Fall can be the best time of year for riding bikes. The leaves are changing colours and tacky dirt makes for perfect trail conditions. With the good comes the cold, a bit less light, and a few other challenges.
Here are five quick changes you can make from your summer set up to make your bike, and you, ready for all time fall time riding:
Switch out those summer semi-slicks for a tire with more traction. Throw on something with taller knobs, softer rubber, and higher volume and those wet roots and greasy corners will be a breeze.
Mountain bike fenders vary widely in their price and coverage. Even a small fender, though, can make a big difference in how you feel, and look at the end of a ride. From a simple minimal fender to full on, mud-hugger fender, whatever you add will help keep your eyes clear and kit clean – or … cleaner on fall rides.
One of the biggest challenges of fall riding is finding the time to squeeze a ride in after work before the sun sets. A good set of lights isn’t just for rides that start in the dark. Adding more Lumens will let you extend your loop so you can start in the day and finish in the dark.
Weather can change quickly in fall, going from balmy to uncomfortably brisk or rainy in minutes. Proper layers are the key to enjoying fall riding. Stay cool when it’s warm, stay warm when it’s cool, stay dry when its wet, and stay on top of the weather when it’s changing rapidly throughout your ride.
Nothing kills the fun of a mountain bike ride quite like cold hands. It’s uncomfortable, but it can also reduce your dexterity on the brake levers and shifters. A good pair of gloves will keep you comfortable, and confident on the bike in cool fall weather.
Stay seasonally appropriate with your chain lube to keep your drivetrain happy. This will be different depending where in Canada you’re riding: wet, dry or cold-weather specific. If you’re switching lubes, be sure to properly clean the chain first.