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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 12-20-04, 09:03 AM   #1
nklatt
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The Icy Streets of MN

Today was my first day on truly slick roads. I made it in no problems - well, one little slip I suspect the studs saved me on. Traffic was slow, but I made it in on the slow end of normal. I got passed by a salt truck once but then passed it myself a little later. I moved to the sidewalk down a hill where traffic was backed up and somebody yelled out "Moron!" as I passed him by. *I*'m the moron? LOL! He got a friendly wave. The guard that was checking bags this morning didn't even look at my stuff - he just looked me right in the eye and said "You're one talented individual." It was darn-near creepy! *Then*, a coworker that I've never talked to smiled at me then said "Did you put the studs on this morning?" Two weeks ago, actually. "Did you go down?" Nope. "All right!"

"All right," indeed.
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Old 12-20-04, 09:41 AM   #2
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Yeah, it's truly scary out there this morning. I did the commute on slicks! Only slid once, hit the rear tire on a 2 inch curb and fishtailed a little. Downtown Minneapolis was fun - all the cars spinning out and stuck. It only added about 5 min to my normal time. My gloves had a nice coating of ice from the 25 min I was out in it...
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Old 12-20-04, 11:31 AM   #3
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Oh, you "got" to ride in the freezing rain, eh? I packed an extra pair of pants but it stopped by the time I left. I am not complaining!
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Old 12-20-04, 11:46 AM   #4
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Welcome to the dark side.
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Old 12-20-04, 04:22 PM   #5
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drat, i just started the same thread in commuting. my trip down to school on my 700x23 slicks was certainly entertaining. one little incident of sliding across the road on my side instead of my tires, but no big deal.

the path along west river parkway in downtown minneapolis surely was nicely salted though.
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Old 12-20-04, 05:31 PM   #6
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propagandrew, 700*23 slicks? You crazy, I might have to try that tonight. I'm 600 miles north of you and we got lots of snow the other day, too bad it's -20c with a 50km wind tonight. Might have to hold off a day or two.
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Old 12-20-04, 06:28 PM   #7
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I had a message from my sister wondering if I was OK because she was all worried about me riding on this stuff. I was doing better than most of the cars - I saw a bunch just spinning out trying to get out of parking lots or take off at intersections.

I talked with my brother who drove today - he went through one stop sign. He also had to stop and scrape hs window partway through the drive! He agreed that he probably would have felt safer on the bike...

I talked with Eric down at the Hub today - he rode in on his MTB and was pointing out the tires. He was able to stop hard enough with the front brake this morning that he lifted the rear wheel off the ground! Granted, that was on 2 inch fatty tires, but they make the same ones in 700s, down to 25c. I've already forgotten the name, but I'll find out. I think I'm going to get myself a set for my birthday...
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Old 12-20-04, 08:33 PM   #8
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probably nokian that you're thinkin of? that seems to be what everyone raves about as far as studded tires. even on the worst of days i wouldnt say my road tires were *that* bad. obviously you go like 5mph around turns, but other than that... not that scary really.
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Old 12-20-04, 08:36 PM   #9
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Fortunately I didn't have to ride today. I did scape ice off the windshield, but that was it. I drove from my part time job home, in less time than it takes to warm up the car, parked and went inside to mount my Nokians for tomorrow's commute.
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Old 12-20-04, 09:49 PM   #10
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hehehehe



Got home from work and went out on the 700*28 slicks, damn good traction. I'll try the ride to work tomorrow. I have pulled out some of the gear I wear for riding my quad in the winter. The forcast for tomorrow is -24c with winds in the 30-50 km/h range. I'm nuts. This morning it was -2c, crazy winter here.
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Old 12-21-04, 01:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propagandrew
probably nokian that you're thinkin of? that seems to be what everyone raves about as far as studded tires. even on the worst of days i wouldnt say my road tires were *that* bad. obviously you go like 5mph around turns, but other than that... not that scary really.
They weren't nokians - more of a grippy slick. The QBP catalog we were looking in listed he name as Couriers, I think. Don't know the manufacturer. Feeling the surface, it was super tacky, you couldn't move your fingers if you had any pressure against the tire at all. I don't want to run studs, that's why I was really interested in them.
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Old 12-21-04, 02:07 AM   #12
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Legislation around here requires winter tyres for automobiles. They can be studded or non-studded, but they have to be specifically designed for winter conditions. Non-studded winter tyres consume less road surface, have often less effect on fuel consumption and are otherwise environmentally friendlier, so they have become increasingly popular. Their traction has also improved a lot, so nowadays they do a good job on practically all other surfaces except sheer ice. That's when studs are still a necessity.

Bike tyres have less contact surface and more pressure, so a tyre with a good grip would do the job equally well or better than studs - except on ice. The problem is there is often no way of telling whether there is ice beneath a fresh layer of snow or not. That's why I prefer studded tyres in my bike.

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Old 12-21-04, 08:06 AM   #13
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Yep, the ice is the reason I'm getting some studded tires. Around here it will warm up durring the day and then freeze again at night so there are always ice patches. I can't wait to try them out.
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Old 12-21-04, 06:51 PM   #14
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I did go down on Marquette Ave in downtown. This was with 700x23C slicks at 110 psi. Reduced pressure to 70 psi and all was well for the rest of the ride.

All this was on the way to a final exam at the University...

Had no such problems with 700x25 last winter, so I may try going a bit wider...
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Old 12-21-04, 10:29 PM   #15
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How about outriggers? Actually, I found the riding to be very easy this afternoon( one day after); it was the cold that almost did me in. Gotta love Little Siberia.
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Old 12-21-04, 10:58 PM   #16
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Cold? Today? You need better clothes. It's going to be a lot worse.
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Old 12-21-04, 11:29 PM   #17
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Hey, I'll be the first to say that I'm a wimp, who will only ride if it's above -10F. Today I didn't dress as well as I should have, as it wasn't all that cold, and I wasn't going all over town. Consequently, I suffered. This crotchety old soul mutters, "live and learn, live and learn."
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Old 12-22-04, 02:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K6-III
I did go down on Marquette Ave in downtown. This was with 700x23C slicks at 110 psi. Reduced pressure to 70 psi and all was well for the rest of the ride.
Ah, I didn't think to drop some pressure, so I was sitting at 110psi the whole time- thats a good idea.
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Old 12-22-04, 08:56 AM   #19
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Oh man, that wind coming out of the west on Tuesday morning (I live in St Paul, work in Mpls) was a killer! Combined with 6'F temps, my willy got cold. So, I responded with some long underwear today; *much* better! Today, though, at 0'F my hands and feet were cold so wool glove liners and some booties are on the shopping list. I think I'll be able to make it through the winter.
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Old 12-22-04, 10:29 AM   #20
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I got some big fatty ski gloves at fleet farm (dickies brank i think) for $8 and man are they warm. Even in these temps with windchills down in the -20's my hands are borderline too warm. Can't beat that for $8.
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