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Best Winter Bikes

By Siegfried Mortkowitz

It may seem like a needless luxury to buy a bike just to use in winter. But if you love your “main” two-wheeler and want it to last as long as possible, it may be worth the money to protect it from the many cold-season hazards by riding a different dedicated bike in winter.

A winter bike is one that resists the hazards of winter roads: rain, mud, grit and salt strewn onto potentially icy roads. It should be a bike designed for wider tyres (for the inevitable potholes), disc brakes for better stopping power (which are great in slippery conditions), and mudguards (to keep the rider dry and clean). And by the way, winter is not the only season with bad weather, and many cyclists may get some use out of their winter bike year-round.

Here are a few popular winter bikes that have been well-reviewed.

Decathlon Triban RC 520 Winter-Limited Edition

Decathlon Triban RC520 Winter-Special Edition in silver with fenders

Contrary to what you may think, bikes from the mega-chain sports outlet Decathlon have an excellent reputation, and the aluminum Decathlon Triban RC520 disc brake road bike, a dedicated winter bike in limited edition, is no exception. If you are looking for an affordable new bike with dependable components, it offers a Shimano 105 on a more relaxed geometry frame fitted out with full fenders, TRP hydraulic disc brakes and tubeless ready wheels with Hutchinson Sector tyres. The fork can accept up to 32c tyres with the fenders, 36c without, perfect for gravel rides.

The Triban RC520‘s frame is designed to offer a comfortable ride, and the fork comes with carbon blades to lessen the weight and reduce road vibration. The fork clearance accepts up to 32mm tyres with mud guards, and up to 36mm if you want to ride the bike in better weather without them. Pannier racks are optional. It is a fantastic deal for an affordable £899.99.

Cannondale Synapse

Cannondale Synapse

Have money to burn? Then try the Synapse from Cannondale for about £2,200. Although it is not a dedicated winter road bike like the Triban RC 520, it is a great choice for riding in inclement weather thanks to its hydraulic flat mount disc brakes and wide 28c tires. The SAVE’ micro-suspension in the frame, fork and seat post is great at reducing vibrations and helps provide a cushy ride, but Cannondale says the bike still has the stiffness of some of its WorldTour-level race bikes.

The Synapse is top rated among endurance bikes for . This road riding dream comes with a carbon frame and a Shimano Tiagra hydraulic brake disc groupset, but there are higher and even lower-priced versions, such as aluminium models for less cash and more ambitiously specced models for more. Attention, not all versions have mudguard mounts so check carefully if that is important to you.

Dolan Titanium ADX Disc 105Dolan Titanium ADX Disc 105

The similarly priced Dolan ADX Disc 105 is made – as its name implies – of state-of-the-art titanium, and sells for ‘only’ £2,399. Titanium is light and resistant to corrosion, making it a good winter bike that will resist all of winter’s evils, and with a good post-winter cleaning, look like new year after year. And the added bonus? Titanium is also repairable. It could be the one bike for the rest of your life.

The bike features internal cable routing, a full carbon fork, disc brakes and less aggressive audax geometry, which means that the frame dimensions put the pilot in a more relaxed riding position position than a racing bike. It also has ample tyre clearance and mudguards, which can be ordered before delivery via Dolan’s online bike builder.

Cube Nuroad Race FE Disc

Cube Nuroad Race FE Disc in grey with full fenders, a rear rack and bell.

The Cube brand has only been around since 1993, but in that time they have made an impressive impact in the bicycle market. The Nuroad Race FE is a perfect example of their ability to deliver great value for money for a bicycle that is ready to tackle winter riding directly from the box. Its aluminum gravel bike comfort geometry and 1x Shimano GRX groupset and the wide gear range rear cassette gear ratios make it on, off road gravel and cyclocross capable.

It’s great to see bike come stock with a set of front and rear lights for rider safety in winter conditions. Comfortable and tough 40mm wide tyres mean a stable ride and hydraulic disc brakes provide stopping power in bad weather in the winter months. A full carbon fork helps dampen road vibrations. Round off the package with proper full length mudguards, a bell, and a rear rack for a pannier or two, you’ve got yourself one capable winter road bike on par with adventure bikes on the market for £2,049.

Ribble Endurance 725 Disc


Ribble Endurance 725 Disc in British Racing Green and yellow

The Ribble Endurance 725 Disc is priced in the middle, selling for £1,299 at Ribble Cycles. It’s a sensible choice for winter because its steel frame provides solidity and support for extra weight from common-sense winter additions, such as a frame-mounted pump, a saddle pack for spare tubes and a decent set of lights – and also for the extra post-Christmas-feast weight riders will be carrying.

This bike provides riders with Reynolds’ mid-level 725 tubing, along with disc brakes, a carbon fork and Shimano Tiagra shifting. Mudguards and racks can be added, and the gearing can always be tweaked. And, as it’s finished in sharp racing green, it will be a constant reminder that spring is coming – eventually.