What’s your winter strategy?

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 110 total)
  • What’s your winter strategy?
  • Premier Icon northernsoul

    I currently have my mojo, and so put knobblies on and carry on as normal, minus the longer distance summer rides. I don’t mind the mud and like the chance to ride more at night. I do look forward to putting summer tyres on though and hope that the slogging through mud has some fitness benefits come spring.

    I’m a bit of a one trick pony in sofar as all I do is MTB.

    I run mudguards, gear up with a portable spray washer and up the maintenance.

    It’s also about choosing my battles – I avoid the stickiest bits and ride on local trail centres more often, and I’m more flexible with my riding schedule to make the most of what the weather is doing. I also end up riding a bit less and eating/drinking a bit more.

    Premier Icon ajantom

    I normally plow through on the MTB all winter, with the occasional road/gravel ride if it’s really manky out.

    However, it’s been so wet this autumn that my local trails are horrendously boggy, so I’ve sorted my Pompino fixie out, and will be doing some miles on that in lieu of the MTB for a while.

    CX racing keeps me motivated until the end of December, then some friends of mine put on a local informal CX race series with a difference in January which means that there is only February and March to get through. I have just got myself a rigid singlespeed MTB again after a year or two without which means I can go out every evening after work in the deep slop and not worry about the bike too much, especially as it is fully mudguarded up. I also used to use my steel CX bike a lot but it broke a couple of years ago but my frame builder friend who made it hasn’t got round to fixing it just yet. I might get some traing wheels for my CX race bike (as both wheelsets I have are tubs) so I can use that or I might just use my old carbon road bike which I haven’t got round to selling yet. I would still rather get cold and wet than sit on a mouse wheel pedalling like an idiot and going no where.

    Premier Icon root-n-5th

    Usually single speed and gravelly stuff, but this year I seem to have taken up running. Loving it so far, go two or three times a week and getting stronger.

    Out at weekend in Swinley with the retro crew, global fat bike day soon. It’s all good. Be interesting to see how bike fitness is as I haven’t been on bike for a few months. Expecting a sore backside.

    Premier Icon Tracey

    Don’t change much. Same bikes, same tyres, same trails. Rain, mud, snow and frost. Like I tell the girls its all character building.


    Embrace the filth.


    I normally revert to hard tail at the weekends and zwift, however, for the first year I have a winter road bike with mudguards so I’m now able to carry on through the cold and damp winter on the roadie. Trying to slowly equip my roadie winter wardrobe is challenging though because my budget is tight. I’m aiming to hit 5k miles by the end of the year so I’m currently stuck trying to average 114 miles a week which is getting a bit much but I’m stubborn sod. So my pattern is Monday zwift, Tuesday squash, Wednesday outdoors if I can or zwift again if it’s too gross, zwift either Thursday or Friday depending on what’s going on with my life. Then Saturday and Sunday it’s one day roadie and one day mtb depending on the rain, if it’s raining I prefer mtb. It also helps this year as I just got a new full sus so I’m keen to ride it as much as I can. I also think being able to carry on riding in the winter slop makes you a better rider in the dry weather so I keep going. It’s only mud, just more faff to clean off.

    Sideways MTBing! Used to be more on the hardtail, now that’s more the summer bike and the ebike is more fun in the filth!

    I stick some gears and mudguards on the rigid mtb and carry on regardless. The full sus gets occasional outings when its dry enough not to kill me on a slippy berm.

    Other than that a roller session and a run to keep me out of trouble (and to counteract the increased whisky and mince pie intake).

    I was riding Peaslake last Friday eve and I seriously questioned why anyone would want to do this as a sport! But then mucking about on the new Swinley Summit skills park on Saturday reminded me! This is my 25th winter riding the slop.

    You’d think I’d learn…

    Premier Icon DezB

    Can’t be arsed with all the cleaning that goes with winter riding. My kitchen and hallway are still covered in muddy stuff from Saturday. Maybe get out a few times, but I mostly stick to commuting.


    Add “building new CX/Gravel bike from parts including handbuilt wheels” to my winter strategy now!

    Was waiting for new bike to work scheme to start, but was just not happy with any of the off the shelf bikes that I could afford, all had one fatal flaw which ruled them out, so am going custom.

    Kinesis CX1 frame, carbon forks, Avid Shorty Ultimates, Pacenti rims on DT 350s, Praxis sub-compact chainset, 105 gears except for Ultegra GX derailleur.

    Should keep me out of trouble while back heals 🙂


    absolutely nothing changes all year, except what im wearing.

    i have no interest in anything other than riding mtb.

    Premier Icon weeksy

    I’m trying but life is getting in the way of the outdoors stuff at the moment, well that and the constant rain. I don’t mind the mud, but i don’t want to just ride constantly in rain. This weekend may be FoD for the little fodders race, but my 11 year old is struggling with lurgy, so maybe not.

    If he’s not playing, then i’ll deffo be riding outside, if he is, then of course i’ll be there too.

    But it’s not nearly as common/often as i’d like ideally.

    Zwift of course is getting a hammering.

    Premier Icon Kryton57

    I’m supposed to ride for a few hours Saturday but it’s going to be 1 degree at 8am, likely not worth the risk on the roads , so it’ll be zwift o clock.

    Premier Icon iainc

    usually business as normal, a Sunday ride, one or 2 evening rides, combination of mtb, gravel, road, depending on the conditions. Also 3-4k in the pool most weeks.

    Bit different this time as smashed my shoulder 5 weeks ago and going for reconstruction later this week. I have ordered a turbo – i hated the last one I had 15 years ago, but needs must, so will be that, combined with as much walking round nearby windfarm as I can fit it. I suspect my days of knocking out 2k front crawl in the pool may be over..

    Premier Icon jameso

    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?

    Option 4 mostly when it’s this bad – comfy road bike with fat tyres, good guards and decent lights. HRM on and mostly Z2 pace, 3-6hr rides. It’s good outside time, I enjoy it, even when it’s raining it’s not to bad for a couple of hours. SS rigid 29er comes out for shorter rides locally, happily longer if it’s not a quagmire – wet, filthy and back for a shower and a brew.
    So, base miles for spring long-ride fitness and a SS for the more intensive rides w/o maintenance faff.


    Used to live in a house with hot and cold outside taps, large concrete area and proper big drain – that made all the difference for winter riding.

    Getting on a bit now, so not so keen to get wet and muddy and lack of above facilities has impacted. Still get the single speed sorted and once out, on single track and bridleways, I always enjoy it. But full sus is put away and tend not to ride DH/tech in these conditions. We avoid the road riding in winter, bit nasty, too mucky, cold and dim light etc..


    Well, I have half studded winter tyres on the commuter now and lights are permanently attached, so that part is ready for winter, but I have yet to decide what to do about ‘pleasure’ biking over the next four months.

    The stumpy needs a new rear tyre that actually has a bit more grip and does not cry sealant juice over the floor, which means another fight with tubeless. If that works, then there should be no issue with running it as it is all winter. Apart from the severe cold (-15 to -25) and the lack of light (basically from 1500hrs onwards it is pretty dark). If I can get to the local trails, it should be fun, but they will have zero traffic, so I may need to clear the flow track myself.

    No zwift, but a turbo is tempting now I have the rear wheel on the road bike fixed.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1

    Trainer road for a month or so, the xc ski until the trails defrost sometime in may


    Switch to hardtail predominantly, add mud tyres (made a massive difference to my enjoyment), add mudguard and carry on riding 2-3 times a week. Whilst happy to do this I detest for some reason, road riding in the wet/grimy/gritty weather so the miles accumulated really slows this time of year.

    Try to jog round wet fields once a week too but that is v intermittent. Need to add some core exercises into the mix as feel I’m weakening in that respect.


    I just carry on regardless. although I do tend to ride offroad more in winter. it feels easier on my fubar body.
    a winter touring is awesome. got one planned for over xmas. lots of pub/café action.

    Premier Icon gallowayboy

    Mudguards on, lights always on charge, same tyres its always a bit muddy here if its not it soon will be. Some trails are avoided, rides are maybe a bit shorter. By February I’m a bit sick of it though…

    Premier Icon ta11pau1

    Trainer road for a month or so, the xc ski until the trails defrost sometime in may

    [pic of a proper winter]

    See I’d much rather have that sort of winter, a proper “off-season”, not the “winter” we get down here in the south east. It was great when I used to commute year round on the motorbike, only a day or 2 of snow and rarely any days below freezing.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon

    Obviously the mid-week dash-out-for-a-quick-hour rides you can do in the summer get canned,

    Thats usually the last thing I drop.

    If its miserable then 5 hours of clubrun might be beyond my motivation levels, or a long slog in the mud but I can usually drag myself out of the house for an hour in the evening to avoid im a celebrity come ice dancing with me.


    for local riding nothing changes. I’ve got country lanes or an urban, country park, cheeky , road, singletrack route that’s fine in the wet. Going to be doing them in the dark soon which I enjoy more.

    Further afield I avoid aston hill in the winter for dh but still go to chicksands and am hoping to try Woburn soon, both good in the wet.

    Premier Icon benp1

    Currently the same as my summer strategy, which is largely based around having 3 kids including one very young one

    Ride to work for my base fitness. On the weekends ride the cargo bike to run errands and take the kids to school. None of it is ‘fun’ but it’s all fun! Would rather be out for a local MTB ride but no time for that at the moment.

    Managing around 100 miles a week at the moment but that’s all utility cycling, rather than ‘going for a ride’. Could be worse I suppose

    The extra clothing cleaning is annoying but I mostly ignore the bike bar keeping the drivetrain and stanchions all happy. I find one of the joys of winter is that everything happens in slow motion in the mud, drifting is easier and when it goes wrong the crashes hurt far less.

    Sometimes the wet roots and logs can be a bit of a nightmare, as can the steepest trails. So I can’t back off and chill like in the dry but conversely it’s easier to ride on the ragged edge.

    I wouldn’t ride on roads (bar essential commuting) or turbos if you paid me.

    Premier Icon BillOddie

    After last winter of riding all the way through the winter with my boys we’ve not ventured out for about 2 months, local stuff is literally under water (there are new ponds where there were not ponds before) and I shudder to think how bad the likes of Cannock, Pines and Peaks are. Cleaning 3 bikes for an hour in the cold and wet after riding in the cold and wet for 3 hours.

    I don’t seem to be able to generate the mojo to get out on the Grrrrravel bike, maybe this weekend???!!

    I have been staying sane with lifting weights, walking the dog ever longer distances, NFL Gamepass and a BT Sport subscription.


    Get rid of my current vile cold.

    Get new ‘winter’ hardtail (Stanton Sherpa) built up

    Ride it in whatever rubbish weather the Bleak Peak has to offer

    Premier Icon Sir HC

    Big mudguard on the front. Shorty on the front of the xc/trailbike, assegai on the big bike. Carry on riding, good fun sliding about.

    Managed to kill two reverbs since september. Scored the back of the shafts, guessing mud ingress as the seals have started to fail. One has done 5000miles, the other 4500miles, neither had a full service in their lifetime.


    Shorter rides and mainly on the road. Mudguards and lights all the way. Most of the trails are best avoided, and i’m not a fan of slow-motion mud plugging on the trails I have round here. I’m also not a fan of increasing erosion for the sake of it. Road riding is mainly on back lanes and a few gravel tracks, these are usually fairly filthy and flooded so it kinda feels like off road. Utility biking around town and to the train station most days, which i enjoy. Mix it up with swimming or a run, and more walking than i’d do in summer. Oh, and going for a short cycling break in Tenerife in February, that’ll help!

    Premier Icon Daffy

    Extended commuting mainly.

    160-200km per week in all weathers (except ice). I know they say “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear”, but no gear reduces the pain of a massive headwind.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon

    but no gear reduces the pain of a massive headwind.

    Conversely I had a lovely ride last night, by chance picked an outbound route sheltered by the trees and a return leg on the flood plain. Withe the fixed gear it actually felt like someone was pushing my feet round for me on the way back!

    Bought some riding trousers. Loving it.

    Premier Icon ta11pau1

    Just bought some bib shorts (first ever pair) and some knee length sealskinz socks, that should keep out the rain/mud where I’d have gaps between my shorts/top and socks/kneepads.

    Still very tempted by a dirtsuit but it’ll have to wait until the new year.


    Accept the weather for what it is and if necessary, use as an excuse for a new bike – ideally rigid single-speed.

    Take bike out of shed, ride, get muddy, put bike in shed, repeat as necessary.

    Also helps to realise that in less than a month its the shortest day, then its just a case of counting down to summer.

    And of course its a great time for planning next year’s biking trip.


    Up until this year I was out riding in all weathers with the odd turbo session, coupled with CX racing – but not done much of that in 2017/18 and 2018/19, the former due to injury and the latter due to taking a break after Euro & World 24hr Solo Champs escapades, but this year it’s been a concentrated effort of serious turbo / Zwift trainer sessions, a full regional CX race programme (which runs until the end of January) and when the weather is more than half decent actually ride outside.

    Plus the odd ride, again when the weather is more than half decent, out with my two eldest for an hour or so.

    I know there are those completely against the whole indoor thing and the “just put some winter riding gear on and get out brigade” but to be frank, unless it’s a CX race weekend I really can’t be bothered getting filthy, wet & cold all just to ride outside.

    I know there are those completely against the whole indoor thing and the “just put some winter riding gear on and get out brigade” but to be frank, unless it’s a CX race weekend I really can’t be bothered getting filthy, wet & cold all just to ride outside.

    And to be fair, the endorphin rush of a really good workout, the sort you can never really get out doors, is reason enough for a bit of time on the turbo, I’ve been out injured for a while and actually and properly miss a session in our cold damp garage with the headphones and the turbo!

    The naysayers should give it a shot, basic turbos are ten-a-penny second hand now, a bit of experimenting is all it takes to figure out your ‘zones’ and the GCN videos are good enough that you’ll feel genuinely pleased when you reach the snowline on your chosen climb, even if it’s just a video on your 17″ laptop screen!

    [/pining for turbo]

    Cycling tends to be reduced to commuting and the odd road ride when the weather is sunny and clear.

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