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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 10-02-01, 03:11 AM   #1
Rich
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Snow riding...

Hi guys,

I love cycling in the snow, but for the past 6 years, haven't got around to doing to much of it (living in London, we don't get much of the white stuff...). But, now I'm in the countryside, I'm going to take full advantage of it's remoteness and get ready for the first snows...

Does anyone else like riding in the snow? (Maybe not so much on the road eh???)

Rich :thumbup:
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Old 10-02-01, 05:11 AM   #2
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Riding in snow (and ice, etc.) can be quite challenging. mYou really do need decent tyres, studs are a good idea if packed snow and ice are to be found, but decent open treads will work in snow. If you can only afford 1 studded tyre (those Finnish Nokia tyres are about $60/each), put it in the front, so you can have breaking control.
Riding in snow requires a lot of forethought, and very little rear brake usage. A fixed-gear is probably best in the snow, and some day I'm going to build one. You also need big fenders, with lots of space for snow buildup. You will need to hose the bike down often, and expect that the chain and cogs will all be junk by spring.
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Old 10-02-01, 06:41 AM   #3
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Here's some useful info for winter riding:

Ice Bike Homepage
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Old 10-02-01, 12:55 PM   #4
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I like riding in the snow as long as the snow is not too deep. About 2" is enough. More than about 3" and it gets too difficult to peddle.

I like the soft velvet ride when you ride on new snow. Riding on freshly snow covered streets and sidewalks is like being the first skier off of the ski lift and getting fresh turns in virgin powder.
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Old 10-02-01, 01:58 PM   #5
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Riding in 8" of freshly fallen snow in the city is quite challenging. You really can't tell where the ridges of packed snow are, and all that snow gets caught up inside your fenders. If I were going to build a new winter bike, I would go for those "mud fenders" that the ATB crowd loves so much.
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Old 10-18-01, 02:15 PM   #6
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I have a one speed Schwinn Criuser set-up with studded tires and a fairly low gear for ice and/or snow that compacts easily, ( I rarely need to use it). Freewheel and cassette cogs tend to fill with snow, ice up, and the chain starts skipping. Spraying your bike with "Pam" (cooking spray) or silicon will help alleviate snow and mud "buildup".
I also have some cyclo-cross tires mounted on some spare wheels, when I want to use My "mud (road) bike" in the very warm or very cold snow types that tend not to compact. The narrow tires go through most snow types a little easier than the larger cruiser/mtn bike tires.
Ride the White
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Last edited by pat5319; 10-18-01 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 10-18-01, 04:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by pat5319
Spraying your bike with "Pam" (cooking spray) or silicon will help alleviate snow and mud "buildup".
Ya, I have tried silicon too. It helps when I go to wash my bike - the bike cleans easier - but I haven't had much luck with it shedding slush and ice from derailures or other surfaces.

One thing I have found is that household ammonia can be used to rinse off iced up components. I put some in my water bottel during slush rides and just squirt off brake pads and derailures.
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Old 10-18-01, 07:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by D*Alex
Riding in 8" of freshly fallen snow in the city is quite challenging. You really can't tell where the ridges of packed snow are, and all that snow gets caught up inside your fenders. If I were going to build a new winter bike, I would go for those "mud fenders" that the ATB crowd loves so much.
Does anyone realize we are pioneers? YA!!! 'STRUE!!!

(By the way, what is, "snow"?)
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Old 10-19-01, 01:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Clark

(By the way, what is, "snow"?)
Ner ner to you Pete!!!

Or is that ner ner to me????

Rich
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Old 10-19-01, 01:45 AM   #10
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I am also wondering what 'snow' is. Is it that white stuff that fell from the sky in very small amounts one day at Werris Creek. Can't seem all that bad.
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Old 10-19-01, 08:26 PM   #11
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I actually love riding in the snow! It can be rather wet and cold when the temperature is hovering around the freezing point but when the weather stays below -5 C the snow retains that 'crunch' and you don't get 'wet' per se until you go inside a warm building (of course, brushing the snow off helps immensely!)or ride on a heavily trafficed road (the cars tend to melt the snow).
I find that the most difficult snow riding is on un-plowed side streets where the powder has been compressed by car tires and the front bike tire tends to 'snow-dro-plane'. I find that it helps to go faster in these conditions but you have to remember to slow down to a crawl for turns. Also remember (in the city, anyway) that sewer grates and manhole, er personhole covers covered by snow or puddles are a death trap, especially when located right on corners (like the one 1 block from my house which I found the hard way). The great bonus with winter riding is that one does not have to ride as many miles or for as long to achieve the same workout as in more moderate weather which some real fit types might appreciate. Speaking of whom...

Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L
I am also wondering what 'snow' is. Is it that white stuff that fell from the sky in very small amounts one day at Werris Creek. Can't seem all that bad.
Funny you should say that. My father (from Brisbane) told me that when he was a young child he heard "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby and apparently had some trouble conjuring up the image. Of course he got the picture pretty quick in Canada!

I don't know if you've ever tried it but there is some good skiing in NSW such as Thredbo and Perisher Blue (you have to love the idea of naming a ski hill 'Perisher'!).

Last edited by bikerider; 10-19-01 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 10-20-01, 02:15 AM   #12
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I don't know if you've ever tried it but there is some good skiing in NSW such as Thredbo and Perisher Blue (you have to love the idea of naming a ski hill 'Perisher'!).
Never been there. I mean, Werris Creek (where I grew up) is in NSW, but I've never been down to Thredbo. Hey, how's Stuart Diver going with his goal of owning a ski chalet? I think it's unlikely one will land in his lap... again.
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Old 10-20-01, 05:00 AM   #13
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Snow question for other Snow commuters. Starting this time of year, when it is cool enough that the bugs are gone, the leaves are gone, and pollen is surely gone, on my ride home at night I often see a lot of stuff in the air in my headlights. It sure looks like snow, but the weatherpeople never mention flurries. I don't see any wet spots on the pavement, but it is very light and might not be enough to notice any moisture. Anyone know what it is?
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Old 10-27-01, 02:13 AM   #14
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Jean,
It sounds like "rime", ice particles that form when the fog freezes or that is blown off from where frost has formed.

Ride in the cold
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Old 11-27-01, 05:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jean Beetham Smith
Snow question for other Snow commuters. Starting this time of year, when it is cool enough that the bugs are gone, the leaves are gone, and pollen is surely gone, on my ride home at night I often see a lot of stuff in the air in my headlights. It sure looks like snow, but the weatherpeople never mention flurries. I don't see any wet spots on the pavement, but it is very light and might not be enough to notice any moisture. Anyone know what it is?
I have seen this phenominon too. Come to find out, it was dust and paper particles from a local paper mill. They sometimes blow out their stacks at night when there are less people around to notice/complain. Yup, believe it or not, it does happen in these modern times!
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