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  1. #1
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    Winter recumbent

    I've been riding DF bikes in winter (often a couple of inches of very hard packed, potentially slippery, snowy crust on sidestreets) for the last 18 years, but am switching over to a recumbent because of back problems. Because I'm so comfortable riding in those conditions on a DF bike I can't imagine riding a recumbent in winter, but that's not based on any sort of science or experience. Has anyone in this forum got experience riding recumbents in winter and is it any more difficult or easier, or safer or less safe than on a DF? I would appreciate any input about this as I love riding in winter and would hate to have to give it up.

  2. #2
    Senoir Membre Rosso Corsa's Avatar
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    I think there would probably be more controlled because of the wheel being driven. I can't really explain why, but for the same reason front-drive cars do better on ice than rear drive.

    It seems like it would be hard to control a recumbent if it began slipping, and it would be hard to bail off of one, but I have never ridden one so I can't say.

  3. #3
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Much safer -- if you have a trike. I find that spinning the drive wheel is awfully easy, though.

  4. #4
    sch
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    Depends on the bent. LWB tend to slide out more easily in front than
    SWB or CLWB. The more vertical the steering axis, the more the ride
    approximates DF. Generally speaking DF would be a bit more stable on
    ice/snow than a 2 wheeled bent, but the lower seat heights would mitigate
    the impact somewhat. Since speed is a bad idea, depending on snow
    depths and ruts, a trike would be the bent dejure here.

  5. #5
    el padre
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    I have not ridden in snow but have been in the loose sand and or gravel area and the bent, LWB is more 'twitchy' as mentioned above. I agree a trike would be the cat's meow...peace

  6. #6
    Be the Bike BikeZen.org's Avatar
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    I've ridden my Challenge Seiran (2 wheel SWB USS) in winter with hard-packed 1-2" snow using MTB tires (about 1.75" wide). It works, but it's much harder to control and not that comfortable.

    A trike, perhaps with studded tires, would be best.

  7. #7
    meb
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  8. #8
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    I rode a recumbent trike through the Canadian winter last year, and it was a piece of cake. I never fell off, though really icy roads caused the rear wheel to spin. If you want the ultimate in winter riding safety, get a recumbent tadpole trike with a studded tire in the rear. Nothing less than 2 inches of snow will stop you!
    www.rebel-cycles.com

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  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I bicycle commuted for years, and the upright was the only way to go. I suppose a trike would be OK if ice were the only problem, but I had to ride in up to 6 inches of snow, and I can't imagine trying to push three wheel tracks through 4 to 6 inches of slushy snow.

  10. #10
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    I bicycle commuted for years, and the upright was the only way to go. I suppose a trike would be OK if ice were the only problem, but I had to ride in up to 6 inches of snow, and I can't imagine trying to push three wheel tracks through 4 to 6 inches of slushy snow.
    It's true, 6 inches of snow will stop a trike cold (pardon the pun!)
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  11. #11
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    Seems to me the common road condition is not ice or deep snow but hard-packed snow, often rutted by the cars. I, too, am considering a trike to handle this.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    In southern Michigan, roads are snowy on the day of and day after a storm, icy and slushy for several days later, and if we're lucky enough to not have another storm too quickly, clear after that. Well, clear of snow due to lots of salt, and stay off the shoulder because that's where all the debris and ice is! On days the roads have stuff on them, it can be a real workout riding just one or two urban miles.

  13. #13
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by andmalc View Post
    Seems to me the common road condition is not ice or deep snow but hard-packed snow, often rutted by the cars. I, too, am considering a trike to handle this.
    Ruts are the worst. You will need aggressive tires with knobs, studs will help, and legs like Superman.
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  14. #14
    bike to work
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    Last winter I put studded tires on my burley SWB for some hard packed snow rides. The studs held the road like a cat. The only problem was on the days when the snow was patchy. Then the studs wear out quickly on pavement.

    I think a DF bike is the most stable on the snow. I am thinking of pulling my mtn bike out for snow rides to work this winter.

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