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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 08-23-07, 07:36 AM   #1
carail
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I need some advice

I commute every day to work during the summer, rain or shine. Except winter.
I wanna commute trough winter this year, but i need some advice.
I live in Canada aylmer (right next to ottawa) so i can have some really nice days in winter, and i can get 2 feet of snow the next.

There's 2 diferent ways i normaly take to get to work during the summer.
First one is by street, about 9k each way across three main roads (2 or 3 lane streets).
Second way is by a bike path thats about 1k away from my house. 13k each way.

Witch path should i take in winter ?
Should i buy some tires that have less studs that are more offset to the sides and ride on the street. And not ride on snowy days or other bad days.

Or should i get some studded tires with like 300 studs and ride on the bike path in the snow all winter long.
Bike path is never cleaned during winter and people use them for cross-country sking.
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Old 08-23-07, 08:32 AM   #2
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How much foot traffic on the path?

If there is lots, it can be packed down to rideability in a day or two after a moderate snowfall. If there is very little foot traffic, it might be unrideable until spring.

Generally pedestrians pulling kids on sleighs and whathaveyou do a far better job packing a path than skiiers. There tends to be a surge of foot traffic on sunny weekends, and virtually none during the week.

You're probably going to have to have a few messed-up commutes until you get an idea of how long it takes for the path to become rideable after a moderate or heavy snowfall.

I've always found snow-covered MUPs to be immensly more fun that salt-covered roads. I do use the 300-stud nokian tires. I also (in contrast to a lot of winter riders) use suspension, as frozen-footprint paths are often rougher than anything I ride in the summer.
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Old 08-23-07, 10:10 AM   #3
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i think there will be alot of foot traffic but not across the whole path, theres only 1 acces every 3 to 4 k i think.
Does that mean i wont be able to ride on unpacked snow?
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Old 08-23-07, 07:31 PM   #4
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Uncleared paths are a bad idea and hard to navigate. Usually you will find streets to be your best option.
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Old 08-23-07, 08:07 PM   #5
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Does that mean i wont be able to ride on unpacked snow?
If it's more than a few cm deep, it's probably going to be a low efficiency exercise. But only you can really determine what is a practicable snow depth for commuting. That said, I found the snow cover in each of the following shots relatively easy to ride on a MTB with Nokian 300s.


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Old 08-24-07, 01:21 PM   #6
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How much foot traffic on the path?

as frozen-footprint paths are often rougher than anything I ride in the summer.
+1 partly melted, then frozen footprints are the toughest surface I have ridden on in my commutes. I switch to the streets until the pathes melt.
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Old 08-28-07, 11:13 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice.
I got another question for you guys.

How about these tires for street riding?

Schwalbe Snow Stud 26 x 1.9 Wire Tire

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1188321021138
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Old 08-30-07, 12:17 PM   #8
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Schwalbe Snow Studs were fine for street, the studs barely touch at 40PSI or so, and thus they don't drag too much. However on actual icy sections, the improvement over a regular knobby tire was subtle.

This was a few years back though, maybe they have improved them.
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