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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 11-12-12, 01:16 AM   #1
Mout
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commuting with the kid.

right now I am commuting with my my 18 month old a mile and a half to daycare then on to college which is another mile and a half in the middle of WI. My current situation is an older two seat burley and a 08 raleigh sport. I also have an 06 trek 4300. My question is every night should I bring it onto the porch. There is no garage. My apt. is an upper and the basement stairs are a major pain for the bike. The bike won't be a problem, but the trailer might be. any suggestion for when the snow and ice become a fixture to my world? Is it worth it to collapse the trailer and bring it in? any tips on a better set up?
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Old 11-12-12, 07:39 AM   #2
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It's hard to understand what you've writtten, but I gather you can either store the trailer in the basement or upstairs on your apartment balcony, is that right?

Presuming it is, I'll first say that your trailer will be less affected by cold than the bike, so storing it outside isn't a big deal, although you should keep it covered to prevent snow, sleet, and wind from really freezing it up.

Ideally, you'd want both the bike and the trailer inside so that they could melt off accumulated slush and warm the lubrication for better running. It's also much nicer to handle and connect up hitches and buckle in kids when everything isnt stiff and cold.

The big issue for you is convenience. You'd have to go up, drop the kid, go down and unhook the rig, take the bike back up, go down, fold the trailer, and then carry it down to the basement. Reverse that in the mornings...I get it's a PITA. I suppose the only alternative would be to leave the trailer outside the apartment building; if you could secure it and tarp it, that might not be so bad, but is it any easier than folding it and putting it downstairs? Probably not.

Is there a carport you could lock the trailer under?
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Old 11-12-12, 02:52 PM   #3
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The porch is actually on the first floor. It is an non insulated area in front of the house. I did just order the forged hitch for the trailer to replace the classic burley hitch so that will make things much easier. With my rack the Classic hitch is a PTA. I guess my big question is if I need to bring the trailer into the house everyday, Drop money on a rear or front seat for the little tyke, or just get a tarp and lock the trailer in a snowbank every dnight. I hope with the new hitch I can just bring everything onto the porch.
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Old 11-12-12, 04:24 PM   #4
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Oh, it's an apartment in a house? Have you considered the possibility of getting a small shed? It would probably cost a few hundred dollars to get one big enough for a bike and trailer, but if you could get the space, that would probably be the ideal fix. I imagine an extension cord and a heater with a timer would really make it a nice setup!

EDIT: I should add that you'll probably want to keep the trailer as opposed to an on-bike kids seat, for two reasons. First, the enclosed trailer is a lot warmer and comfy for the kid when the weather is nasty, and on treacherous ice and slippery snow, the stable trailer would be preferable from a safety standpoint to the high-mounted on-bike seat that would really pile drive your kid into the ground were the bike to slip and fall over.

Last edited by chaadster; 11-12-12 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 11-12-12, 04:37 PM   #5
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that is definitely a concern. I think I will stick with the trailer. Considering I'm wondering if I can find money for fenders, I don't think the shed is an option. But I think the trailer will fit through the front door once its detached. I hope the new hitch makes on and off the bike much easier.
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Old 11-12-12, 04:37 PM   #6
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Sounds like a lot of trouble for two 1.5 mile trips.
How about a stroller.
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Old 11-13-12, 08:33 PM   #7
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Sounds like a lot of trouble for two 1.5 mile trips.
How about a stroller.
You have shown less than complete devotion to the cycling lifestyle. You are not worthy.
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Old 11-14-12, 04:57 AM   #8
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find a large barbeque grill cover that can slip over the trailer. Keep a spot for it shoveled out, and you'll be fine. !0 foot cable lock if needed to secure it to something on apartment. Bikes sometimes run better in winter if they don't make it inside to thaw overnight, the trailer will be perfectly happy staying outside.

One suggestion: create a warm seatcushion out of closed cell foam. keep THAT inside and bring out with the kid in the morning. it will make a comfort difference for the youth being strapped into a cold stroller.
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Old 11-14-12, 07:11 AM   #9
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find a large barbeque grill cover that can slip over the trailer. Keep a spot for it shoveled out, and you'll be fine. !0 foot cable lock if needed to secure it to something on apartment. Bikes sometimes run better in winter if they don't make it inside to thaw overnight, the trailer will be perfectly happy staying outside.

One suggestion: create a warm seatcushion out of closed cell foam. keep THAT inside and bring out with the kid in the morning. it will make a comfort difference for the youth being strapped into a cold stroller.
The seat cushion is a great idea! Just make sure there's enough harness strap length to accommodate the extra dimensions.
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Old 11-14-12, 09:01 PM   #10
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If it was me I would lock up the trailer on the porch and cover it if possible. If it's a covered porch that will help to keep it from getting too iced up in a storm. I would bring the bike upstairs even if it is kind of difficult. Think of it as your daily gym workout. You are only riding 1.5 miles so you will need to do some additional exercise. The daily workout will save you the time going to the gym since you are a busy college student. It will continue working better and it will be easier to fix any problems if it is in your apartment and warm. If it's outside you will forget about it and then when it has a problem you won't know until it's too late to fix it easily.

Best way to carry a bike like this is to grab one hand on the steering stem and one near the seat post and military press it to about chest height. You can steer the handlebars around objects this way. Put it down and rest a couple of times if you have to go up multiple stairs.
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Old 11-15-12, 09:38 AM   #11
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that is a thought but I have never understood how you bring a bike in from winter hell to a carpeted apartment. towels underneath it? towel it off first? What is the procedure there? I know I need to keep the bike clean but does that mean I have to make a "garage area in my itty bitty apartment? I must say usually I just put the bike in the garage and did not worry about the slush. That is prob. horrible for my bike. advice here would be awesome! Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-15-12, 09:59 AM   #12
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that is a thought but I have never understood how you bring a bike in from winter hell to a carpeted apartment. towels underneath it? towel it off first? What is the procedure there? I know I need to keep the bike clean but does that mean I have to make a "garage area in my itty bitty apartment? I must say usually I just put the bike in the garage and did not worry about the slush. That is prob. horrible for my bike. advice here would be awesome! Thanks in advance.
A couple of towels will do the trick, just to keep the carpet clean. It's not the most elegant and awesome situation, but really, it beats saddling up on a bike that has been sitting in sub-zero cold for hours. Tires get hard, cable housing becomes less flexible, lubes stiffen, and any water or slush from the ride before really freezes up between cogs and on joints...imagine a cold, hard seat all up in your nuggies; not nice!
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Old 12-01-12, 06:05 PM   #13
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that is a thought but I have never understood how you bring a bike in from winter hell to a carpeted apartment. towels underneath it? towel it off first? What is the procedure there? I know I need to keep the bike clean but does that mean I have to make a "garage area in my itty bitty apartment? I must say usually I just put the bike in the garage and did not worry about the slush. That is prob. horrible for my bike. advice here would be awesome! Thanks in advance.
Even before you use the towels you can get 90% of the snow and ice off from the bike by hand. Just take an old leather work glove or something to protect your hand and clean off the bike as much as you can before you bring it in. Lift up the bike and bang it a few times on the cement to knock off what you can. The best thing is if you can hose it off from an outer water tap that won't freeze. Then find some kind of plastic shallow tub to put the bike on so when the rest melts it doesn't go all over the carpet. I wonder if a child's plastic toboggan in a long length would work. If you can put the bike on an area of floor with tile or vinyl so that it cleans up easier. Usually by the kitchen table area.

I use to keep a short section of 15 foot hose in a storage area that I would hook up to clean the bike off. Then drain it and store it before the water in it freezes.

Last edited by Hezz; 12-01-12 at 06:10 PM.
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