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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 10-21-04, 09:37 PM   #1
islenska
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winter century preparation - need advice

I am doing a 100 mile race in mid December in the Northeast, and I have some questions (forgive me if they seem stupid). The course is a 10 mile loop, suitable for cyclocross or mtb. I have a Trek 8500 XC MTB.

1. Should I prepare my bike any special way to endure winter weather / snow / cold temps? ie. should i use a different lube? more lube? etc?

2. Should I run studded tires, and (i know, this is *really* stupid) do "studded" tires mean that they actually have metal studs? Where can I get them? I've never seen them in my local bike shop.

3. As for shoes, should I get neoprene covers for my existing bike shoes? Or should I get shoes that are made specifically for winter cycling? Is there such a thing? Any other recommendations for keeping feet warm?

4. Do I need to do anything to my shock (RockShox Duke Race XC) to protect it / prepare it for cold weather?

Thanks!
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Old 10-22-04, 04:22 AM   #2
-=solewheelin
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Have a great ride! keep us informed!
sweet bike,i have a Trek 7000 (a model down from yours)
lube:
after trying everything, i happen to like white lightning (wax based) to use as a chain lube because it runs clean! your chain talks to you when it needs more, thats it... apply it, wait 5 to 10 mins, and wipe off the excess.

but if youre using oil now and want to make the switch after all the good things youve heard about wax based lube, youll have the remove ALL the oil with degreaser (simple green on some paper towels wrapped around the chain with your hand while back pedaling it with your other hand)
and then rinse it with some water, and hand dry it before you can apply the wax, because they do not mix.

Oil based chain lubes work fine too, it just picks up ALOT more dirt amongst other issues..

If I were you i would also apply white lithium grease in a few particular contact points so that they do not ever cold seize.
pedal threads, seatpost shaft (inside frame ofcourse), and threads on any other parts you might want to readily replace in the future.

DO NOT put grease anywhere on handle bars!

and if you want to keep your frame clean through this ride, ive heard a quick spray of WD40 on the down tube allows dirt to be easily wiped off.
but heres the link to look at winter tyres
www.nokiantyres.com/bike
im not sure of availability in or around iceland, but if you plan to buy them here, thats a different story.

as for your shoe question, what do you have now?
Lake makes some nice winter cycling shoes, there are many ways to keep the feet warm, and if you want to cheat, get a few of those cheap hot packets.
.. but you probably know how to dress being from the icelandic region.
as you should know DO NOT WEAR COTTON SOCKS, go with wool/synthetics instead because it still breathes and insulates even if saturated. cotton will just compress and freeze. ick.
the pearl izumi neoprene shoe covers look cool, but i use totes rubbers... same thing.
as for the fork, it should be fine but you can get the lizard skins for it if your so inclined on keeping your fork pistons clean (which is a good thing)
cheers!
-=steve
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Old 10-22-04, 11:59 AM   #3
SAB
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Where is this ride - maybe I'll do it, too.
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Old 10-23-04, 12:06 PM   #4
islenska
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the ride is in Schenectady, NY. Its on Dec 18th
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Old 10-23-04, 12:17 PM   #5
islenska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=solewheelin
as for your shoe question, what do you have now?

as for the fork, it should be fine but you can get the lizard skins for it if your so inclined on keeping your fork pistons clean (which is a good thing)
thanks for all the info. I currently have a pair of pearl izumi mtb shoes....so i wouldn't be able to wear much more than a regular biking sock with them. perhaps i could find a thin goretex sock. i also have some peal izumi neoprene toe covers, which are good in slightly chilly weather, but they wont cut it mid winter.

i'm wondering if i should just take off my spd's and put big pedals with toe clips on...that way i can wear a warmer shoe.

i've been wondering if my spd's will freeze up and if that will create problems with releasing and/or clipping in.??

what are lizard skins?

i will definetly be getting some studded tyres in the us, can anyone recommend a good online vendor?

thanks again!

ps. the race is in upstate NY on dec 18th. Its called the central park 100 miler, and its in a park in schenectady (NOT nyc). its ten 10 miles loops, suitable for cyclocross or mtb.
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