With colder days and darker evenings, Matthew Midgley, a member of our specialist bike team and a keen biker – shares some winter tips to stay safe when biking.
The long summer days are in the distant future, along with it the summer riding season.
For some this has meant tucking their bike up for the winter in preparation for the sunny spring days of March. For others, the cold winter weather spells the start of bike preparation to ensure their safety and maintain their bike against the weather and the roads.
For those looking for some help for ‘wintering’ their bikes, then we have some suggestions here:
- The cold weather affects how tyres work and react with the road. Some tyres are not designed for winter, so be sure you check yours are appropriate.
- Make sure you check the condition of the tyres, the tread depth, the tyre pressure etc, on a weekly basis to maintain high standards. By checking regularly, you will be able to identify any changes which cause concern.
- Do regular bike checks – think about the battery health, topping your radiator with an anti-freeze coolant, and checking lights are clean and working etc.
- Clean your bike. The salt spread on the roads in winter to prevent ice can cause havoc with the engine and the chain and can cause rusting, so regular washes and lubricant application will keep you clear of issues.
- Look after yourself. After spending so much time on your bike, you need to think about your own safety. Think about the extremities of the cold. Heated grips or hand muffs will keep your hands warm and keep mobility in your fingers, making using the throttle and brakes much easier. Make sure your visor is clean to maintain visibility and wear appropriate clothing (thicker trousers, extra layers, and waterproofs).
- Where possible, store your bike in a garage, or consider purchasing a bike cover to keep the freezing weather from affecting the bike.
In essence, the above is no more than mere maintenance, and things you may regularly do anyway, but it can have such a positive effect on winter riding and your safety.
If in doubt, seek out a specialist garage who can advise you accordingly and ensure your bike and safety equipment is up to scratch and, most importantly, enjoy riding!