The best winter bikes – our top picks

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The turning of the seasons doesn’t necessarily mean that you should abandon outdoor rides in favour of the virtual kind. Far from it. The advent of applications like Zwift certainly relieves the boredom of indoor training. However, there’s much to be said for taking any opportunity to ride outdoors and sample the delights of winter riding. Check out our top picks of the best winter bikes from our range. Bikes that excel year-round.

The best winter bikes – our top recommendations

Ask any experienced cyclist to describe what constitutes a ‘winter bike’ and they will likely all respond in the same vein. The traditional winter training bike will usually be constructed from alloy or steel. It will be equipped with a robust and reliable groupset, strong wheels, and mudguards.

But is this still the case? Well, yes and no. There are some riders who will relegate a former best bike to winter riding duties. However, with the advances in bike design, today’s crop of bikes are far better equipped to cope with the demands of winter.

Disc brakes

Love them or loathe them, disc brakes add much in terms of performance and versatility. Due to the limitations within the design of rim brake calipers, most bikes are restricted to a maximum tyre width of 28mm. Disc brakes don’t suffer from any such limitation and consequently are compatible with tyres as wide as 50mm. Model dependent of course! This enables the fitting of wider tyres at much lower pressures. The resulting contact patch and increased volume provide enhanced grip and comfort. This is especially true when riding on wet and grimy roads/lanes that are strewn with leaves and other debris.

Disc brakes offer more confidence and control when cornering, descending, and especially when the roads are slick.


Similarly, mudguard compatibility is now a key component in frameset development. Well, it is for Ribble. The added versatility provided by built-in mounts means that you can ride the same bike throughout the seasons. Indeed, every single frameset in our current range includes built-in mudguards mounts. So no matter what type of bike you prefer, whatever your style of riding, you can find our pick of the best winter bikes below.

The CGR AL is an ultra-versatile all-terrain machine and is perfect too for the jon, whatever the time of year or weather conditions.


The Ribble CGR AL– The perfect winter bike? If not, it comes pretty close.

The incredible versatility and all-road performance of the CGR AL make it a supremely capable bike for all seasons. On-road or off-road, it takes it all in stride and leaves you wanting more. The robust alloy frame and carbon forks can soak up anything that is thrown it’s way. Yet it remains light enough to offer the nimbleness and handling that makes racking up those winter miles much more enjoyable.

There’s ample clearance for tyres up to 45mm on 700c wheels or 47mm on 650b wheels. This enables wider tyres to be fitted for improved comfort and traction on rough and potentially slippery surfaces. Discreet mudguard mounts enable the fitting of full-coverage mudguards to fend off the dirt and standing water, which makes the CGR AL one of the best winter bikes that we offer.

Click here to view the CGR collection.

Endurance SL/SL Disc

The Endurance SL & SL Disc are optimised for longer rides and more comfort in the saddle

For the road rider who wants to ride searingly fast on a lightweight carbon bike that is also supremely comfortable, there’s the Endurance SL. The SL boasts many of the same design features and performance tech as the flagship SL R Series and as a result, climbs, corners, and descends with incredible speed, efficiency, and control. Available as the Endurance SL Disc with disc brakes or Endurance SL with rim brakes. Each of which includes discreet mudguard mounts for improved wet weather protection.

Click here to view the Endurance SL collection.

Hybrid AL

When someone is considering taking up cycling, whether, for fitness, transportation or fun, it is often a Hybrid that they turn to. As the name suggests the Hybrid AL is a blend of two bikes. It takes the comfortable upright riding position of an MTB and mixes it with road bike components. The result is a bike that is comfortable and confidence-inspiring over multiple surfaces. But rides more efficiently on the road than a pure MTB.

The Hybrid AL is the perfect urban explorer

With a generous tyre clearance, they can be fine-tuned to perform across a number of terrains. Stick on a pair of slick tyres for speed and grip on the road. Or opt for a semi-slick all-rounder and have the option to head down towpaths and bridleways should you feel a little more adventurous. There are also variants of this bike available with front suspension or with electric pedal assistance.  

Click here to view the Hybrid Collection

Endurance AL Disc

The Endurance AL Disc boasts benefits from tech features trickled down from our flagship Endurance SL R Series carbon endurance bike.

The Endurance AL Disc owes much of its design and tech features to our flagship Endurance SL R carbon endurance road bike. Much of the SL R’s advanced tech features trickling own through the range and results in a seriously capable road bike. It’s designed to offer all-day comfort with race-like agility and performance. There’s clearance for *32mm tyres for more comfort and grip, plus the superior braking power and control of disc brakes. Then, of course, there are the built-in mudguard mounts that make the Endurance AL a great choice for year-round road riding.

*Manufacturer dependent and limited to road slick tyres.

Click here to view the Endurance AL Disc

CGR AL e Step Through

The CGR AL e family of bikes encompasses the CGR AL e all-road drop bar bike and step-through models. The CGR bikes blend supreme versatility with an advanced electric hub drive motor system. They are amongst the lightest bikes of their type available worldwide. This reduced weight makes them light enough to be ridden with or without the assistance activated. It also makes carrying them onto public transport or up and down stairs much easier.

However, at the touch of the magic button, you have the added benefit of an extra 250W of pedal assistance. With 3 power settings to choose from, you can choose the right one for how you feel or the terrain ahead.

The CGR AL e is also available in a step-through variant which features a low top tube design to enable you to hop on or off the bike with greater ease. Both models are designed with the same clearance for wide fit 45/40mm tyres. Discreet mounts for mudguards keep you cleaner and drier during wet rides and similar mounts for a rear pannier rack take care of any luggage carrying needs.

Click here to the view the electric bike collection.

YouTuber Cyclist Katie Kookaburra shows you how to get the most out of Zwift. read her guide here.

We caught up with workshop team leader Dee Allen to see how training was progressing in her attempt to qualify for Kona 2021. Read about it here.

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