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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 11-28-07, 11:43 AM   #1
geetlord
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can my bike be made ice-worthy?

I have recently moved to Ann-Arbor Mi from Florida, and this is my first winter commuting up north. Yesterday I had my first encounter with black ice and it has left the entire left side of my body seriously bruised. my problem is that I ride a road bike that dosn't have clearances in the fork or seat stays for cyclocross tires which my coworker recommended that I try. Is there anything that I can do to make my bicycle safer or even ridable on ice?
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Old 11-29-07, 11:33 AM   #2
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I'm not really sure, I can say this, I never crash, except on ice. It sucks, it's hurts, it's cold, and it's really hard to predict or see black ice.

Studded tires are the only thing I can recommend. They work on ice for sure, they are not perfect but they make it possible and fun for me to ride year round. Unfortunately that probalby isn't an option for you and your road frame clearance issues. I use the Nokian W106 35mm tires, these are probalby the thinnest studded tires out there. Now that you live up here in the frozen north, You may have to think about getting a winter beater and putting some studded tires on it. Probalby not what you wanted to hear, but it's my best advice.
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Old 11-29-07, 03:24 PM   #3
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its true that was hoping that I wouldn't have to find a winter bike. However I am commuting more than I ever did in the past, so having a second bike for nasty weather is probably a good idea. do you have any suggestions as to what I should look for in a winter commuter bike?
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Old 11-29-07, 03:42 PM   #4
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Wide range of gears, bombproof, able to use a set of Nokians, disk brakes preferred, not prone to rust when the drivetrain sucks down a pile of road salt and grit, fenders, few moving parts. I prefer no suspension at all because I don't trust the added complexity when it gets cold and reality starts to get wierd.
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Old 11-29-07, 03:44 PM   #5
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For a winter beater, look for tire/fender clearance. Most cyclocross and touring bikes will work, or you can get a mountain bike [ideally without suspension]. I ride a standard mountain bike with disc brakes and 700C wheels. With the 700x38C studded tires,, I still have room for fenders. I put road bars on mine, but you don't have to.
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Old 11-29-07, 03:48 PM   #6
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Find a really old mountain bike with rigid fork from around 1990. My winterbeater is a Ridgerunner Miyata set up as SS converted to roadbars and Nokians. The pre 90 old MTB's had shallow angles and a very long wheelbase which is very good for riding on the snow and ice.
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Old 11-30-07, 04:55 PM   #7
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If hills are not a big issue, I recommend a single speed set up. A cylco cross bike or rigid MTN bike with studded tires, fenders, and one gear.
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Old 11-30-07, 05:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geetlord View Post
Yesterday I had my first encounter with black ice and it has left the entire left side of my body seriously bruised. my problem is that I ride a road bike that dosn't have clearances in the fork or seat stays for cyclocross tires which my coworker recommended that I try. Is there anything that I can do to make my bicycle safer or even ridable on ice?
First of all, forget the cross tires on ice. Other than with studs, NO TIRE is going to get any grip on ice. Please don't ask me how I know.

You need a beater on which you you can strap a pair (or at least the front) of studded tires. It's the ONLY cure for the icy blues.

... Brad
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Old 11-30-07, 06:13 PM   #9
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A used hardtail mountain bike with studded tires will be a LOT cheaper than a fractured hip.
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Old 11-30-07, 06:16 PM   #10
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Peter White Cycles has an extensive page on the various studded tires HERE.
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