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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 10-01-06, 10:29 PM   #1
Critterpace
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Riding/stopping technique

Unfortunately/fortunately, I live in an area where there most likely won't be much snow to ride in. I envy those with actual snow. I live in an urban area where there is black ice after storms. How do you keep your foot from sliding out from under you if you should happend to find yourself on ice and you have to stop?
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Old 10-02-06, 06:24 AM   #2
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Make sure the bike has most of the weight, try and stay as upright as possible. If you don't have studded tires on your bike and you try to stop on cold hard black ice, you don't need to worry about your feet, you will lying on the ground already. When the sun hits the ice the top can get a little softer and you may have enough traction to stay up.

If you do have studded tires and ride on the ice a lot it's easy to become complacent and just put your foot down without thinking about it. I've done it, you just fall down. Ride to a place where there is no ice before you put a foot down. You can buy ice treads to go on the bottom of your foot but they will get caught in the pedals.
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Old 10-02-06, 10:05 AM   #3
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Find a fixed gear to try out on the ice - much more control with your legs feeling more in touch with the road
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Old 10-06-06, 01:10 AM   #4
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On black ice, all suffer. Black ice is about the only thing that causes me to crash in winter, and it gets me every time. At least 4 times a year I go down hard sideways. Studded tires is about only way to deal with black ice. I have seen studs for cycling shoes that attach to toe area.
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Old 10-06-06, 02:38 PM   #5
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My mtb shoes have screw in metal cleats in the toe. Often that's what the un-explained phillips screws on the sole are there for.
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Old 10-06-06, 02:55 PM   #6
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Find a fixed gear to try out on the ice - much more control with your legs feeling more in touch with the road
i've also heard this from many people.
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Old 10-06-06, 04:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CastIron
My mtb shoes have screw in metal cleats in the toe. Often that's what the un-explained phillips screws on the sole are there for.
I'm going to put these all over my shoes this year. Maybe my helmet too.
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Old 10-06-06, 05:30 PM   #8
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Those look quite rude!
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Old 10-06-06, 06:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CastIron
My mtb shoes have screw in metal cleats in the toe. Often that's what the un-explained phillips screws on the sole are there for.
Where can I find the metal cleats? My shoes came with plastic knobs.
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Old 10-06-06, 07:20 PM   #10
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You LBS will sell you a set for a few bucks. Two per shoe in the toe area. Not all shoes have provisions for the spikes, though.
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Old 10-09-06, 07:36 PM   #11
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My mtb shoes have screw in metal cleats in the toe. Often that's what the un-explained phillips screws on the sole are there for.
Hmmm... There must be some technique. So when you're sliding how are you able to unclip and get the tip of your toe down fast enough to prevent skidding?
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Old 10-09-06, 07:53 PM   #12
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Hmmm... There must be some technique. So when you're sliding how are you able to unclip and get the tip of your toe down fast enough to prevent skidding?
The spikes are for climbing in the dirt off road.
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Old 10-09-06, 08:09 PM   #13
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The first time you have icy conditions, ride out on a bike path or somewnere with no traffic and practice. I plan on falling a couple times early in the winter, even with studded tires. After that I get the knack back and generally manage to remain in the upright position. Just try to be going slow when you fall and a snow bank is convenient too.

If you ride on snowy trails and frozen lakes, you'll fall a lot but it's fun then. Not so fun to slide out at 15 mph on a concrete street with traffic coming at you!
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Old 10-09-06, 09:05 PM   #14
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Hmmm... There must be some technique. So when you're sliding how are you able to unclip and get the tip of your toe down fast enough to prevent skidding?
The spikes allow me to get traction after I unclip at say a stoplight or to walk in the slop. While rolling I prefer the 296 spikes on my Nokians.
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Old 10-09-06, 09:19 PM   #15
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The spikes allow me to get traction after I unclip at say a stoplight or to walk in the slop. While rolling I prefer the 296 spikes on my Nokians.
OK cool. For a second, I thought that maybe those Gaerne boots were not being put to "full use"
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Old 10-10-06, 10:40 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Roody
The first time you have icy conditions, ride out on a bike path or somewnere with no traffic and practice. I plan on falling a couple times early in the winter, even with studded tires. After that I get the knack back and generally manage to remain in the upright position. Just try to be going slow when you fall and a snow bank is convenient too.

If you ride on snowy trails and frozen lakes, you'll fall a lot but it's fun then. Not so fun to slide out at 15 mph on a concrete street with traffic coming at you!
excellent advice. That's exactly what I do. It works.
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Old 10-25-06, 08:58 PM   #17
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Don't ride too fast, start slowing down waaaaay in advance of stopping. This isn't just because of slippery roads, it is also because of potentially slippery rims and brakes! If you have discs, this is less of a big deal. Take turns gently, remain as vertical as possible. Really, it's all just common sense. I found riding in wintry conditions to be surprisingly intuitive. Some things surprised ne, like just how slippery a small bank of powder snow really is when you try to cut a corner (that was a painful mistake!), but most of it makes a lot of sense. Just keep your wits about you, be careful, and you should be fine.
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Old 10-26-06, 04:38 AM   #18
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The best thing I ever did for winter riding is take judo lessons. In judo, I learned how to fall in a way to minimize damage.

When I hit black ice, I hold course, maintain speed, hold my breath, and pray. If I am coming to an intersection with traffic, I prepare to bail if necessary to avoid sliding into the street.
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Old 10-26-06, 02:35 PM   #19
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Don't ride too fast, start slowing down waaaaay in advance of stopping. This isn't just because of slippery roads, it is also because of potentially slippery rims and brakes! If you have discs, this is less of a big deal. Take turns gently, remain as vertical as possible. Really, it's all just common sense. I found riding in wintry conditions to be surprisingly intuitive. Some things surprised ne, like just how slippery a small bank of powder snow really is when you try to cut a corner (that was a painful mistake!), but most of it makes a lot of sense. Just keep your wits about you, be careful, and you should be fine.
Good advice! And if you hit an unexpected slick spot, "do" as little as possible. Don't hit the brakes, don't steer. Just coast through and allow the bike to slow down naturally. Try to find some snow or bare pavement that will give you a little traction.
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