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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.

View Poll Results: Which of these surfaces would you rather ride on?
Dry blacktop 24 63.16%
Ice 3 7.89%
Hardpacked snow 9 23.68%
slush 1 2.63%
heavy snow 1 2.63%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-06-08, 07:18 PM   #1
Scheherezade 
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On paved roads, what's your ideal winter riding surface?

Assuming that these surfaces were in a position that puts you in your favorite position on the roadway, which would you choose? This is my first winter ice biking, so I've found myself confronted with a lot of new options on the roads. I would imagine that riding on ice or hardpacked snow would put less wear and tear on my expensive new tires, but would have somewhat reduced stopping power.
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Old 12-06-08, 09:24 PM   #2
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Somewhat reduced stopping power? Oh boy, you're in for a treat.

Virgin snow with a clear pavement underneath is a beautiful experience but hard to come by.
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Old 12-06-08, 09:31 PM   #3
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Winter biking here is great because you can cut across the lakes instead of going around them. I prefer ice over water.
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Old 12-06-08, 09:38 PM   #4
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Dry blacktop, of course!

I'd rather avoid any other surfaces if at all possible. I'm getting too old to enjoy falling.
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Old 12-06-08, 09:44 PM   #5
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Hardpack.

It's a bit slower than bare pavement, but it quiets the studs down and gets a bit of adrenaline going, so it seems faster.

Plus it feels more like some kind of actual winter sport.
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Old 12-07-08, 04:42 AM   #6
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Best to worst:
Blacktop
Ice
Smooth hardpack
Fresh snow
Slush
Rutted/rough hardpack
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Old 12-07-08, 05:47 AM   #7
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From a safety standpoint -- hardpack.

But for fun -- ice!

Lately though, I've been getting a lot of fresh snow over rutted hardpack. That's never fun.
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Old 12-07-08, 06:29 AM   #8
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dry pavement.
ice, snow and slush are tied
hard pack coming in last.
I don't care how much noise the studs make, dry pavement is safer for me and the cars to ride on.
if the snow and slush are sitting on pavement thats ok, I need a solid surface for my tires. My biggest difficulties last year were with the hard pack. It would break as I ride making it a lot more work. I normally ride on the shoulder but when the hard pack gives me trouble I take the right tire track.
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Old 12-08-08, 10:36 AM   #9
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Is this a trick question?
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Old 12-08-08, 11:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
Hardpack.

It's a bit slower than bare pavement, but it quiets the studs down and gets a bit of adrenaline going, so it seems faster.

Plus it feels more like some kind of actual winter sport.
+1 to that.
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Old 12-08-08, 01:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
Hardpack.

It's a bit slower than bare pavement, but it quiets the studs down and gets a bit of adrenaline going, so it seems faster.

Plus it feels more like some kind of actual winter sport.
+2

Though without actually knowing one way or the other, I've decided that I'm faster on hardpack. The Nokians just seem at home there. They're good on ice too but I'm still cautious on bare ice.
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Old 12-08-08, 02:00 PM   #12
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+3 to hardpack, you can give 'er.
Though most of my winter commuting will be dry/wet blacktop, with a nice varied selection of slush, salt, and various degrees of snow and ice depending on the weather. Alas I won't have a lot of hardpack to ride. Luckily I like to bomb the toboggan hills as well, that's always a hoot. Going to see if the local ski hill will let me give it a go this winter.
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Old 12-08-08, 06:31 PM   #13
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^^^ Earl bales?

They closed at least a month before the snow on the hill finally melted last year... although it got so icy, some type of massive homemade studs would be warranted if you were going to go for it.
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Old 12-08-08, 09:56 PM   #14
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Bone dry pavement at -30C. Other than that, 3" of pow on top of hardpack is so sweet just before sunrise. It's quiet, and the sound is so perfect.

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Old 12-09-08, 08:32 AM   #15
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Was going to contact Blue Mountain to see if they had a boarder-cross track I might give a run on. Get a couple buddies, video crew and a Red Bull marketing guy and you got's yourself an event.
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Old 12-09-08, 10:02 PM   #16
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Given all the lame new restrictions they put on lift-serviced riding there in the summer, if someone can talk them into this I'll start putting lag-bolts into my DH tires.
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