Billy Connolly once proclaimed that “There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter.” But the cold and icy grip of winter does nothing to deter the hardy Scot riders from getting out on the trails. Here are five essentials that will keep you shredding through the cold season.

#Essential 1: A mudguard

Mud on the ground is fun, mud in your eyes is not so cool. It is amazing how effective small mudguards are at keeping spray and grime from your eyes, and they are one of the most inexpensive upgrades available. We really like the MarshGuard, retailing at just £8.99, not only does it keep the grime from your eyes, but also protects your fork seals.

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#Essential 2: Two pairs of gloves

Nothing sucks more than frozen cold hands, when your fingers turn into useless sausages and pulling the brake lever is a heroic achievement. If you are a ‘winch and plummet’ rider and live for shredding the descents, you want to keep those pinkies warm. A good trick is to pack a pair of big, roomy ski gloves, and pop them on for the climbs over your normal gloves. When you hit the summit you will have toasty warm hands, simply throw the clumsy gloves in your bag and get your shred on.

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Update: If you’re looking for some good winter gloves, make sure to check out our recent grouptest with 6 mtb winter gloves.

#Essential 3: Mud tyres

Tyres are always a personal choice, but there is simply nothing that comes close to a dedicated mud tyre in the winter gloop. The heavily spiked tread will bite deep through the winter grime and cut into the solid ground below. There is nothing more eye-opening than the first time you find you can brake in deep mud. Click here to read our mtb mud tire group test!

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#Essential 4: Waterproof footwear

Sometimes the mud will be too deep to ride through and you will have to push or carry your bike, and that is when the cold will get your toes. As soon as you go ankle deep in a puddle you will have freezing feet for the rest of the ride. There is a solution though, combining a solid waterproof boot with some Sealskinz waterproof socks has been standard practice in Scotland for many years. We have been super impressed with the new Giro Alpineduro boots this winter, not only have they been extremely warm but the VIBRAM sole has provided lots of traction for slippery climbs. For more, check out our mtb winter shoes comparison test.

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#Essential 5: Warm, lightweight jacket

If you or one of your buddies are unlucky enough to puncture, and the Scottish weather is doing its thing, you are going to get cold, fast! A lightweight down or synthetic jacket is just the job to keep the cold at bay if you have to hang around for a short time. Keep one rolled up in your bag!

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Words and photos: Trev Worsey

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