Rapha's Guide to Winter Riding

If winter is the hardest time to ride, it’s also the most rewarding. Cold, crisp starts into low winter sun are worth getting out for, but challenging weather, short days and seasonal merriment can mean the bike is easily neglected. As the old adage goes, summer races are won in winter. Read our guide for tips and tricks to riding through the season, and learn what to wear and how to wear it.

PRINCIPLES FOR RIDING IN WINTER

Winter can bring the worst of the weather, but that shouldn’t keep us from riding. The right kit will keep you warm and dry, and the miles ticking by. Read our guides to get the best from the worst.

Riding tips

Just because the conditions aren’t ideal, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ride.

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Wear a collar to protect your neck from wind and road spray.
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Wear oversocks to keep any wind chill off your feet – they’ll also keep your shoes clean.
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Regulate your temperature before it’s too late. Layer up before you’re cold, and layer down before you’re hot.
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Days are darker than usual in the winter. Fit a set of lights to your bike and use them when you ride to help stay seen.
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If hot drinks are a boon in autumn, they really come into their own in winter. Take tea when you ride, or add hot water to your energy powder.
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Mudguards make friends on bunch rides in winter. Fit a set and keep your feet and backside dry, as well as the faces of fellow riders.