How to deal with cold weather

Published: 24 September 2016

That's it, summer's over. Put the bike in the garage under the heated blanket and leave it to catch its breath until Spring next year, right? Well, you can do that or you can kep riding through the cold weather, but if this is your first winter on two wheels you'll need to prepare both yourself and your bike for the coming months.

  • If you haven't got a tinted visor or internal sun visor, stick a strip of electrical tape at the top of your visor to shield your eyes when the sun's low in the sky. If you use dark visors remember to pack a clear one. Night will fall quicker than you expect.

  • Keep several pairs of petrol station gloves handy. They might not look like much, but they could keep your hands dry in a downpour, and keeping them dry goes someway to keeping them warm, too.

  • If you've got more than one pair of winter gloves take them both with you on long journeys in case the first pair gets soaked.

  • Invest in some base layers. Lots of thin layers works better than one thick jumper as warm air gets trapped between the layers.

  • Try your best to create a seal with all your kit. Make sure there are no gaps around your neck or at the ends of your arms where the icy wind could penetrate. A small gap can be irritiating and bloody cold on a long ride. Try to get your helmet on while you're still inside if it's raining as this could prevent fogging.

  • Give the bike a little longer to warm up, especially when it's really cold and take the first mile a little steadier just to make sure.

  • Go steady. More often than not now the roads are going to be wet and slippy and wet leaves will be an almost permanent fixture under trees. Grip levels can vary greatly between different road surfaces. There's no need to rush.

  • Lube your bike to keep corrosion from all the road salt at bay. Anti-corrosion spray ACF-50 is approved by the US Air Force and can help stop the rot.

  • Regular wash downs with cold water are good for getting rid of most of the winter road grime. Hot water makes the corrosive effect worse.

  • Keep on top of your chain. Clean it as regularly as you can, getting rid of any dirt stuck to it, and then be sure to lube it afterwards. 

  • For a more in-depth guide to keeping your bike in good condition over winter, click here


Got anymore useful tips for riding through winter? Let us know below and we'll add them to the list.