Winter is coming. And, for Britain, that means cold weather, lots of rain and darker nights for good measure!
But, it doesn't have to be the end of your cycling spree. Many casual cyclists see the winter as a time to throw in the towel. And if you'd been putting off buying a bike, you might hold off until the spring.
This is such a shame, considering the number of ways you can make cycling in winter fun, comfortable, and safe.
You'll be raring to go once you've heard how these simple accessories can revolutionise your winter cycling experience. Come rain or shine!
1. Bike Lights
As the nights begin drawing in, it can feel like there are fewer hours in the day to fit in a bike ride. By the time you've finished work, it's dusk and it can feel dangerous to venture out.
The easiest way to combat this is to add more hours.
We wish we meant really add more hours to the day, but sadly we're not genie's. Instead, you can extend the time that it's safe to cycle by investing in a good set of bike lights.
If you can see the road better, and other road users can see you clearer, you can ride your bike into the evening.
This doesn't mean in the actual dark, but it can be the necessary safety measure to ride at dusk.
Here at Bobbin, we offer a range of bike lights to light up the road on dim days or during dusk:
Button Light Set: attach anywhere on the bike for your convenience, visible up to 700 metres.
Modern Headlamp: effortlessly cool and visible up to 700 metres.
2. A Bright Waterproof Jacket
Just stepping outside often requires a heavy-duty coat in the winter months. Cycling's no different.
Ensuring that your jacket is truly waterproof is key to your comfort when cycling. There's nothing more uncomfortable than being soggy.
If you're choosing a jacket specifically for cycling, you should consider a bright colour.
It makes you visible to traffic in grey weather, which is crucial to your safety.
However, if you already own a jacket or want to use it in other situations as well, you might not pick one in such a stand out colour.
A good way to combat this is by adding a neon bib or reflective details over the top.
This will have a similar effect of drawing motorists attention to you, without having to buy such a bright jacket. Not everyone can rock neon yellow all the time!
3. A Water Bottle
When it's hot and summery, it's really easy to remember to hydrate. You feel thirsty more and know to combat this with water.
But, in colder months when the weather conditions are gloomy and cold, many people forget that you should be drinking eight glasses of water per day.
And, when you exercise, you need even more water, so it's essential to bring a bottle when you're cycling.
It's a good idea to take a reliable water bottle with you wherever you go. It'll help you keep chipping away at that eight glass goal.
Yet, crucially remember to bring it on bike rides. Being dehydrated can negatively affect your riding and make it dangerous to continue.
This may seem like a general winter tip, but it's essential for cycling.
Keeping your hands warm will make you more comfortable and, crucially, stop your hands from becoming numb and unable to grip the handlebars firmly.
But, it's not the only function of gloves. They also protect your hands from becoming sore from gripping the handlebars tightly.
There's a win-win reason to wear them!
You can also purchase cycling-specific gloves. These concentrate more on the grip function or use general winter gloves.
5. A Loud Bell
A classic way to get the attention of other road users is to become well acquainted with your bell.
A bell that only rings lightly will struggle to alert anyone to your presence, which can put you in danger.
Quiet bells usually result in the cyclist having to shout as well. This is generally bad for their voices (and passer-by's eardrums!). It's less effective and painful for everyone involved.
This is even more crucial when it's harder to see a cyclist on a foggy winter day.
So, it is a good idea to invest in a quality bell. Bobbin's range of bells are made with the loudest ring in mind:
Ding Dong Bell: does exactly what it says on the tin. Its dings and dongs are unignorable.
Embossed Ringer Bell: a timeless bike bell stamped with the Bobbin logo.
Ciao Bell: available in five gorgeous colours, combining safety and style.
6. Hand Warmers
The great British winter can get really cold. And, sometimes, a sturdy winter jacket and pair of gloves just don't cut it.
That's when hand warmers become a great solution.
They're an almost instant way to warm up your body and are easy to store in a bike basket or pocket until you need them.
Sometimes, all it takes is a tiny push to continue cycling.
Knowing that you can shake up a warmer and have it ready in no time can be just the motivation you need in the bad weather.
7. Winter Socks
Keeping your feet warm is a great way to keep your whole body temperature up. It's often one of the first places to feel the cold but can also be an easy place to wrap up.
A good pair of socks is a worthwhile investment.
The last thing you want to be thinking about when your cycling is how to warm up your toes. But, it's hard to ignore just how cold it can make you feel.
If you choose to buy cycling-specific socks, they have the additional benefit of using supportive padding. This prevents your feet from becoming sore.
8. Base Layer
Base layers are something you don't realise you've been missing until you finally try one.
A bold statement, but give them a go and tell us we're not right!
Base layers can keep you warm and wick away any moisture.
Wicking is what makes them so magical - which means that (like a candle wick) it wick's away moisture from clothing touching your skin.
It prevents you from getting sweaty and keeps you warm on winter rides. Is there anything a base layer can't do?
A basket can feel like a summertime addition to a bike. Usually seen with flowers poking out the top or a puppy within, the basket can feel locked away in the sunshine.
But baskets are much more versatile than that.
At the end of the day, they're for storage, and we don't stop needing storage in winter. Where else would we put our coffee thermos when we're cycling?
In fact, if you're riding your bike in your neon, bright, or reflective jacket, you may want a change of coat when you arrive at your destination.
You can swap the coat in the basket for the jacket you're wearing. It'll prevent you from standing out so much in a non-road setting (or not - it's your style choice).
We would recommend one of our lidded baskets for winter to keep your items dry on rainy days. At Bobbin, we stock some we know you'll love:
The Nomad Basket: bulb-shaped, spacious, and oh so cool.
Dahlia Wicker Basket: attach to a rear carrier or the handlebars.
Don't let the British weather put you off if you have a non-lidded basket or are thinking of buying one.
You can cover the items within your basket with a waterproof cover or some tarpaulin to protect them if it rains.
And, if you're worried that everything you carry in your basket won't stay once you've added your winter coat to the mix - secure it with bungees.
Bungees will help put your mind at ease that your items are safe.
If you choose the right ones, it also has the potential to brighten up your bike on a gloomy day. At Bobbin, our bungees are undeniably fun.
Ready for Winter?
There's something magic in the crisp winter air that you shouldn't miss out on just because you haven't got the right accessories to help you through.
If you take our advice, you'll be equipped for whatever winter has to throw at you and your bike. So, remember to pack these essentials on your winter rides:
A bright waterproof jacket
A water bottle
A loud bell
A base layer
Can't wait to tackle the elements? Make sure to shop the Bobbin accessories range to find the gear that will be your bike's best friend this winter!