As the leaves start changing on the trees and the nights draw in faster, this is the perfect time to get your bike ready for the autumnal and winter weather. We have put together a list of 5 tips to get your bike in tip-top shape and ready for autumn and winter cycling.
We recommend that you always use lights and reflectors on your bike when cycling but this is even more important in the autumn and winter months. If you are commuting to work on your bike, the likely hood of it being dark when you set off to work in the morning and leave work is much greater in the autumn and winter than in the summer. We would suggest using not only front and back lights but also on your helmet, making yourself stand out and be seen as much as possible. Also, we would recommend using high visibility items such as a vest and high vis cover for any backpacks or pannier bags you are carrying with you. Be seen to be safe!
Another important thing to do is to get your bike serviced and ready for the colder months. Getting your bike serviced can include degreasing and re-lubricating your bike chain, checking your brakes, tyres, racks, lights and more. You can visit one of our Dr Bike sessions to have your bike looked at by our experienced bike mechanics. Head over to the Dr Bike page to find out when the next one is happening.
When cycling in the autumn and winter months, you will need to plan to see what the weather will be for the entirety of your journey. If it is raining, we recommend taking a lightweight waterproof jacket and a backpack cover (if you are wearing a backpack that is!) that will keep all your belongings dry. Remember to prepare for all conditions, choose lightweight waterproof clothing and keep visible.
Having good tyres on your bike is highly recommended. As the colder, wetter weather sets in, this means more dirt and debris on the roads. This could increase the chances of a puncture which is not what anyone wants when riding your bike. We recommend swapping out your tyres for a set of puncture-resistant tyres. If you can do this, please check your tyres before every ride to make sure there are no punctures, and the tyre pressure is the right one for your bike. Decreasing your tyre pressure slightly can help with grip on the road in wetter conditions.
Whatever your experience, there is always something to learn from a cycle training session. As there have been some changes to the Highway Code that all road users should be aware of, we recommend reading up on these changes. At a minimum, we suggest you take the FREE Online Cycle Skills Course (delivered by Transport for London). More info on this course can be found on the TfL website here. We provide opportunities for training for riders of all ages and abilities that are free and tailored to suit your individual abilities and goals. Check out the different training courses here.
We hope you have a wonderful autumn and winter cycling season.