Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632

    Snow bikes, old and new

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    Been riding both old and new snow bikes, this week, on our local snow packed roads, both for fun and to experience how far the bike world has changed with snow bikes.


    First, the old. It's my 2008 Trek 8000 26" MTB, on the left. After fitting it with Kenda studded 26" MTB tires, it was state of the art in snow biking when I bought it, new, in 2008, to get me though two Chicago winters. No easy task, that, since it was my only means of transport in those days (as in no car). Did the job, though. Never missed a day of work because of the weather (my commute was 8 mikes, one way), even though those two winters had actually set a record for snowfall.

    Now for the new. It's my recently purchased Norco (a Canadian bike brand) Sasquatch 1 fat bike (on the right in the pic, of course). It wears a set of Maxxis 26x4.6 tires. The relatively light overall weight of this bike, even with the front shock, coupled with the relatively smooth rolling, shallow tread tires makes the Norco an ideal bike for riding hard packed winter roads. Bought the bike with fast summer trail work in mind, but it's been great on the winter roads, too.

    So how did they compare? Did 5 miles on each bike, same roads. Temp was 4 degrees, no wind.

    The old skinny tired Trek actually did fine, as I knew it would, once I put my winter riding skills to work. Had to be careful to avoid going too fast on the downhills, but as long as I stayed on the hard stuff and, especially, avoided any ruts in the ice, no problems and as long as I feathered the brakes, no problem. Soft patches of snow or ruts, though, or braking too hard, got me a fishtailing and sometimes squirrelly steering bike. Not a big deal, because I ride bikes in the sand, too, in the summer months and that bike behavior is nothing new. Overall, riding the Trek on winter roads is very doable, assuming you know the risky spots and know how to react.

    The fat bike just shrugged that all that stuff off, though. Totally amazing. I could ride the Norco without regard to any of those issues and totally relax, even going out of my way to find several inches of soft snow to play in. Totally amazed me how easy I could turn the fat bike and how much better those big tires grabbed when I hit the brakes. Wow! Really wanted to go crashing off the road and play in our now two feet of snow, riding in the cross country ski trials I had made earlier in the week, but riding in the deep stuff is another story.

    Yup, it's winter and I'm having a blast riding my bikes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    So cool! I love your bikes and all your stories of riding in the snow. SO different from my life, but so interesting to me. Love the look of the Norco. Looks like a very laidback seatpost, no? I would never want to live in a snowy, cold area, but I love reading about it and imagining it...from my spot in Florida.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    Did you say 4 degrees? Fahrenheit?? I don't even like being in a car when it's that cold.

    Something made me think of Dr Zhivago the other day, the scene where he's trudging through the snow and bitter cold for days. If only he'd had access to a fat bike...

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    632
    Yup, 4 above as in Fahrenheit. I know it's hard to believe if you haven't biked in that kind of cold and even colder, but it's actually fairly comfy when there's no wind. That makes a big difference. A little sunshine helps, too. The biggest hassle is actually getting dressed and dressed, properly. Believe it or not, overdressing is sometimes a problem.

    Ah, Dr Zhivago. Haven't seen that one in many, many years, but I still remember the scene when they were in that amazing ice enshrouded building in the dead of winter.

    Oh, about the seat post. That's a Thompson Setback which I've added to several of my MTBs/fat bikes. Not stock on most bikes. Top quality set post, but it's the setback feature I'm after. That helps to shift my weight back over the rear tire for the sake of traction in the sand and deep snow. Really makes a difference in that respect. Also takes weight off the handlebars and that's a plus for taking on rocks and logs. Lastly, very helpful for keeping my body and weight to the rear on steep descents for the sake of control and safety. Usually requires that I use a shorter stem for the handlebars, but not always. The drawback is that you can lose some pedaling efficiency when doing long distance work because you're farther back, rather than directly over the pedals, or so the experts claim, but with my long legs I don't find it to be an issue at all for trail work. I usually stand in the pedals for steep climbs or when I need a burst of speed, anyway.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 01-13-2017 at 04:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Ah, Dr Zhivago. Haven't seen that one in many, many years, but I still remember the scene when they were in that amazing ice enshrouded building in the dead of winter.
    My father always comments that that scene makes him feel cold, even in summer. I guess you have to follow it with Lawrence of Arabia to warm up.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •