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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-07-09, 11:22 AM   #1
JPprivate
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riding after the first snow fall

So we had our first snow fall here. First for me. It was rough. I thought somebody here mentioned that they stay away the first day after a fresh snow fall because it is very slippery? Can anybody with experience confirm this?
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Old 12-07-09, 11:49 AM   #2
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It all depends on what you are riding with. I was riding when the first snow fall hit, and while it's true for cars that just a tiny bit of snow is slipper. For bikes however, if you are riding carefully and not turning too quickly you should be fine. We had a snowfall on Saturday and I was okay.

Although I had my first almost fall yesterday night on my way home. I had to ride around a barrier and of course there was ice next to it. As I went around it my front tire did okay but my back tire slipped to the side and I put my foot down and was bouncing it for balance. After I saved myself and I just though it was cool how far the back tire swung around.
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Old 12-07-09, 12:32 PM   #3
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Leave your bike(s) outside for an hour before riding. No loss of friction. Wet pavement will warm your tires, however.
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Old 12-07-09, 01:05 PM   #4
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Even a lightly studded tire will vastly improve your traction and therefore safety. It only takes a tiny patch of ice to cause a bad fall.... and you never know when some motorist will pass or follow you too closely at just that moment. For me that's worth the minor expense and trouble of a tire change a couple times a year. In fact, it could be that the tiny, infrequent, patches of ice are the worst, since you won't be expecting them and will be riding less carefully. Ice can also be hidden under snow, or under a little water... no way I'll go on my bike without the studs when it's below freezing.
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Old 12-07-09, 01:10 PM   #5
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I think they were saying stay off the roads because the motorists ALWAYS seem to forget what driving in the snow is like. Nothing more horrifying than seeing a car sliding towards you, completely unable to stop. The sides of the highways are littered with cars after the first snow.
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Old 12-07-09, 03:43 PM   #6
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The sides of the highways are littered with noticeably more cars than usual after the first snow.
fixed.
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Old 12-19-09, 07:10 AM   #7
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I will never do it ever again. I rode home from work after a heavy snowfall. I was making a right turn on a street. Instead of turning, I slid right not the curb and sprain my right wrist and bent my handlebar.
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Old 12-19-09, 06:37 PM   #8
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I have afeeling we're in for a rash of new postings about riding in the snow for the 1st (and last) time. I know I will when I get my shot and I'm grateful for the advanced reports from boots on the ground! the 1st wave are always the most courageous, but don't worry, we've got your back
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Old 12-19-09, 07:52 PM   #9
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We had our first snowfall a week or two ago. The roads weren't plowed yet and there was about an inch or two on the ground. The hardest time I had was starting to pedal. Once I got going I don't remember having a problem. Of course I was going slower than usual and probably being more careful since I was worried about falling, but I didn't. I've been thinking about putting some knobbies on but the roads get plowed and salted pretty well around here.
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Old 12-19-09, 08:03 PM   #10
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I find that fresh snow is relatively easy to bike in. Once you have a lot of cars driving over that fresh snow and compacting it into ridges and bumps on the road things get a bit trickier.
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Old 12-19-09, 08:36 PM   #11
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Ah, first snow in NYC! I have my winter wheels with studded tires ready! Maybe I'll go for a spin tomorrow

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Old 12-19-09, 11:55 PM   #12
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The first snow hasn't been much of an issue for me.
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Old 12-20-09, 02:53 AM   #13
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Just rode in my first real boston snow fall. 4.5 miles on 700c x25 tires, on a fixed bike with low gearing and it wasnt too bad, just ride slow, bundle up and enjoyn yourself
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Old 12-20-09, 03:03 AM   #14
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Our first sneeuw/snow fell last week on the 17th while I was at work. As I was riding home the snow had covered the ground and I witnessed a BMW lose control on the street and run into the side of a brick house. The car hit so hard it went into the house up to the windshield. I was about 50 meters behind when it happened.

This morning the snow is really coming down. I hope it continues all day so I can ride to work in it tomorrow.
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Old 12-20-09, 02:25 PM   #15
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I don't find fresh snow to be much of a problem. This is my third winter commuting. What is a problem is that fresh snow hides the ice. I travel a combination of hard-packed bike trail, city streets, and parking lots. After the forth or fifth fall in the last two winters, I broke down and bought studded tires. They have more rolling resistence than regular tires, but they do help a lot on the surprise ice patches that I encounter. Before I started commuting, I would run a moderate knobby traction tire for enjoyment rides in the snow. Nothing prettier than big snowflakes falling and cruising through town looking at store windows during the Christmas season. One of the perks of living in a small town.

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Old 12-20-09, 02:40 PM   #16
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TheatreME - way to go - but you city folk - Boston and Cambridge are a whole other breed! :-)
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Old 12-20-09, 02:53 PM   #17
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Riding after a snowfall is always harder... our first blast of winter dropped ten inches of snow on us and riding before the plows cleared the main roads and before the side streets built up a base of hard pack things were pretty treacherous and it was really hard work to go anywhere.

Wetter snow will pack up under your tyres which has a really negative effect on traction and cam negate the benefits of studded tyres as they like hard pack and ice and offer no real benefits on loose snow.

For times like this I like riding on skinnier tyres as they cut through to the base pavement better than wider knobbies but once that base is established I am back to riding the long bike with it's 2.1 studded tyres as the roads get pretty rough and ride quality is as important as traction.
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Old 12-20-09, 03:08 PM   #18
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I was looking at our new mush today and I was thinking the same thing - thinner tires to get down to the pavement. I think I'm gonna like have my choice of 2 bikes. gotta get going on this new project though - at least in time for the new tires
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Old 12-20-09, 03:50 PM   #19
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i just went for a snow ride with a friend of mine...I rode my beater bike and he rode a mountain bike..it was fun. He crashed into a pile of snow, sprained his wrist/forearm a little, but he rode home so I bet he'll be ok.

If I ever want a really good winter bike, it'll be a flipflop hub mtb, with the frame a little small so I can put my feet down quickly and a little lower center of gravity. dual disc brakes (is that possible on a flipflop?) and some nice studded tires.

I'm not sure I run fixed with a rear disc brake, just because of the hubs they make, but I could always get a Surly Fixxer and do it myself.
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Old 12-20-09, 06:18 PM   #20
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I run a fixed mtb that is fixed and fixed with a single canti up front... it has gotten me through more craptastic weather than any other winter bike.

Even with 2 inch hybrid tyres it holds the road really well and if it gets ugly I can throw on the studded tyres.

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Old 12-20-09, 06:36 PM   #21
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Shwalbe(sp?) makes a CX pro tire for 26inch rims at 1.3 inches wide, wicked fast on good pavement. I'm trying these out instead of my usual 2 inch knobbies this winter. No snow to test them on yet, dagnabit.
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Old 12-20-09, 08:26 PM   #22
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So I put my new winter wheelset on with Continental Spike Claw studded tires and took it for a spin to test it before tomorrow's commute. This is the first time in my life riding with metal studs.

I started out carefully to get the feel of it. I was afraid to fall, I was afraid of turning too sharply but within minutes I realized these things grip!!! I've run them at 40psi. It took me maybe 15 minutes of riding to get into it and figure out the possibilities and the limits. Deep snow is a no no, I'd fall for sure, but few inches and ice are not a problem. I rode around the neighborhood for around an hour and had a blast.

People were checking me out curiously as I rode through patches of ice where they had hard time walking. I didn't skid even once, except when I tried deeper snow. It was such a weird and wonderful feeling riding on ice and hard snow. I loved it! It started getting cold and dark and I wasn't really prepared for longer riding, or I'd keep riding.

It's harder, no doubt and requires being extra careful and keeping your eyes on cars since they may skid out of control. I think I'm ready for my morning commute. I'll leave earlier and take it slow and easy.

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Old 12-21-09, 08:27 AM   #23
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My bikes are in the winter maintainance shop. (my garage).
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Old 12-21-09, 09:13 AM   #24
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Loved riding in the new snow this morning, as it grows old to hear your studs clang on the road with no snow underneath.

Got confirmation that they still work well when I went down a fairly steep hill and the tires held true the whole way. Love it!
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Old 12-21-09, 09:23 AM   #25
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Shwalbe(sp?) makes a CX pro tire for 26inch rims at 1.3 inches wide, wicked fast on good pavement. I'm trying these out instead of my usual 2 inch knobbies this winter. No snow to test them on yet, dagnabit.
I run the Schwalbe 2.0 CX Compe on my Kuwahara... I love these tyres as they are smooth, fast, and have taken me through everything you could throw at at a tyre.

One of them has well over 10,000 miles on it while the other has approx 4000 miles (no flats either)... I can't tell the difference between them re: wear and the tread compound works really well in very cold temperatures.

These may be the best tyres I have ever bought.
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