Preparing your bike for winter riding is essential for cyclists looking to stick it out and commute throughout the dreary wet season. Although it's a harsh time of year to cycle, trooping through and coming out the other end is very rewarding. Plus we have Christmas and then the New Year to look forward to!
So to ensure your commute is as pleasant as possible, we're showing you how to get your steed winter ready by changing to winter tyres and adding some big boy mudguards. And although these only seem like baby steps, you really will be thanking us later...
And don't forget to give yourself some TLC and invest in some autumn cycling gear!
Changing to winter tyres
Changing your tyres for the winter ensures that your bike has maximum grip on the roads, for when the inevitable ice and cold weather starts to strike, and will help to prevent your tyres from getting punctures.
Firstly you need to undo your brake's quick release, and remove the wheel from your bike. Let the air out of the tyre by unscrewing the valve and pushing down on the tyre to release the air and then unscrewing the valve ring.
Then grab your tyre lever, hooking the scooped shape end underneath the bead of the tyre. Then take the second tyre lever, sneaking it underneath the tyre bead and start to peel the tyre of the rim.
Now go to the valve, pull the tyre up away from the rim and carefully push out the valve from the rim and remove the inner tube.
Tuck the new tyre back into the rim using your tyre levels. Make sure you work the crossover points where the tyre and rim intersect, and take care that the inner tube doesn’t get caught in between the tyre and the rim.
Then repeat this process on your other tyre and pump them back up so that they're ready for the road!
Putting on mudguards
Mudguards are one of the easiest pieces of gear to attach to your bike, requiring no tools, or too much muscle work. They will protect you from the unwanted splatters of mud and city grime and are an absolute winter riding essential.
Place the mudguard to your bike frame directly over the tyre, so that there's is enough room and resistance for your wheel to move underneath.
Then secure it to your bike frame using the provided fasteners, making sure to cut them so that there's a 2 cm strip left at the end of the fastener (not pictured), so that they don't interfere with your spokes.