Ultimate Setup – Winter Cycling
While our desire to get outside on two wheels may start to fade when the days get colder and darker, it doesn't go away completely.
To help you stay in the saddle and avoid having to trim your fingers in the garden shed, Fiennes-style, we've put together some winter biking essentials.
First things first – a good set of lights will keep you safe at night and provide enough light to pick out potholes on dark sections of road.
The Exposure Flash (£40, www.rutlandcycling.com) is a compact little front light with plenty of punch and easy silicone rubber mounting system. You can complete the set for £85 with the Exposure Flare rear light and rechargeable battery kit, or...
...add the Fibre Flare (£27, www.cyclestore.co.uk) which will fit anywhere on your bike or person, providing a flexible lightsabre-esque rod of constant or flashing light to make you really stand out on the road.
To back up your lights, you can add some reflective material into the mix.
We know you don't necessarily want to ruin the look of your new bike or look like Captain Reflecto all year round, so you might want to try sticking some Respro Hi Viz Black Diamond sticker sheets (£12, www.amazon.co.uk). These are super-reflective, but in normal light look black – genius!
A good waterproof jacket will keep you smiling when it starts to pour, and help you be seen. The Altura Night Vision Evo (£90, www.wiggle.co.uk) does the job and then some. Super visible in hi viz yellow, you can also get it in red and black – all with more reflective trim than you can shake a headlight at.
Getting an ice-cream headache without the payoff of getting to eat ice-cream is not cool.
Keep your bonce on the boil with a Rapha Knitted Hat (£45, www.rapha.cc) in red, grey or cream. Made from 100% merino wool it will keep you warm without getting stinky, features a peak to keep the rain out of your eyes, and an earband which you can flip down to keep your lugholes free of ice.
Cold, wet feet can make you miserable quickly, so invest in a pair of SealSkinz waterproof socks (£23, www.wiggle.co.uk).
Merino wool-lined to keep your feet toasty but not cheesy, they promise to be comfy and keep your little piggies dry all the way home, no matter how hard the big bad weather huffs, puffs and pours.
Your fingers will be the first to feel the cold weather, so make sure you get a decent set of gloves.
The Endura Deluge Glove (£34, www.chainreactioncycles.com) is waterproof and has a stretchy double cuff to keep the wind out. There are also some other nice touches like gel padding, pull tabs for getting them on quickly, and a full finger terry panel perfect for wiping the snot off your face.
While you might dry off pretty quickly after a wet ride, chances are that whatever you've had in your rucksack might not recover so quickly.
The Overboard Waterproof Adventure Backpack (£50, www.over-board.co.uk) is fully waterproof, and fits up to a 17in laptop. So your precious belongings will still be dry as a bone when you arrive.
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