Cycle Doc

Q.What sort of shoes would you recommend for cycling in bad weather? The best option we have found is sandals, which at least mean our feet just need a quick towel down at the end of a ride – but they aren’t very cosy.

IB, Swords, Dublin

I have two suggestions ­ neither of them shoes. Sealskinz makes a waterproof sock that will keep your feet dry, no matter what. They cost about €23 a pair (£19 in Britain) and you can find a local stockist at If you imagine that the cost of repelling rainwater is the retention of your sweat, think again. These socks remain comfortable, and reasonably fragrant, in any conditions.

The other option is overshoes. Generally made from neoprene (like wetsuits), they fit over your shoe and cover your ankle. Prices start at about €21 (£18 in Britain). They are usually designed to fit snugly over narrow cycling shoes, so you may need to try a few to ensure a good fit. There are many good manufacturers – Endura has a decent range. Assos ones are probably the best for those willing to spend upwards of ¤65 (£50 in Britain).

QMy adult son has taken up cycling. He wants to be able to understand the workings and maintenance of his bikes. Is there a book you can recommend?

JD, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

Todd Downs’s Illustrated Bicycle Maintenance (Rodale, £16.99) is probably the best adult-oriented manual available. Its explanations and diagrams are as easy to follow as they are comprehensive. Buy the most recent edition you can find because innovation throws up fresh maintenance problems every year. If you are looking for a cheaper option, all of the titles by Rob Van der Plas are good. His Simple Bicycle Repair: Fixing Your Bike Made Easy was available for £5.56 on Amazon last week. There are lots more suggestions and reviews at