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Riding in cold

Old 12-17-20, 07:51 PM
  #51  
gthomson
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I am slowly trying to transition into the idea of winter riding and so far so good. If you were to ask me last year would I ever consider winter riding, I would have laughed out loud but this year has really fed the cycling addiction. I go for short rides around the neighbourhood with the right clothing riding on a vintage steel touring bike with 28mm tires with a rough tread. Tonight I actually went out with some light snow on the ground and rode slowly and carefully but enjoyed it.

Let's see where this takes me.
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Old 12-25-20, 07:42 PM
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I did my first ride through snow today and it was really fun and challenging. We got a Christmas wish day today with about 5" of snow for Christmas morning but with no where to go and no one to see, I thought I would take my 90's mountain bike out for a ride in the snow and it was fun.

I just rode through a park, along the roads down to a lake front trail and it was mostly straight forward until the wet, slippery trail by the lake which was challenging. Wheels were slipping, traction was bad, etc... I have a standard pair of knobby mtn. bike tires but there must be tactics I need to learn. Any resources people can point me to?

Another question, I'm not interested in clipless or clip in pedals for this bike at the moment but what would be good footwear that's warm, dry and light for flat pedals?

Last edited by gthomson; 12-25-20 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 12-25-20, 09:59 PM
  #53  
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1,4F 10 miles
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Old 12-26-20, 09:41 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
Studded snow tires. I run these--45NRTH Studded Commuter Tires. The Gravdals on my Portland, and the Kahvas on my Talon.

Possibly not worth it in the PNW. Depends on how much snow and ice you get, and how determined you are to get out in it.

My first year could be summarized about the same as yours, and I planned to walk the winter. Then the LBS turned me on to studs. No walking, 15 winters later.
Another resounding vote for the Gravdals. I run them up here in the great white north and they are definitely worth considering if you ride on hard pack or ice. Rode an unmaintained trail recently and had the opportunity to put them to the test.

https://vimeo.com/493956321

Last edited by Batstar; 12-26-20 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 12-27-20, 10:19 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Batstar View Post




Another resounding vote for the Gravdals. I run them up here in the great white north and they are definitely worth considering if you ride on hard pack or ice. Rode an unmaintained trail recently and had the opportunity to put them to the test.

https://vimeo.com/493956321
Great watch and the quality of the video was amazing! How would that ride have been without the spiked tires? and how to you keep that Trek (800?) in such good shape? I still have my Antelope that I bought brand new in the 90's but it looks it's age. Just bought a 1999 Peugeot Dune Mtn bike which was in great shape, to possibly replace the Trek.
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Old 12-27-20, 01:46 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
Great watch and the quality of the video was amazing! How would that ride have been without the spiked tires? and how to you keep that Trek (800?) in such good shape? I still have my Antelope that I bought brand new in the 90's but it looks it's age. Just bought a 1999 Peugeot Dune Mtn bike which was in great shape, to possibly replace the Trek.
Thanks. Credit for the video quality goes to the cameraís stabilization and horizontal leveling features. I think that riding on this particular day would have been doable without studded tires but I doubt that I would have attacked the trail as aggressively. Without studs, one would definitely have to dismount on sections where there was ice or at least slow down considerably. Ascending some of the more slippery sections would present another problem with regular MTB tires. There are more aggressively spiked tires out there but I find the Gravdals are a good compromise since they are relatively quiet when riding on dry pavement. So far, Iíve only lost a few studs but the winter riding season is still young and they are easily replaceable. There are others who also use the trail as it is a great place for bird watching. The morning that I shot the footage I had only encountered two others but I still had to be vigilant.

The bike is actually a '89 Trek 970 and, just like you, have owned and maintained the bike since acquiring it. I've done my best to keep it looking as fresh as possible with a few mods along the way. The image was taken prior to the winter riding season when I had just installed the new tires and full coverage fenders.
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Old 12-27-20, 03:19 PM
  #57  
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Batstar Looked like a great place to ride as well, nice wide path, relatively flat (from the footage shown) and nice and quiet. Hope you don't mind a few more question as this whole winter riding thing is new to me. Normally I'm a hockey guy during the winter and some gym and Zwifting but COVID has changed everything and maybe for the good in some instances?

Do you find the fenders are a big help riding in the snow or would you consider a hard tail? I have them on my Trek 800 and great for riding on wet roads but I find they rattle a bit on trails. If I keep this Peugeot, then I'll swap out the fenders from the Trek onto it.

What maintenance is required after a ride to keep the bike from rusting or corroding? I've gone out twice now to test out the Peugeot in the snow and already, I've noticed a touch of rust growing on the chain and the crank rings?
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Old 12-27-20, 04:22 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by 5 mph View Post
I am a new rider but I am in deep. I haven't missed a single day since early March of this year. I ride 20 miles a day and I am really addicted and get antsy about noon if I haven't ridden yet. It doesn't get real cold out here in the Pacific Northwest but what it does do is rain tons and tons and lately the temperature drops to the high 30's. At times it's a pleasant feeling as long as you have a tight nylon jacket on but unfortunately there isn't much you can do for your shoes. Unless you want to wear ridiculous 5 pound mountain climbing boots, you will always end up with cold soaked feet and sometimes they are so numb , they hurt and you have to warm them up slowly in a tub of warm water when you are done.
Also I haven't run into ice yet but it's a definite possibility. What do you do then? I suspect I will walk.
You need more PNW riding friends to talk to. The first thing is to go online or to a dive shop and buy a pair of dry suit replacement leg seals. Cut the small end down to fit your ankles, or if you're at a dive shop ask them if that's what one does. That's what I've always done, but maybe it's not necessary. The leg seals go on your bare ankle above your socks, with the big end down. The big end then goes over your MTB boots or booties and your tights pull down over the leg seals.

For socks, the best I've found are DeFeet Woolie Boolie socks.

To finish the outfit, buy a pair of Lake or Northwave MTB cycling boots. I think Shimano also makes them, but I haven't tried those. My wife and I have ridden 75 miles in 36į and continuous pouring rain with this gear and still had dry warm feet. As they say, this changes everything. You don't mention your hands, but I've had good results with Giro 100 Proof gloves. This was handed down to me by a fellow rider with the Seattle International Randonneurs (SIR) - https://www.seattlerando.org/

What I do about ice is stay away from it. If it's frozen the night before, I don't go out until the temperature is over 40į and even then I stay down close to sea level and keep a close eye on the road surface, which is really limiting, but . . .a friend went out when it was still too cold and broke his collarbone.

The other thing I do when it's cold out is to ride my resistance rollers. Actually I do that a lot in winter, maybe a couple thousand miles/year on them. It's so much quicker than riding outside: getting dressed, changing clothes when I get back, doing all that laundry, cleaning and lubing the bike. I'll do another 30 miles on them today.
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Old 12-27-20, 08:05 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
Batstar Looked like a great place to ride as well, nice wide path, relatively flat (from the footage shown) and nice and quiet. Hope you don't mind a few more question as this whole winter riding thing is new to me. Normally I'm a hockey guy during the winter and some gym and Zwifting but COVID has changed everything and maybe for the good in some instances?

Do you find the fenders are a big help riding in the snow or would you consider a hard tail? I have them on my Trek 800 and great for riding on wet roads but I find they rattle a bit on trails. If I keep this Peugeot, then I'll swap out the fenders from the Trek onto it.

What maintenance is required after a ride to keep the bike from rusting or corroding? I've gone out twice now to test out the Peugeot in the snow and already, I've noticed a touch of rust growing on the chain and the crank rings?
The trail is within our city limits but isnít included in the municipalityís trail maintenance program so the ground conditions are a virtual coin toss on any given day. Itís actually part of a multi-use perimeter trail that encircles a rec park/golf course so it's a popular spot for people, cyclists as well as leashed pets during the warmer months when it's just a gravel pathway. There's not as much activity during the winter which generally works in my favor. After a good snowfall, I usually wait for a few days as my tires are on the narrow side (26 x 2.0) and would just get bogged down where a fat tire bike wouldnít have any problem with the snow. With enough foot traffic along that specific trail, I can at least navigate it without slowing down too much. I tend to stick to the other trails that have most of the snow cleared off. Here's another video that I shot just before Christmas and is typical of the winter terrain that I normally ride on in my home town.


I rode all of last winter with a set of Beavertail fenders that I purchased from MEC. They were cheap as chips and did a good job at keeping my backside clean but my drive train suffered as result hence the reason behind the full fenders this season. The rear fender in particular extends down below to the chain stays and keep all the crud from accumulating at that spot. I havenít run into any issues with the fenders clogging up but then I donít use my bike as a commuter and am able to pick and choose when I ride. My Cascadia fenders only rattle a bit when I'm riding on a particularly rough trail otherwise they are pretty quiet. Studded tires do have their limitations just like everything else and I avoid deep slush or soft packed snow where itís difficult to attain decent traction.

I'm also pretty diligent about keeping the drivetrain clean and will usually remove the chain and cassette once a month for a thorough cleaning. Every other ride I simply take a small stiff brush to the chain and cassette and spritz it with degreaser and remove any crud with a dry cloth then re-apply lube to each link. I have gathered everything that I need to wax my chains but still have a couple of bottles of wet lube left that I want to use up first. Rust may be hard to avoid depending on what your municipality deposits on its streets. If itís colder than -12C here, only sand is used. Any warmer than that they use a salt brine and spread sand on top.

Iíve been thinking about purchasing a good used fully suspended fat tire bike each time it snows and for riding over rougher terrain but am still quite attached to my vintage rigid as itís a pretty capable winter bike. It may be low tech but it doesnít require a ton of maintenance. Parts are still available on the web and if it ainít brokeÖÖ.

Your right about COViD changing everything. It's affected every aspect of our daily lives. Our new case numbers here in Alberta have been steadily decreasing but were still up there compared to many other provinces and the numbers over Christmas have yet to be arrived at.





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Old 12-28-20, 07:41 AM
  #60  
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The primary determinant for me is shoes.

When it gets too cold to wear my clipless shoes with covers ...I don't ride my road bike

I switch to my gravel bike with flat pedals and wear my hiking shoes

When it gets too cold to wear my hiking shoes I start wearing my Baffin Boots and for most of my rides I switch to riding my fat bike.

The secondary determinant is hands:

When it gets too cold on my hands I start wearing OR Flurry Gloves

When it gets too cold in OR Flurry Gloves I add Bar Mitts to my bike

The last thing is tires:
When it gets cold enough to get black ice or ice or snow I only ride my bikes that have snow tires:

My drop bar gravel bike gets my old Nokian W106 (light studs)

My flat bar 29er gets 45North Wrathchilds (more studs)

My fat bike gets 45North Dillinger 5 Studded Tires

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Old 12-28-20, 06:22 PM
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Another great video Batstar and that looks more the level of trail I could handle. It reminds me of our provincial parks which is giving me some ideas on where I could ride. I'm sure you paid some decent money for that camera but it was worth it.

Is there any videos out there you would recommend on how to get started riding in the snow? it's interesting, similar to cross country skiing, the conditions can really vary which have a big impact on the equipment (rock skiing, trail blazing, different waxes, etc...) and things to consider before heading out.
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Old 12-28-20, 10:13 PM
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We had a bunch of snow in October then nothing to speak of until a day or two before Christmas so I got in a lot of cool/cold weather riding. I liked being able to ride road/gravel bikes without studs during that period. Now it's all fat bike with studs. But tonight was a little cold (13F) and icy so I opted for the indoor trainer for the first time since March. I caught up on a couple of Simpsons episodes. Supposed to get another 3 to 5 inches tomorrow. I'll probably ride the trainer for the next few days then head back outside for New Year's Day and maybe down to the river flats over the weekend. I got some fleece-lined pants (SOBIKE Nenk cycling pants) that are warm and comfortable. If you decide to get some I'll warn you that the sizing is weird. I am 6-3 and wear a 38 waist 34 inseam. I wear the XXXL yes -- 3X in these pants! But they are so good I got a second pair.
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Old 12-28-20, 11:26 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
Another great video Batstar and that looks more the level of trail I could handle. It reminds me of our provincial parks which is giving me some ideas on where I could ride. I'm sure you paid some decent money for that camera but it was worth it.

Is there any videos out there you would recommend on how to get started riding in the snow? it's interesting, similar to cross country skiing, the conditions can really vary which have a big impact on the equipment (rock skiing, trail blazing, different waxes, etc...) and things to consider before heading out.
I donít know what the current conditions are in Oakville but I assume there is snow on the ground. As long as itís not too deep you should be able to get by with conventional MTB tires. Icy conditions require studded tires if you want to negotiate anywhere in a safe manner.

Be sure to dress for the elements and donít forget to layer, layer, layer. Both my thermal jacket and windbreaker have pit zips to help me ventilate during more vigorous rides. On colder days, I strap on my ski helmet which has a cozy liner and ear flaps. I also wear a merino balaclava under my lid.

Bike lighting is also an important part of being visible if you are riding on snow routes where vehicles are present. I always have a rear mounted light on as my rides occasionally take me on public streets towards my destination. I also have a small flashing LED on the back of my helmet.

Here are some helpful links to get you started. Theyíre from the City of Edmontonís website but gives you a general idea of how to prepare. Your LBS can also be a good place to ask any questions about getting your bike properly equipped or maintained.

https://www.edmonton.ca/transportati...ke-riding.aspx

https://www.edmonton.ca/transportati...vember2018.pdf
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