The long nights are drawing in, the temperature is starting to drop and winter is dawning on us, so at PBK we thought we should put together a nice little guide on keeping safe and warm throughout the winter months.
“It’s not about looking good it’s about keeping warm” This time of year it is important to keep warm. Performance wise your body has to warm up the cold air once it enters the lungs and this takes extra effort so you will be going slower don’t worry everybody does. So this means we need to wrap up warm layer up with a solid base layer. It’s not big or hard by wearing as little as possible so make sure you are fully prepared. Winter caps are amazingly warm on colder days and a solid pair of winter gloves and socks will put you in good stead, a good pair of winter tights is essential. I Prefer to use shorts and leg warmers that way if you crash you have a little more protection and it’s a lot warmer.
Tyres, Tubes and Rescue kits.
Make sure your winter tyres are in good order, the more holes in them then it’s more likely you will puncture, your mates might not be so inclined to wait for you when it’s freezing cold and soggy outside. So make sure you are stocked up with tyres and inner tubes for smoother winter training. A very useful thing to carry is a rescue kit, In mine I carry a Puncture repair kit, 2 inner tubes, pair of latex gloves, spare chain link, chain breaker, retro hand pump and some rubber / sturdy card.
The Gloves are very useful if it has been raining and your rims are filthy this keeps your hands clean. The puncture repair kit in case you have a really bad day you will get home eventually. I like to carry Chain link and breaker as I am using This KMC Chain with a quick link means if I break a link then I can replace it easily. This one will save you a phone call to your partner when you are stuck at the top of Holme Moss.
Make sure your bike is in good clean working order. Your Brakes need to be in tip top condition. Your head set needs to be preloaded properly each rider and tyres need to be checked along with wheels hubs etc etc…. going out on a partly destroyed bike can ruin your ride in any season of the year.
Snow sliding and Ice Skating.
If it is snowing or forecast to snow then don’t go out unless absolutely necessary. There will be Ice about so plan our route accordingly, try to stay on more main/gritted roads. If there is lots of traffic on these roads, try to go out at quiet times of the day. If you do happen to be riding on Black Ice/Frost then don’t panic, Stay nice and relaxed and keep in the saddle, I prefer to ride with a much lower cadence in this situation but there is no do or die method as you have no grip on ice at all. Try to stay straight and don’t lean, if you hit black ice on a corner at speed there is nothing that can save you unfortunately.
Frost isn’t so bad. White frost can be ridden over as the pressure melts the frost but if you can avoid it please do. Again when riding over it stay relaxed and try not to lean the bike, you can get away with riding over frost and little bits of snow on Vittoria Slicks I might add but I DO NOT advise this.
Make sure you have plenty of lights on your person and bike it starts to get dark around 4:30pm in Manchester now especially if it rains (which it always does) so if you are starting your around lunch time it will be getting dark by the time you get home so be prepared.
I take a tie wrap and have fasten a rear light to the back of my Helmet so people can see me on the bike. I have also decorated it with Life Raft reflective tape so I illuminate in car lights. Always carry at least 2 Fronts and 2 rears in case 1 breaks.
Our full range of lights can be browsed here at probikekit get creative with lights as you will be seen for sure!