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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 09-01-11, 01:00 AM   #1
clivan78
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Winter cycling.. trailer possible ??

...this has been moved from another section on the forums...a member thought people here might be in a good position to offer advice.....using a trailer in winter !!

" I have been cycling to take my son to creche for the past few months now and hope I can continue to do it during the winter months. I live very far north and get harsh winters, snow for 6 months at least and average minus 10 celcius. I have been using a child carrier. Im going to put on studded tyres for winter but wonder has anyone any experience of carrying a child on a bike with studded tyres ?? Is it too dangerous ? Should I opt for a child trailer type thing instead ?? "
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Old 09-01-11, 11:44 PM   #2
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It's a lot harder to control a skid with a kid on the back... i don't know how the trailer does, but i've seen them around in the winter.
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Old 09-04-11, 08:50 AM   #3
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I used a trailer to pull my kids to daycare and school on a daily basis for over seven years and I used it a few times in the snow. If it was choice between a child seat or trailer I would choose trailer. With that said, it can be difficult in the snow. Your brakes are the biggest issue. Rim brakes work poorly when they get full of ice and snow. They only way I would pull a trailer in the snow (if I had to do it again) is if I had a disk brake equipped bike.

On my first ride in the snow with the trailer, I slipped on some street car tracks and slid along the road into the path of an oncoming street car. I was lucky that I jumped up fast enough to get my bike and the trailer out of the way. Street cars don't stop well in the best of times. This was enough to scare me and only use the trailer on clear road days.
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Old 09-04-11, 09:27 PM   #4
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Damn tracks!
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Old 09-06-11, 09:51 AM   #5
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My problem with the kid on the back is the exposure. He would freeze. I am working fairly hard, and I can regulate my temperature by speeding up and slowing down. I can also suffer through some cold because I know how much farther I have to go and if I can make it. Kids (mine is five) don't know all that stuff and can't give good feedback.

I love winter cycling. Around -20 degrees F it gets pretty painful, but anything above that I find to be invigorating. It hurts, but it is fantastic.

I do not want to assume that my kid likes to freeze as much as I do. I have made it home in pretty bad shape on a few occasions, and I would not want to be in that situation with my son with me.
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Old 09-06-11, 10:34 AM   #6
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This is a difficult questtion, depends on a lot of things- like how deep is the snow, traffic, hills and so on. If we are thinking just you, the children and the bike I would say that if you on your bike have a serious skid or worse the child is safer in a trailer.

If snow is deep maybe see if you can fit bigger wheels on the trailer, like 24". I`d go for fairly narrow tyres. Look at the "extrawheel" trailer. I think it uses a 622 wheel. I`ve used both 650B and 622 wheels on trailers on dustroads and rough terrain.

Also there is a time to ride in the trailer and a time to leave the trailer. At five yrs (like Bat56 said his son is) maybe a BF tandem or something similar is going to work better? Forum members has reported on children riding in the trailer for several years until the parents find it really hard to keep pulling them around, and then refuse to leave the trailer and ride a bike. On a tandem or similar a young child can get used to riding the bike, can enjoy the feeling of being able to help out with getting around, and also it is easyer for the child to stay warm. This way you get at least some help and you only have to deal with the rolling resistance of two wheels in stead of four. Children grow so fast, and they like to help out and feel big and strong.
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