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Winter prep and purchases

daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
edited October 2014 in Commuting chat
What are you buying / what fettling are you doing in prep for winter this year?

What are your top tips for staying warm and safe?

As I am commuting a lot further this year I am going to be going for a new road bike with disc brakes and mudguards, still umming and arring about which one... I'll probably put some 25mm (should I go for 28?) Conti 4 seasons on it too as you lot seem to rate them so highly.

Mudguards - I want full guards that will stop my feet getting wet and spraying my club mates. Pretty much every set of guards I've looked at have mixed reviews. What are the best ones?

Tyres - anyone seen 4 seasons cheaper than Wiggle (£34)?
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/continental-grand-prix-4-season-folding-road-tyre/
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Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Get those prendas day glo woollen gloves and the moon rip off from planet-x.

    Might need a new SCR cap as mine has shrunk a bit in the wash. Thinking houndstooth this time...
  • Co-incidentally I was thinking about that this morning (although I expect the sudden change in morning temps brought on the thought) and realised I actually don't need to buy a thing!

    I have the SKS chromoplastic 'guards and bought the larger size than required for the tyres (28c GP4 Seasons) as they keep even more dirt and water off you. Easy to adjust as well.
    Lights: two sets of front rear.
    Jackets: eVent and Nightvision ready
    TIghts: 3/4, full length and full on thermal
    Jerseys: long sleeved and arm warmers (might get a new one though just 'cos)
    Gloves: full fingered, liners and waterproof
    Skull cap and buffs for head and face
    Clear lens glasses to keep the cold out of my eyes
    Winter shoes: MW80s still going strong
    Overshoes for the REALLY cold days (I suffer from poor circulation in my hands and feet) when it's properly sub-zero
    Reflective ankle bands for the dark rides (they are very noticeable)
    Spoke reflectors for increased visibility

    Oh and the Winter hack with spiked tyres for the full on Winter snow / ice / blizzard days
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • Tyres - Consider Rubino Pro's as they're cheaper
    Toe covers - Cheaper and more flexible on a day to day basis, any brand
    Cap - Any, a great £10 spend
    3/4 tights - just go for fleecy knee warmers and decent shorts, why spend something on the sum of the parts that are less flexible
    If I know you, and I like you, you can borrow my bike box for £30 a week. PM for details.
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    coriordan wrote:
    Get those prendas day glo woollen gloves and the moon rip off from planet-x.

    Which gloves are you referring to? I'v had a look and can't figure it out...
    I have the SKS chromoplastic 'guards and bought the larger size than required for the tyres (28c GP4 Seasons) as they keep even more dirt and water off you. Easy to adjust as well.

    Cheers for the tip - I was thinking along the same lines as you RE getting the size up, wondering why would you go for smaller guards - less aero I guess...
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,655
    edited September 2014
    daddy0 wrote:
    coriordan wrote:
    Get those prendas day glo woollen gloves and the moon rip off from planet-x.

    Which gloves are you referring to? I'v had a look and can't figure it out...

    http://www.prendas.co.uk/prendas-ciclis ... glove.html
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Decent chain lube to fend off salty water is a must!

    Wider is better tyre wise in winter.

    Moon copy rear light from PlanetX is a great rear option, front is very dependant on where you ride, I use a Lezyne Macro as I'm on dark country lanes.
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    Tyres - Consider Rubino Pro's as they're cheaper
    Toe covers - Cheaper and more flexible on a day to day basis, any brand
    Cap - Any, a great £10 spend
    3/4 tights - just go for fleecy knee warmers and decent shorts, why spend something on the sum of the parts that are less flexible

    Up until recently I've been using Rubino Pros and they're great. Merlin had run out when I last ordered tyres but offered me Michelin Pro 4s for the same price, so I'm giving them a go. Rode them on the Pru 86 this year and they were pretty good, p******d the very next ride I had with them but have been good since. I thought that maybe 4 Seasons might be better for wet conditions though?

    I'm OK for caps and buffs. I've been thinking that leg/ knee warmers are the way to go so going to look into some. Ditto for overshoes / toe covers.
  • Coach HCoach H Posts: 1,287
    Michelin Pro4 Endurance tyres. £22 from Wiggle in 25mm (which actually measures 27-28mm). IME FAR better than GP4S
    Prendas Thermolite socks. Thinner, as warm, more hard wearing and cheaper than Woolie Boolies
    SKS Blumels guards from Ribble or SKS Longboards for almost total coverage and with flaps included
    Coach H. (Dont ask me for training advice - 'It's not about the bike')
  • I don't tend to suffer in the cold, far from it.

    and the bike is a old MTB, with decent tyres, so it has huge amounts of braking/grip etc. Though may treat it to a new gear cable as its starting to get sluggish.
  • Tried the 4 seasons in the past and they are a good tyre, but nowadays I just leave the GP4000s 23C on all year round until they need replacing.

    Not planning on getting any new gear for winter, just pulling it out from the back of the cupboard.

    Top tip for keeping warm is the Northwave Celsius boots.
  • UndercoverElephantUndercoverElephant Posts: 5,796
    edited September 2014
    Noticed that the rim on my dynamo front wheel is looking remarkable concave, so I've ordered a nice new one from Mr. Wiggle (H Plus Son TB14, black, 32h). Three harsh Scottish winters seems to have done for the braking surface, hardly a surprise, I guess.

    The MTB will be re-shod in the Nokian tyres I bought last year and that should be me.

    Am also toying with the idea of a new front light, not that there's anything *wrong* with the one I've used for the past three years, but, you know, shiny shiny.
  • Coach H wrote:
    Michelin Pro4 Endurance tyres. £22 from Wiggle in 25mm (which actually measures 27-28mm)

    +1

    Mine have done approx 2800 miles this year and still barely a nick on them. When I first rode on them they felt so smooth and soft I thought they'd fall to bits within a month, not a bit of it though. As I put somewhere else on here, a poor man's Open Corsa...
  • Am I the only person who just uses a beater in the winter, and doesn't worry about buying expensive stuff? The key to all winter stuff for me is cheapness, as it's all going to get trashed anyway. The only 'expensive' items on my bike are a dynamo front wheel and light set, as I never want to worry about lights dying on me, a Brooks saddle for comfort, and my trusty Carradice.

    My bike frame is a 1974 Viscount Aerospace Pro that I've had for over 20 years (which I used to ride to school on!), and the rest of the bike is made up of bits and pieces from my parts box/ eBay and cycle jumbles. Regarding tyres, providing they're 28mm or more, they should be fine, whatever brand you use (providing you're not riding on sheet ice). You're not going to be going fast anyway. I use Giant P-SL2 tyres, as at £7.50 each new, for a puncture protected folding tyre, they were the cheapest decent tyres I could find last year. I had 1 p**t***e with them in 2000 miles last winter.
    1938 Hobbs Tandem
    1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
    1960 Mercian Superlight Track
    1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
    1978 Dawes Chevron Fixed
    1980 Harry Hall
    1986 Dawes Galaxy
    1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
    1988 Pearson
    1989 Condor
    1993 Dawes Hybrid
    *Currently on this
  • ctcctc Posts: 232
    Good base layers, especially if you run hot.
    I find the Helly Hansen Lifa was the best, and you can hunt round to get them fairly cheap. I reckon you can get 2 days worth of commuting out of them before they need a wash..
    Lifa Ice _ Lifa next to the skin to get the sweat off, and merino outers to keep you warm were excellent once it gets colder. Then just a normal jersey and gilet on top
    Don't worry too much about getting wet. Staying warm is more important
    I also found the DHB Vaeon Pro bib shorts plus warmers very good

    Another vote for moon shield rear. The Moon 500 was a good light for unlit roads.

    Toe warmers rather than full boots. You can just leave them all the time, and with a pair of merino socks they were warm enough for me
  • Rhodrich wrote:
    Am I the only person who just uses a beater in the winter, and doesn't worry about buying expensive stuff? The key to all winter stuff for me is cheapness, as it's all going to get trashed anyway. The only 'expensive' items on my bike are a dynamo front wheel and light set, as I never want to worry about lights dying on me, a Brooks saddle for comfort, and my trusty Carradice.

    My bike frame is a 1974 Viscount Aerospace Pro that I've had for over 20 years (which I used to ride to school on!), and the rest of the bike is made up of bits and pieces from my parts box/ eBay and cycle jumbles. Regarding tyres, providing they're 28mm or more, they should be fine, whatever brand you use (providing you're not riding on sheet ice). You're not going to be going fast anyway. I use Giant P-SL2 tyres, as at £7.50 each new, for a puncture protected folding tyre, they were the cheapest decent tyres I could find last year. I had 1 p**t***e with them in 2000 miles last winter.

    Are you commuting, and, if so, how far? Or just riding?
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • Rhodrich wrote:
    Am I the only person who just uses a beater in the winter, and doesn't worry about buying expensive stuff? The key to all winter stuff for me is cheapness, as it's all going to get trashed anyway. The only 'expensive' items on my bike are a dynamo front wheel and light set, as I never want to worry about lights dying on me, a Brooks saddle for comfort, and my trusty Carradice.

    My bike frame is a 1974 Viscount Aerospace Pro that I've had for over 20 years (which I used to ride to school on!), and the rest of the bike is made up of bits and pieces from my parts box/ eBay and cycle jumbles. Regarding tyres, providing they're 28mm or more, they should be fine, whatever brand you use (providing you're not riding on sheet ice). You're not going to be going fast anyway. I use Giant P-SL2 tyres, as at £7.50 each new, for a puncture protected folding tyre, they were the cheapest decent tyres I could find last year. I had 1 p**t***e with them in 2000 miles last winter.

    Are you commuting, and, if so, how far? Or just riding?

    28 mile round trip commute daily. Why do you ask?
    1938 Hobbs Tandem
    1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
    1960 Mercian Superlight Track
    1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
    1978 Dawes Chevron Fixed
    1980 Harry Hall
    1986 Dawes Galaxy
    1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
    1988 Pearson
    1989 Condor
    1993 Dawes Hybrid
    *Currently on this
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,108
    Doesn't the above ignore the fact that quite often winter conditions are relatively benign? Last year I didn't need to bother with overshoes and there were only a handful of mornings where there was any ice of note to worry about. The difference between summer kit and winter kit amounted to a pair of crudguards, a winter jacket, cap, gloves and 3/4s / knee warmers. I maybe knocked 10 to 15 PSI off my (23mm slick) tyre pressure, and of course added a set of lights. Otherwise it was the same bike as the rest of the year, without any issues. I really don't see why we need to start running beaters with tractor tyres just because its "winter"!
  • Interesting - I spend the most on winter stuff - it's when you need your gear to be good when it's below freezing or pi55ing down or blowing a gale - the clothes need to work and the bike needs to be safe and reliable.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Rode my best bike quite a bit last winter, the 105 was replaced with Ultegra in summer, it was a mess.




    Here's to Dura-Ace next summer ;)
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,062 Lives Here
    Cheap bike expensive attire.
  • Interesting - I spend the most on winter stuff - it's when you need your gear to be good when it's below freezing or pi55ing down or blowing a gale - the clothes need to work and the bike needs to be safe and reliable.

    I agree: even if not a lot of money is spent, any winter steed needs to be 'good', 'safe', and 'reliable'. Reliability for me means square taper bottom brackets, as outboard bearings don't last long in arduous conditions. It also means an 8 speed or less drivetrain, as I want a fatter chain that will last well through the winter months, and a strong wheel with less dish (I'm actually on 6 speed on the Viscount). Downtube friction shifters make a lot of sense - my STI's tend to get sticky in very cold weather. The reality is that older stuff tends to last longer than modern when it comes to a bike that you're doing serious miles on, especially in poor weather.
    1938 Hobbs Tandem
    1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
    1960 Mercian Superlight Track
    1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
    1978 Dawes Chevron Fixed
    1980 Harry Hall
    1986 Dawes Galaxy
    1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
    1988 Pearson
    1989 Condor
    1993 Dawes Hybrid
    *Currently on this
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    Interesting - I spend the most on winter stuff - it's when you need your gear to be good when it's below freezing or pi55ing down or blowing a gale - the clothes need to work and the bike needs to be safe and reliable.

    Yeah. This.
    iPete wrote:
    Rode my best bike quite a bit last winter, the 105 was replaced with Ultegra in summer, it was a mess.

    And that.

    I rode my best bike a bit too much last winter. It needed constant fettling and went through chain, cassette, cables, brake blocks, tyres, wheels, bearings etc - and then I went down on black ice so needed new RD hanger which took months to arrive... Plus, because its carbon, I was para about the frame being cracked, so paid out to get that checked too.

    I'd rather N+1 than have to spend all winter fettling and buying new stuff. Especially so now my round trip has gone from 12 to 50 miles. I do have a hybrid which could be my winter bike, but a) its not comfy enough to use for 3 hours everyday, b) it is too slow and c) it also needs some new parts. So N+1 it is!

    As for clothing, the older I get the more I feel the cold. However, if the Mirror is to believed, the cold shouldn't be a problem this year:
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/october-heatwave-could-hit-record-4302563
  • Rhodrich wrote:
    Interesting - I spend the most on winter stuff - it's when you need your gear to be good when it's below freezing or pi55ing down or blowing a gale - the clothes need to work and the bike needs to be safe and reliable.

    I agree: even if not a lot of money is spent, any winter steed needs to be 'good', 'safe', and 'reliable'. Reliability for me means square taper bottom brackets, as outboard bearings don't last long in arduous conditions. It also means an 8 speed or less drivetrain, as I want a fatter chain that will last well through the winter months, and a strong wheel with less dish (I'm actually on 6 speed on the Viscount). Downtube friction shifters make a lot of sense - my STI's tend to get sticky in very cold weather. The reality is that older stuff tends to last longer than modern when it comes to a bike that you're doing serious miles on, especially in poor weather.

    Or Di2 and hydraulic disc brakes ;-)

    In fact, in proper winter conditions (Nov to Mar normally), I rode an MTB with Ice Spikers with hydraulic disc brakes. But the clothes are really important - good gloves, jacket etc
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,320
    Bought some extra lights (USB rechargeable) and some knee warmers. Not sure I'll need the knee warmers - last winter I was in shorts and track mitts all season (apart from one night when I broke out the long-fingered gloves for the ride home).

    I do need to get a new rear wheel or axle for my old MTB, just in case the snow comes; I don't have any spiked tyres for the Tricross.
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,686
    Just an extra dose of MTFU
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    Rhodrich wrote:
    Interesting - I spend the most on winter stuff - it's when you need your gear to be good when it's below freezing or pi55ing down or blowing a gale - the clothes need to work and the bike needs to be safe and reliable.

    I agree: even if not a lot of money is spent, any winter steed needs to be 'good', 'safe', and 'reliable'. Reliability for me means square taper bottom brackets, as outboard bearings don't last long in arduous conditions. It also means an 8 speed or less drivetrain, as I want a fatter chain that will last well through the winter months, and a strong wheel with less dish (I'm actually on 6 speed on the Viscount). Downtube friction shifters make a lot of sense - my STI's tend to get sticky in very cold weather. The reality is that older stuff tends to last longer than modern when it comes to a bike that you're doing serious miles on, especially in poor weather.

    This is my Ribble last winter after a clean up. 18k miles. Mostly original components. I've recently replaced the rear mech and both chain rings. It's now on its third set of BB bearings (they are a bit censored but new ones cost £20 and take about 10 minutes to change). I keep plenty of spares in stock which I buy when I see it cheap. This bike is ridden in all weathers, 5 to 6 days a week. There's much to be said for keeping it simple and I am a big fan of downtube shifters but that's not to say that you can't run a modern bike through all sorts of weather reliably.

    As I see it, if you are doing lots of miles in winter, why not do it on something reasonably light - makes it less hard work and, even if it does cost more to run than an old bike, it's still vastly cheaper to run than a car.

    P1000442ed_zps8d8f156d.jpg
    Faster than a tent.......
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,686
    its not really modern now RF 2008 is so 1980s :lol:

    no EPS or anything sheesh
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • This would probably be a good winter bike.

    Fat tyres, loads of clearance, just needs guards, or an censored saver.
    Discs

    Perfect!

    2ebe1625f7d722562f0339a22b0611676be607b5_l.jpg
  • Coach HCoach H Posts: 1,287
    I don't do cold but IMO you need to be a bit overdressed rather than underdressed in Winter.
    All the people who rejoice is telling the world how they can ride in single figure temps in shorts or at worst knee warmers obviously have never had the joy of having a puncture/mechanical in an exposed location. Once the shivering starts (and it will) they all wish they had put longs on and not been quite so smug.

    A few years ago I had to escort someone home who I found at the side of the road shaking uncontrollably trying in vain to fix a puncture. Single digit temps and even lower with the wind chill but this guy was out in shorts, ss jersey and armwarmers no hat as he 'ran hot' and was fine before he stopped. Took us over an hour to get him the 5 miles to his house. His wife's relief and thanks turned into outrage and scorn just as I turned off his drive!!
    Coach H. (Dont ask me for training advice - 'It's not about the bike')
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