mtn biking in snow
I haven't done much riding in snow and am considering doing an MTB ride tomorrow morning after 10" of snow yesterday. The trail is fairly well traveled by hunters and cyclists so I expect it will be somewhat broken in, but what are some tips for riding in these conditions? I'm running a Specialized Roll-X Pro 2.1 in the rear and a WTB Mutanoraptor 2.4 up front. Clothing I have handled but I'm wondering if I should attempt this (13.6mi moderate-expert trail, that I know fairly well)... theres a 1.8mi practice loop I am going to start out on to get a feel for trail conditions but I guess I am a bit nervous about the possibility of it being quite slick.
low tyre pressure, rug up and go for it. Riding through packed down snow is fun, if it gets deeper than your tyres it starts to get hard to pedal. Lower gears, spin fast and have fun ! If it has melted and re-frozen it can be very slippery due to ice.
If you are worried about ICE , Get ( or Make ) a set of studded Snow tires. Once you have those you will be Begging for the Ice . Ice Riding is Fun
But 10 inches of Snow is dam near un-rideable unless it have been packed down by a lot of Foot traffic or Snow Mobiles
I went out today and had a blast. It was 40 so a lot of the snow had melted off the trail. Maybe 4-5" tops in some areas, pretty heavy + rideable. Had a few wipeouts but most were low speed, and falling in the snow doesn't really hurt at all. All in all a lot of fun though pretty slow going. I was surprised my very low tread profile Mutanoraptor did as well as it did--I guess when its this slick it doesn't really matter what you run!
I've found that the oil in my shocks slows down noticeably. So it takes awhile to loosen up in the cold. Especially true if there are any elastomers in your shocks. (Old Manitous)
Staying on the trails is a challenge for me. Familiar trails often become obscured and may sometimes become difficult to recognize.