Fall Riding

7 Essential Fall Riding Tips

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The temperatures may be getting colder and the days are getting shorter but don’t let that stop you from riding. Fall can be one of the best times of year to ride, if you are prepared for it. Here are 5 essential fall riding tips to make your fall riding better.

Mountain Biking in the Fall

Mountain Biking in the Fall

Tip 1: Layer Up

Morning rides in the fall will start cool but may warm significantly as the day goes on. To help you stay comfortable dress in multiple layers. We usually suggest for the fall to have a short sleeve base layer with either a long sleeve layer over that or use arm warmers that are easy to take off while you ride.

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Louis Garneau Arm Warmers

Tip 2: Bring a Light

With the days getting shorter it is easy to get caught in the dark when you’re out riding. If you are on the road we recommend a headlight and taillight. For the mountain bikers we recommend having a light on your handlebars and helmet. Having a light will go a long ways to keep you safe on those early morning or late evening rides. See our light selection here.

Night Riding

Night Riding

Tip 3: Watch out for leaf piles

Crunchy leaves are fun to ride through, but be careful if they are wet. Wet leaves on the road or trail can be a hazard if they are on a corner. So just take it easy on the corners with wet leaves so you can stay upright. Also be aware of other things that can be slick when wet like railroad crossings, manhole covers, and roots.

The leaves are pretty but they can also be hazardous.

The leaves are pretty but they can also be hazardous.

Tip 4: Wear bright clothing

It doesn’t matter if you are on the road or trail wearing bright clothing when riding around dusk or dawn is always a good idea. From helmets to shoes there are plenty of options for high visibility clothing.

Most jerseys have a bright color available.

Most jerseys have a bright color available.

Tip 5: Wear the right lenses

Its a good time to swap your riding glasses or lenses for those rides where the lighting is changing drastically. Clear, red, or yellow are a great choice for these times. If you need a pair of cheap clear glasses check out some safety glasses at your local hardware store.

Glasses with clear lenses are great for night rides

Glasses with clear lenses are great for night rides

Tip 6: Keep Your Bike Clean

It’s easier for your bike to pick up more dirt and grime when you are riding in the fall. Make sure you wash your bike often. Grime that gets into the drivetrain will wear down parts prematurely and can make your bike start to creak. Not sure of the best way to clean your bike? See our step-by-step guide here.

A clean bike is a happy bike

A clean bike is a happy bike

Tip 7: Check Components For Wear

If you have been riding your bike all season it’s a great time to check your brake pads, tires, and chain to see if they need to be replaces. Disc brake pads should still have at least 1mm of pad life left, this is about the same as 3 business cards stacked together. To check your chain life use a Park Tool Chain Checker.  Keeping an eye on these components will help your bike last longer and keep you safer.

Worn brake pad on the left compared to a new brake pad on the right.

Worn brake pad on the left compared to a new brake pad on the right. The worn pad is definitely less than 3 business cards thick.

Keep riding through the cooler temps and shorter days. What tips do you have for fall riding?

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