While we’re finally nearing the end of January, there are still a fair few weeks left of winter – which means you still need to make sure that your mountain bike is in fine fettle and will keep you in your seat until the weather starts to warm up a little.

There’s no reason to lock your bike up in the shed, hibernating for the winter, and there’s some amazing and exhilarating riding to be had at this time of year, but just bear in mind that the conditions can take their toll on your bike so you may want to give it a bit more love and attention than you might do otherwise.

Prevention is always better than cure so after you’ve been out and about, make sure you give yourself enough time to wash your bike down. If you’re exhausted and really can’t manage it, do your best to get as much dirt and water as you can from the frame and wheels before storing it away.

Before you set out on a ride, make sure the tyres on your bike have open tread patterns, check that you’ve weather-sealed your cables and that the drive chain is as clean as possible.

It’s not just your bike you have to think about and you should always remember in the back of your mind somewhere that it’s more hazardous biking at this time of year than it is during spring and summer.

So make sure you have your wits about you and that you’re concentrating at all times, with your eyes focused on the path ahead. Take care when going around corners and try not to make jerking movements, as this will mean you’re more likely to spread.

Also make sure you’ve dressed appropriately for the weather. Starting off with a warm base layer is wise, as this will help keep your core warm. You can then easily add and shed layers as you get warmer while riding.

Your hands and feet will usually get cold first because your body will be trying to keep your core warm, so make sure you’ve got a good pair of winter cycling gloves to keep them nice and snug.

If it’s really cold outside, what about using air-activated heat packs that can keep your gloves and shoes toasty. Taking some spares in a sealable plastic bag, along with some socks, could prove to be a godsend on a winter mountain bike ride.

And, of course, make sure that you’re visible. You don’t have as much daylight to play with as you will during summer, so prepare properly if you know you’re going to be out after dark and make sure you have bike lights and high vis clothing.

if you’re looking for a beginners mountain bike course, then get in touch with the Beyond The Mud team today!