Winter is a tough time for cyclists. Short days and long nights
limit riding time in the sun, the cold drains energy
faster and bad weather can make it dangerous on the roads. It's bad for
the road bike too, all that rain and dirt. To help you and your bike
survive the winter, we've picked a selection of products to help you
survive the winter months.
All the road grime and dirt from riding in the winter can quickly lead to
a squeaky and rusty chain, but doing serious bike maintenance after a ride
when you can’t feel your hands isn’t much to look forward to. This Muc-Off
Bio Chain Doc makes the task of cleaning a chain really quick and easy, so
you can keep your drivetrain in good working condition without the mess
Keeping road spray, especially if riding in a group, dirt, mud and the
rain out of your eyes with a pair of cycling glasses is preferable to
trying to see through mud-filled squinted eyes. These Decathlon Orao
glasses have a wraparound design and the clear lens is ideal for low-light
and night-time riding.
There is a way to avoid manky weather, and that’s to do your cycling
indoors. A turbo trainer, as they’re called, is a simple frame the rear
wheel of a bicycle with the tyre resting against a roller, turning your
road bike into a stationary trainer. This Tacx Vortex Smart trainer can be
controlled by a computer or phone app such as Zwift or TrainerRoad to vary
the resistance so you can train to specific power levels and not waste any
With the addition of state-of-the-art graphene, Italian tyre manufacturer
Vittoria reckons its brands new Corsa tyres provide a massive boost in
both puncture resistance and wet weather grip compared to its previous
tyres. The Corsa G+ rivals long-standing favourite the Continental GP4000S
II for both rolling resistance and puncture resistance and has excellent
Many cyclists have no choice but to do the majority of winter riding in
the dark, so investing in a decent front light should be a priority. The
British designed and manufactured Exposure Axis LED light may be small and
light (99g), but it blasts out 1000 lumens, enough to light a dark country
ride. It can be mounted to the handlebar or helmet and the battery can
last for 24 hours in the lowest setting.
If you’re planning on cycling indoors to avoid the cold, rain and dark
(who can blame you) then a really good training aid is the popular
Sufferfest system. It's an app offering a range of structured training
session with videos using actual professional road racing footage to make
you feel you're part of the action.
Nothing says winter like cold toes, and a pair of woolly socks will
definitely make your ride a little more enjoyable. These Woolie Boolie
socks are thicker than most cycling socks, made from luxuriously soft
merino wool, and long enough to avoid an ankle gap below your tights.
They're best used with roomy shoes. Try and stuff them into shoes that fit
snugly over thin summer socks and you'll just reduce the circulation in
your feet, making things worse.
Adding a set of mudguards to a bike, and these simple plastic Crud
RoadRacer mudguards can be fitted to most road race bikes, provides a
decent barrier against road spray, and makes cycling on wet roads much
more tolerable than without mudguards.
Keep your ears warm and your head toasty with a hat worn underneath your
helmet. This Rapha Pro Team Winter Hat uses a soft shell fabric to provide
insulation for your brain and it’s got a DWR treatment so it’ll be good in
the rain too.
To help you stand out on the commute or evening training ride is this
fully reflective Proviz Reflect 360 jacket. The magic is in the material,
which is completely coated with a reflective treatment so the whole lot
lights up when a car's headlight is focused on it.
Your brakes can take a bit of a hammering in the winter, with the rims
caked in mud, grit and salty water, and brake blocks can deteriorate very
rapidly. It’s important to keep a close eye on them, and replace them
before they get too worn down. These Kool Stop Dura 2 Dual Compound brake
blocks are a good replacement, with solid stopping power in all
It’s a fact of life, you’re much more likely to get a puncture in the
winter. There’s more debris on the road, especially after it has rained,
with mud and stones from the edge of the road washed into your path. And
water acts as a really good lubricant for sharp objects to slice through
bicycle tyres. This Lezyne Lever Patch Kit has everything you need to fix
a flat and it’s all contained in a neat metal case, along with two tyre
levers, and is small enough to be stashed in a jacket pocket, saddle bag
Buying a whole extra bike for winter use might seem overkill, but it
makes sense if you want to avoid winter salt and crud attacking your
favourite bike's components. This Ribble is our Commuting Bike of the
Year, and comes with proper full-length mudguards to keep you dry, disc
brakes and plenty of space for wide tyres so you don't have to worry about
dodging every puddle-hidden pothole.
Any products not on this list that you recommend?
The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.
Our guides include links to websites where you can buy the featured products. Like most sites we make a small amount of money if you buy something after clicking on one of those links. We want you to be happy with what you buy, so we only include a product in a if we think it's one of the best of its kind.
As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.