Weatherproof Your Bike & Kit

Weatherproof your bike

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I admit it, I’m a fair-weather cyclist. However I am going mad on my long commute, and I have decided on the days that I don’t run, I’m going to cycle from Paddington to Uni and back again. Unless it’s raining really heavily…or REALLY cold.

But on the other days.

There’s a very convenient bike storage at Paddington station, so that I can leave my bike there and avoid becoming the most hated person on the train in the mornings/evenings.

However cycling in the Winter is a different ball game, and there are a few adjustments I need to make to my bike and kit, to make sure we both stay warm and dry over the next few months.
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First up, I need to swap the pannier rack for some mud guards (7) – unfortunately when they fit the bike, it wasn’t possible to put both on, so I got a rather wet bum cycling in Amsterdam, however they are crucial for London winters. I’m going to opt for the Tortec mud guards that have reflective strips to keep me visible on the roads. While I’m getting these fitted at Halfords (who kindly provided me with this bike), I’ll also have them adjust the height of the handles/seat, into a more comfortable riding position.

I’m all for customising your bike, and these smiley reflective stickers (10) are definitely going to be additions to the bike. I’m on the look out for some light up stars for my spokes if anyone knows where I can find them?

I won’t be getting these BRIGHT clip in shoes (2), because I am terrified about clipping in, however for those of you that aren’t stupidly scared, they would be a great addition to your cycling kit. As would this rain jacket (6) – as bright yellow anoraks go, I’m pretty sure Rapha do it more stylishly than anyone else. Love that it goes down over your bum!

Rapha also have this medium merino polo (11) that I think would be super toasty for those January days when all you want to do is sit on the sofa with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

This jacket (4) is less day-glow but it’s warm, and the sleeves are removable incase we’re hit with a February heatwave.

These lights are perfect (1) – small, affordable, but bright. These are easy to take on and off, as I have a feeling that Paddington isn’t the safest place to leave the lights attached – nor is Holloway Road!

My hands have awful circulation, and they are the first to freeze, so a decent pair of warm, waterproof gloves is crucial. These sealskins sea leopard gloves (3) are on my Christmas wish list – apparently they’re ideal for ‘dismal weather’ – who knows what 2017 has in store for us.

This reflective spray (8) looks amazing, it turns any piece of clothing into a reflective piece, spray it on and it lasts for a week. Apparently you won’t see it until light is shone on it – then when you’re done with it, just wash the clothing and good as new. Probably best to try this on old kit first, but if it works then amazing for riding and cycling throughout the winter months (and into the summer too!) There’s also a permanent one to paint onto metal, wood etc.

Leggings that are fleece lined and padded for protection (5) – sign me up. They are not cheap at £160, but again, Rapha…

Sadly in this day and age, bikes are hot property and they are being stolen at a furious rate in London and so I hope this heavy duty lock (9), which is both massive and reflective, will do the trick (although I think I need another small wheel lock).

What are your wet/cold weather cycling must haves? Do you cycle commute? What fitness items are on your Christmas list? 

5 Comments

  1. December 8, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    i am new to rapha gear and it all looks so amazing.

    • December 8, 2016 / 5:06 pm

      Oh it really is. I don’t own any but have borrowed some and it is amazing!

  2. December 8, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    Can I give you some advice on cycle kit? Mainly because I have found some awesome kit that I never get cold in – I have been cycling in this all through the last few winters (which admittedly haven’t been the coldest) but there wasn’t a single day anything but the tips of my fingers felt cold (and I’m a “cold” person!). Here’s what I wear: dhb winter bib tights from wiggle. Not expensive, and the bib bit is like an extra vest of warmth so it keeps your legs, middle and top warm. A merino wool Base layer again from wiggle and again not expensive. Then a jersey… I have one Rapha one that I love but I am sure a non-expensive one would do just fine! Then a good jacket – I have a Gore one and I’ve worn it in torrential rain and remained dry. And then a buff pulled right up over my nose, a headband and a helmet. A thin pair of gloves and a thick pair with grip. And finally some merino wool socks and a pair of dhb neoprene overshoes. Okay now I’ve written all that out it sounds like a LOT but I would swear by it, and dhb from wiggle is inexpensive and really very very good! Good luck with commuting!!

  3. December 8, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    Can I give you some advice on cycle kit? Mainly because I have found some awesome kit that I never get cold in – I have been cycling in this all through the last few winters (which admittedly haven’t been the coldest) but there wasn’t a single day anything but the tips of my fingers felt cold (and I’m a “cold” person!). Here’s what I wear: dhb winter bib tights from wiggle. Not expensive, and the bib bit is like an extra vest of warmth so it keeps your legs, middle and top warm. A merino wool Base layer again from wiggle and again not expensive. Then a jersey… I have one Rapha one that I love but I am sure a non-expensive one would do just fine! Then a good jacket – I have a Gore one and I’ve worn it in torrential rain and remained dry. And then a buff pulled right up over my nose, a headband and a helmet. A thin pair of gloves and a thick pair with grip. And finally some merino wool socks and a pair of dhb neoprene overshoes. Okay now I’ve written all that out it sounds like a LOT but I would swear by it, and dhb from wiggle is inexpensive and really very very good!

  4. oscar
    January 4, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    Hi decent clip less pedals are a god send go with the Time MTB type ATAC’s get a decent pair of mtb shoes then can walk in them also but need a stiff sole why trainers are not good for cycling apart from not securing your feet in the right place pushed up against the toe clips and squashed with the straps plus pushing down on soft shoes they cut circulation down plus damage your soles of feet!
    ATAC’s and all the other clipless systems came from sking designed so your feet or ski’s come away from if you crash etc just watch ski sunday if someone over cooks it where as before many kept with ski’s like they did with toe clips&straps resulting in broken hips often.
    Was on a training camp in Mallorca one of the old boys riding non clipless riding along slowly as stopped didn’t get foot off/out fell over breaking his hip just like that! where as clipless just yank/twist foot and out plus often just the fall gets feet out like if you drop the bike.
    The other thing with clipless is can run larger shoes so thicker socks plus not so tight on feet so keep warmer with circulation plus decent stiff soled shoes support the feet and tendons why they have carbon soles on better quality!

    The other thing with lights is if having flashing ones also have a decent constant one as the problem with flashing esp if at wrong speed is the brain doesn’t read the light/distance as you have master and slave eye often your handedness is the master eye that eye see’s/reads item then other eye reads it then the time between is distance ie your 3D vision(Reason why LGV/PCV lose/lost there licences over the years if loose/lost one eyes vision) so what happens is master eye see’s it but by time other eye sees it it’s gone off in the end the brain don’t register it/read the distance so some thing coming up behind you on same plane/level as your light don’t read the presence of you being there even worse are those Boris bikes as they flash from one to the other which really scrambles the process!
    But you need any light on the bike not your body ideally shining onto part of the bike like front wheel or rear reason for that is the other person can see the bike/an object so can get a fix on your position as if see just a light coming towards you at the same’ish height as it’s a beam you could be 10feet or 50 foot away as light as a beam gives no distance only reflected light does!

    I see people riding esp on MTB’s with bright lights on there head on very dark roads.You don’t see them as the brain isn’t conditioned to reading it up there as your looking for something at road height!

    So be safe be seen as all it takes is a split second don’t matter whose fault it is as there is no re run once squashed so we have to take responsibility for our own safety and actions!

    I used to cycle thousands of miles a year as used to race i rarely ever had issues because i never put myself in places/situations where i couldn’t get out of i always read the road/situation looking for anything and i didn’t hang about used to over take lorries when used to cycle across London every day and been clocked doing over 40 mph on the flat.

    One of the great bikes for riding around London etc are the Cycle cross bikes many shops sell them now have wider tyres many with discs now as used to be cantilever brakes many have rack/mudguard bosses as standard so can fit a decent pair of mudguards plus a rack to put your bits on if knobbly tyres fitted can change to some decent wider road type tyres the bigger tyres is faster on rougher roads plus less tiring also never recommend flat handlebars a marketing hype as decent drop handle bars right width for your shoulders are best set up right height and level bottom part of drops should be more or less parallel to the road/level and we used to set brakes up with tip of brake lever just about down to bottom of drops holding a straight edge along bottom of bars then bring levers down so tip just touches or a bit above there is a good reason for that!
    If you have the levers higher or lower than the plane of bars as there is a neutral sweet spot! if too high when you get out of the saddle on the hoods as we call it for likes of climbing hills or a burst of speed your pulling the bike around on the road so energy is wasted trying to control the bike/pushing it around instead of transferred into speed/motion like wise if too low your pushing bike down/away from you neither way is efficient use of power where as set right as you jump onto the hoods the bike just goes forward and where you want it to go so your energy/effort is producing forward motion.

    As you wouldn’t run a marathon with your shoes tied together so why handicap your cycling?
    Decent cycling is great for long distance running get out in the countryside with a decent constant pace builds stamina up even better if using a pulse monitor plus you can also do interval training for speed.

    Happy New Year all.

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