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Thread: Black Ice

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    Senior Member BicycleCrazy's Avatar
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    Black Ice

    Black Ice is a real problem for cars (out of control when you're in front of them on your bike) and I've had a few close calls on my bike too!
    Anyone else have issues with black ice?

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    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Studded tires.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

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    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    I almost lost it last week. I was able to pedal through the small patch & not go down.
    A few years ago I was @ the end of a decent, & didn't know what to expect. @ the bottom the water pooled & froze overnight(it was fine the morning before) Saw a truck fishtail in front of me, & had an "oh ****" moment. Tried to feather brake, & countersteer but my bike slipped out from under me. Went down hard on my shoulder/elbow, & slammed my helmet pretty hard too.
    Studded tire are hanging on my tire rack in preparation for icy conditions.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 11-17-13 at 09:42 AM.
    Giant Defy Dura Ace : Rip/Hammer-Specialized Allez Ultegra/105 : Recovery/Spinner-Specialized Allez Red : Trainer-Kona Major(Rad) Jake : Down & Dirty

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    Yeah, studded tires.

    If you live in a place that just temporarily has ice sometimes (not Minnesota, where I live), you can get by with a cheaper pair of Nokia A10's.

    My favorite is the Schwalbe Marathon winters, though, myself. At high psi the outer row of studs doesn't come in contact with the ground, so they roll faster.

    All options are a little slower than no studs, though. The Marathon Winters have been the best studded ones.

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    Black ice has nothing to do with cold temperatures guys. Black ice occurs in hot weather and is just as dangerous as your cold weather ice. Studded tires will do nothing to help with black ice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
    Black ice has nothing to do with cold temperatures guys. Black ice occurs in hot weather and is just as dangerous as your cold weather ice. Studded tires will do nothing to help with black ice.
    Really? Please explain. Hurry.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Agree on studded tires. The last time I slammed the pavement, due to black ice, was years ago on a motorcycle. Crashing onto the pavement from black ice with a motorcycle was far better than doing the same on dry pavement, at least I didn't end up with a nasty road rash, and ventilated clothing in the process.

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
    Black ice has nothing to do with cold temperatures guys. Black ice occurs in hot weather and is just as dangerous as your cold weather ice. Studded tires will do nothing to help with black ice.
    Black ice is that thin sheet of ice that normally forms in freezing temperatures and it is actually transparent, it can form when the air temperature is above freezing although this requires that the ground is frozen and that the air temperature rises quickly to form condensation.

    At -18C, car exhaust can freeze and form black ice.

    It will not form in a climate where the ground is not at freezing temperatures as without freezing temperatures, you cannot make ice of any kind.

    Studded tyres will make it a non issue.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    I think all of you are missing a central point to BicycleCrazy's post. Studs on your bike can make riding a bicycle in ice conditions ("black ice" is an over used term) possible. But studs do nothing for the cars that are around you. They don't even make it easier to get out of the way.

    When it 'frizzles' (freezing drizzle) around here, it's time to take drive or take the bus. Being the 8 ball in a game of automobile billiards isn't good for preserving your 3rd dimension. Snow? I'll ride. Frizzle? Nope.
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    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    +1000!

    A lot of us take pride in our toughness in riding in all kinds of conditions. But riding when it is icy on the roads, as cyccommute describes, is just plain dumb if the autos are sliding around.

    My first winter of commuting was a no prisoners year: freezing fog, snow, rain (of course, Oregon)....the only times I didn't ride was when we were actively having one of our big Pacific storms, I figured that the drivers had too many other things to concentrate on so I didn't add one more variable to the equation.

    Now, I think hard about riding in the fog, no freezing fog, snow, and the same rules on the active storms. I can get myself there fine, but don't like to depend on the skills and attentiveness of others any more than I have to. Kinda like driving in the snow - if I'm the only driver out there, I'm fine. But other folk are on the road, too, so I usually stay home.
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    Bike hoarder. Murray Missile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
    Black ice has nothing to do with cold temperatures guys. Black ice occurs in hot weather and is just as dangerous as your cold weather ice. Studded tires will do nothing to help with black ice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Really? Please explain. Hurry.
    I suspect someone is confusing black ice with something else. Black ice is absolutely "ice" and only occurs when the pavement temperatures drop to 32 deg. Fahrenheit or below, most commonly on bridges and overpasses or shaded areas. It is also not really "black", it is so called because the pavement appears slightly damp but otherwise normal in color and texture as opposed to a sheet of ice from freezing rain or packed snow. If you have something black and slippery on the pavement and it's hot out it isn't "black ice".

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    Black ice here in Florida is when a rain occurs on hot asphalt. The rain brings the oils from the asphalt and droppings from leaky vehicles to the surface of the pavement. This creates what we call black ice as the surface of the asphalt is as slick as ice until enough rain falls to wash clean the pavement.

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    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
    Black ice here in Florida is when a rain occurs on hot asphalt. The rain brings the oils from the asphalt and droppings from leaky vehicles to the surface of the pavement. This creates what we call black ice as the surface of the asphalt is as slick as ice until enough rain falls to wash clean the pavement.
    Figures that it's a Florida term -- the rest of the world reserves the term for actual ice that's hard to see as you approach it. Bet you guys define "cold" as anything below 70F.
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    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
    Black ice here in Florida is when a rain occurs on hot asphalt. The rain brings the oils from the asphalt and droppings from leaky vehicles to the surface of the pavement. This creates what we call black ice as the surface of the asphalt is as slick as ice until enough rain falls to wash clean the pavement.
    We get that up here too, we just call it what it is. An oil slick.
    Black ice is just as nasty, if not more.
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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder View Post
    An oil slick.
    Black ice is just as nasty, if not more.
    I found a couple of those while on my motorcycle, but I still prefer landing on the black ice when it comes to it's not tearing up the skin and clothing.

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    Sprinter linus's Avatar
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    Reading comprehension fail.

    Please read the OP again before posting.

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    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    I found a couple of those while on my motorcycle, but I still prefer landing on the black ice when it comes to it's not tearing up the skin and clothing.
    They're equally bad IMO.
    I get tore up in both situations, on black ice I usually wearing more layers.
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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linus View Post
    Reading comprehension fail.

    Please read the OP again before posting.
    Black Ice is a real problem for cars (out of control when you're in front of them on your bike) and I've had a few close calls on my bike too!
    Anyone else have issues with black ice?

    No reading comprehension fail here, the OP did ask if anyone else had "issues" with black ice, leaving the subject wide open.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder View Post
    They're equally bad IMO.
    I get tore up in both situations, on black ice I usually wearing more layers.
    The only damage that I had on black ice was some slight scrapes on my motorcycle's chrome mufflers, and nothing like the major road rash and torn up clothing once one comes back onto the more abrasive pavement after leaving the oil slick, (diesel fuel spill in a turn on one occasion, and first rain after a long dry summer on another, which is not as near a problem with today's cars leaking a lot less oil than their vintage counterparts.)
    Last edited by dynodonn; 11-17-13 at 11:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
    ..ice has nothing to do with cold temperatures...ice occurs in hot weather and is just as dangerous as your cold weather ice.
    I ... just ... cannot think of a ... reasonable .... reply. *sigh* Rogan you must be one of those physics majors dealing with quantum mechanics or some such...


    Real ice from condensation in car exhaust and frizzling (I like that term) gets a thin layer of water on it and is almost frictionless. Can't walk on it. Zero control of cars, they just silently slide until stopped by something in front. I cannot imagine hitting that when on a bicycle, though I have tried to ride on the lake with new ice. Didn't work out so well.
    Last edited by RoadTire; 11-17-13 at 12:10 PM.
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    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    Black ice is a real thin(almost frost like) layer much like the oil slicks.
    Most times it exactly like landing on bare asphalt/concrete/chip seal/gravel. Only the ice keeps everything together instead of it being free moving.
    Black ice you don't see, regular ice on road you do.
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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    What the OP was beginning with is, to my reading, the "cagers" in their cars being out of control
    when a layer of water is frozen at 0C or below..

    I have had episodes where the 1st rain of the year floats the leaked oil accumulated during the dry season

    making cars more prone to hydroplaning, and even later , when they just mis judge their speed and braking distance.

    Ive been at a Zebra Crossing , had One driver stopped in one lane, get rear ended, by the next guy.

    the crossing is just after the roundabout, surprised they managed to not spin out rounding that.

    But yea when the Ice , water's solid state, is on the ground , It's Studded tires FTW!

    Me and the NASCAR wannabes.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder View Post
    Black ice is a real thin(almost frost like) layer much like the oil slicks.
    Living in a mountainous area, black ice is much thicker since water drainage across a road continually builds up layer upon layer, similar to a ice skating rink, add shade, and black ice is doubly hard to see and stays frozen longer.
    Last edited by dynodonn; 11-17-13 at 12:34 PM.

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    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    I live about 15-20 mins from the closest mountain, we just call that ice up here.
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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder View Post
    I live about 15-20 mins from the closest mountain, we just call that ice up here.
    It's a 400 ft climb from work to home, that's just getting home...... if it's ice that is across the road, blends in with the black asphalt due to it's clarity, it would be "black ice" in my book.

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