Originally Posted by Cosmoline
I've got an Electra Rat Rod I'm converting into an all season utility bike. I'd like to keep riding it in the winter months, as most of the time it's not below zero. The cold is nothing new to me, I've worked in forty below temps. What worries me is *ICE* This city has a ton of it esp. after mid December. It gets many inches thick on the bike trails and is often covered with oil and grease. I figure on getting studs for the rat rod and keeping PSI low, but what chance is there of actually being able to ride on a bumpy, uneven ice rink for miles on end without breaking my neck? Should I wear heavy boots with spikes and use them as training wheels? Should I just put on training wheels?
With good studded tires riding on bumpy ice is about like riding on dirt. If the ice is flat like an ice rink it's almost like pavement when the studs are new and you have the right tires. I can bank a little, slam on the brakes and do wheelies on flat cold ice. Colder is better traction with studs.
Using an old mountain bike and Nokian studded tires I ride on uneven bumpy ice for miles on end every winter. At least 25 miles at a time, maybe more. I have not fallen in ice or snow in years. I used to ride a motorcycle in the snow 30 years ago. We made our own studded tires.
The studs are no help in snow without ice.
Ruts in the road that are almost parallel to your direction of travel and are deep enough will toss you off. Not because it's ice, the tires work great, it's like getting a tire caught in a railroad crossing groove, just because it's a rut. I don't ride in the road if there are a lot of ruts, I go on trails and paths that have lots of frozen footprints about 3" deep. I just ride over them slowly if they are huge.
I use 25 psi in the tires and front suspension and a suspension seat post to go a few miles it's so bumpy. It's bumpier than anything else you can ride on. I had to buy a suspension seat post to go more than 1/2 mile.
Does your bike have gears? Low gears are a big help. Low gears are needed for miles of deep snow.