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Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    700

    Winter biking, especially ice

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    I hate to give up on my bike for the winter, but ice makes me nervous. Any tips?

    Deb

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    What's the largest tire you can run? There are 4" ice/snow tires available with studs which can give you optimum traction. If you can't run these size tires, snag a Pugsley from eBay.

    Smaller sizes are available of course but where's the fun in that?

    www.icebike.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Nokian makes very good carbide studded tires in a variety of sizes, making winter riding not only possible but a lot of fun, too. They don't do anything for snow, but are great on ice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    700
    [QUOTE snag a Pugsley from eBay.

    Smaller sizes are available of course but where's the fun in that?

    www.icebike.org[/QUOTE]

    I googled a Pugsley. A bike Humvee, without the bad gas mileage! What fun!

    My Dew Deluxe has 700 x 37c tires. I have to confess, I'm a newbie and this doesn't mean much to me. They're pretty good multi-purpose tires. I'll have to look into studded tires.

    Deb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Studded tires are expensive, but if I lived in South Dakota I wouldn't think twice about buying them if I were (was? SadieKate, help me out here please) planning on riding in the winter.

    I used them a handful of times when I lived in DC. When it snows and ices there, the Metros break down and the traffic comes to even more of a standstill, but we still have to get to work. The bike paths are not plowed or treated and turn into ice sheets. So I got studded tires and got to work before everyone else.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    700
    The ones that would fit my purposes (not aggressive single-track riding, just mainly plowed roads and icy/snowy MUPs) aren't as expensive as I feared. Maybe I can budget them in the next couple of paychecks. They certainly would be worth it, and the Dew seems well able to accept them, from what I have read.

    Deb

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    403
    studded tires gave me confidence on ice last year. I still managed to put my bike down in a comical slow-mo fall last season, but for the most part, I did well on snow and ice all season.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bothell area, WA
    Posts
    565
    I second the recommendation for the Nokian tires -- not all studded tires are created equal! Pick one with LOTS of studs and you'll really notice the difference. I used Nokian Hakkapeliitta W240s last winter (link) and they were awesome. Ice felt like riding on normal roads.

    General ice/winter riding tips:
    1. Watch your cornering on ice and take it slow. Don't be aggressive on ice.
    2. Anticipate stops and don't slam on your brakes. Even with studs stopping time isn't what it would be on dry pavement.
    3. Expect your bike to feel extremely heavy and slow-moving with studded tires on. This is because it IS heavy and slow-moving, but that's normal. Summer is for speed; winter is for endurance.
    4. Slick ice is better than bumpy ice for gripping with studded tires.
    5. Avoid driven-on, refrozen snow. That's the worst. A thin layer of plowed snow is the easiest to ride on; a thick layer of snow is doable up to about 6" deep (for me), after which you have no traction and slipping becomes an issue.
    6. If your back wheel starts to slip, DO NOT PANIC. Keep control of the front of your bike, pedal steadily, and you'll eventually come out of the slide.
    7. Wear layers. Something wicking and breathable in the bottom, something warm and fuzzy in the middle, and something wind/waterproof on the outside.
    8. Buy extremely bright lights. Winter riding usually means night riding, if you're commuting, so plan to invest a couple hundred dollars (really!) on a seriously good lighting system.
    9. I found the Gore face covering works best for keeping my face warm down to about 15F. After that the Gore plus a scarf worked down to ~5F, which is my no-biking threshold.
    10. Pay attention to feet warmth. It can be tough to keep feet warm on a bike, so be prepared to war your heavy winter boots on your bike.

    Good luck with the winter riding! It can be very rewarding.
    Almost a Bike Blog:
    http://kf.rainydaycommunications.net/

    Never give up. Never surrender.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    kfergos, you're going to miss these New England winters!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,135
    Yea, the "if it were" is the proper use of the subjunctive :P

    (I really came here to post that I was seized by an impulse to correct a poster last Friday here at the college... in faint pencil... and this morning it was changed - and it was parallel structure, not even a grammatical error! Still, if five of your headings are "do this," "do that," File your nails," "Walk your dog," it is grating to read "making lists" in the middle of it. )

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,135
    and the layers come in handy if ya fall down, too.
    I'm shopping for boots... winter seems to be arriving EARLY this year. Maybe it will visit and then leave for a while, I HOPE.

    Quote Originally Posted by kfergos View Post
    I second the recommendation for the Nokian tires -- not all studded tires are created equal! Pick one with LOTS of studs and you'll really notice the difference. I used Nokian Hakkapeliitta W240s last winter (link) and they were awesome. Ice felt like riding on normal roads.

    General ice/winter riding tips:
    1. Watch your cornering on ice and take it slow. Don't be aggressive on ice.
    2. Anticipate stops and don't slam on your brakes. Even with studs stopping time isn't what it would be on dry pavement.
    3. Expect your bike to feel extremely heavy and slow-moving with studded tires on. This is because it IS heavy and slow-moving, but that's normal. Summer is for speed; winter is for endurance.
    4. Slick ice is better than bumpy ice for gripping with studded tires.
    5. Avoid driven-on, refrozen snow. That's the worst. A thin layer of plowed snow is the easiest to ride on; a thick layer of snow is doable up to about 6" deep (for me), after which you have no traction and slipping becomes an issue.
    6. If your back wheel starts to slip, DO NOT PANIC. Keep control of the front of your bike, pedal steadily, and you'll eventually come out of the slide.
    7. Wear layers. Something wicking and breathable in the bottom, something warm and fuzzy in the middle, and something wind/waterproof on the outside.
    8. Buy extremely bright lights. Winter riding usually means night riding, if you're commuting, so plan to invest a couple hundred dollars (really!) on a seriously good lighting system.
    9. I found the Gore face covering works best for keeping my face warm down to about 15F. After that the Gore plus a scarf worked down to ~5F, which is my no-biking threshold.
    10. Pay attention to feet warmth. It can be tough to keep feet warm on a bike, so be prepared to war your heavy winter boots on your bike.

    Good luck with the winter riding! It can be very rewarding.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Thanks, Sue. I have no problem with the subjunctive in French, but somehow, in English I'm never quite sure.

    One more thing about winter cycling--on the very coldest of days (in the 20s for me), I make sure to put on an old cashmere cardigan sweater as one of my layers. It's better than any $200 cycling specific super cold weather gear you can buy. You can unbutton it as you warm up (but keep the top layer zipped) and you will absolutely be toasty.

    I got mine at Goodwill for $3. It has holes, but that's okay. Better ventilation. Has to be cashmere, though. Real cashmere.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    700
    I'm with you on the cashmere. I waited until the end of the season and got cashmere sweaters at Old Navy for about $6 each. They are warm, soft and light. I also like merino wool. Mostly I don't have too much trouble staying warm. I have an old pair of insulated leather gloves that fit over my cycling mitts and are pretty windproof. Smartwool lightweight hiking socks fit inside my shoes. I wear wool tights under my windpants, over my shebeest shorts. I just discovered a buff which is just the thing under my helmet. I add a wool hat if it gets really cold. I think the only thing I really want now (or soon) is studded tires. If you asked me to go out in the cold to walk or hike, I'd look at you like you were crazy. But, if you suggest a ride, I'm the first one out the door. I just can't seem to give up my bike for the season.

    Deb

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,213
    Quote Originally Posted by Geonz View Post
    Yea, the "if it were" is the proper use of the subjunctive :P

    (I really came here to post that I was seized by an impulse to correct a poster last Friday here at the college... in faint pencil... and this morning it was changed - and it was parallel structure, not even a grammatical error! Still, if five of your headings are "do this," "do that," File your nails," "Walk your dog," it is grating to read "making lists" in the middle of it. )
    I had to walk out of a conference presentation yesterday, because the presenter kept saying blah blah blah a child blah blah their feelings blah blah... and I just couldn't take it.

 

 

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