A quick winter bike check clinic

Setting your bike up in a slightly more aggressive manner to handle the conditions will help your confidence no end. Here are some useful parts to consider.

Words by Andy Barlow | Dirt School

Winter bike set-up

Setting your bike up for winter might take an evening of your time but in return you’ll be able to put so much more trust in your equipment. Whether you like it or not, it’s unlikely you’ll be on dry trails for a while!

Stay in control this winter by fitting a mudguard and a more aggressive front tyre


The bigger the mudguard, the better the cover. Even just a short flap of plastic behind your fork crown will make a big difference to the amount of spray that you get in your face and eyes on the trail. Remember to mount it securely and check that your tyre fits through without fouling it, then enjoy protection from the worst of the wetness.

The extra depth of tread that a more aggressive tyre gives you will mean you can trust your braking in the softer conditions

Tyre choice

Having more aggressive mud tyres on your bike for winter will do wonders for your confidence. The deeper tread means more braking power in soft mud, higher side knobs will aid cornering or adverse cambers, and wider spacing between patterns means more clearance and less clogging.

Something a little wider on the front will mean you can rely on the volume of the tyre to hold you up and in turn run lower pressures, and tubeless all round will be a lot more reliable. It’s probably a good idea to go for a softer compound to handle the wet surfaces, and a thicker sidewall will handle the lower pressures well. The less punctures you have at this time of year, the better.