Game of Thrones has been warning us for seasons now... Winter is Coming! My rides to work this week have certainly been nippy (and not just because I have to cycle faster to stay warm). It's time to dust off the gloves and fire up the bike lights; channel your inner Jon Snow and wrap up with Ride Velo's guide to what will keep you alive and pedalling throughout the winter.
Ok, so it's not technically a commuting bike, but what better way to cut through the puddles, mud and leaves than on this award-winning, titanium cyclocross bike from Planet X? Weighing just 9.5 kg, until the 19th October this beauty is discounted by £100. It's still fairly expensive for commuting to work at £1,499.99, but this is a wish list, ok?
This Bianchi Volpe cyclocross bike with disc breaks may not be titanium (it's Chromolite) but it's just as easy on the eye and much cheaper at £799, reduced from £1,150 currently through Hargroves Cycles.
These obviously don't go with your cross bike - but if your ride has an elegant and classic build, keep your derriere mud-free with these stylish and beautiful wooden fenders by Brick Lane Bikes RRP £77.99. They feature a clip-on system to fit any frame and fork and a dinky embossed BLB logo too - they even do a mini version for Bromptons!
No I'm not suggesting that you wear sunnies on dark winter mornings - personally I don't like my mascara running in the rain and like to keep my face dry, thank you! If you don't want to arrive at work looking like a Vampire Bride, these cycling glasses manufactured by Shimano (which come with two different lenses offering UV protection as well as anti-fog treatment) will keep you looking respectable. At the moment they're only £24.48 at Ribble Cycles, and we think that's amazing value.
I have had quite a few shouts of delight from small children on my way home in the dark wearing the new Torch light-up helmet, but no-one has actively laughed out loud at my new head attire. I'd rather people noticed me and shouted "look at that helmet!" than knocked me off my bike - wouldn't you? It's also a great back up for those times when your lights have been nicked after stopping for 5 minutes to pop into Tesco...
I don't think I would be brave enough to pop into Tesco wearing these Sealskinz overshoes but at least they're stylish and understated. They are water-resistant and suitable for all types of cycling - and if they keep my feet warm and dry for £20.99 - then I'm happy.
Seeing is as important as being seen when you're out after dark. Lezyne is a brand that we love at Ride Velo for its consistently high quality and great design, but it's not always the cheapest. Chain Reaction Cycles are offering this 180 degree visibility rechargeable front light, with an additional battery life indicator, reduced from £94.99 to £54.99.
Call me old-fashioned, but I think that urban cycling gloves should only be made of leather, and these Endura jobbies look good enough to wear out to any bonfire night party you may be invited to. Ribble are selling them for just £28.49 - a price that made me have to pinch myself. These are going straight on the Ride Velo Christmas list but, not surprisingly, they're out of stock at the moment.
We met Orro bikes at the Cycle Show 2015 and were immediately drawn to their urban cycle clothing range for men and women. We're going to do an in-depth feature on the Fox Wilson/Orro Bikes/i-Ride group in the weeks to come so I won't give too much away here, but their new range is being released imminently and you can now buy this Serpentine jacket for men from Evans for £188.99. We liked it because of its traditional Barbour jacket type styling, but using the latest high tec fabrics and with subtle reflective touches for night time visibility.
And last, but not least, the girls version. It doesn't come across that well in the photos but I loved this jacket because it reminded me of my pony club days. Taking its inspiration from equestrian wear, this lightweight padded jacket is fully waterproof and cosy enough for winter rides and you could wear it down the pub too. At £10 cheaper than the men's version, I highly recommend it - Evans are stocking them now for £178.99. Tally ho!