Winterising my commute

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I have a few miles a day on a bike to and fro from my house to the train station.  I've not done it through winter yet so been able to get away so far without lights and stuff.

It's now dawn/twilight when I am riding in both directions so I need to get some lights, and whilst I am at it I'm going to get some gloves and a day-glo rucksac cover.

The ride is through a small town so not unlit country lanes.

I plan to just head to Go Outdoors tomorrow and pick up something cheap and cheerful.  Any advice or recommendations?  Anything else I should consider buying?

I'm stony broke at the moment so cheap is my watchword, though I would much rather spend a bit more and get something that will last than buy the cheapest possible and have to replace.  I guess good value is the watch word not cheap!

Sorry for the ramble.

 elsewhere 29 Sep 2018
In reply to Bobling:

Aldi cycling special offers Sunday 30 April

The aldi £12.99 usb led lights are very good for being seen. Keep receipt as they may pack up.

Ebay has even cheaper USB rechargeable lights.

Post edited at 17:36
In reply to Bobling:

you got mudguards?

 the sheep 29 Sep 2018
In reply to Bobling:

Gloves that keep you warm are a must. On the plus side the Aldi winter cycle gloves are great and not expensive so keep an eye out for them. Their winter tights are bloody good too

In reply to the sheep:

 

> Gloves that keep you warm are a must.

^^^This.

> On the plus side the Aldi winter cycle gloves are great and not expensive so keep an eye out for them. 

Decathlon also has cheapish but good kit. Their cycling gloves are less bulky than the Aldi ones, but both work fine. You can pick up Decathlon stuff in your local Asda.

 

In reply to Bobling:

The Aldi stuff is great. I think they have bike stuff in from tomorrow, the USB charging back and front flashing light sets are excellent then I also got a little USB charging front lamp in addition. The five LED red flashing lights that you can clip on to a rucksack and run on two AAAs you can sometimes find in 99p shops and also work surprisingly well. I normally have two lights front and two back in winter. Decathlon basic yellow rain jackets get a bit sweaty on longer rides but are less than 20 quid, well designed and very high Viz!

 elsewhere 29 Sep 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> Aldi cycling special offers Sunday 30 April

NO! Tomorrow as Toby says. 30 Sept. Where on earth did I get that April brain fart from? 

> The aldi £12.99 usb led lights are very good for being seen. Keep receipt as they may pack up.

> Ebay has even cheaper USB rechargeable lights.

 

Post edited at 20:27
 Dave B 29 Sep 2018
In reply to Bobling:

Put a long strip of this on your bike on the seat stays

www.popularauctionsite.address/itm/Reflective-Tape-Hi-Intensity-Self-Adhesive-Choose-Length-Width-Colour-/321309154184

Or similar. 

Spoke reflectors are really visible from the side... You don't need loads per wheel

Again aldi have them tomorrow for £9

Also comes with reflective bands to keep trousers out of drive chain. Worth using. 

Bike lights on all the time you are  riding. 

I'm happy with my aldi back light, and the front light is OK. Last years version of https://www.aldi.co.uk/bikemate-rechargeable-bike-lights/p/086287232202700

 

Mudguards. Chromo plastic of some form, are my preference. 

I put extra reflective tape on my commute helmet. 

 

 Guy Hurst 29 Sep 2018
In reply to Bobling:

Fit some Schwalbe Marathon tyres, to avoid fitting a new tube on a dark, cold and probably wet roadside.

In reply to Bobling:

Thanks all, loads of helpful stuff.  

 Siward 30 Sep 2018
In reply to Bobling:

Having tried the ALdi USB bike lights they were pretty good but don't last long on a charge and I wonder how long the batteries will keep going overall. My preference now is for lights with 'real' batteries which last for ages now that leds are the norm.

I got some of the Blackburn brand ones at Tredz- on (permanent?) sale there.

 the sheep 30 Sep 2018
In reply to Guy Hurst:

Agreed, clocked 1000’s of commute km’s On mine and no punctures 

 1philjones1 30 Sep 2018
In reply to Bobling:

For gloves, have a look on Safetygloves.co.uk

The gloves are ridiculously cheap and the Enjedals brand are great but order a size up. I use them for winter mountaineering and they’re great. They would be fine for a short commute.

In reply to Bobling:

There is some good advice here

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/biking/commuting_to_work-689617

From your post, you don't commute far and want cost effective stuff. 

Hi viz vests are very cheap from work wear suppliers, so cheap they are often left lying around. 

Most super markets stock cheap led flashers which are good strapped to your bag/clothing to add visibility. 

Ebay Chinese retina burning headlamps are effective and cheap, fit 2 to provide redundancy. 

I use retired winter climbing gloves for bad weather commuting, the gaffa tape repairs keep the wind out nicely.

Feet in poly bags inside your shoes will keep them warm in the worst weather.

And mudguards, the most effective piece of kit to keep you dry. 

 jess13 30 Sep 2018
In reply to Bobling:

Mr Pedant here-wtf is winterising is it similar to summarising?

In reply to jess13:

It's a neologism.  My other for the day is scruffle.  You're welcome!

 LastBoyScout 30 Sep 2018
In reply to Bobling:

Some Aldi stuff is great, other stuff I've returned. I use one of their softshells for winter commuting, also a day-glo/reflective rucksack cover and their merino mix socks are excellent, but the other merino clothing wasn't the right shape for me. The Muc-off lubes are very cheap and very good.

I have the reflective straws on my wheels.

My lights mainly come from my local Halfords' bargain bin, as did my mudguards. Also worth checking TK Maxx for those if there is one near you.

 Bwox 30 Sep 2018
In reply to Presley Whippet:

>  Hi viz vests are very cheap from work wear suppliers, so cheap they are often left lying around.

A vest is better than nothing, but always think riders (bikes and motorbikes) with hi-vis extending down the arms is better still - the arms are more exposed and visible to drivers, even if a rucksack is worn.

 cb294 01 Oct 2018
In reply to Bobling:

Depending on how "wintery" your commute is, it may be worth investing in some spike tires.

I regularly cycle in snow and ice, and spike tires (Schwalbe Marathon Winter for my cyclocross and trekking bike, Conti Spike Claw for my MTB) were the best investment ever. No more worrying about how to negotiate that corner, or whether it is safe to touch the brake lever.

Also, the tires last longer than the couple of seasons normally claimed (my Schwalbes have been in use for something like 5 winter) and if they wear out Schwalbe at least offer replacement spikes.

CB

 d_b 01 Oct 2018
In reply to cb294:

Bobling is based in Bristol.  You can usually count the number of icy days get on the fingers of one hand, so most of the drivers around here have absolutely no idea what to do when it snows...

Last time we had a big dump here I worked from home because there were stranded cars blocking both ends of my road, and the traffic that was moving appeared to be attempting to reenact old episodes of "wacky races".  Nothing would induce me to share the road with those numpties.

Another thing I miss about living in the north.

 cb294 01 Oct 2018
In reply to d_b:

Ha, spike tires in Bristol would indeed be complete overkill!

CB


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