Main roads are usually not the first choice for the average cyclist – but these roads are more likely to be gritted, and traffic tends to heat the tarmac and melt ice. Though we wouldn’t generally recommend busier roads, if there is risk of cycling on icy roads, adjusting your route to cover these, as opposed to country lanes, isn’t a bad idea.

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It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for any area where there could be run-off water that has frozen – the edges of puddles particularly - dodge these wherever you can to stay safe. Avoiding the edges of roads, and riding more centrally, is also a good idea as the gutters are not heated by passing traffic as the centre of the lane is.

You should take extra caution on roads with overhanging trees, that create shade, as well as open roads with few hedgerows - long exposed stretches are subject to greater windchill.


Wider tyres provide a larger surface area for contact with the ground – so opting for 28c tyres if you can is a good idea, or more if you have a hybrid, adventure road or cyclocross bike.

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Regardless of the tyre width you have, letting out a little pressure will give you a wider surface area – so reduce your tyre pressure by around 10-20psi. Tyres at a high pressure will have an ‘ice skate’ effect, which isn’t really what you’re after.

Ask the Expert: Why Should I Change to Winter Tyres?

Some people also like to lower their saddle by about 5mm when cycling on icy roads - this lowers your centre of gravity and can be more stable, giving you more control (and having the added benefit of placing your feet closer to the ground.)


If you are unlucky enough to come across an icy surface, the trick is not to slam on the brakes, as this will cause a skid, but to stay calm and steady.

[related_articles] Keep your wheels moving in a straight line, pedal smoothly, and hold your upper body still – simply focus on the road ahead and don’t make sudden movements.

Climbing out the saddle is best avoided, as this causes the bike to rock, gaining traction from a smaller surface of the tyre.

rain park wet weather road urban commuters

Riding in a group is a great way to see the miles whizz by when cycling on icy roads, staying with your riding buddies means there is someone there to help should anyone take a tumble.

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Of course, if we’re talking about ice, it is likely there is a chill in the air, too. If you’re too cold, your concentration is likely to lapse, which can take your attention away from the road.

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Quality winter clothing will make all the difference. If you need any help dressing for your winter rides, we recommend you take a trip to Evans!