12 Top Tips For Surviving Your Winter Cycling Commute

Cycle commuting is a great way to fit regular exercise into a busy daily routine during the winter months. It’s got to beat sitting on that turbo-trainer in the spare room, right? Put your trepidation aside and get stuck right in with a selection of our top tips.

Stay Dry

1. Forget those heavy-duty waterproofs as you’ll end up putting a sweat on mere yards into the ride, (not to mention any uphills). Look for highly breathable, lightweight jackets (and trousers if it’s torrential) designed for greater comfort at higher levels of activity.


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2. If you want warm and dry feet in winter, water and windproof socks are worth considering for all but seriously nippy conditions.


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3. Oh, and go treat yourself to some mudguards.

Stay Warm

4. Wind is your main enemy:

A decent set of windproof gloves that don’t fit too snuggly or restrict your dexterity are best. Don’t get too worked up on waterproof; an insulating glove that still feels warm should it get wet is best.


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A neat way of regulating temperature without carrying much extra weight is to wear a light windproof jacket, for those in-between days a gilet version will happily suffice.


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This works best when worn with an appropriate cycling-specific base-layer.


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5. Keep cosy by wearing a thin under-helmet hat and/or BUFF – bitingly cold ears really are no fun!


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Stay Safe


6. Make sure you’re visible. If you’re wearing hi-vis at night you’ll generally get given a wider berth by drivers than you would in the day.


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7. Lights – Don’t skimp on both a high-powered front light (preferably rechargeable) and a decent rear one too. This may be one of your biggest costs, however, seeing (and being seen) really is key to your commuting success. Remember to switch on sooner rather than later – it doesn’t have to be dark already!

Stay Moving


8. To avoid unexpected bike maintenance en route get some appropriate ‘4 season’ tyres (for grip and puncture protection) and give the bike a more regular once-over. If in any doubts, take it to your local cycle shop before your upcoming commutes.


9. If you do run into problems you’ll want to be able to comfortably carry your spares, tools and a warm layer to throw on.


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Stay Motivated


10. If your journey is already reasonably lengthy in the summer then consider taking the train part of the way to keep it sustainable.


11. Find a cycling partner (or a virtual replacement!) to encourage you to rack up those commuting miles. A cycle computer/GPS watch can be a great way to keep motivation high.


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12. Stay clear of below freezing conditions to start with, and don’t force yourself out in particularly harsh conditions, but otherwise don’t hold back – just go for it!

Posted By

Tom Hecht - Cycling Expert


Regular cycle commuter Tom has an extensive knowledge of both road and mountain biking and competes occasionally in the Cotswold Race Team for events such as Mountain Mayhem; a 24 hour mountain bike endurance event. As a keen outdoor enthusiast he can also be found skiing, fell running, and scrambling to name just a few.