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Freezing Drizzle / Rain Safe to Commute In?

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Freezing Drizzle / Rain Safe to Commute In?

Old 12-12-18, 05:53 PM
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lmike6453
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Freezing Drizzle / Rain Safe to Commute In?

I want to commute in tomorrow morning but it's going to start a freezing drizzle 30 mins before I leave in 31F temperature.

I have 2.4 inch tires on my ebike (no knobs) and travel at about 20-22mph on a mixture of back roads and bike trail for 8 miles.
https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_t...s/super-moto-x

Should I ride in or drive in?

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Old 12-12-18, 05:57 PM
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With studded tires, I'd ride in. I would not drive. Is coming in late or telecommuting an option?
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Old 12-12-18, 06:13 PM
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With the freezing rain and the chance of it freezing into a sheet of ice on the roads, I wouldn't ride without studded tires. This doesn't even consider the cars that could be sliding around on the potential ice. As much as you enjoy the ride, safety comes first.
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Old 12-12-18, 07:13 PM
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Ditto to the previous recommendations for riding in wirh studded tires.

However, as also stated, it does depend of the car traffic. You'd be ok on the trails and bike paths but getting to and from them on the backroads, how fast would the cars be? If they are backed up bumper to bumper, I wouldn't mind riding on the road and filtering between them. But if there's any chance of them moving as fast as you or worse, faster than you, ride as far from them as possible and keep a lookout for anybody who looks like he might be losing control.
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Old 12-12-18, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
With studded tires, I'd ride in. I would not drive. Is coming in late or telecommuting an option?
Interesting to ride in on studded tires instead of driving in. Makes sense.
I like to be in on time vs telecommuting unless driving isn't safe either.

Originally Posted by medic75 View Post
With the freezing rain and the chance of it freezing into a sheet of ice on the roads, I wouldn't ride without studded tires. This doesn't even consider the cars that could be sliding around on the potential ice. As much as you enjoy the ride, safety comes first.
Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Ditto to the previous recommendations for riding in wirh studded tires.

However, as also stated, it does depend of the car traffic. You'd be ok on the trails and bike paths but getting to and from them on the backroads, how fast would the cars be? If they are backed up bumper to bumper, I wouldn't mind riding on the road and filtering between them. But if there's any chance of them moving as fast as you or worse, faster than you, ride as far from them as possible and keep a lookout for anybody who looks like he might be losing control.
It's more like back streets...I get on a main road (35 mph limit) that probably won't be icy for the cars for less than 0.4 miles, then back streets with only a sole car here and there for 1 mile, paved trails most of the way, and last mile is neighborhood streets with moderate traffic 25mph limit.
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Old 12-12-18, 09:04 PM
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Nah. Risk is too great for having a fall with freezing rain without studded tires. At some on your route you're going to have to go on surface that has ice on it; you might not be able to tell where it is.
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Old 12-12-18, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by medic75 View Post
with the freezing rain and the chance of it freezing into a sheet of ice on the roads, i wouldn't ride without studded tires. This doesn't even consider the cars that could be sliding around on the potential ice. As much as you enjoy the ride, safety comes first.
+1
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Old 12-13-18, 10:46 AM
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Nope. Not a chance. Freezing rain is nothing to brag about. Better safe than sorry in these situations.
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Old 12-13-18, 10:51 AM
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Freezing rain in my town leads to what I call "bumper car" traffic. If I've got to play that game, I want a couple thousand pounds of steel on my side.

Maybe the drivers in your area are better equipped and more experienced in low traction conditions.
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Old 12-13-18, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by lmike6453 View Post
Interesting to ride in on studded tires instead of driving in. Makes sense.
I like to be in on time vs telecommuting unless driving isn't safe either.
I rode in to work one morning after it had rained ice-rain overnight. When my co-worker saw me come in he asked wasn't it slippery? I replied " Only when I get off."

Since that day, I wear spikes under my boots.


Originally Posted by lmike6453 View Post
It's more like back streets...I get on a main road (35 mph limit) that probably won't be icy for the cars for less than 0.4 miles, then back streets with only a sole car here and there for 1 mile, paved trails most of the way, and last mile is neighborhood streets with moderate traffic 25mph limit.
Check if those back roads are salted or sanded.

Get studded tires installed before you ride.
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Old 12-13-18, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Maybe the drivers in your area are better equipped and more experienced in low traction conditions.
One would think so, but despite snow being inevitable here, every year, and I mean e-v-e-r-y year, first storm reflects amnesia on the part of 90% of drivers.
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Old 12-13-18, 05:44 PM
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+1 for studs. Schwalbe Marathon Winter will allow you to ride on an ice rink.

Freezing rain collecting and freezing on your eyewear is even more of an issue, that isn't easily solved.
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Old 12-13-18, 07:10 PM
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Thanks for the responses, more questions...

How do you manage swapping tires just for one day of snow / ice when the next is warmer and its melted?
Do you swap just the tire or have an entire different wheel set?
Or leave studded on even though its not needed that day and burn the tread up?
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Old 12-13-18, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by lmike6453 View Post
Thanks for the responses, more questions...

How do you manage swapping tires just for one day of snow / ice when the next is warmer and its melted?
Do you swap just the tire or have an entire different wheel set?
Or leave studded on even though its not needed that day and burn the tread up?
I take the bike to the shop and put on the studs in mid-December. In March, I take it in to put the summer tires back on. The studs and the rubber wear at the same rate, and that rate is about the same as that for the summer tires. The tread does not burn up.
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Old 12-13-18, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by lmike6453 View Post
Thanks for the responses, more questions...

How do you manage swapping tires just for one day of snow / ice when the next is warmer and its melted?
Do you swap just the tire or have an entire different wheel set?
Or leave studded on even though its not needed that day and burn the tread up?
The studded tires go on the bike at the first sign of ice in the fall & stay on until spring. The studs on quality tires are carbide & will not significantly wear on dry tarmac. You can raise & lower the air pressure to adjust how the studs will contact the tarmac.
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Old 12-13-18, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lmike6453 View Post
How do you manage swapping tires just for one day of snow / ice when the next is warmer and its melted?
Do you swap just the tire or have an entire different wheel set?
Or leave studded on even though its not needed that day and burn the tread up?
I switch between Continental TContact Winter and Nokian many-spikes. Continental are transitional tires so penalty for keeping them on too long is limited. In the other direction I am just unnecessarily slow. In any case, I may swap every few days and at times put a studded just in front. I do the swapping in 2 sweeps. At first I wash the tires and let them stand to dry. After they more or less dried out I change the tires. I use Koolstop/Soma tire levers for taking the tires off and help myself with one or other tire bead jack to put the tires on. Altogether it is a 6min (taking off/washing) + 16min (swapping/putting wheels on) operation. It is not a big deal when you weave it in-between other operations, but in the morning I must of course plan for this not to get late.
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Old 12-14-18, 04:55 AM
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Have you not ever ridden on ice or icy streets? It can be absolutely treacherous and nearly impossible to keep the bike upright. You definitely need to check the road surface periodically. Put your foot down to check traction. If it is sheet ice, forget about it unless you have studs. Also, don't even think about going 20 to 22 mph, try more like 10 to 12 or slower. Everyone has different acceptable levels acceptable risk. Experience is the best teacher.
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Old 12-14-18, 06:29 AM
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To give an example of what studs can do for you I rode in this morning, arriving not 20 minutes ago. The road was wet but the temperature was -1*C and I'm sure most of the road was not icy because of the layer of salt on it but I'm sure there were sections where it was icy. The conditions are right for that type of black ice. But with my Marathon studs I couldn't tell and there was no incident.

The route includes a short park trail as well and that was icy. Without studs I wouldn't not have been able to ride through it.

As for swapping tires/wheels, I have two sets of wheels for the bike. It takes two minutes to swap with a minor brake adjustment. But when in doubt always go with studs.
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Old 12-14-18, 07:37 AM
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I don't think you need studs in these conditions. In my area, we get freezing rain like you'd get snow - you have to watch out for shadows, slick looking patches (that could be frozen), and take exaggerated care on any maneuvers, but at 31 the freezing rain is mostly liquid on the roads and probably melts off in the direct sunlight.
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Old 12-14-18, 08:06 AM
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Last spring I mounted a pair of Michelin Protek Cross Max tires. No freezing rain, but I hit partly melted slush in a few places, and the tires seemed to be very sure footed. I was impressed.

However, in general, I have the ability to stay home for ice and snow, and avoid it as much as possible.
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Old 12-14-18, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
As for swapping tires/wheels, I have two sets of wheels for the bike. It takes two minutes to swap with a minor brake adjustment.
At some point I had 3 sets of tires I used across winter, expensive hand-made wheels, SON hub and custom cassette, so swapping wheels was out of question. Now I am down to 2 sets and a regular cassette, so may start thinking about different wheel sets, funds permitting.
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Old 12-14-18, 11:26 AM
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I have one bike that has studs in it all the time. I can decide if I want studs at the last minute. If there is black ice don't try to ride without studs.
Cold hard flat glare ice is impossible to ride very far without falling without studs. But hard flat ice is the best surface for studded tires to grab. I don't believe that anyone with experience on glare ice would say you don't need studs. The biggest danger on ice if you are on studs, is cars without studs sliding around. Where I live studded tires on cars is illegal.

It's very hard to asses the chances of falling on some ice and some dry pavement, along your route. You have two choices. 1) wear out studded tires somewhat quickly. 2) Or possibly falling and getting hurt, or possibly falling in front of a car if on the road. I have plenty of off road, on lake, or bike path riding available to me. I do it for fun. I have annoyed a couple of skaters when I rode on an ice rink one day. Been using studs on ice on a bicycle since about 1990. Going back to the 1970's for studs on a motorcycle.
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Old 12-15-18, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I don't think you need studs in these conditions. In my area, we get freezing rain like you'd get snow - you have to watch out for shadows, slick looking patches (that could be frozen), and take exaggerated care on any maneuvers, but at 31 the freezing rain is mostly liquid on the roads and probably melts off in the direct sunlight.
I would love to agree with you, but depending on where the OP is in Pennsylvania, freezing rain is a little different. Under some conditions, freezing rain falls as rain,washing away any residual salt on the tarmac, and then freezes into a sheet of extremely slick ice with a layer of water on top. This is a condition where you have difficulty standing up on. This typically only lasts a couple of hours before the surface temperature rises or the road crews spread some salt. This is common when the ground is frozen and a warm front causes the precipitation to be liquid. While this is likely the worst case scenario, it is not an anomaly.
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Old 12-15-18, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by lmike6453 View Post
Thanks for the responses, more questions...

How do you manage swapping tires just for one day of snow / ice when the next is warmer and its melted?
Do you swap just the tire or have an entire different wheel set?
Or leave studded on even though its not needed that day and burn the tread up?
I now have a dedicated winter bike with the studded tires on it. It's my short-haul shopping bike, so it doesn't have to be high performance. Winter riding involves two factors in my locale: Ice and salt. I'm not sure which is worse. The winter bike lets me hang up my nicer bikes during the salt season (or to take my good old time cleaning and maintaining them). It's a single speed with coaster hub, so there's only the bare minimum of stuff that needs to be protected and cleaned.

I don't mind riding the studs when there's no ice. The studs and tires seem to last a long time. At 8 miles per day, it would take me a few years to wear them out.
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Old 12-15-18, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by lmike6453 View Post
Thanks for the responses, more questions...

How do you manage swapping tires just for one day of snow / ice when the next is warmer and its melted?
Do you swap just the tire or have an entire different wheel set?
Or leave studded on even though its not needed that day and burn the tread up?
I just grab the bike I left the studded tires on* , and where I live that may be a couple years...
I used to see the weather report, for the next day and change tires overnight ..

A harder rubber compound is used on studded tires , that helps retain the studs

*I don't own an E bike, owning 2 of those is probably not a plan.. Too far to pedal?
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