Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
First post in this forum, as I'm not much of a mechanic. But I'd be interested in hearing the thoughts of people here about this. A co-worker and I were talking this morning about riding in the winter, and he suggested maybe the bike should be outfitted with runners or something to help it run in the snow. Kind of a pedal-powered sleigh. Anyone ever hear of anything like that?
There are many variations of that kind of an idea. None of them come close to a two wheeled bike with studded tires for working well. There is too much friction on the skis. The finished project often is too heavy. WHEELS...in snow and ice up to about 5" after that it's a lot of work and skis will not solve the problem unless you can generate about 30 hp. There are many more reasons they don't work but it gets complicated. See if ICEBIKE still has the website up.
It has been analyzed to death over years and years, The laws of physics still have not changed !
They do work downhill on a ski slope where you have gravity to help you out. If you are pedaling on a near flat or uphill you must have something that rolls.
If you really want to ride in snow and ice... Get a mountain bike with huge knobby studded tires, you don't need an expensive bike. Run low air pressure. You can ride on ice almost like it is pavement. If you want fenders,(you're OK without them, but sometimes you run across large puddles) make them high clearance like a Motocross motorcycle to keep snow from clogging up things. It's a lot of hard work in the snow but lots of fun. If the road is frozen over with lots of deep ruts from the cars (like a railroad track groove) you still should not ride in traffic, a rut may toss you sideways. If it is warm and the snow is sticky it is a lot of work too as the snow sticks to everything. Skis or runners will almost stop you in your tracks.
Entry level bike, Big studded knobbies, High clearance (or no) fenders.