A cyclist riding along an autumnal cycle path

Cycling Through
The Seasons -

Cycling Through The Colder Months

Riding your bike in the colder months of the year can be just as rewarding as warm weather cycling. It may not seem like that as you stare at the clouds on a cold November day, but as soon as you get those pedals turning you’ll start to feel the same buzz that you got in the summer. All you need is the right clothing and some tweaks to your bike set up to enjoy the ride all-year-round. This autumn cycling guide will help you and your bike to be ready for riding when the temperature drops and the nights draw in.

What should I wear cycling this autumn?

Layer up to stay warm

The trick to staying warm on the bike without overheating is to wear layers of clothing: base, mid and outer shell. Thin layers are best for cycling, each one traps a little air to keep you warm and you can easily take one off when you warm up on a climb.

Read Our Layering Guide
A cycle commuter wearing multiple layers with a waterproof jacket on top

Keep out the chill

It’s important that your top layer keeps the cold wind from penetrating through to your body. This is where a windproof top comes in. Windproof jackets and jerseys protect your body from the cold air and will also deflect a light shower. Importantly, they’re highly breathable, so you won’t overheat. Waterproof jackets also keep the wind out but they’re less breathable so are best saved for those very wet rides.

Read More About Windproof JacketsRead More About Waterproof Jackets

Warm the engine on the road

Your legs are your engine, so it’s a good idea to have them at the right operating temperature. For road cycling, bib tights are the best way to keep your legs warm. Thin bib tights are a good choice for autumn cycling, but thicker fleece lined tights are warmer. Water resistant DWR coatings will stop your legs getting damp from road spray.

Read Our Bib Tights Guide
A road cyclist wearing bib tights

Autumn legs in the mountains

As well as keeping your legs warm and dry MTB trousers make your riding life easier. They keep the mud off your legs, socks, and knee pads when it splashes up from the trail. Stretch fabrics make MTB pants comfortable on the bike while DWR water resistant coatings keep your legs dry as you splash through the puddles.

Read Our MTB Trousers Guide
A mountain biker wearing waterproof trousers

Look after your extremities

On colder rides keeping your fingers and toes warm makes a big difference to your comfort on the bike. Overshoes on the road bike and waterproof socks on the mountain bike will keep your feet warm when it’s wet on the ground. Long finger gloves are the best way to keep your fingers warm whichever bike you’re riding.

Read Our Gloves Guide

Be Safe Be Seen

Whether you’re commuting or training, the safest way to ride on the roads is to make sure you are seen. Wearing bright Hi-Viz colours are the best way to be seen during the daytime, especially on dull low light days. At night, colours don’t show up at all, so you’ll need reflective fabrics to be seen clearly. Fortunately, there are lots of jackets and jerseys that combine both elements for both night and day visibility.

Read Our Reflective Clothing Guide Read Our Hi-Vis Clothing Guide
Two cyclists wear Endura jackets in bright colours with reflective detailing for good visibility, even on dark autumnal evenings

How do I prepare my bike for winter?

Stay out of the spray

When you’re shredding the trail on your mountain bike or weaving through the traffic on your ride to work, controlling the spray that comes off your wheels will make a big difference. Full mudguards are the most comprehensive solution, but they aren’t suitable for every bike. A front fender is all you need to keep spray off your face on an MTB and an ‘Ass-Saver’ can make your road ride more comfortable.

Read Our Mudguard Buyer's Guide
A cycling uses a rear mudguard to stop road spray flinging upwards and over his back

Clean your bike

While you might be able to get away without washing your bike for weeks in the summer it is a different story in the colder months. A dirty bike doesn’t work as well, and parts wear out quicker. Regular cleaning will keep your bike in top condition all-year-round, so you can enjoy the ride more.

Read Our Bike Cleaning Guide
Bike cleaning sprays like Muc Off can make short work of grit and grime from roads and trails. They also have more targeted cleaning sprays for degreasing drivetrains, cleaning brake discs and more.

Winter tyres for wet weather

If your looking for more grip on the trails or fewer punctures on the road, a change of tyres can transform your ride. See our road and mountain bike tyre guides to find out more about tyre choices for cold and wet conditions.

Read Our Mountain Bike Tyre Guide Read Our Road Bike Tyre Guide
A commuter riding a Specialized flat bar road bike with tyres suitable for wet weather

Go tubeless

It’s a simple fact that wet roads mean a bigger risk of punctures. A great way to avoid this is to go tubeless. With tyre sealant inside the tyres, tubeless systems will self-heal small punctures without you even realizing that you had a problem. Our tubeless conversion guide shows you how to convert.

Read Our Tubeless Conversion Guide
Stans No Flats sealant being poured into a tubeless-ready tyre

What other accessories might I need?

See and be Seen

Lights are an essential for riding through the shorter days of autumn and winter. As the nights draw in the light levels drop, especially on very cloudy days. You need to make sure you’re always visible. Fitting a good set of ‘be seen’ lights to your bike will make sure you’re not caught out when the light fades. If you’re mountain biking in the evenings a bright front light will illuminate the trail when it’s dark.

Read Our Lights Buyer's Guide
A bright rear light from Moon is a great way to be seen on the road or on the trail

Keep your stuff dry

Waterproof pannier bags are a great way to carry your things on the bike without worrying about getting them getting wet. While waterproof panniers, frame bags and rucksacks offer the best water protection you can always add a rain cover to your existing bag. These will keep the worst of the rain off you bags.

Read Our Waterproof Bag Guide
A cycle commuter uses Altura waterproof panniers to keep their work essentials dry

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