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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 10-30-08, 10:35 AM   #1
dlk
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Leaving bike outside as it gets colder?

I bike commute, but ridiculously am not allowed to store my bike in my office building. Since it's on the street for 8 hours a day, I have to reconsider riding in certain weather conditions. This is the first year I'm attempting to ride in the cold as long as I can stand it, so I'm looking into investing in winter gear, but I'm also wondering if it's even worth it as I may have to stop riding within the next month or so. Is there a certain temperature at which it would be harmful to leave your bike outside for so long? If it matters, it's an old road bike (probably from the mid-80s), but it's the only one I have.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:02 AM   #2
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If there was going to be freezing rain or snow, I would cover it. I have plastic and some clothes pins I used on the messy days.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:20 AM   #3
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Talk to the maintenance people in your building. You might be surprised how creative they can be for inside storage. Make sure you buy them lunch or a pizza once in awhile.k
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Old 10-30-08, 11:27 AM   #4
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when i lived in serious snow country, KEEPING the bikes cold by storing them on an outside sunporch or in a shed was kinder to the bikes. by keeping the thaw/freeze cycles down, the bikes could handle going out into the weather without experiencing freezeup as much.

id suggest a winter mountain bike beater, an 80's road bike might not be the most solid choice for road riding in winter, a upright mtn bike with platforms allows much more solid bike handling on marginal road conditions by allowing you to do 'foot down' skid turns and outrigger drags on solid ice while braking.

my 2 cents.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
when i lived in serious snow country, KEEPING the bikes cold by storing them on an outside sunporch or in a shed was kinder to the bikes. by keeping the thaw/freeze cycles down, the bikes could handle going out into the weather without experiencing freezeup as much.

id suggest a winter mountain bike beater, an 80's road bike might not be the most solid choice for road riding in winter, a upright mtn bike with platforms allows much more solid bike handling on marginal road conditions by allowing you to do 'foot down' skid turns and outrigger drags on solid ice while braking.

my 2 cents.
interesting. so it should be fine unless it's raining or snowing? I figured the gears and brakes would freeze up and become useless to me.

and trust me, if I could afford it, that second bike would be mine.
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Old 10-30-08, 12:58 PM   #6
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once it is consistently below freezing, your bike will pick up relatively little additional freeze up. I'd certainly recommend keeping cable housings lubed, chain clean, rims wiped, brake pads scoured, pivot points on derailluers lubed, etc...

road slop, near freezing conditions, etc will always affect the drivetrain.

but what is deluterious to a bike is to go from a 70 degree house, out into 15 degree weather, then to melt again at work, then out into the freeze again, then back into a warm house at night.

finding a covered roof eave at work, or packing a nylon cover is preferable to bringing a bike inside on a twice daily basis in snow country. your drivetrain will be happier, your frame less damaged at the end of the winter.

my experience as a youth/college kid in Upper Michigan. snow like THIS. sorry, no ride/snow pics from my youth.
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File Type: jpg snowbank1.jpg (15.6 KB, 19 views)

Last edited by Bekologist; 10-30-08 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 10-30-08, 05:53 PM   #7
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I pretty much never bring mine into the house, it spends the winter outside.
Once in awhile I will have a small frozen related problem like a cable taking
awhile to start moving in a sheath, but they are pretty infrequent. Bringing
it in the house and cleaning up after? I can't see why it would be worth it.

One odd little thing about leaving a bike out overnight. Just about once or
twice a winter the rims will frost up and your first stop will just be a slow
down. (A few more details in simple sig site winter biking article.)
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Old 10-31-08, 06:47 AM   #8
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buy a non-op van for about $100 at a junk yard and park it at work as a bike trailer. When they complain about the rust and eyesore, ask them politely to allow you to park inside.
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