colder & there's ice on the road hmm what do you experienced cyclist do about going out in the snow especially with thinner non-grip types?

I'm really enjoying my cycling now but also training for a distance ride in the spring so don't want to have to stop for 2 months if it's a hard winter.

Clure Fri 07-Nov-14 22:27:39

Gatorskin tyres on bike - harder wearing tyres for rougher weather
thermal riding tightes (I have some fleecy lines sugoi which are so warm and excellent padding)
overshoes, although my hubby is now nagging me to get waterproof cycling boots
article here
I think as long as your core is warm with a couple of thinner thermal layers, you have a waterproof (as much as waterproof it can be) on top, warm gloves and warm feet you will be ok!

Suzannewithaplan Fri 07-Nov-14 23:04:58

After a particularly wet ride today
you and me both, I had to wring my clothes out when I got in.

I confess I'm a lightweight on the cycling front, I do most of my stuff in the gym if it's very wet, although I do still cycle to the gym if it's raining.
Snow and ice I dont think I will be braving tho!

Chopstheduck Sat 08-Nov-14 08:33:44

I have the fleecy tights and tyres, Clure mentioned. The grip is amazing, first frost and no slipping at all. Lots of layers, and I also have a hat that fits under my helmet, since most heat is lost from your head and hands. And a neck warmer that I pull up over my nose when it is really cold! Yellow tinted glasses help keep the cold air out of your eyes and increase visibility in dark conditions.

I'm also MTBing more too, which will keep me going when the weather gets worse. In the shelter of the trees, there shouldn't be as much snow and ice hopefully!

Which ride are you doing in the Spring? I'm planning to do London to Reading which is only 40 miles, but also hopeful of getting a place in the RideLondon next year.

CMOTDibbler Sat 08-Nov-14 16:11:46

Buff under my helmet, neck warmer, DHB fleecy bib tights (oh, how I love these), gore base layer, winter socks, decathlon over shoes. I am also enamoured of my kidney warmer as my lower back gets really cold

I'm still on my hybrid, so theres more grip. DH has put winter tyres on his bike, ds has cyclocross tyres on his.

DS and I are doing an 18 mile (with 1000ft of climb) sportive tomorrow in Cheltenham (he's 8 and this is his first chip timed event, have done a number of events this summer). DH is doing a longer one.

I've signed up for Velothon Wales in June which should be fun, and intend on doing longer rides, so dh and I will swap around who rides with ds

TheOnlyOliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 08-Nov-14 16:14:15

Brr I am a VERY newly into it fair weather cyclist
I had been looking into the x-bike training at the gym
Too cold wet and slippy to be out on the road, or do I need to woman up?

lljkk Sat 08-Nov-14 16:55:15

We didn't have any snow last winter. confused Barely had one day of frost!

DH lets the tyre pressure down even more (cycle-X is his favourite bike). I wear something to keep my ears warm. We muddle thru.

ScarlettInSpace Sat 08-Nov-14 17:01:34

If I wanted to by my OH some gatorskin tyres as a Christmas present, what info would I need to know about his current tyres and where do j look [I know feck all about bikes, except that his is always in the hallway in the way grin ]

ScarlettInSpace Sat 08-Nov-14 17:01:52


catsofa Sat 08-Nov-14 17:16:08

I don't have thin tyres, I use fairly thick ones all year as they cope with bad roads better, get fewer punctures, have better grip and are more comfortable. I don't need to go so fast that I need skinny tyres! I use a slightly lower tyre pressure to get better grip too.

As soon as the snow starts falling I go out to the supermarket to stock up on cat litter and heavy things, since cycling on fresh snow and when drivers are all paying attention is fine. The time to be wary of is after that when it gets compacted and icy, and when drivers get used to it and stop being careful and adjusting their driving to suit road conditions. Then I sometimes stop cycling for a bit, which is why I need to be stocked up already with the things which are difficult to walk home with on icy pavements!

In icy conditions and snow I always wear rubber snow gripper things on my shoes like this because they don't affect my feet on the pedals but do stop my foot sliding from under me when I stop the bike and put a foot down, or if I put a foot down due to a skid etc.

Otherwise I just wrap up warm, have good lights, wear hi viz, waterproof gloves to keep off windchill, and maintain my bike properly. It's not often really too icy to cycle for more than about a week, you don't have to lose your fitness!

Chopstheduck Sat 08-Nov-14 20:24:51

Olivia - woman up! Nothing like being out in the bike on a frosty misty morning! smile

Scarlett - what kind of bike? Road is usually 700c x 23. Anything else might be a bit different but it will give tyre sizes on his existing tyre. I currently have 700c x 27 on my hybrid.

CMOTDibbler Tue 11-Nov-14 13:47:56

You could also look at a turbo trainer Olivia. We have a Cycleops one (bought with vouchers won on MN actually), and its good in the evenings as you can work out while watching tv on the tablet. A bit boring compared to being out, but no babysitter needed.

It was 3' when we went out on Sunday, but I was nice and warm in the bib tights, gore top and Aldi jacket. Ds rocked Funkier leggings, Lidl base, long sleeve Altura jersey and a thermal hi vis gilet

Pipkinhartley Thu 13-Nov-14 21:26:59

All what's been said above re: layering up and tyres. Would add that having a goal (ie: event) in mind will keep you focused. There's still a few sportives around until the end of the year ( I'm doing evans RideIt leicestershire on 30 November and the sportive season gets well underway from early spring.
CMOTdibbler, also signed up for velothon Wales, thought it was great value for closed road event. Will make a weekend of it seeing as have to collect entry stuff on the Saturday and am staying in the Bay Area which is lovely.
Turbo trainer also good (but boring, for me anyway!) so if we get a nice crisp dry winter day, will layer up and get out for 2-4 hours and bank some training miles.

CMOTDibbler Thu 13-Nov-14 21:41:16

I was really impressed by the RideIt that ds and I did on Sunday (proud mum boast - 23.5 miles cos of road closures adding on 5 miles to all routes with 1000ft of climb, going up biiig hill, and my 8 year old did it at 11.2mph av grin). The feed station had 2 sorts of cake, flapjack, biccies, peanuts, gels, energy bars and all sorts of other stuff. V well organised too.

We'll be staying in Cardiff for the weekend too, and our friend is looking after ds during the event so we both get to enjoy it

Pipkinhartley Fri 14-Nov-14 08:10:29

Hi CMOT, my DH also doing velothon wales with me, although probably not together as he's likely to be done in about 4 hours. I'm hoping with a bit more hill training to be around 4.30-4.45 as am allowing to go out slow because of the masse start - learned this lesson from London to Brighton this year, despite being a 6.15 start! (DS will be staying with a mate - tried to get him into cycling 2/3 years back, even bought him a lovely little red Colnago, but he didn't take to it.)

TheOnlyOliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 14-Nov-14 21:35:46


Olivia - woman up! Nothing like being out in the bike on a frosty misty morning! smile

Well yes there is. There is being under my duvet on a frosty misty morning
<possibly missing the point> grin

catsofa Fri 14-Nov-14 22:09:11

Yeah all this sport stuff is not for me, for me cycling in winter is just a hell of a lot warmer than waiting for busses in winter, and far less effort than carrying all my shopping myself. Frosty mornings are horrible.

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