Recumbent for commuting?
I just switched from my road bike to my Burly Hepcat for commuting. I was wondering if anyone else rides a recumbent in the winter and how they handle in snow and ice. This is my first year commuting with it and would like to ride it all winter.
I just put some studded tires on it, Nokian on the rear (26") and Innova on the front (20"). Kind of hard finding a 20" studded tire, but through the Forums I was able to get a few names.
My Thanks goes to the many posters on their experiences and advice given.
Try a faring
I just began commuting with a Rans Stratus, and it has a Mueller Windwrap Human-Power windscreen on it. I picked up the bicycle on Saturday, and had to ride it over the Portland Hills. Last Saturday, in Portland, Oregon, it was pretty nasty out, weather-wise. I rode home for 16 miles through snow, rain, and sleet, and barely felt it because of the windscreen.
You can see it at:
They show a V-Rex with the faring, and so I'm pretty sure they could do it with your Burley Hepcat.
I ride 3 miles each way to work on an overnight shift. Mostly I avoid icy conditions, which around here is anytime it snows. When I absoultely have to ride home in a blizzard, I have a face mask and gogges, balaclava to keep balding head warm, ski gloves and insulated booties. I have a good rain suit.
I use RainX on the goggles to keep them clear. I use a motorcyle type goggle because the lens is beveled to deflect rain and snow. I ride in heavy traffic city streets. I slow way down. I find my bikeE very unstable on ice or wet packed down snow, like it gets in traffic. I get off and walk it when necessary.
I allow enough time to get where I'm going. I carry a cell phone, and good lights on bike. By next winter, you'll be a pro.
For years I rode my recumbent spring, summer and fall, and rode a mountain bike in the winter here in Minnesota (17 years). Five years ago in invested in a tadpole trike (two wheels in the front) and have been riding that. I love it, it's a hoot! I suppose you could call that cheating, but I don't care, I'm faster, steadier, and I don't have to constantly keep my eye's in front of my front wheel. My two cents worth.
Thanks for your replys. I am still riding my recumbent to work, except for the heavy snow we got about 2-3 weeks ago. The route I take involves a bridge that is closed, but it is open to pedestrians. The only problem is they dont plow the bridge and the roads leading to it. You have to go a few miles out of your way to get on the other side of the bridge and there is a lot of traffic on them.
The snow is melted and I will begin commuting again next week.
Have a safe holiday,
I used my touring-recumbent, a Radius Marco Polo for commuting purposes for two years now even during wintertime. I must tell you that riding a recumbent with studded tyres is not only fun. Winter is as a matter of fact the best season for riding it. As your whole back is warmed up by the seat, the best temperature is 15 degrees below zero C. In winter there is no sweating and a recumbent behaves remarkably well on snow and ice as long as the temperature is low. I have ridden my recumbent in intense traffic in wintertime and I simply love it.