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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 01-22-06, 08:53 PM   #1
SaltoDeAgua
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You can bike in the snow?

I seriously didn't know you could do that. I'm in Washington right now so I've been able to bike the entire winter with only one snow day and one ice day but next winter I'll be in Michigan (in a high lake effect area). What kind of bike and other equipment do you need to bike in the snow? I so excited about trying it out!
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Old 01-22-06, 08:59 PM   #2
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It's a fun challenge, and bikes are a practical way to get around in the winter, just as they are in summer. For me it's been fun to test my limitations and equipment in conditions that you can only "enjoy" in the winter. Check out IceBike.com for some motivational and maybe helpful reading! Have fun...
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Old 01-22-06, 09:16 PM   #3
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Yeah, the gear makes all the difference. It's really a great way to get out and enjoy the weather. Pogies for handcover, lights, tires with good tread and studs if you ride on ice. Make sure you use cold weather lube also

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Old 01-22-06, 09:26 PM   #4
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The big thing you have to overcome is that a two-wheeled vehicle relies on friction to stay upright. If you lose traction you will fall over quicker than you can say oh crap.

There are lots of tires that work well in some conditions -- skinny road tires will cut through a thin dusting of snow; mountain bike tires at low pressure can ride over heavy snow -- but the problem with winter is that conditions change quickly. For my money there is only one tire that works for all winter conditions, and that's a Nokian with metal studs. Unfortunately, they're also heavy, slow, noisy and expensive.
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Old 01-22-06, 09:43 PM   #5
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Oh yeah ... I've done a bit of snowbiking in my time. You might also check out this site: http://www.icebike.org/

.
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Old 01-23-06, 09:20 PM   #6
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For my money there is only one tire that works for all winter conditions, and that's a Nokian with metal studs. Unfortunately, they're also heavy, slow, noisy and expensive.
you left out fun! and great on ice !
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Old 01-23-06, 10:37 PM   #7
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you left out fun! and great on ice !
I thought that went without saying.
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Old 01-23-06, 10:40 PM   #8
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Riding with snow can be a lot of fun. Just a light .5" layer of it is not much. 2-3" is great, it makes for a better workout and a good challenge. I use 2.1" MTB tires with low pressure, get decent grip. But once it hits 6" or so, i just stop. Its so difficult to keep balance you end up spending more time on the ground than in the saddle.
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Old 01-24-06, 06:56 AM   #9
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ride in the snow? ya sure, you can even do winter touring if you've got the cojones.
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Old 01-24-06, 07:38 AM   #10
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I thought that went without saying.

It really did, for 99.9 % of us. I just wanted to emphasize the point again to encourage someone who has not tried it.
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Old 01-24-06, 01:04 PM   #11
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For me, riding in fresh powder snow is kind of like riding on a loos packed trail. It isn't real slippery, but it takes a lot more effort than usual. I think most people prefer a mountain bike for winter riding, but I could be wrong.
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Old 01-25-06, 06:43 PM   #12
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For me, riding in fresh powder snow is kind of like riding on a loos packed trail. It isn't real slippery, but it takes a lot more effort than usual. I think most people prefer a mountain bike for winter riding, but I could be wrong.
Making the first set of tracks in some fresh powder!! Life does not get much better than than !!
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Old 01-26-06, 03:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2
Riding with snow can be a lot of fun. Just a light .5" layer of it is not much. 2-3" is great, it makes for a better workout and a good challenge. I use 2.1" MTB tires with low pressure, get decent grip. But once it hits 6" or so, i just stop. Its so difficult to keep balance you end up spending more time on the ground than in the saddle.
I've ridden in snow up to the hubs on my MTB (light, fluffy snow). Now THAT"S a workout !

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Old 01-26-06, 09:16 AM   #14
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Take your bike to the local ski hill after it's closed for the season and put in a couple of downhill runs - super fun stuff!
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Old 01-26-06, 10:48 AM   #15
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I love riding in the winter. If you are dressed for it, it's great. You get to breathe that crisp, clean winter air, traffic is usually lighter, and it's great for variety and training. I ride the same roads and paths that I do in the summer, I just do it on my winter bike. Sometimes, after a new snow, I'm riding in a couple of inches or more just riding on the shoulder of the road, sometimes the road is clear. My winter bike is an old Raleigh mountain bike, steel, with mountain/mudder tires, fenders, a rear rack, flat bar with bar ends. Right now it's covered in salt, calcium chloride, and dirt. After each ride I just shoot WD-40 all over the drivetrain and whereever else there is something that moves, and that seems to keep everything moving. There's no way to keep it clean. Come spring I'll clean it up, replace anything that's wore out, and put it away till next winter. I wear a 100 oz. Camelback under my coat so it won't freeze, and tuck the tube inside as well. I use flat pedals with no clips, so I can wear insulated boots to keep my feet warm. Just did 3 hours this morning. I love riding in the winter.
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Old 01-26-06, 01:41 PM   #16
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Making the first set of tracks in some fresh powder!! Life does not get much better than than !!
Totally...and you can't get lost!
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Old 01-26-06, 02:08 PM   #17
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Made first tracks this morning on my commute. (Rail trail...) Nice fluffy snow, too. Not very deep. Perfect for riding.

When it gets bad is after the pedestrians post-hole it all to $*@& and the surface shakes my kidneys loose. (I still can't figure out why they don't stick to one track...)
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Old 02-06-06, 01:37 PM   #18
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I commute on a road bike with 700 X 23 tires and I have a few snow days. I find it kind of terrifying actually. Once the snow gets packed by the cars my wheels no longer sink through the stuff, but kind of sheer sideways as they sink. I dont mountain bike, so maybe I'm just a wuss, but I find it un-nerving (especially with cars right beside you).
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Old 02-06-06, 05:30 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by mellonhead
I commute on a road bike with 700 X 23 tires and I have a few snow days. I find it kind of terrifying actually. Once the snow gets packed by the cars my wheels no longer sink through the stuff, but kind of sheer sideways as they sink. I dont mountain bike, so maybe I'm just a wuss, but I find it un-nerving (especially with cars right beside you).
You can pick up a used mountain bike real cheap. Try that the next time it snows.
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Old 02-08-06, 08:07 PM   #20
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I love biking in the snow, especially at night. It's a surreal experience, watching all those flakes floating in the air. If it's a fresh snow that's best, because you know that there are no hidden ice patches underneath. Take the turns slow though!
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