To improve your shopping experience today and in the future, this site uses cookies.
I Accept Cookies

Howards Cycles


Arm & Leg Warmers

Hello friends, so winters here and it’s cold, dark and miserable, but that’s no reason to hang your bike up until the spring. Obviously indoor training is great but nothing compares to getting out on the open road and getting some fresh air.

The key is wearing the right clothes and wearing them right, I’m talking layers, layering up is the best way to insure that you keep at a comfortable temperature all ride long, giving you the flexibility to add or remove items as required.

So let’s start with the core, base layers are essential, and a good merino wool base layer is best for keeping you warm but also wicking away any unwanted sweat, a decent winter jersey is next, then as a top layer a light weight wind proof or preferably waterproof jacket which can be packed away if your temperature gets to high. The next thing to think about is your legs, there’s two ways to approach this either thermal winter tights or my preferred way which is regular bib shorts and leg warmers, which are easily removed if needed. Last but by no means least is your extremities, fingers, toes and head are were you really feel the cold, a good winter glove will really make a difference to how comfortable you are on a ride, and when the temperature really drops laying up here can also be done, there’s lots of good thin gloves designed to wear under your regular glove, and like your base la

yer merino wool is best. Overshoes are essential as most cycling shoes are designed to allow the air to flow through them, so a wind proof over shoe is great for stopping this, but like your top layer waterproof is best, this is England after all. Finally your head and if you are anything like me the cold air really plays havoc with my ears, there’s two ways to get around this, firstly a thermal head band, but I really like the thermal under hats you can buy these days, thin enough to allow your helmet to still fit properly but very warm, and as a bonus small and light so can be packed away if you get to warm.

Hopefully this little bit of advise will keep you riding all winter long. Stay warm and stay safe.

written by Nathan Barber


We’re finally rolling towards Spring, with brighter evenings by the day and warmer weather on the horizon. This time of year is a buzz with cycle enthusiasts and cycling newbies alike raring to get pedalling.

Why is bike maintenance importan

A well maintained bike is a happy bike. Whether you’ve continued riding throughout winter, or you’re taking your bicycle out for it’s first ride in several months then it’s important to ensure it’s ready for the new season ahead of us.

Starting the year with a clean bike will not only make your bike look better, but will ensure everything performs well together. A soapy rag and a soft brush should be enough to remove any dirt and grime from months gone by. Not only will you feel even more motivated to get out on your bike but you’ll be able to spot any potential rust spots, and even oil up your chain whilst you’re there.

If your bike has been sitting around for a while the tyres may have lost some of their pressure, inflate until hard to touch or check the recommended pressure on the side of the tire. If you notice any signs of wear and tear such as cracking, worn tread or damaged spokes then it’s time to replace them.

Don’t overlook regularly checking your brakes and gears, these are essential parts for your bike safety. If in doubt contact our workshop forbike servicing, not only can our trained technicians take a look over your bike, from basic maintenance and serving, to upgrades and custom builds our team will be able to help.

Bike gear

Spring weather is notoriously changeable, so don’t get caught out. Wearing multiple thin layers will ensure you’re prepared for all eventualities. Layers can be discarded or added depending on the weather. Whilst a rain jacket is a must have for any springtime rides, you just never know when the heavens might open, potentially leaving you soaked to core.

If you’re new to cycling, don’t forget the importance of a helmet. Whether you’re popping down the road, or spending several hours mountain biking at the weekend they are essential for all riders. Helmets are undeniable lifesavers in the event of a crash or accident so make sure you’re prepared.

Join a club

Whilst clubs may not be operating as they once would we hope to see the return of group cycling once restrictions are lifted. Find your local club here, or why not try and get your friends or colleagues involved and create your very own club – it’s a great way to socialize whilst keeping fit. You can find your local club here.

Set goals

Like everything in life, it can be a good idea to set some goals to keep motivated. Perhaps you’re looking to shed some pounds you’ve gained over winter, or just keen to get healthy. Whatever the motivation, goals will help. Apps like Strava makes tracking easy, plus if you share your ride with your friends it can get quite competitive.

Upgrade time?

It might be upgrade time, whether you’re currently riding a bike you inherited 5 years ago, or need to swap from mountain bike to road bike we’re here to help. We cater for all types and ages of rider, feel free to discuss with us exactly what type of riding you’d like to do and we’ll be able to suggest a bike that will suit your requirements.

Our professional team of cycle enthusiasts are ready to help you choose the right bike for you.


The winter weather shouldn’t deter you from continuing to get out on your bike. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to cycling this year, it’s important to take some extra time during the winter months to ensure your bike stands the test of time.

Winter causes all sorts of debris from the roads to stick to your bike which builds up over time. So it’s important to give your cycle a little extra TLC during the winter season as well as ensuring your bike is safe to ride during the shorter darker days.

Before every journey do you consider if your bike is road ready? Follow our top tips to help ensure you’re always riding safely.

  1. Lights

Cycling in the darkis inevitable during the winter months, with shorter days and potentially adverse conditions it’s important to stay safe and seen by drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists. If you live or cycle in rural areas where street lights are few and far between you’ll appreciate having a front light powerful enough to light your way. Before every journey give all lights and reflectors a good wipe to ensure they are shining at their brightest.

  1. Reflective Clothing

As well as ensuring your bike is equipped with good working lights, it’s a good idea to wear light colours or invest in clothing with reflective panels. Increasing the chances of being seen by other road users is key to safety. As well as being visible, keeping warm and dry makes every journey more enjoyable.

With the season’s unpredictable nature, wearing layers is key – a base layer should have moisture wicking properties to keep any sweat produced away from the skin. An installation layer to keep warm should be a looser fitting, wool or fleece material and a waterproof layer to defend against wind and rain.

Don’t forget the extremities, a good pair of gloves is crucial to winter cycles, not only for comfort but should your hands get too cold whilst cycling you may lose control of your bike.

  1. Mudguards

If you intend on commuting to work, or cycling to a destination we recommend investing in mudguards. Mudguards can divide opinion, however in winter they become an essential piece of kit.

Wheels can spray up a surprising amount of debris, causing a cold blast to your back as well as an unsightly strip of mud and grime. Mudguards also help to keep the rest of your bike dry which means less time spent cleaning after your rides. If you need help with fitting, our trained technicians can install whilst giving your bike a free visual health check.

  1. Brakes

A crucial part of your bike and one that oftens gets forgotten about, until it’s too late. Keeping up with good winter maintenance and having awinter health checkwill ensure your brakes are in good working order.

  1. Tyres

As with car tyres it’s important to keep an eye on tyre tread, especially in winter when the likelihood of needing to brake swiftly in wet conditions is far more certain.

Depending on conditions and style of cycling will determine the need for specific winter tyres.

We recommend a harder wearing tyre which will offer better puncture protection, winter roads often harbour much more debris leading to a much higher chance of getting a puncture.

Whilst we always recommend carrying spare tubes, It’s especially important during the colder months when repairing a flat tyre in the cold is a much bigger problem.

Above all else be prepared and have fun. Winter cycling is just as fun as fair weather cycling as long as you’re prepared. We are open and ready for business should you require any winter essentials and our technicians in the workshop are ready forwinter servicing.Call us today for information 01953 607127.


Suffolk’s rural beauty is found in abundance along the Coastal path between Sizewell and Southwold. With easy going terrain and well marked paths makes it suitable for cyclists of all abilities, although off road tyres are advisable.

Our ride starts conveniently at the car park of the Eels foot inn, adjacent to Minsmere nature reserve.
Heading north, passing through woodland and open heathland just west the National trust’s coast guard cottages and tea room at Dunwich heath the path skirts round Dunwich village, crossing Westleton road before heading onto a well- trodden bridleway. Turning right at a T junction takes us through a wooded sectionthen onto a track leading onto Westleton road, where we turn right, onto a track adjacent to Dingle Hill Cafe. Continuing, the slight incline takes us alongside Dunwich Forest then follows the coastal path through beautiful marshes of Westleton heath nature reserve, where the ruins of an old wind pump can be seen.

With Dunwich river on our right and the smell of red onions being harvested in an adjacent field
we turn left towards Walberswick street, crossing onto Leverett’s lane. A short
distance on this quiet lane brings us onto the Village green where our lunch stop is situated, the Bell Inn.
After refuelling we return via the same route, taking a slight detour along Sandlings walk (Westleton Heath).
Mill road then heads towards Minsmere reserve and a final muddy off road section returning to the car park at Eels Foot Inn.
The wide tubeless tyres and front air suspension on my Giant Fathom 29er performed well over this mixed terrain, with some faster sections coupled with some technical parts made this the ideal bike.A rewarding ride with stunning views. 17.5 Miles. October Ray & Becky.