winter is coming

5 steps to making sure your bike is fully 'Winterised'

Don’t mind if it’s ugly. It’s about function over fashion for the next few months.

YES FOLKS, THAT’S a word we… I mean they, use in the cycling world and with the impending doom that is a five-month Irish winter bursting in on top of us you’d better give the wheels a bit of love before it’s too late.

Winter weather Feb22nd PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

It’s absolutely vital that you change your cycling wardrobe from bibshorts and t-shirts to long sleeve jerseys and jackets, but what’s just as important is you kit out your bike for the perils of winter.

Not only will doing so keep you safe, but it’ll also save you hundreds of euro – after you’ve spent a much smaller amount prepping her for battle. A few things you absolutely MUST do are as follows;

1. Get mudguards, front and rear

Yes, they look terrible and they automatically make you feel slower the minute you install them but they serve so many purposes like preventing dirt and grit from getting into places you cannot see, while also keeping your clothes cleaner than if you had none.

2. Get lights, front and rear

They needn’t be the 600w bulbs you see at sports stadiums but they do need to project light as far up the road as possible, especially if you’re living in the country. The front light should be white and remain on and attached to your handlebars, while the rear should be red and flashing, so it’s easier for motorists to see. There are far too many cases of cyclists being hit while out training or commuting and usually, the main reason is that the motorist did not see them.

3. Clean that bike!

Washing the bike frequently might seem like a chore, okay, it is a chore and we all hate it but it’s vital to do it straight away after you come from your ride when it’s still wet. This way it’s far easier to clean than when dirt gets into the components, reducing the bikes performance the next time.

Brown Christmas AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

4. Lube that chain

This is the nice job after cleaning the bike. The chain and the cassette are among the parts of the bike that see most wear and tear and that will be exacerbated if they’re dirty. Think of it, dirt and grime gets scooped up off the road by the wheels and spat backwards into the chain and cassette. This residue accumulates and forms a really abrasive paste that wears down the parts, particularly if there’s no lube. The lube’s function is to keep water out and keep the parts moving smoothly.

5.  Get new winter tyres

Take off those skinny, zippy, sub 180 gram skins you have and install heavy duty, hard-wearing think tyres with plenty grip, a thicker sidewall and if you really want to, a puncture resistant lining that goes on between tube and tyre.

Spring weather March 23 Jeff Moore Jeff Moore

The last thing you want – after a crash – during the winter, is to get a puncture because you’ll be forever changing it and risk picking up a cold as you do so. Fatter tyres have more grip than skinny ones. Remember, winter training is not a race. Also, you’ll notice a huge difference in spring when you go back to skinny tyres.

41 filthy dirty photos of the gruelling Tough Mudder event at Punchestown this weekend

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