HOW TO RIDE THROUGHOUT THE WINTER
Our Zappi ambassador, Ross Welton, gives you his top-tips for riding throughout winter whether it be preparing yourself through the right clothing, preparing your bike and what the best bits of cycling in winter are.
They always used to say there is no bad weather just poor clothing! This is so true. If you are going to ride in all weathers don't scrimp on the key few items that you need. Three or four great items is better than 20 that just don't do the job! The base layer is key, this keeps you warm and stops you getting wet from sweat which in turn can make you cold. A great base layer manages all of this for you and keeps you warm and dry on the inside. A good quality winter jacket a la Zappi is crucial - a good jacket is well line, keeps the wind out and even all but the worst rain, at the same time doesn't feel too heavy and cumbersome. The Zappi winter jacket is all these things and accompanied by a great base layer you will likely not need more layers. Aside from a rain cape (again Zappi are great here) the extremities are the other thing to focus on. For me, in this area, neoprene wins. Gloves and booties, go with neoprene (Madison do great gloves and overshoes) whatever the conditions the Neoprene keeps you warm, some don't like the wet feeling in the gloves but in terms of keeping warm it's an absolute winner.
For winter again a few key investments will keep you as happy as possible. I go with absolutely bullet proof types Continental Gator Skins - fairly terrible ride quality, but for me I want as much as a guaranteed uninterrupted ride as possible. A slower less comfortable ride is a small price to pay for not standing in a puddle freezing your hands trying to change a tube!!
If you ride with others, do the right thing, mud guards, great for your butt and great for their face. If you ride on your own you can't go wrong with an AssSaver - just enough to stop you getting wet behind without the need for a full mudguard rig. The only other thing to stay on top of in the winter months is to keep the bike clean after rides. It takes 5 minutes, but will save you a fortune in parts. Make it part of your routine!
BEST BITS OF CYCLING IN WINTER:
The old adage is winter miles summer smiles. Now training might have progressed more these days and endless miles might be more replaced by strategic intervals to get you where you need to be fitness-wise without the need for such volume but for many of us getting out on the roads is therapy. That feeling after a tough winter ride, when you know others have bottled it is priceless. Riding in the winter improves your handling, gives you purpose and keeps the feel for the road. For those of us who have to train, not quite so social but if you are consistent you soon get used to all conditions, your handling improves and come those early spring months you are ahead of the rest of the pack - a great place to be.