The secret to year-round cycling in different temperatures is layering. It’s important that cyclists dress appropriately depending on the weather and can adapt to the changing external conditions. In addition to this, it’s important to take note of changing levels of personal exertion.
Cycling in the rain is part of life for keen cyclists, no matter the time of year, and although it isn’t something to look forward to, precautions can be taken to make it more enjoyable. First ensure you invest in a waterproof jacket and wear overshoes and gloves to keep in the warmth. Check your tyres as rainwater can wash all sorts of dirt on to the roads, and when your tyres are wet, they pick up more of it than usual. Use lights to make yourself more visible when it's raining, especially when cycling along busy main roads. Find out more about what to wear cycling in rain.
When cycling in cold weather it’s important to consider all areas. Small gaps in clothes can let in cold air and cause discomfort. Areas like wrists, ankles, and the lower back are all places that air can creep in. Ensure you pull your sleeves over your gloves and secure all zippers. Don’t ignore your head, face, and neck. A lot of heat can be lost in these areas, so a hat is a good way to adjust your temperature quickly. Likewise, a hooded layer can help keep warmth in. There’s an extensive range of clothing for cycling in cold weather from sweaters to cycling jackets, and shorts to tights. It’s best to ensure that you opt for waterproof and water-resistant materials when cycling in cold weather.
It’s essential to keep yourself warm when cycling in autumn when the temperature is naturally cooler. A good pair of gloves and overshoes will ensure you keep warm and dry. A traditional cap or under helmet skull cap will help keep your head warm in cooler conditions.
A good cycling jacket will only do so much when cycling in winter, therefore it’s important you layer up. You might want to consider the following items of clothing: base layer, bib shorts or tights, cycling jersey, arm and leg warmers, gilet, soft shell jacket, waterproof jacket, overshoes, gloves, hat or skull cap, and a neck warmer.
Now that you’re all set in the clothing department, you may be wondering where to go cycling. The UK has an abundance of cycling trails to choose from offering something for all abilities. For a full list of the trails available we recommend The National Cycle Network, a UK-wide network of signed paths and routes for cycling. You’ll also discover a variety of trails at Forestry England, with over 2,500km of cycling trails to choose from. For more inspiration we’ve listed 10 of the best forest cycle trails in the UK and don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide to cycling in the forest.