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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 01-22-05, 06:57 PM   #1
R600DuraAce
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Commuting in snow!!

I took a day off commuting today since I was a bit tired and the night time temp dropped very significantly. I got home early today and just to see how it is like really riding in snow. In NYC, we have 2 feet of snow and most streets aren't plowed. I found out several things. My Ritchey Speed Max (only big knobs on the side and the center with fine treads) does not give me any traction at all. I managed to ride couple of feet on the sidewalk which was plowed and I was sliding everywhere. Second thing was that I can't use clipless pedals, at least with my SPD-SL, because the cleats cloated with snow.

Would a wider knobby tires work better in the snow? I do have my stock Specialized DH Enduro tires but they about 2 lb each.
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Old 01-22-05, 07:11 PM   #2
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Two feet? Good lord. I find that if it's fresh snow, you'll just be skiing on it. Ultrawide fatties or not, if it's two feet of fresh powder, you're not going anywhere.

If I can't get around on my Jake with the Nokians (700x35c I think), I call it a day. Usually if there's that much snow, they declare a Level 3 snow emergency in this state, and no one is allowed out anyway. If I can't drive, I'll try biking. If I can't bike, I go back to bed.

I'm totally anti cleats in the winter. On patches where the road is wet, I've gotten water up in my cleats and they've frozen solid. Not good.
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Old 01-22-05, 07:21 PM   #3
R600DuraAce
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Thanks. I thought I am not riding it or doing it right.
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Old 01-22-05, 08:16 PM   #4
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When it gets awesome...err..nasty like that, I toss all foot retention and go straight to the blocks. I have a set of trials-style Diamondback pedals that do a pretty good job of ripping into the soles of my shoes for additional shoe/pedal traction. But that when when I completely lose my footing or get bogged down in snow I can come off the bike without too much fuss.
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Old 01-23-05, 03:51 AM   #5
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About the most snow we get here is 2 INCHES... not much of a problem to ride in, really. We haven't even gotten any this year so I haven't had to worry about it. We got some ice and sleet tonight, but nothing substantial.
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Old 01-23-05, 06:55 AM   #6
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I have two sets of wheels: one with Panaracer Tservs; and, one with Innova studded snow tires.
I also have two sets of pedals: one double-sided clipless; and, one with one side platform and the other clipless.
When it snows and gets particularly nasty, I switch to the studded snow tires and the platform pedals.
Additionally, I over-lubricate my chain and my deraileurs, and frequently.
Yes, they get dirty and make a mess of my bike, but they shed snow and ice as well.
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Old 01-23-05, 10:43 AM   #7
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I posted a thread about pedals in winter cycling forum, and they recommended a Shimano SPD with a cleat on one side and a cage on the other. I got a pair on clearence at my LBS and they worked great with the snow this weekend (and my boots, not cleats). I'll let you know how it goes with the cleats once the road gets clear. I don't have very good tires, but with 8 in of snow on the ground, I found myself doing a little skating dance. Now that the roads have been plowed, its only a problem in the psuedo-slushy stuff. Oh, and I took the computer off my bike. I don't want to know how slow I'm going. I'm going! That's what matters
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Old 01-26-05, 11:28 AM   #8
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You said the side walk was plowed and you rode a few feet on the sidewalk. How deep was the sidewalk? if it's only an inch or two without ice you can ride on it OK with plenty of practice, You can't bank the bike acelerate or brake hard, but you can learn. Knobby tires do work better in snow. If there is much ice you need studded tires.
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Old 01-26-05, 01:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R600DuraAce

Would a wider knobby tires work better in the snow? I do have my stock Specialized DH Enduro tires but they about 2 lb each.
Yes, it can in snow. I would try to lower the tire pressure first to see if that helps. That way you have wider tire print. Even with studded tires, They recommend lowering the tire pressure. If it gets deep sometimes thinner tire can help you cut threw the deep stuff. I've said this before don't pound on the pedals. Take your time. Apply slow steady power. You will find after some time you can find spots to push harder and harder in, but it takes time.
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Old 01-26-05, 01:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBoy
Oh, and I took the computer off my bike. I don't want to know how slow I'm going. I'm going! That's what matters
I stopped looking at my computer as well. I still have it on my bike so it counts miles but I don't click the screen off sleep mode!
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Old 01-26-05, 11:52 PM   #11
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Performance Bicycle has their "campus pedals" which are Shimano SPD compatible on one side and platform on the other. Great price value and I use them on my commuter.

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5240
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