Winter is no obstacle to cycling if you choose the right gear. To keep warm, dry and visible you need a few extra items of kit which are readily available from your local bike shop. See the list of tips below for the equipment you are likely to need. Your local bike shop can advise on specific products.
A warm, waterproof and breathable jacket keeps out the weather. Materials like Gortex, Sympatex, and Entrant are both waterproof and breathable enabling you to stay dry and not get sweaty. Most regular winter riders keep a pair of waterproof over-trousers in their panniers. You can also buy over-shoes for the occasional heavy downpour.
Waterproof gloves will keep your fingers warm and dry – the better designs have reinforced and padded palms for comfort.
When it's getting dark at 4pm, chances are you'll be cycling in the dark often. Reflective materials on your clothing or your bike help you be visible to other road users.
Modern LED lights are both bright and cheap to run. Halogen lights are more expensive, but are very bright and will usually come with rechargeable batteries. Alternatively you can fit a dynamo which runs on pedal power. Check the link on the right for more information on what lights you should have if you're cycling in the dark.
Many mountain bikes come without mudguards. Buying a set will keep you (and the cyclist behind you!) from getting wet and dirty. Some snap on guards can be quickly fitted, but these are less effective than those that fit closely around your wheels.
Tyres and brakes
Wet, cold roads make punctures more likely. So examine your tyres regularly, replace tyres that look worn (tyres with a Kevlar layer improve puncture protection), and check that your brakes work before setting off.
A winter bonus
It’s easier to find a cycle parking space!