Winter brings its challenges, but it shouldn't keep you off the bike. With a few simple tweaks to your setup, you’ll be ready to ride no matter the conditions, so as the seasons shift and temperatures drop, let's dive into crafting the perfect winter bike setup.

Finding The Right Bike

Endurance bikes are ideal for winter riding, and with modern frame design there’s very little separating them with their racier counterparts in the speed department. The Domane series from Trek has long been the golden standard for endurance bikes, boasting features that make it a winter warrior's dream, and an impressive pro-peloton palmares proves that it’s no slouch. From its innovative IsoSpeed technology and endurance geometry to stable handling and built-in mounts for essential accessories like mudguards, it's purpose-built for tackling the elements. 

Now in its 4th generation, the Domane has been refined over the years, but that doesn’t mean the older models are redundant. In fact, when it comes to building a winter bike, opting for a slightly older model could be the way to go. These bikes have proven their worth as the go-to winter steeds, and with some serious bargains to be had here at Richmond Cycles (up to 40% off!), you can save yourself significant chunk of change. Plus, you don’t have to be so precious about riding it out on the mucky roads!

Check out our Trek Domane range here.


Essential Accessories


No one likes a soggy bottom, but when the rain starts pouring and the roads get mucky it can be hard to avoid. Mudguard are a staple of the winter bike setup, and for good reason – they’re simple, effective, and budget-friendly, shielding against road spray and muck, keeping you and your bike cleaner. There are a few options when it comes to mudguards, and your choice may depend on the compatibility of your frame. However, our go-tos are the Bontrager NCS mudguards (perfect when paired with the Domane thanks its full mudguard compatibility!) and SKS Raceblade Pros, as they’re simple to install, lightweight and super effective. 

Winter Tyres: Grip, Comfort, and Safety

​​Winter tires are a game-changer when it comes to navigating boggy and gritty roads. Remember, in winter, the priority isn't speed – it's about comfort, traction and puncture protection, so opting for something slightly more robust means you won’t have to stick to A roads all winter just to avoid punctures. Sacrificing a bit of rolling resistance for puncture protection and better grip is a worthwhile trade-off.

Fortunately, most manufacturers make some kind of variant or alternative to your favourite summer tyre with a sturdier compound or structure. Options like the Continental Gatorskin and GP 4 Season or Vittoria Rubino Pro are great options, and Teravail have some great options for year-round riding on all terrain. The beauty of endurance bikes like the Domane is their wide tyres clearance, with the SL accommodating up to 35c – ideal for broken tarmac and even some gravel, if you fancy mixing things up!

Lights & Visibility: Shining Through the Darkness

Increased visibility is crucial during shorter, darker days. Bike lights are hands down the simplest and easiest way to improve your visibility on the road. Whether you have a mechanical or get lost, sometimes we’re out for longer than expected – perhaps even throw a spare light in your jersey pocket or saddle bag so you don’t run the risk of draining the battery. 

Daytime running lights are also a fantastic option for winter riding, as poor weather conditions could hinder visibility for you and others. Having a bright shining light on your bike will help you stand out and give you peace of mind out on the road. For the intrepid winter cyclist, dynamo lights could also be a great option. This will be a more costly setup and will come with a weight penalty, but it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of a dynamo light. 

Shop Lights.

Clothing & Gear: Dressing for Winter

Appropriate clothing is key to staying comfortable and warm during winter rides. From gloves and overshoes to thermal layers and windbreakers, gear up for the chilly weather. For a detailed guide on the perfect winter outfit, check out our dedicated blog post here.

Shop Cycling Apparel.

Winter Maintenance Tips

Winter rides demand regular bike maintenance. Keeping on top of it will save you a fortune in the long run, and minimises the chance of unexpected mechanicals when out on the road. Make a habit of doing a quick post-ride spray down, scrub and re-lubrication and you should make it through winter just fine. For more in-depth guidance, join us in one of our monthly Maintenance Courses here to keep your bike in top shape throughout the winter.

Don't let the colder months keep you indoors. Gear up, embrace the chill, and hit the road! Riding through the winter can be immensely rewarding – being outside in the elements rather than cooped up indoors will do wonders for your mind and fitness. Embrace it as an opportunity for character-building rides. If you're searching for some scenic routes, check out our previous blog post showcasing some of our favourite local rides here.

December 19, 2023 — Richmond Cycles