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  • What’s your winter strategy?
  • Premier Icon ta11pau1

    With it only being November and the moist winter murk and gloom having only just started, but already seeming to have lasted months, and with at least another 4 months left (oh, summer – what a faint and distant memory you are…), I’m intrigued to know what your winter strategy is for still putting in some decent miles?

    Do you don full winter gear, grab the MTB and give two fingers to the mud/slop/rain/cold, and enjoy the hilarity of sliding everywhere on wet roots, rocks and mud in the knowledge that come spring you’ll be a better rider thanks to it?

    Or do you break out the knobbies on the gravel bike and stick to fire roads/gravel/b roads, trying to stay away from the worst of the mud?

    Or, do you surrender completely and spend the next 4 months holed up on zwift in a warm, dry room?

    I’m trying decide whether to buy some knobbly tyres and/or a second wheelset for the gravel bike, or some full winter gear for the mtb (dirtsuit, waterproof socks/gloves), plus a decent front light for some night rides. Unfortunately I don’t have the room for an indoor trainer so option 3 is out the door.


    Premier Icon simondbarnes

    Eat food, get fat(ter)

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Option one for me, but I really need to force myself back onto my road bike this winter.

    Plus increased gym-based activity (weight training, swimming and intervals).

    Premier Icon oldnpastit

    A couple of years ago I went to Morocco for a week to solve this exact problem. It was a complete success.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon

    Generally less MTB’ing. I’m not adverse to riding in mud, just the cost and maintenance!

    So more singlespeeding.
    Swinley, but tending to avoid the horrible bits.
    Solo night rides are almost all on the CX.
    Not more time on the road bike, but I don’t cut back as much as I do the MTBing.
    SSCX bike has been converted into a fixie with guards. Because an hour on the fixie hurts a lot more than an hour on the geared bike even if it only managed 2/3 the distance!

    This usually lasts until early December when I loose the will to maintain stuff and one at a time the bikes end up in the back of the shed broken.

    Aborted attempt at the festive 500.

    Fix the singlespeed.

    Ride sporadically till Easter, getting less and less fit.

    Finally fix all bikes.

    Convince myself that next year will be better and I won’t just spend all summer recovering from winter.

    Singlespeed hardtail (P7) for the slop snow and mud. Hardly motivated at the mo but just upgrading to some used Sektors and a thru front wheel. This upgrade will force riding in shitty weather to justify. That’s the theory. Wyre, FoD, local from door.

    Rigid 29er 2×10 for utility (Longitude). Needs full mudguards fitting yet. Going with SKS Edge 75 (long). Won’t be used much saving for summer tours.

    Vast majority of wintery wheel-sport, war-on-waist, aerobic exercise etc this year will be every other evening/night-jaunts on the foot-bike (Kostka Tour). Ultimate low-maintenace machine and warmer in use (less speed, more effort). This is a new toy and I’m really enjoying it. Very lightweight too, which feels like a load off. Pogies at the ready…but as of now is more than warm enough.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk

    Last two winters – CX Racing!

    Would spend spring/summer mostly just training for the winter, it was quite a good way to look at it, used foreign riding holidays as training camps (hard day, rest day, hard day etc) which made them more fun as ‘rest days’ were really just ‘sitting by the pool ogling girls and drinking beers’ days. Come late summer I’d drag the turbo out and start getting in some specific high intensity stuff done and would start practicing some more CX specific skills (falling off on muddy off-cambers, running).

    This winter – tedious injuries requiring surgery and months off the bike! Means most of next year will be spent getting back to fitness in time for CX season 2020/21…

    Premier Icon scotroutes

    Fatbike for the snowy days.

    Get muddy on the MTB.

    #gradventourer with mudguards and 47mm tyres for wet roads when it’s not icy,  but fit spikes to a spare set of wheels for when it is.

    Fit in a few runs when conditions are appropriate as there’s less faff.

    Get over to the Lecht for some skiing.

    Winter hillwalking boots and crampons etc already looked out.

    Might even get the packraft out for some paddling.

    No interest at all in turbo trainers, Zwift, spin classes etc. Being outside is both the means and the end goal.

    Premier Icon lunge

    Cycling tends to be reduced to commuting and the odd road ride when the weather is sunny and clear.
    Running and gym classes tend to keep me fit. I stay at around 30 miles running per week which keeps me entertained.
    I will occasionally get on Zwift but that’s becoming rarer and rarer.

    Premier Icon Akers

    Ride MTB during the odd drier moments,
    Road rides,
    More time in the gym,
    Go on skiing holiday.

    Premier Icon w00dster

    Zwift during the week for me. At least 4 indoor sessions a week on the wattbike and at least one ride at the weekends. Either road or MTB depending on the weather.
    Went out on the mountain bike both days this weekend, didn’t really enjoy Sunday’s ride as it was sloppy, I made a few mistakes – nothing major just resulting in touching down – but annoys me. Also couldn’t get up one of the hills I normally get up with no problems.
    Wasn’t horrendously muddy, just claggy in the odd place.
    Tempted to get a hardtail, my full sus is really good bike, but with the Shorty’s on the front it feels dead when climbing.

    Truth be told, I lost my MTB mojo 2 years ago. I can feel it coming back, strangely, as the trails are manky and dark!.

    In that time, I’ve been running and hillwalking, as my wife, daughter and I do both activities as a family, and tbh I prefer doing stuff with them.

    In 2nd year of a part time degree too, so running is easier to fit in due to study and it’s time constraints.

    So, in answer to OP, running and hills. And quite often both.

    I’m much fitter and stronger on the bike when I actually put a leg over it. 😁

    Zwift and free RGTcycling on the turbo, mix of races; TTs; freerides and ERG training sessions.

    Cycle commuting in pretty much all weathers.

    Hoping to try and do some outdoor stuff on the fatbike with the road tyres fitted, last winter I didn’t and come spring (albeit I had a lurgy that lasted ages), I’d forgotten what it was like to do 3+ hour rides and suddenly anything ~40+ miles was really daunting.


    Mixed surface commute 3-4 days a week ..medium/ticking over pace.
    Gravel up 😉

    Night ride once a week.
    One ride at the weekend,whatever bike will work best*.
    Indoor climbing.
    Plan lots of trips for 2020.
    Keep on keeping on.

    *Everything has mudguards

    Premier Icon dawson

    Currently down to  a mix of 1 singlespeed ride a week as it’s so  muddy that slogging through the mud and the cleaning afterwards is getting very tedious and then a couple of road/back lane rides but they are pretty shitty/muddy too.

    Still just about managing 100miles/week though.

    Premier Icon mattbee

    Turbo, gravel bike on road/less mucky off road and mtb when it gets frosty or if we have a nice long dry spell like last Jan/Feb and the trails aren’t quite so horrific.

    Premier Icon jam bo

    Go running
    Avoid ill people.

    In my case winter style nobbly tyres on mtb “enjoy” more drag and more grip but smile at the thought of how much easier it will be when summer tyres go back on.

    Crack out the lights, ride more at night, more challenge, more dark to ride in :/ so those two go together.

    Treat myself as the biggest barrier to riding, the thought of heading out is worse than the grin when i’m out, so good mental training to MTFU and go.

    If you need more motivation (as others above have said) buy something expensive then go ride it 😉

    My new Joystick headlight just arrived so I now have all that motivation ….

    Bring forth cold, muddy slop and grins.


    Premier Icon martinhutch

    Just embarking on a month of keto before Christmas. There’ll be a bit of riding in there, but I only have about 50 miles to make my target for the year, so I might give my body a bit of a rest and do lots of stretching.

    No turbo, because even riding in the rain and cold is better.

    Start building up some easy-paced miles in January. Just ordered some full-length waterproofs from the Royal Racing sale, as it looks like it’s going to be one of *those* winters.

    Premier Icon calv145

    Turbo 3 evenings a week doing intervals.

    1 early morning ride for an hour, and back in time to get the kids ready for school.

    3-4 hour ride at the weekend.

    I’m determined to get through this winter and come out fitter and lighter at the other end.

    Weirdly I ride more in winter than summer.
    lots of road miles. Lots of muddy mtb rides either on a basic hardtail or a SS, and some/lots of cx depending on the year.
    I’m local to you TallPaul. The whole Greensand ridge remains rideable all winter. Don’t bother with the N.Downs. Peaslake or Swinley are only an hour away as is Hadleigh.
    When it gets cold and dry the South Downs are superb.
    Gorrick Brass Monkey series gives you some great all weather racing on decent trails. First round this weekend!
    Best bit about winter and especially at night is the absence of dog walkers and ramblers on the local trails. Great for exploring those cheekier trails.


    Bit of extra swimming, mix of hardtail, gravel bike and sufferfest on turbo til start of Dec
    Then the plan is to do a sufferfest session every day for first 23 days of advent ( maybe with 2 rest days as per a grand tour) then into festive 500. We will see how far I get

    Mister P

    I’ll carry on commuting by bike but it’s now a steel singlespeed with mudguards instead of a carbon bike with Di2. I have a large selection of winter riding kit so it’s not that bad.

    plus one

    Lots of winter road miles and gym. Once. Recover from hip injury 🙁


    I will be doing pretty much the same distances as in summer as I ride mostly on gravel and the gravel drains very well. The few bits of single track I ride on are unrideable already, not helped by my 28c tyres.


    Two nights spinning class
    Two nights weights
    one gravel ride (now sticking to forest roads after yesterdays slop fest!)
    one single speed ride

    Try and keep the weight down and eat lots of fruit/veg/vitamin c

    Get ready to waste it all on Xmas binge.


    Road riding. CX racing, but can’t be bothered with the mud round here off-road otherwise.

    If it goes properly sub-zero, I’ll switch to off-road. Worst weather is hovering around zero: still muddy off-road, but risk of ice on-road.

    I just carry on as more or less usual on the MTB (3 maybe 4 rides a week) just like summer time,just about all my local riding is still available…..just more of a challenge – harder so range gets reduced and the jetwasher earns it’s keep.

    Premier Icon Kryton57

    Lots of long endurance rides and intervals.   Intervals via Zwift in the week, out on the road at the weekend with a few Gorrick Races ridden slowly for Endurance training.

    My aim is mostly endurance training but also a bit of MTFU as I’m a fair weather rider, so I predict miserable Saturday and Sunday mornings for a bit.   However, the Gravel bike is winterised and ready to go.

    Premier Icon CheesybeanZ

    Netflix and vodka.

    Premier Icon Squirrel

    I just carry on as normal, riding most days on the mtb. OK, it’s muddy, but so what really….

    Hob Nob

    A bit more gym, ongoing rehab of my wonky shoulder, in the hope one day it will be stronger again.

    Occasional CX race, and dicking about on single on the CX bike.

    Not enough riding of the proper bike, even with the right kit. Sliding everywhere, all the time does get a bit boring. And so much washing of dirty kit.

    Premier Icon sheck

    Was doing OK for the first 2 months of winter! but failed to get out this weekend… worked out a fire road loop based 1.5 hour MTB loop from back door with 500m climbing. Doing this twice per week, with 1 turbo session and (aspirationally) 1 long road/frozen off road ride at the weekend is the plan

    Premier Icon ta11pau1

    So, muddy MTB rides, mixed surface gravel rides, night riding, oh and buying new stuff as motivation to use it! 🙂

    Plus the odd holiday in a warm, dry place.

    Towards the end of summer I’d started to get my fitness to a level I wanted, I remeber the start of the year and the suffering that being unfit caused, bot being able to enjoy the rides – so not riding for the next few months just aint an option.

    @rollindoughnut yeah surrey hills, bedgebury and hadleigh are all OK durng winter and all within an hours drive, the north downs is on my doorstep as you say it’s not great with the mud and chalk base being very slippery.

    I should get to the gym again too, the next few months would be the perfect time to do so – I’ve a bit of a weak core which means some back pain after a ride – when I had this before it completely dissapeared once I was squatting/deadlifting etc regularly.

    Premier Icon nickc

    Mix of MTB and rollers.

    Obviously the mid-week dash-out-for-a-quick-hour rides you can do in the summer get canned, but I try to keep up the exercise on the rollers during the week and get out (if it’s not actually biblical) for a longer ride at the weekend. These days with mud specific spikes, decent clothes, and mudguards, winter riding isn’t “that bad” although it can feel like you spend as much time cleaning the bike as riding it.

    Premier Icon hardtailonly

    Think I will mostly sack off MTB until March, and even sack off ‘gravel’ too as most of the gravel is either mud or puddles.

    If we get periods of a few days where it doesn’t rain, then may dig out either bike, but otherwise, trail running and road-riding (I don’t ever choose road-riding over trails, so that shows how bad it’s become / I expect it to continue to get … 😒😣

    Premier Icon Yak

    Going to sack off attempts at fitness as I usually have some kiddie bug or other for most of it. So instead going to focus on skills and fun stuff. Rides with kids and some regular bikepark stuff mostly.

    Don’t really change things that much – Wind Hill every Sunday and the occasional trip to Triscombe or BPW on other weekends. If it’s not too wet I’ll do a mid week afternoon ride on the trails at Rowberrow; failing that I’ll head to the pump track.

    I do pretty much the same the rest of the year, except I usually get 2 rides in mid-week and they tend to be longer.

    I’ve got no interest in road riding.


    Premier Icon oldagedpredator

    Getting zifty, some road, more mtb and mostly trying to ski as much as possible. Calling it a strategy might be a particularly bold interpretation of the situation.

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