Winter Cycling - Is your winter bike ready for the worst day of winter?
Bikeforums.net is a forum about nothing but bikes. Our community can help you find information about hard-to-find and localized information like bicycle tours, specialties like where in your area to have your recumbent bike serviced, or what are the best bicycle tires and seats for the activities you use your bike for.
12-10-11, 10:15 AM
I know my bike is ready for cold, some snow and some ice. Studded tires, fenders and warm clothing is my winter cycling formula.
However, I'll need to avoid riding on the extreme winter days that include deeper snow or rutted & icy streets. My goal is to ride 3 to 5 days a week, but not every day. I'll avoid riding on the days that rim brakes with Kool Stop pads can't be trusted. That should be rare, I don't have anything steep to worry about in Chicago.
Is your bike ready for worse day of winter? Will you ride everyday?
12-10-11, 10:40 AM
365 days a year.
Bike: Aluminum Fisher Opie with three identical disc wheel sets: one Michelin Country Mud 26x2 set (dry); one Nokian Mount and Ground W160 26x1.9 set (most snow and ice); one Nokian Extreme 294 26x2.1 set (Arctic blizzard), mostly Shimano XTR/Deore drivetrain. Fully cleaned and lubed throughout.
Rider: Several sets of Pearl Izumi/The North Face tights, jackets, and gloves plus a variety of head gear, balacavas, neck gaitors, neoprene and lycra shoe covers, etc.
Other: comprehensive tool/small parts set, spare tube, patch kit, and pump, 70 oz. Camelbak, cell phone.....
I'm looking forward to it!
12-10-11, 01:45 PM
I work four days a week, ten hours a day and I bike to work on those days. I don't have a car or license so really I don't have much choice.
If I have to I can ride with people I work with, but I don't want to. I don't like being at other peoples mercy you know?
This will be my first time riding in the winter, except for the occasional rides through the woods at my grandparents house.
Stay safe this winter and have fun.
12-10-11, 01:50 PM
My nice winter days tend to look worse than most people's bad days... for me it nice to be able to take out other bikes when the weather and road conditions warrant it.
But when the snow hits the blower and the brass monkey is freezing his bits off... I will be ready.
Nope. It's been a long warm autumn here. We only got the first real snow yesterday, and the ground is warm enough it melted on contact. Today is the first day where the high is below freezing, but it's sunny and the roads are dry. Actually had a nice ride running errands this morning.
We're two feet of snow behind last year at this time. There's no snow in the 14, 10, or 7 day long range forecasts.
So my studded tires and wider winter fenders are still resting comfortably in the basement. I may make it to the new year on the three-season tires.
12-10-11, 02:11 PM
It's as ready as it'll ever be for the winter. There has only been one light dusting of snow this year, but it's long since melted. Temps are just below freezing right now.
12-10-11, 02:41 PM
I am ready and my bikes are ready. The question is where is winter ?? Will there even be a winter weather in the next few weeks ?? Today was a little cool...next week looks to be very mild with some rain. So far it's been above average temps and lot's of rain instead of snow.
12-10-11, 04:20 PM
Yes, I'm still on my road bike. But the Great Lakes will see some winter this year. I'll have two bikes to use, one with 700x35 studded tires, the other with 700x37 knobbies.
I could ride in it, but not very far, because it's just impossible to keep moving when the tires don't bite.
this is with 26x2.1" ice spikers, btw.
12-10-11, 04:42 PM
I'll ride everyday, but we've had nothing but flurries so far. This will be my first car-free winter. If the weather gets really bad, I won't go anywhere other than work (3.5 miles away) and the store (1 mile away). What more would I need?
I haven't put the studded tires on yet, but I probably will soon. Other than that, the bike is ready.
12-10-11, 04:47 PM
I can't afford studded tires this winter but I'll ride on cleared roads. So far no snow! Today was the coldest day in a long, long time -- -5ºC. My clothes kept me warm and comfy but may need to change into winter boots. My commute is short at only 4 km round trip but I like continuing on further as long as there is daylight.
12-10-11, 08:22 PM
I try to ride everyday with one restday off weekly usually decided by weather conditions. About the only thing I won't ride on is when the roads have that slimy "pancake batter" slush on them that my studded tires cannot handle. Otherwise it just doesn't matter. I'll even ride in freezing rain, driving snow,etc. Minimum ride is normally at least 20 miles.
Oh and 3 bikes see winter use. My LeMond is covered in reflective tape for night/low light riding and sports some 4 season tires. I use it when roads are dry. Then there's the Kona with fenders and knobby tires for the days with mildly slick and or wet conditions. For the worst days I take out the MB with fenders and studded tires.
First winter biking was last year, not much, even though quite a bit. Around here the shortest errand is 12.22 miles round trip and that is to the dump. Anywhere else you just add miles. I stopped driving at the end of April last year and have been biking ever since. This year I got into shape finally and have been biking like a nut case, 50+ miles a day average now for the past 120+ days. I'm, stupidly, trying to keep the 50+ miles a day average going as long as I can. I'm also trying to see if I can't do something really senseless, have at least one day per calendar week where I ride 100 miles minimum. During the winter its a 100 mile ride during the summer it can be broken up thanks to have so more much sunlight, hence why I say a 100 mile day. So far I have 20 consecutive weeks and I'm planning 106 or more miles tomorrow. Suppose to start out around the 18F and climb into the upper 30s. It should be interesting. It I can pull tomorrow off without too much trouble than I should have everything except the 2nd week of January to the 2nd week of February in the bag...temperature wise.
Since November 2010 I've ridden minimum 3 days a week other than the two middle weeks in March when I had bike problems and only got one day each week in. During the coldest stretch last winter I rode 6 out of 8 days and it would have been 7 out of 8 but the temps warmed up overnight Monday into Tuesday so when I woke up Tuesday morning it was warmer than when I was out on Monday(was hoping to hit sub zero temps last winter after managing 3 above on Monday). I'll see what I can do about that this winter. I'm definitely going in FAR better prepared this winter than last winter in every way, shape, form, kind and color. I've only had 9 days I haven't ridden since May 22nd. All but one of those days was because of rain or snow. I've only had two days I haven't ridden since November 1st. I can't fathom me every doing anything like the crazy stuff I've did this year but its all happened.
Man has this been a dry/mild start to the winter here in central New England. The temps remind me a lot of last winter but by this time last winter I was getting snow that was sticking to the ground longer than just a couple of days. This is sort reminding me of when I use to live in NW Ohio.
12-10-11, 10:40 PM
365 days would mean that it's been a low snow winter, which hasn't been the case so far; near record snow accumulation through November has put me on the bus/skis a few times already this winter. My bike has been ready for winter since the end of October, but for me being ready means more than just studded tires; it means a bus pass, which is thankfully included in my ever-increasing tuition. The "worst day[s] of winter" up here tend to involve school closures, and conditions that make being on the roads in any vehicle a poor decision; and even though work never shuts down for the weather, I live close enough to ski there if I need to.
We get pretty heavy snowfalls from time to time, with a foot a day or more being the ones that make me ditch the bike for bussing or driving. If it comes on slow and steady, the plows can keep up and my routes will stay clear and ridable; but sometimes it's all they can do to keep the throughways clear (which are too high speed for me to ride on) and the side roads suffer. I'll bike in cold, wet, smooth ice, rutted ice, slush, and snow up to a point, but over a certain depth I trade in my chain lube for ski wax.
12-10-11, 11:07 PM
This, for example, is too much snow for me to ride in. Although on this ride home from work I did manage to ride most of the way, and only carried the bike for two sections (one of which is pictured) totaling about half a mile. If I'd taken a longer route, I would've only had to walk the section pictured.
The road leading into my neighborhood is a 35 mph, divided 4-lane with an average traffic speed of around 45 mph and no shoulder; the pic above is the separated pathway that I take because there's no way I'm taking a lane on that stretch of road. The sidewalk and pathway along this stretch usually get plowed two to three days after a storm, around the same time that my road gets plowed. :-/
12-11-11, 07:47 AM
No snow here yet in SE Wisconsin. A mild autumn has allowed me to keep riding my road bike with 23c tires. But my winter assault vehicle with fenders and studded tires is all ready for the first big one!
12-11-11, 08:31 AM
Not only ready but I'm in full winter riding mode. Studs on, clothes and gear all sorted and working. Most of my riding is commuting, 5 days a week. We've had some snow, and it's below freezing all the time now, there are icy patches in several places on my commute that are not likely to melt. For the most part the roads are dry. But there is no reason to think it will last so I'm as ready as I can be for whatever nature is going to throw at me. That's a good feeling. In fact I'm kinda getting used to the winter grind now. So as usual I can't wait for spring!
12-11-11, 08:51 AM
My bike is a ready as it will ever be, but realitically if there is more than a few inches of stanidng snow on the roads I've found that it gets very difficult to ride. Six inches maybe possilbe but sinking into snow much deeper than that and I'm not sure it is possible to maintain much forward momentum. I've never tried any ultra fat tires but even with them I think it would still take the right kind of snow to be able to stay on top.
Edit: It is actually pretty rare to have that much unplowed snow around here, but from time to time it will happen.
12-11-11, 11:19 AM
Pump the tires and charge the battery pack ..
12-11-11, 11:50 AM
The "worst" day(s) will involve too much snow for me to really bike my 10-mile each-way commute to work. The last time I did my commute with 4+ inches of snow (let alone 12+ a few times where I did NOT ride) it took me a few hours. I work 12-hour shifts and am not willing to make that kind of physical activity commitment after work if I can help it.
I bike when it's below zero and windy though......
No sign of winter here yet. May not be until January before the studded tires and winter pedals go on, with vacation coming up.
Bike 1 has the lights hooked up for dark riding, and bike 2 is setup with lights and studded tires. Both have fenders/Topeka rack to use the same clip-on rack bag. I guess I'm as ready as I'll be. I do need to go buy a spare tube or two. I ran over a staple that made its way through the tire at two different paces popping two different tubes so I'm down to only one spare.
Jim from Boston
12-13-11, 03:39 AM
I put the studded tires on October 30, after the Nor'easter the preceding day, with the anticipation of predicted freezing temperatures and road ice on Halloween. Since then we've had the warmest November and December I can remember. So yeah, the bike is ready.
12-13-11, 06:57 AM
Is your winter bike ready for the worst day of winter?
Absolutely. I have a nice warm corner of the garage all picked out. The worst days of winter here can involve actual temperatures down to -40F or lower with windchills around -60F, high winds and whiteout conditions. We've had snowplows and sand trucks get stuck. I'll ride as much as possible this winter, but I'm not nuts.
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5288/5298437764_a60a969fc1_z.jpg = Bad day for bike riding
So far this winter the weather has been exceptionally good so I've got my fingers crossed.
12-21-11, 07:51 PM
It gets pretty cold here (teens and single digits) here in CT, but it rarely dumps snow by the foot, and when it does snow they keep the roads pretty clear. The result is I ride 23mm road tires year round. I occasionally portage around ice but normally have few problems. The worst thing here is the grit and salt, and with fenders and a single speed drivetrain my bike is definitely ready for that.
Generally if snow is accumulating on the road, I won't ride that day. I am more worried about sliding vehicles than taking a tumble myself.
My studded tires are still in the basement.
They're calling for a few flurries with no accumulation Friday and Saturday, and again New Years weekend. I've set a new goal for 2011, and that's to ride the three-season tires straight into the new year. Temps in the 40s and dreary never felt so good.
I rode more miles in November than I did in August this year, and December is shaping up to exceed even that. My club is still running rides (a 40-miler today, but I have to work) where ordinarily, their bikes are put away and they're getting fat by Veteran's Day.
According to yesterday's paper, we're on track to break a 72-year-old record for the least amount of snow in December. Which is a huge change from last December's record snowfall.
12-22-11, 07:39 AM
Yes, I have had one day of snow in Chicago (see picture below). By the next day, I was back on my road bike with 700x24 slicks.
I take full responsibility for the good weather. I purchased studded tires for the first time in my life.
12-22-11, 10:28 AM
My studded tires are still in the basement.
I started riding my winter bike toward the end of November. It keeps it's snow shoes on year round. The geometry is different enough from my summer bike, I like to make sure me and my bike get to know each other again before we're on rutted ice and snow, as well as shake out any mechanical issues before it gets too cold. It's a winter beater that gets a cleaning in the spring and TLC in the fall before I ride it again. I'm getting them at $20 a pop right now, so I can't see investing too much time in keeping them clean and shiny. I don't have good indoor storage so washing each day isn't really an option for me.
Jim from Boston
12-22-11, 04:04 PM
Is your winter bike ready for the worst day of winter?
.. So yeah, the bike is ready.
As posted previously the bike is ready, but since then my mechanic has convinced me that I need new wheels, and disc brakes, and indeed the rims are getting concave. He said hydraulic are better that mechanical. I had read in a recent thread that removing the wheels to change tires is somewhat more difficult, but he said not so. Any opinions here among the hard core fraternity? :rolleyes: Thanks.
I had read in a recent thread that removing the wheels to change tires is somewhat more difficult, but he said not so. Any opinions here among the hard core fraternity? :rolleyes: Thanks.
No, not at all. You just have to aim the rotor for the caliper at the same time as you aim the axle for the dropout. It works best if you're on the non-drive side (the brake side) of the bike when doing this. I'm about the most uncoordinated person I know, and I can do it. When fixing a flat, you do have to careful that you don't whack the rotor on anything. That can bend it out of true.
I found that rotors with more "spokes" stay true better. The six-"spoke" Avid Roundagons, which came stock on the Portland, would go out of true with only a stern look. The 12 "spoke" Avid G3s I replaced them with have never needed truing in the two years I've had them. Bonus for winter commuting is that they're stainless too. They come in either Centerlock or ISO. I have one of each.
On your disc brake wheels, if there's even a remote chance you may get two wheelsets for switching tires and cassettes more easily, go for cartridge bearings instead of traditional cup-and-cone.
The Portland came with cup-and-cone. I bought a second identical wheelset and had to adjust the brakes every time I switched wheels. It was a pain. Complaining to my LBS, they said the bearings were adjusted differently between the sets, which placed the rotor at a different distance from the centerline. They messed around with all four wheels and got them pretty close, but it was never how I thought it ought to be. With cartridge bearings, there's no such problem.
There were other issues with those wheels and I'm glad to be rid of them. My new wheels have cartridge bearings in the back, but no-one makes a dynamo hub with cartridge bearings, so I'm stuck with cup-and-cone on the front.
I'm ready I was riding in the first storm Indiana had. Lots of wet snow. I thought if I can make it throught that I can make it throught the rest of winter and I have no choice. No car. Should be interesting. But my front tire on my bike keeps going flat. Ive replaced the tube but I think there is something small very small pokeing* the tube. I thinking some tire slime and there checking out the tire for anything out of the ordinary. Be safe this winter
Jim from Boston
12-23-11, 04:09 PM
… I had read in a recent thread that removing the wheels to change tires is somewhat more difficult [with disc brakes], but he said not so. [B]Any opinions here among the hard core fraternity? :rolleyes: Thanks.
No, not at all. You just have to aim the rotor for the caliper at the same time as you aim the axle for the dropout. It works best if you're on the non-drive side (the brake side) of the bike when doing this. I'm about the most uncoordinated person I know, and I can do it. When fixing a flat, you do have to careful that you don't whack the rotor on anything. That can bend it out of true...
Thanks, tsl, for your expert reply. I'm totally unfamiliar with the technology :o, but your endorsement is good enough for me.
During my first year reading Bikeforums, I was also skeptical about the need for studded tires on my well-tended routes. At that time tsl had written:
I dunno, maybe it's my age showing. Here in Rochester, at least along my commute, there's always ice that miraculously didn't get salted away.
I figure gunk washes off quickly and easily. Broken bones would keep me off the bike for weeks while they mend.
That advice proved indispensable too. :thumb:
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.12 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.