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-   -   It's freaking freezing! (http://www.bikeforums.net/winter-cycling/4140-its-freaking-freezing.html)

LightBoy 11-30-01 11:11 PM

It's freaking freezing!
 
Well, I did it. The snow finally cleared off the roads enough that I could take my first winter ride. It was nice, but I think I need to invest in some much thicker booties if I'm going to keep doing this - that, or I'll have to learn to walk without toes soon!

Chris L 12-01-01 02:46 AM

Damn it's hot downunder! I'm sitting here sweating as I type this :eek: .

ViciousCycle 12-01-01 06:58 AM

LightBoy, good socks will also help too. (For a commercially-made sock, SmartWool is a pretty solid choice.)

If you keep your hands, feet, and ears warm, the rest of your body will soon get toasty warm as you exert yourself. (When I'm running errands on my bike, I love arriving at my destination all nice and warm while motorists are busy complaining about the cold.)

(Actually, some stores and restaurants keep their temperatures so warm in the winter that I'm more likely to complain about the heat instead of the cold.)

velocipedio 12-01-01 08:02 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Ba-Dg-Er
I hate winter.
So do I.

There's not enough snow for skiing; there's ice and slush on the roads; I've actually found myself running.

The only thing worse than running is going to a gym... and I plan to start doing that soon.

I hate winter.

cyclezealot 12-01-01 09:14 AM

Here in So. California can't imagine cycling in your kind of winter. How does road salt effect a bikes drive train, etc.?

velocipedio 12-01-01 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by cyclezealot
Here in So. California can't imagine cycling in your kind of winter. How does road salt effect a bikes drive train, etc.?
The day they start salting the roads is the day my season ends. I can get by with the cold and the wet and even -- with the right tires, the slush and ice. But salt kills bikes, and they salt the roads with abandon up here.

mike 12-01-01 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by velocipedio

The day they start salting the roads is the day my season ends. I can get by with the cold and the wet and even -- with the right tires, the slush and ice. But salt kills bikes, and they salt the roads with abandon up here.

Velocipedia is right on when he says that salt kills bikes. It eats them alive just about immediately. Spokes are the first casualties (unless you use stainless spokes).

Still, for me what's worse than riding in salty winter is not riding at all. I buy good-but-old-and-cheap ($10.00) bikes at garage sales for using in winter.

If you are immaculate with maintenance, a bike will survive winter salt. If you are pretty good, the bike will last one season. If you just ride and park, you can go through two bikes per winter season due to salt enhanced corrosion.

Joe Gardner 12-01-01 01:25 PM

Wow, i had no idea salt could do that much damage to a bike, luckily the roads i ride on don't get salted, we get sand! (?!?)... Only the major roads get the salt, and i stay off those in the winter, too many Californians in Utah this winter that have never seen snow :p

Chris L 12-01-01 01:51 PM

What exactly is "salting the roads" and why is it done? I've never heard of this practice.

Joe Gardner 12-01-01 02:09 PM

Salt melts snow, and provides traction on ice. Not only does it eat up bikes, it eats up cars too... i think thats why my city has moved over from salt to sand.

mike 12-01-01 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Joe Gardner
Salt melts snow, and provides traction on ice. Not only does it eat up bikes, it eats up cars too... i think thats why my city has moved over from salt to sand.
Salt gets into the water system which is probably why Utah has gone to sand. That plus you don't have enough snow in the lower elevations to need salt.

Salt on the roads sucks - no question about it. Not only does salt damage cars and bikes, it also damages the roads - especially concrete roads, sidewalks, and buildings.

It seems that many BF.C fans have not had the maddening experience of driving behind a snow plow which is simultaneously spreading salt. The salt gravel slings all over your car with a horrible grinding scraping ping-a-ling sound. You know it 'aint doing your car any good.

D*Alex 12-02-01 09:42 AM

Around here, salt is the prefered road treat ment, for 2 reasons:
1) Our ancient storm sewers (circa 1880) have many sharp bends, which get silted closed with sand, and
2) We sit about 30 miles north of the world's largest mineable salt dome.
Road salt is an effective and inexpensive ice and snow melter, but it does tend to turn heavy accumulations of snow into a grey, semi-gelatinous slop, as well as corrode steel frames (bike and automobile alike).
You should experience biking through the snow-salt slop on a cold, snowy morning, and getting pelted by salt as the plow/spreader passes you! Fun!!

mike 12-02-01 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by D*Alex

You should experience biking through the snow-salt slop on a cold, snowy morning, and getting pelted by salt as the plow/spreader passes you! Fun!!

That sounds scary as hell!

Puddle Jumper 12-04-01 03:52 AM

I'm new to this forum, so if I'm posting in the wrong spot --Ha! get over it! I'll figure it out in time--

I just got some of those NEOS, the overboot mentioned in Icebike.com. They keep my feet toasty and clean. I look forward to using them this winter. They are clumsy, though, but not like a galosh. They fit tigher than that. You'll need the big Power Grips if you want tied to your pedals. I tried the Buffalo shirt from Needlesport, too. Man, its great! Its nice and soft on the pile side. I was afraid it would be scratchy like wool, but it isn't at all! First time I ride it in really cold weather, if someone is interested, I'll let you know how it works wearing nothing under it. .... Now guys, I don't plan on getting too detailed in that area.....

stewartp 12-04-01 10:49 AM

I've just bought a pair of Gaerne "Polar" boots. claim to be waterproof and cozy warm, sheepskin inner. They were the last pair on the website and had been reduced from 100 to 60 (thats $142 down to $85).

I guess that's my Chrimbo present sorted!

Stew

Chris L 12-04-01 05:31 PM

Welcome aboard, PJ! It's always good to see a familiar face around here. :)

Puddle Jumper 12-05-01 06:33 PM

Thanks for the welcome, Chris. I see your "face" hasn't changed! :)

Chris L 12-05-01 09:31 PM

All this hair is a real problem in summer.

LightBoy 12-05-01 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by LightBoy
I think I need to invest in some much thicker booties if I'm going to keep doing this - that, or I'll have to learn to walk without toes soon!
Okay, nevermind. Apparently winter was just a false alarm.

As you were.

bikeman 12-19-01 07:32 PM

I completely trashed an old mountain bike set up for commuting after about 4 winters of riding on wet, salty roads. Here in Ohio we have a huge underground salt mine that is about a mile down under Lake Erie. Isn't that weird? As a result they salt the roads heavily since we have tons of snow (except this winter it hasn't snowed yet - I've ridden every weekend but one in November and December - also very strange). The salt on the bike took it's toll on the hubs, drivetrain, rims and spokes. All pitted up and nasty looking. Fortunately it was an old bike and I just loaded up the Phil Wood heavy lube for the chain.

A strange thing happens in the very early spring when it is still a bit snowy, but you can get out for a ride on wet roads. If you follow too closely behind another rider and you get road spray in the face, then you also get the distinct taste of salt - yumm!! Something to avoid. I'd never take my good road bike on the salt infested wet roads. Just not worth the clean-up and corrosion problems. That's why they make beater bikes, right?

seer 12-20-01 07:46 PM

I'm in Massachusetts, the snow's arrived here along with the cold which i'm not all too fond of. I don't do all that much winter riding, the windchill is killer. On a decent winter day I might try and take a ride across the nearby lake, sometime's it's just too slippery but other times you get a little layer of snow on there that makes for good traction and you can really cruise.

Peaches 09-14-02 05:16 AM

This will be my first time riding in the winter. Are any of you embarrassed to ride in the winter. I mean do you think people are saying that you are nuts to ride in such harsh weather.:rolleyes:

mike 09-14-02 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Peaches
This will be my first time riding in the winter. Are any of you embarrassed to ride in the winter. I mean do you think people are saying that you are nuts to ride in such harsh weather.:rolleyes:
I don't know where you are from, Peaches, but in most places, anybody who commutes by bicycle is generally considered "weird" by the average drone.

Winter is no different.

Juha 09-16-02 01:22 AM

One more thing about salt: from what I've heard it is only really effective in temperatures around 0C - not much lower.

--J

mike 09-16-02 04:01 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Juha
One more thing about salt: from what I've heard it is only really effective in temperatures around 0C - not much lower.

--J

There is some science in your comment, Juha, but I think you have your number a little off.

Salt melts ice on the streets until about 15 degrees F which is -9.4 C. When it is colder than that, the salt can't get into the molecular structure of the ice to melt the ice.

Putting salt on ice creates an endothermic reaction meaning that the salt/ice melting process draws energy and makes the road colder than before salt was applied. This is, of course, very bad for the road and tends to cause roads (and sidewalks) to crack and flake.

That said, in our city, the road crew puts down salt whenever there is snow or ice regardless of temperature. I visited the city of Madison, Wisconsin this summer where years of road salt use has contaminated their water supply. Now, the water TASTES salty right out of the tap.


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