As any cycling enthusiast will tell you, winter bike riding can be a lot of fun and a great way to get fit. But that comes with the caveat that any wintry excursion on your two-wheeled buddy will require a few extra steps to stay safe when out on the road. Whether you're taking on an early morning commute, after-work journey, or an evening cycle for fun, we have a few tips, and some handy tools to make your frosty ride a great deal safer.
As I’m sure is no surprise to anyone, a top tip for safe riding (or any excursion) is knowing the route before you go. While exploring the unknown can be exciting, when it’s already dark and icy, it’s best to stick to the roads you already know and focus on the cycling itself. So, before you set off, make sure to plan your route, sticking to well-lit routes and roads you know well.
Of course, even on roads you know, you might be forced to take detours, so being able to take your phone with you safely and have it offer directions will help. With that in mind, the Scosche weatherproof phone holder is a great piece of kit that lets you bring your phone with you wherever you go. Compatible with most modern smart phones, it mounts securely to your bike and features a built-in screen protector which allows for full touchscreen operation. Its two-in-one design even allows you to mount a GoPro, so you can mount your device and can capture your journey simultaneously.
Also, try to prepare for any situation and pack all the essentials you might need on your ride. For an extensive range of bike accessories and maintenance products, from water bottle mounts, to puncture repair kits, and mini pumps, visit our bike accessories collection.
One of the most effective ways to stay safe while riding your bike is to ensure that you can both see well and be seen easily, and a good light set-up helps with both. Besides, lights are a legal requirement to ride a bike on public roads between sunset and sunrise. It’s recommended by cycle safety experts that you use lights with over 700 lumens of brightness (one lumen unit is the amount of light emitted by a candle.)
Lights are also widely recommended for cycling in poor light during daytime hours, or when the low sun could limit visibility for other road users, namely cars and other heavier transport, making you less visible.
Mountain bikers especially are recommended to use two front and two rear lights – ideally a bar-mounted light coupled with a second on a helmet mount.
It may sound obvious, but your front light should project a white beam, while your back light should be red, like those on a car or lorry. The front light should be mounted securely along your handlebar or vertical front bar, so that it can be seen above tyres and away from your hands’ positioning on the bike.
If you’re planning a longer night ride, make sure your batteries have enough charge or can be recharged safely through batteries or a portable charging pack.
High visibility clothing and accessories
When we say high visibility, we don’t mean your brightest sweater that you have been banned from wearing at the office for causing too much of a distraction. As ‘bright’ as that might be, what you really need to help keep you safe in the dark is reflective clothing. Even just a few strips of reflective clothing can make a huge difference in the dark and make you that much easier to see in the dark for other road users.
And for those rucksack-carrying cyclists taking a change of clothes to work or making their way home from some non-cycling exercise, such as at the gym or swimming pool, using a hi-vis rucksack cover is a great way to be better seen when on two wheels.
For an extensive range of bike accessories for all seasons, visit our cycling collection.
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