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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    anyone ride the trails in the winter?

    This is my first year mountain biking and I live in maine so I am wondering wether it would be realistic to think that I could ride in the winter? Is this at all possible? would it work with studded tires? and if anyone does ride in the winter can you tell me how its different


    thanks
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  2. #2
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Winter riding is fun. A lot less control but you learn some great riding skills. Things to keep in mind besides keeping warm

    a - parts freeze up. Be prepared to do whatever is takes to unseize things (think warm liquid)
    b - armour - if you think riding wet roots is risky try riding trail where patches of ice become pain
    c - stud your own tires. Get some screws. Screw them into the tire from the inside out and cut off the spikes leaving little studs. This helps grip quite a bit.

    Mostly have fun. It is more intense but definately helps you improve. Don't go out on REALLY cold days as that is really dangerous for your lungs.

  3. #3
    legalize bikes
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    mountain biking in winter is one of my favorite times to ride. the trails are empty, and its a greater challenge. snowy trails are a lot of fun, if you're prepared to duff it, a lot! i only have a SS MTB, so that adds a little spice to the mixture when trying to ascend a snowy hill w/ a 2:1 gear, but it CAN be done! down hills a even more hectic than uphill!

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    Zin
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    My LBS also suggests not using a FS bike. They stated the cold is hard on the suspension components etc... I have an older MTB that I use for commuting that has a rigid fork for these colder temps. (below 32F/0C) Have a blast!

  5. #5
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    As long as you do some maintanence and keep everything dry when you are done things should be fine.

    It might slow down your compression and rebound as the oil gets cold but I am not 100% sure on that as I had a ht last year and wil be using a dually this year.

  6. #6
    Zin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    As long as you do some maintanence and keep everything dry when you are done things should be fine.

    It might slow down your compression and rebound as the oil gets cold but I am not 100% sure on that as I had a ht last year and wil be using a dually this year.
    I gave them a call to clairfy. They were worry about the seals getting hard and cracking in the cold. At minimum they would get hard and would wear excessively.

  7. #7
    To be continued Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Why yes I do.
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  8. #8
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    Don't go out on REALLY cold days as that is really dangerous for your lungs.
    How cold is "Really cold" - I've ridden at 7 degrees (F.) this year, and in the negatives years prior with no ill effects (cough cough). Is there a number to go with your claim?

    I've ridden on snowy trails for years, and love it. I was out the week before last with 3" on the ground, and it was still snowing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Woot! Woot! diamondback_man's Avatar
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    Trail riding in the winter is amazing! But make sure you got some nice chunky treads, cuz it can get realllly icy.

  10. #10
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco
    How cold is "Really cold" - I've ridden at 7 degrees (F.) this year, and in the negatives years prior with no ill effects (cough cough). Is there a number to go with your claim?

    I've ridden on snowy trails for years, and love it. I was out the week before last with 3" on the ground, and it was still snowing.
    With my claim? Wow, way to sound condescending. Congrats on it not happening to you but it has happened to me mid winter in -40 to -45 degree winter weather (this was simply hiking not biking). If you are a 'nose' breather it isn't likely to happen however if like me, you breathe with your mouth almost exclusively it is a very common problem. This is one injury they teach you to watch for when dealing with possible injuries and recoveries of people off the mountain. It is simply an irratation of the passage way (not actual damage) but can affect breathing.

    The temp does have to be pretty low to happen but if this guys weather is anthing like Ontario then bitter cold is common. There are things to prevent it like simply covering your mouth with a scarf to warm the air going directly in.

    7degrees F is only -13c...that is damn warm, you lucky guy you. If that is as cold as it gets I wouldn't be concerned either as I used to play street ball in that temp in nov and dec.

  11. #11
    mmm babaghanouj. rasheed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    The temp does have to be pretty low to happen but if this guys weather is anthing like Ontario then bitter cold is common...

    7degrees F is only -13c...that is damn warm, you lucky guy you. If that is as cold as it gets I wouldn't be concerned either as I used to play street ball in that temp in nov and dec.
    yeah, the weather here in ontario can get pretty cold. although, the past few winters here in toronto have been pretty mild compared to the ones i remember in highschool (-40 w/windchill was typical for jan/feb weather here in toronto a few years back). i remember during my highschool years, we'd be coming home from clubs at like 2am by public transit. we'd be fooling around trying to keep warm while waiting for the buses... i remember spitting on the glass of the bus shelters and watching the spit freeze on contact.

  12. #12
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasheed
    yeah, the weather here in ontario can get pretty cold. although, the past few winters here in toronto have been pretty mild compared to the ones i remember in highschool (-40 w/windchill was typical for jan/feb weather here in toronto a few years back). i remember during my highschool years, we'd be coming home from clubs at like 2am by public transit. we'd be fooling around trying to keep warm while waiting for the buses... i remember spitting on the glass of the bus shelters and watching the spit freeze on contact.
    Yeah I left ontario (Guelph) to escape that cold. Well that was a small part of the reason ...I remember some pretty horrid times especially if we were at the cottage up north. Take in one breath and suddenly you can't breathe, definately harsh weather ...but fun...

  13. #13
    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    I ride the mountain bike more in the winter since I will not have a 20-30 mph wind in my face. Easier to keep warm.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    What is this "Winter" that you speak of?



    My money pits:

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  15. #15
    Carbon Fiber Nazi!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    What is this "Winter" that you speak of?

    I'll explain "winter" to you if you explain "hurricane" to me :-)

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  16. #16
    Outgunned and outclassed
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    sounds like loads of masocistic fun, someone want to explain to me in detail(or give me link) how i go about studding my tires?
    Patience - Consistency - Motivation

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  17. #17
    Zin
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco
    How cold is "Really cold" - I've ridden at 7 degrees (F.) this year, and in the negatives years prior with no ill effects (cough cough). Is there a number to go with your claim?

    I've ridden on snowy trails for years, and love it. I was out the week before last with 3" on the ground, and it was still snowing.
    Well, actually it is not "my" claim. It was advice from the owner of my LBS. Having said that, we (LBS owner & I) were discussing riding in temps below 20F. I am by no means an expert, nor do I claim to know anything other than what my he mentioned. Does his comment mean your gonna go out to ride your FS MTB in sub 20F temps and blow your forks? I don't think so. I believe he was referring more to the shortening of the life span of the suspension components. It is simply one more thing to consider.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flea77
    I'll explain "winter" to you if you explain "hurricane" to me :-)

    Allan

    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  19. #19
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    With my claim? Wow, way to sound condescending.

    7degrees F is only -13c...that is damn warm, you lucky guy you. If that is as cold as it gets I wouldn't be concerned either as I used to play street ball in that temp in nov and dec.
    Wow - note to self "claim is not a good word to use in Bikeforums". I've read a few of your posts and appreciate and value your comments, however I had no idea what you were referring to - hence my question. I apologize if you found my liberal use of the word “claim” condescending – I had no intention of it being taken that way.

    I ride quite a bit in the cold (that is, for a lucky guy) - and frankly I have never had a problem. After reading your post, I was wondering if I was doing damage that I was not aware of – apparently not, thank you for your response.

  20. #20
    Zin
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco
    Wow - note to self "claim is not a good word to use in Bikeforums". I've read a few of your posts and appreciate and value your comments, however I had no idea what you were referring to - hence my question. I apologize if you found my liberal use of the word “claim” condescending – I had no intention of it being taken that way.
    No problem. I just wanted to make sure someone else didn't read the post and thought those were my words. Just trying to share and learn too.. Have fun!

  21. #21
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N7CZinMT
    No problem. I just wanted to make sure someone else didn't read the post and thought those were my words. Just trying to share and learn too.. Have fun!
    Wow...you keep responding to what would be my reponses

  22. #22
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco
    Wow - note to self "claim is not a good word to use in Bikeforums". I've read a few of your posts and appreciate and value your comments, however I had no idea what you were referring to - hence my question. I apologize if you found my liberal use of the word “claim” condescending – I had no intention of it being taken that way.

    I ride quite a bit in the cold (that is, for a lucky guy) - and frankly I have never had a problem. After reading your post, I was wondering if I was doing damage that I was not aware of – apparently not, thank you for your response.
    No worries. I came accross as an ass myself which I didn't really mean to...

    to be honest the only study I know of for surety was a prelim study in europe studying professional skiers and other athletes for respiratory problems. They found that while they were athletic their actual respiratory system was weaker and in some case damaged with diseases like asthma for example. This was typically in extreme temps like -30 to -40 and very prolonged training. Otherwise it is just a typical warning given to people doing any 'huffing and puffing' sports in the winter

  23. #23
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    slickmobster,

    i ride some trails in the winter, but not a lot...

    there are a few different things to deal with:
    * cold --- this can be dealt with with the right clothes pretty well - down to whatever you are "used to" -- for me that means i can ride down to -20C (-4F) without much trouble. others from really cold places can usually deal with less, but i find it's relative
    * snow/ice --- to really ride you need studded tires and ride with very low pressure.

    although riding in the snow is _way_ different from riding a regular trail --- main difference is that like skiing the conditions change all the time and each day (or even morning to afternoon) is different as the snow is either deep fresh powder, soft snow you suddenly sink in to, or a hard layer of ice...

    for me, the winter means riding in the mountains is out as the snow is just too deep (many feet), so i only ride the local trails on days when it is in the -15 to -2C range --- just above freezing and it gets wet and crappy. i ride either on fresh snow (but not TOO much) or older snow that is hardened so you don't sink too deep (more than about 1 foot new snow or about "6 inches sinkage" in old snow is about the threshold for me) but also not ice hard (you have to find the right middle)

    i was in Mass in winter 2000/2001 which was a heavy snow winter and i was able to ride pretty much all year, although Maine, especially if you're not on the coast, gets quite a bit more snow.
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  24. #24
    Zin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    Wow...you keep responding to what would be my reponses
    Yea, Sorry about that. I guess I really need to pay more attention.

  25. #25
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    how do you keep the screws from puncturing your tubes when you stud your own tires? seems like with low pressure flats would be a major problem, and changing a tire in the snow would suck. is there some sort of seal to put in the tire to smooth things out?

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