Winter Cycling - stopping on the ice
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10-20-04, 01:39 PM
Ok I am almost ready for the winter - I have my Nokian 296 extreme spiked tyres so my MTB will have some traction when I commute- the trouble is that my feet do not have any spikes so if I stop at the traffic lights and put my foot down on an ice patch (particularly in cycling shoes) the bike may stay still but I could slip over and look very very uncool.
Have you guys experienced any problems stopping on ice and putting a foot down? what is the best non-slip winter cycling footwear to use for my commute? I assume that clipless pedals are not a good idea on the ice in case you need to put a foot down quickly?
has anyone any experiences that would help
As I've said before: I don't like clipless in winter. But that is just me. I use platforms with hiking boots, and get enough traction with the boots to stay upright. I seldom encounter ice-rink type of ice as there's usually some snow and / or roughness on the surface to improve traction. On the rare occasions there isn't, it can get tricky. I guess if that was the case more often, I would consider some kind of metal spikes on my shoes. Those are sold here especially to help elderly people maintain their balance in slippery conditions.
10-21-04, 02:36 AM
Thanks Juha- i think platforms and boots are the way to go here. I guess you have a lot of experience of ice up there in Finland.
Not so much sheer clean ice where I ride, but soft snow, packed snow, rutted ice, rutted ice with packed snow, rutted ice with packed snow and reindeer poop... you get the idea :D. And of course you can never tell what is hidden beneath a layer of fresh snow. That is why I like studded tyres: it really does not matter with them.
I could imagine the situation might be worse ice-wise somewhere with less snow, but still cold enough temperatures for the freeze-thaw -cycle. Such as Central Europe. Black ice - yuk.
I've fallen over a couple of times after putting a foot down, and I wear work boots in the winter! You have to just be careful...
10-21-04, 10:24 AM
Here's a sure way of not having to worry about it. Do a track stand!
Takes practice but it is the most useful tool in a commuters bag. I use it all the time. I hate having to put my foot down so I've learned how to stay upright on the bike at traffic lights. This trick is most useful on left turns when you have to wait for on coming traffic to pass before you can turn. It also prevents wet feet that get slippery on pedals and prevents those nasty spills on ice. Plus it looks really cool. People look twice and think how does he do that :-)
Here is a simplified way of doing it:
1. When you stop find a spot on the road that has a bit of a bump. On most roads use one of the tire tracks
2. Place your front tire on the lip of the bumb and turn it about 15 - 20 degrees towards the right
3. Lean the bike a bit to balance
4. Use your pedal to gently rock back and forth on the lip.
5. Practice, practice, practice. The best place to practice is on a driveway that has a bit of an incline.
6. Have fun.
For a picture of what it looks like. Look under the pic contest thread and find my thread and the picture shows me doing a track stand.
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