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Winter Riding 

There are no excuses.. 


Jim's reviews

Read this months article from Jim our leading expert on all things biking.

Winter riding is enjoyable, honestly!

Riding a bicycle throughout a British winter can seem like a daunting and miserable experience. But with the right choice of clothing and equipment riding through the cold dark months can be enjoyable, rewarding and inspiring. This might just be the time of year when the roads are quieter, the countryside it’s most beautiful and the camaraderie of riding with friends is acute.

Work, family commitments and shorter day can mean the only time available for riding your bike is during the dark evenings – great! As I often say riding through the winter means you had better get yourself a good jacket and some good lights. With advances in rechargeable LED light systems there’s never been more choice, covering a wide range of price points. For people riding in areas with no ambient lighting we recommend lights with a minimum of 300 – 400 lumens. This is sufficiently bright to illuminate the road ahead and to cut through rain or mist if required. If you plan to ride a lot at night, then lights with 800 to 900 lumens or above really start to turn night into day. You will also start to see the advanced options; component systems where the battery is separate to the lamp, remote switches, helmet mounting options etc. We offer lights from Cateye, Blackburn, Gloworm and Lupine; all chosen for their quality, reliability and superb after sale support.


The other winter essential is keeping warm but not necessarily dry, here’s why… Cycling can be a high activity sport and you will be working hard while riding, especially climbing. You will perspire to a degree and that moisture will be the thing that makes you cold once the energy level drops. To be comfortable it is essential that your clothing choices allow your body to breath, wick moisture away from the skin and keep you dry. We advocate clothing choices that allow a high degree of breathability as they will keep you more comfortable more of the time. The military discourage the use of ‘waterproof’ clothing when the temperature drops as they have noted an increase in cold injury compared to more breathable options.

For cyclists, the three key areas to consider are the extremities; feet, hands and head. Wool socks and overshoes work well to keep your feet dry and warm. If you ride regularly then a specific pair of winter boots are worth thinking about. For the head, thin skull caps or headbands that can be worn under the helmet stop the chill of the wind rushing through the vents and insulate the top of the head. Most will cover the ears too. Gloves can be a very personal choice depending on how much you feel the cold, the feel of padding padding in the palm of the glove and fit. Again a softshell glove with good breathability will prove to the most comfortable in most situations. We offer a range of gloves from Pearl Izumi whose quality and attention to detail is fantastic.

As the Norwegians might say, ‘There is no such thing as poor weather, just poor clothing choices.’


Shop with us.

We've chosen a few of our most relevant products to showcase if you're interested in this article and want to get the gear.

See below.

Featured Products

Below are a few choice products we recommend if your interested in our Winter Riding article above.

Gloworm X1 Light System


The Gloworm X1 Light System (950 Lumens)is the second light in the Gloworm range – designed 100% in NZ. The new X1 is the first bicycle light system powered by the new Cree XM-L2 U2 emitter – approximately 12% brighter than last years model!

The X1 gives out an astonishing 950 lumens from a unit weighing in at 58g (remote and mount included) and 32mm in diameter. It boasts the same characteristics as the X2 in being waterproof, robust and CNC machined from 6061 Alloy – No plastic parts here!

The optics are a custom solution designed to provide maximum throw while maintaining a beam pattern that is easy on the eye – no discolouration, round beam and no artifacts. The kit will include 3 interchangable optics: Flood, Spot, Super Spot.

This tiny unit will utilise the same low profile style mounting solution as the X2 for the helmet, additionally our new Carbon Composite QR bar mount is also included and is compatible with all othe lights in the range.

The X1 will be supplied with a 2 cell battery, once again containing high capacity Panasonic cells. Its capacity will be 2900 mAh giving a runtime of 2hr 15min on maximum. The 2 cell battery is completely compatible with all Gloworm X-Series lights.

Available to order from Independent Bikeworks

Shimano RW5 Winter Boot


  • DRYSHIELD® membrane with fleece liner keeps feet warm and comfortable in rain, wind and cold.
  • Insole with fleece liner for added insulation and heat retention
  • Lace flap and neoprene ankle collar keep out water and dirt
  • Adaptable cup insole with fleece liner
  • Speed lacing system allow fast, easy adjustments and a secure fit
  • 360-degree Fluorescent reflective printing

Available to order from Independent Bikeworks
From £129.99

Pearl Izumi Pro Softshell 180 Jacket

Perfect for wet and cold riding conditions with wind and water resistant Softshell fabric on the front, and highly breathable thermal on the back and underarm panels


  • Direct-Vent panels provide superior ventilation
  • Full-length internal draft flap with zipper garage seals in warmth
  • One hand pull elastic draw cord at collar seals in warmth
  • One zippered back pocket with three inside dividers
  • 360 degree reflectivity
  • Form Fit
  • Fabrics: Body 82% Polyester 13% Minerale™ Polyester 5% Polyurethane

Available to order from Independent Bikeworks