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  1. #1
    Let's Ride! RidingMatthew's Avatar
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    6-10 inches of snow on the way

    Would it be worth trying to ride the bike 11miles in to work in the snow?

    I have a jamis 650B1 FS mountain bike at my disposal or motobecane cyclocross which i cam put slightly knobby tires on it.


    what do you all think?
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  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Glad I live on the west coast , we had a snow week a warming gap of a month and then another week ..


    Though having a built up studded tire bike in the basement , I coped fine . 26" Nokian studs.

    got to park it back in the basement again yesterday, when it went back to Rain..


    I have no Idea if there is a 650b studded tire , you may be SOL there .. web-surf away .

    559 and 622 wheels are better served with winter tires .. 650b may stay parked till thaw.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I wouldn't do it without studs
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Bike Recycler werwer2012's Avatar
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    MY wife is from Etowah N.C. and has been in Canada for twelve years and can't stand the winters up here. Glad to see that someone else is getting it for a change. We have had way to much snow this year. Suprised to see that N.C. is getting it. My wife reads the Transylvania newspaper and she said that Hendersonville has been hit hard this winter as well.

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    I wouldn't do it unless you don't encounter cars on your route. I can make my bike very snow-capable, but it doesn't stop a car from sliding into me.

  6. #6
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Thursday is going to be interesting over here in the Triangle. That is all I can say.
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  7. #7
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    I wouldn't do it unless you don't encounter cars on your route. I can make my bike very snow-capable, but it doesn't stop a car from sliding into me.
    There's something to this. Driving in the snow is inherently imprecise and people with four wheel drive have a bad habit of thinking that will help them stop too.

  8. #8
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    It would be a big adventure, and a lot could go wrong at any point in a pretty long trip. It's going to add unknown amount of time to the trip, even if nothing goes wrong. Take the trip knowing this, and prepare for various kinds of eventualities. You might get a flat or other breakdown, and it could be so cold as to challenge your hands' dexterity. You could wipe out. Your bike could become disabled, and you'd have to get a ride to work or back home. You might be stranded in the cold with nothing to eat. If you are stranded, you'll need extra clothing to stay warm.

    I rode in the snow on the road on Sunday for the fun of it. It was cold and snowing. My original goal was to ride 8 miles. I got a late start, and my wife started driving from my destination towards me, going home. When she and I met on the road, I turned around and rode home. I turned around about 3-1/4 miles out before turning back. The sun was setting, and going farther would have involved a lot more risk, and the snow was starting to stick on the road. I had fun, but I didn't want to be crazy.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    I wouldn't do it unless you don't encounter cars on your route. I can make my bike very snow-capable, but it doesn't stop a car from sliding into me.
    This is why I take the car on those infrequent occasions when we get snow. Most people here think they're among the few who know how to drive in wintry weather. Almost all are wrong.

    W-S probably gets more snow than we do, but I'd still rather have a ton or two on my side if I were riding there.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    The last time we gotta significant snow/sleet storm here, I tried riding and fell over sideways after riding about 100 feet. On my mountain bike. No way I could have ridden one mile let alone 15 miles.

  11. #11
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    The days I was most grateful to have a bicycle, even with a 28 mile one way commute, to ride home in Washington DC were the days it started snowing and the city closed down.

    One of those days, I did see 3 collisions between motorist, but I was able to ride in a way that none came near me. There was a five car collision on the highway home, one car flipped upside down. The state troopers closed the highway and motorist got a 2 hour detour. I asked the trooper if I could RIDE through and he said sure. I got home two hours before any of the motorist made it.

    As long as it is fresh snow, regular road tires worked fine. Carry a lighter, I had to thaw ice on the large chainring a couple of times. The ice would build up enough to knock the chain off the other chainring.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    The days I was most grateful to have a bicycle, even with a 28 mile one way commute, to ride home in Washington DC were the days it started snowing and the city closed down.

    One of those days, I did see 3 collisions between motorist, but I was able to ride in a way that none came near me. There was a five car collision on the highway home, one car flipped upside down. The state troopers closed the highway and motorist got a 2 hour detour. I asked the trooper if I could RIDE through and he said sure. I got home two hours before any of the motorist made it.

    As long as it is fresh snow, regular road tires worked fine. Carry a lighter, I had to thaw ice on the large chainring a couple of times. The ice would build up enough to knock the chain off the other chainring.
    Nice, you talk about the snow from Hawaii. Make us all feel really good.

    BTW, if you've never been to Shangri La, the Doris Duke estate just east of Diamond Head that is now a museum, you should go.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Big Lebowski's Avatar
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    1" or 2", maybe. Anything above that just about requires a fat bike. Maybe a Surly Moonlander.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    10" of snow in NC? Stay home.

    (I was living in SC once when they got maybe half of that. It shut everything down for days.... This was the one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Storm_of_the_Century)

    But to answer seriously, I have a bike with good snow tires and I don't ride in those conditions. As others mentioned, you have to consider that all kinds of motor vehicles will be out of control. I also find that it's not fun to ride in snow that deep.
    Last edited by Spld cyclist; 02-11-14 at 09:37 PM.

  15. #15
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    Nice, you talk about the snow from Hawaii. Make us all feel really good.

    BTW, if you've never been to Shangri La, the Doris Duke estate just east of Diamond Head that is now a museum, you should go.
    Been there when it was closed for environmental work.

    And Hawaii has been very rainy January and February.
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  16. #16
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    we had 3 inches on the ground Monday morning when I left at 5:15. some places were plowed some not. In 12 miles, I had everything from wet roads to hard pack, slush ,fresh untouched snow and rutted loose snow. the bike has 700x35 studded schwalbe marathon winters. It was a full body workout. And at that time very few cars on the road. I was constantly checking the rearview mirror for any overtaking cars. and my concentration was totally focused on the ride. my usual 45 minute commute became 65 minutes and I was mentally and physically tired by the time I got to work. that said it was a great ride. I think that is my limit for snow and I'm considering snows for the mtb, I think a wider tire might be more stable in those conditions. there was no ice since we a few days of sunny but cold weather, just enough to warm the streets during the day and dry them out

  17. #17
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Well, I rode in, so one way or the other I am going to have to get home.
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  18. #18
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
    Would it be worth trying to ride the bike 11miles in to work in the snow?

    I have a jamis 650B1 FS mountain bike at my disposal or motobecane cyclocross which i cam put slightly knobby tires on it.


    what do you all think?
    I'll assume you made your decision already. That said, riding in snow can be fun but only if you can do it without getting squished. Always pick your route carefully.

    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    I wouldn't do it unless you don't encounter cars on your route. I can make my bike very snow-capable, but it doesn't stop a car from sliding into me.
    That's the real problem. It's a problem in places where we get snow on a regular basis and people "know" how to drive in the stuff. Put a lot of snow on the ground with a million newbies and you get Atlanta

    By the way, the week that Atlanta was grid locked, we got 3 times as much snow and it didn't even slow traffic down. We still have ice on the roads from that storm. We don't even get a snow day until the snow reaches 18"

    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    I wouldn't do it without studs
    Studs aren't absolutely necessary. Skills are but not studs. I've ridden for 30+ winters without studded tires. That includes this little slice of "heaven"




    That's the Great Hanukkah Blizzard of 2006. That was the first 24" of snow that out of 6 storms that hit us over the next month. We had 12" thick glacier of ice on the roadways. I rode the entire time with out studded tires on a mountain bike without issues. Didn't crash once.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Lebowski View Post
    1" or 2", maybe. Anything above that just about requires a fat bike. Maybe a Surly Moonlander.
    No. It doesn't.
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  19. #19
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Since Greg M (our original poster) is in NC, there's a good chance he is not experienced at riding in snow. I'd say the time to take a ride in it is not when commuting, since getting to work on time and in one piece is important.

    cyccommute, this may sound crazy, but I've seen Coloradoans drive in snow, and I was very impressed with how well they do. It made sense to me, especially when the weather man in Denver said they were due for a little snow, not much, only about 12 or 13 inches.
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  20. #20
    Let's Ride! RidingMatthew's Avatar
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    to many to respond to

    I am originally from VA and have ridden in the snow many times before. I love it. I do think that 10" with ice/ sleet mixed in might be a little much. I am just hoping to get home tonight. I do have a sleeping bag, clothes packed for tomorrow, backpacking food/ stove in case i am stuck. MY work has put a bunch of people in a hotel downtown. I just want to get home tonight.

    I drove today so I will be driving home. hopefully work will be delayed and i can play in the snow before going to work tomorrow.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Big Lebowski's Avatar
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    I

    My opinions based on my experience doesn't mean **** to the pros here on BF. cyccommute can answer all your questions.

  22. #22
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    I' m commuting just over 10 miles each way every day in quite a bit of snow this year. If the snow is falling or freshly fallen I take a streets route and the big danger is out of control motor vehicles.

    As others have pointed out the bike riding part is relatively easy. My other route is a bike path,which varies in how well plowed it is. I have a dedicated "ice bike" an old MTB With 2.125 studded Nokian tires and can tackle pretty much anything but deep snow means a lot of effort and torque goes into each pedal stroke. I have broken my chain twice this way in the last couple of years. And it's a bear fixing a broken link on a freezing night in a snow storm even if you bring a chain tool.

    In an area where drivers are not accustomed to snowy conditions I would be super wary of traveling out in a storm unless I absolutely had to whether riding my bike or driving. And bad winter storms present other hazards not too bike friendly like downed power lines and tree limbs.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post

    Studs aren't absolutely necessary. Skills are but not studs. I've ridden for 30+ winters without studded tires. That includes this little slice of "heaven"
    Agree.
    Having ridden nearly as much with than without them in the last ten year, the one time i fell on the ground during Canadian winter was with studs. Because of the studs I was being overconfident. Without them i'm extra careful and ride even on black ice. Studs don't solve everything.

  24. #24
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    buzzman, you've broken chains? What do you weigh? The only chain I broke was when I was stoking on a tandem, and I understand it's not that unusual. Also, 9-speed and higher chains are more delicate, not only because of their slender dimensions but also because installing the pin is easy to do wrong.
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  25. #25
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Rode home with an inch or two on the ground and with a lot more falling. I had the good sense to air down my tires (700x32s) this time, which was a big help. It was like riding 3 miles while someone threw Slurpee in my face, though.

    They've sent the staff home until 1100 tomorrow.
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