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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 01-07-09, 01:28 PM   #1
asmallsol
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Winter Roadies

For the roadies here, if you have a winter bike with studded tires, how long are your normal rides compared to your summer rides?
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Old 01-07-09, 02:01 PM   #2
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My winter monthly mileage falls to between a third and a half of my typical summer monthly mileage. I ride less often and fewer miles on each ride.

For instance, my summer long loop to work is 20 miles. My winter loop is only 14.5. And I take the long loop to work less often in winter. (On the other hand, due to studs, they each take me an hour.) Even on nice days when I take out my fair weather bike, 25 miles is long ride. In the summer, 40-60 mile rides feel about right.

Compensating, I ride harder in winter, due to the studs, the need to keep warm, and trying to maintain conditioning.

I'm not one for centuries in any weather, but I know a guy who rode one the other day, starting at 8F.
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Old 01-07-09, 02:22 PM   #3
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^^^ +1 about 1/3 to 1/2 as long. All with studs on a single speed. My feet end up telling me to go home after a while, no matter they always end up cold.

I try to do more off the bike at home, free weights, core strength stuff, yoga. I seem to never do that in the summer.
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Old 01-07-09, 02:25 PM   #4
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I'm curious to - what do you think the typical speed you right at changes to? With my new road bike, on flat pavement with no wind my typical speed is 19mph in the summer. My brother, with a slower bike and no bike shoes typically goes about 13 mph on his road bike. I was hoping to be going at least 13mph on my winter bike with studded tires, but maybe that's a little to optimistic...I'm buying Schwable Marathon Winter studded tires as these seemed like the fastest tires that are studded and still able to handle some snow...(my own opinion plus one recent post convinced me that the A10's wouldn't handle snow well enough)
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Old 01-07-09, 02:47 PM   #5
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I'm curious to - what do you think the typical speed you right at changes to? With my new road bike, on flat pavement with no wind my typical speed is 19mph in the summer. My brother, with a slower bike and no bike shoes typically goes about 13 mph on his road bike. I was hoping to be going at least 13mph on my winter bike with studded tires, but maybe that's a little to optimistic...I'm buying Schwable Marathon Winter studded tires as these seemed like the fastest tires that are studded and still able to handle some snow...(my own opinion plus one recent post convinced me that the A10's wouldn't handle snow well enough)
I don't even want to know. I'm a pretty fast rider, but I take winter for what it is, and I don't have a computer on my single speed winter bike it would be too disheartening. Staying upright and getting there are enough.
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Old 01-07-09, 02:47 PM   #6
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I'm curious to - what do you think the typical speed you right at changes to? With my new road bike, on flat pavement with no wind my typical speed is 19mph in the summer. My brother, with a slower bike and no bike shoes typically goes about 13 mph on his road bike. I was hoping to be going at least 13mph on my winter bike with studded tires, but maybe that's a little to optimistic...I'm buying Schwable Marathon Winter studded tires as these seemed like the fastest tires that are studded and still able to handle some snow...(my own opinion plus one recent post convinced me that the A10's wouldn't handle snow well enough)
I don't have a computer on my winter bike yet for these reasons:

1. haven't gotten round to it.
2. It would make me depressed
3. It would be hard to read in the dark anyway
4. It would make me go faster than maybe I should

What I do know is that on clear pavement or hard pack it takes me 5 to 10 minutes longer to get home from work with studs instead of slicks. In the summer it's a 25 minute ride.

When there's snow on top of ice or just deep snow, it can take 20 minutes longer or more.

I suspect that my post about the A10s is what has you concerned about them. Modernjezz rides in the same area I do and crashed twice on the same day recently. That's with Nokian W106s I believe. Last week I crashed 3 times in one day on the A10s. I'm sure the W106s and the Schwalbe's would be better than the A10s but I'm beginning to believe that the big problem I'm having is just the conditions we're experiencing this year and that perhaps skinny tires just aren't going to be quite as stable.

This is my first winter on a road bike. I made the switch from a MTB to reduce what I think of as the "Winter Time Tax". It worked until the roads got really bad. Then I found myself lowering the tire pressure and just crawling along.

So my guess is that 13 mph will be no problem at all some days and harder/more foolish to maintain on others. Even on a MTB with knobbies in the summer I can cruise along in the upper teens on a flat road.

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Old 01-07-09, 03:00 PM   #7
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My commute that normally takes about 50 minutes, can go as long as 75 minutes in winter. Considering I'm wearing more clothing that is restrictive and studded tires, plus it's just colder and windier, that's par for the course.

Also, I roll with the Schwalbe Marathon Winters. Slower yes, but handles icy conditions with aplomb and snow to about 4-5 inches quite well.
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Old 01-07-09, 03:04 PM   #8
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My rides are typically reduced to 9-13 mph in the winter with studs. I rode 20 miles the other day in two hours on rotten, variable, chunky, snowpacked and icy roads. I worked harder on that ride than I do on any summer ride. The simple act of staying upright and maintaining forward momentum is work. I ride Nokian W106's and find that slowing down is my best insurance against getting hurt. Forget how fast you go, just stay upright and get there safe.

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Old 01-07-09, 03:28 PM   #9
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I have just started winter riding. The plan was to just ride my old roadie on fair weather days.
Nice days are too few and too far between.
Bought a dept store bike, added clip less pedals and studded tires. Now I am back on the road again. Trying for 20 - 30KM each outing. I have to work my bike in between my life and snow shoveling.
Was out on a roadie yesterday. It feels sooooo good to ride a nice light bike and riding with speed. The ice was scary and the speed makes for a cold ride. (Water keeps freezing too)
I never have trouble staying warm when riding the bike with the studded tires as it is about twice the weight of my winter roadie.
Winter bike 17.5Kg
Winter roadie 9kg
Summer roadie 7kg

Huge difference in the rolling resistance also. Studs, snow, ice. The tires weigh about 3 times as much as slicks.
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Old 01-07-09, 05:41 PM   #10
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It can take me anywhere from 20-30 minutes longer on my mtb w/Ice Spiker's during my 40 mile commute each day to work. The resistance from this kind of setup makes for a really good workout, so I don't let it bother me too much (especially now with base training).
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Old 01-07-09, 08:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by asmallsol View Post
For the roadies here, if you have a winter bike with studded tires, how long are your normal rides compared to your summer rides?
I don't consider myself a hardcore roadie since I ride all kinds of bikes and conditions but I do ride the road bike the most since it is the most convenient to ride in the warm weather.

I generally ride at around 19-21 mph speeds for 20-60 miles in summer. Winter riding is usually about 10-20 miles rides and speeds vary a lot depending on which bike I am on and the conditions I am riding in. If I am on the road bike and it is only cold, say 35 F. My speeds will fall to about 17-18 mph due to using a heavier bike and more wind resistance and less fitness.

When pushing through 2-3 inches of snow on the mountain bike on a paved bike path I will be lucky to do 10 miles and 9-12 mph and it will be a good workout. Easily the same degree of effort as riding 20 miles at 20 mph in warm conditions.
But more difficult because of a lessened conditioning level.

I think the 1/2 to 1/3 rule is a pretty good estimate from what the other guys have stated. Since I'm not a bike commuter and only ride for fun I usually only ride 1 day a week in the bad part of winter. The other days are inside on the stationary bike.
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Old 01-07-09, 08:59 PM   #12
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In the depths of winter, all my riding is utilitarian. No morning training rides, no long weekend treks. It's commuting, shopping, hanging out, etc.

So, yeah, the 1/3 seems about right.
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Old 01-07-09, 09:27 PM   #13
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Well I'm a cat 3 racer. In the summer, on my race bike, I'll do a consistent 22-23mph, with longer rides maybe around 20mph, with rides around 35-50ish miles. Now, I'm on a cross bike, with studded tires, and fenders, egg beater pedals. Weighs in at 29lbs with lights. I'm lucky to average 16 miles an hour, and sometimes its closer to 15ish.

I did do 45 miles today, with a little bit of snow. Although it took forever, and felt like I wasn't working that hard, at the end, my legs started feeling like they got a good workout. Overall, I was happy.
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Old 01-07-09, 11:19 PM   #14
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Well I'm a cat 3 racer. In the summer, on my race bike, I'll do a consistent 22-23mph, with longer rides maybe around 20mph, with rides around 35-50ish miles. Now, I'm on a cross bike, with studded tires, and fenders, egg beater pedals. Weighs in at 29lbs with lights. I'm lucky to average 16 miles an hour, and sometimes its closer to 15ish.

I did do 45 miles today, with a little bit of snow. Although it took forever, and felt like I wasn't working that hard, at the end, my legs started feeling like they got a good workout. Overall, I was happy.
Ya, that sounds like a good winter work out for a racer. You will probably of course, need to put in more miles than us recreational riders. It would be nice to have a power meter but I imagine that with the heavy bike, cold, and studded tires you were doing about the same work that you would have been doing on your light road bike in summer at 20-22 mph.

At 15-16 mph 45 miles is a three hour ride. I'd say that was a pretty long winter ride for the northern states in the cold. It's pretty hard for most riders to keep their feet warm that long so riding times in the cold tend to be shorter.
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Old 01-08-09, 05:32 AM   #15
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At 15-16 mph 45 miles is a three hour ride. I'd say that was a pretty long winter ride for the northern states in the cold. It's pretty hard for most riders to keep their feet warm that long so riding times in the cold tend to be shorter.
I've got the egg beater's on my mtb as well, but I found that a standard set of pedals and a good pair of hiking boots along with some toe warmers are pretty effective in the extremes. Either way, it beats the heck out of the trainer!!
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Old 01-08-09, 08:33 AM   #16
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Ya, that sounds like a good winter work out for a racer. You will probably of course, need to put in more miles than us recreational riders. It would be nice to have a power meter but I imagine that with the heavy bike, cold, and studded tires you were doing about the same work that you would have been doing on your light road bike in summer at 20-22 mph.

At 15-16 mph 45 miles is a three hour ride. I'd say that was a pretty long winter ride for the northern states in the cold. It's pretty hard for most riders to keep their feet warm that long so riding times in the cold tend to be shorter.
after doing a little bit of winter riding, I've acclimated to the cold weather and going back to my trainer, I get over heated instantly.

as for the feet, I will wear one or two pairs of hiking socks, road shoes with duct tape over the vents, and neoprene booties over them. My feet stay fine
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Old 01-12-09, 05:39 AM   #17
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Bought a dept store bike, added clip less pedals and studded tires.
Wow! I don't have the courage to use clip less in the winter in Ontario.
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Old 01-12-09, 07:37 AM   #18
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Wow! I don't have the courage to use clip less in the winter in Ontario.
Adjust the pedals out as loose as makes you feel comfortable. It is amazing how much more power/speed you can get when the whole pedal stroke is used.
Not many cars can beat you across the intersections when your legs are working both ways.

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Old 01-12-09, 09:43 AM   #19
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What tires (studded) are you using? Front and rear or just front?
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Old 01-12-09, 09:43 PM   #20
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The first pair of studded tires that I found in the bike store...
Innova 700/35C. The wouldn't fit on either of my road bikes. I am now riding a Dept store road bike. Almost three weeks on this bike and it still feels strange.
I was going to brake some bones trying to ride an old mountain bike. (No Studs)
I bought the bike to fit the tires more or less.
I am glad that I had to go through all of this to get on the winter roads.
This way my good bikes won't be damaged by the salt. (Road Snot)
I have a lot to learn from this years riding. I am already looking a cross bikes for next year.
Not too much money but something with better geometry and stepping up to a better drive line would be nice.
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Old 01-12-09, 10:27 PM   #21
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I've got the egg beater's on my mtb as well, but I found that a standard set of pedals and a good pair of hiking boots along with some toe warmers are pretty effective in the extremes. Either way, it beats the heck out of the trainer!!
Amen to that, I watch DVD's on the stationary bike but it cannot compare to going outside on the bike. But even that 1 weekly ride helps to keep me sane. I was doing 2 outside rides a week during christmas break but during school it is too hard to schedule outdoor rides during the week for me.
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Old 01-12-09, 11:44 PM   #22
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Wow! I don't have the courage to use clip less in the winter in Ontario.
I tried clipless for the first time this fall, and I've been out riding in every snowstorm Ottawa's seen so far. I can't imagine riding in this weather with anything but clipless. It's so easy to get power without spinning out the rear tire, and I can unclip fast enough to catch myself in. all but the fastest falls with the spring tension set roughly in the middle. Clipless is fantastic in an Ontario winter.
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