Winter is Coming
As the nights begin to get darker and the weather increasingly cooler, it’s time to make some changes with your clothing and equipment to see you through the winter months. We have put together our 10 favourite items that we like to use in Winter which will see you through the colder months. You can get more information or order any of the products listed by contacting us.
If the weather really is too bad to go riding outside or you are not keen on riding in the cold and dark then a Turbo Trainer is ideal for doing your indoor training. A Turbo Trainer allows you to place your rear wheel into the trainer and you can alter the resistance for an easier or hard training ride. These can be set up inside the house or in a garage. We would recommend having some music or a TV on, to distract you as there is nothing much to look at in your living room! You may also find it useful to have a fan to keep cool. Of course training inside won’t give you as a good as an outside ride but they are a great alternative. We like to use Elite’s Turbo Trainers if we have to ride inside.
The nights and mornings are getting darker as winter approaches, to make sure you don’t get caught out as the sun sets or if you are going to ride in the dark you should invest in some good lights. In the past a good quality light has been expensive and often heavy (the days when you had your battery in the bottle cage) but today lights are lightweight, adaptable and are very bright. Our favourite lights are Serfas Thunderbolt Lights, you can get these for the front and rear of your bike and attach them to your seatpost and handlebars. They are USB rechargable and last up to 9.5 hours, there are also different settings if you want the light to be constant or flashing. Although the front light shows a yellow strip, once it is switched on it beams a nice, bright white.
Heart Rate Monitor
We love a HRM, especially in the winter months when your riding should be all about training in preparation for next summer. Polar do a fanastic range from the basic to the cycling specific. If you haven’t used a HRM much in the past it is better to start with something with not too many distracting features to it. The FT7 is Polar’s entry-level HRM and shows your calories burnt including the estimated % of fat burned as well as letting you know if you have been working in the fat burning or fitness improvement zones. You fasten the Polar strap and transmitter around your chest and this will send your heart rate information to the watch.
As the weather gets colder the extremes of our bodies usually feel it first, such as our hands and feet. To protect the hands in the winter a long fingered glove will help to keep your hands warmer. The winter gloves we recommend are ones where you can still move your hands and are not too bulky, you still need to be able to control your bike and the brakes/gears. We like these Santini gloves which have a nice soft lining and some reflective strips too.
Winter specific shoe covers are great in the cold months. The covers help to insulate the shoe which in turn makes sure your feet stay warmer, this is particulalry important if you have you shoes with any mesh which allows the wind and wet to get to your feet. Having shoe covers also protects your cycling shoes from getting mucky during the winter months when there is a lot more water and dirt on the roads. These Fi’zik shoe covers do the job and also have some reflective strips.
These are essential to add to your bike in the winter, not only do they protect yourself from some of the muck coming up off the road, they also protect anyone who may be riding with you. It is not fun to be riding behind someone with no mudguards and getting a constant spray in your face! They also stop too much crud from lodging onto your bike frame. If you have a winter bike they usually come with mudguard eyes fitted so you can attach mudguards for the winter. If your bike doesn’t have a place for mudguards you can get some clip-ons which will help. Our favourite mudguard brand is SKS.
A skull cap is not just for rugby players! They can be warn under your helmet and help to keep your head warm. As they are thin they will easily fit on your head with your helmet on top, they will help to prevent cold air and rain getting through any vents you may have in your helmet. They also come down at the sides and help to keep your ears nice and warm.
Thermal Bottles are brilliant in the cold months, you can put a hot drink inside and they will keep it warm during your ride. They also prevent your cold drinks from getting too cold and turning to ice, especially when your bike is stood still at the cafe shop. Our favourite is the Elite thermal bottle.
Your dark sun-protecting lenses are not as useful in the winter as they are in the summer, especially if you are going to ride on a dull or dark day. We would recommend wearing eye protection on every ride so ensure that your glasses have the availabiity of interchanging lenses and use clear ones in the winter. You will be able to see easily and you know that your eyes are protected. We love these Salice glasses with interchangeable lenses so they are useful all year round.
In the winter months you want to make sure you layer up, this means you can add on if it is really cold and take off if you get too warm. A great place to start is with a winter base layer. Although we still refer to them as vests most are more like a t-shirt today, they help to wick the sweat away and also keep you warm. We love DeFeets Woolie UnDWool which is made from 100% Merino Wool.
Here are just 10 of our favourite things for the winter months, we would love to know if you have any of these items? Do you have any other recommendations for winter?