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Difficult riding

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Old 12-12-17, 04:57 PM
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baldilocks
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Difficult riding

The snow has arrived in northern Indiana, and my daily commute has gotten difficult. For some of my commute, I travel the sidewalks. Unfortunately, the sidewalks have frozen foot prints that make traveling them difficult. Has anyone rode over these conditions without problems? I'm thinking a single speed fat bike might do the trick. I would prefer a plus bike for the lighter weight, but it seams like many people say it isn't fat enough. Riding in the street safely isn't a option. Also, have any of you had to get off and walk because you couldn't ride thru the lumpy frozen snow? What are your thoughts?
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Old 12-12-17, 06:00 PM
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For frozen footprints and ice the fatbike wouldn't help, you need studded tires. The fat tires would help in deeper snow for sure. But when you are on pavement, it may be plowed anyway.

Find out what your city snow removal policy is for bike paths. But even with snow removed, there sill can be ice. I rather be stuck in deep snow than to fall on ice and break my wrist. Try studded tires on your current bike.

If there is a lot of salt and wet, use the oldest bike you can get.

Single speed sounds like a horrible idea, you need lot of torque to stamp through deep snow, and want to go faster when the path is clear.
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Old 12-12-17, 06:18 PM
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For frozen footprints and ice, I'd go with studded MTB tires run at a low pressure - studs to help with traction, lower pressure for float over particularly bumpy portions.

I have had to get off and walk a few times - large piles of snow and brown stuff can be hard. Each year I get a bit better at plowing over things without wiping out.

If you single speed, you'll probably want a ridiculously low gear. My winter bike is currently a single speed; it's geared low enough to plow over snow, which can be mildly annoying when riding on clear surfaces. Fortunately, there's usually some sort of snow or ice to ride through!
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Old 12-12-17, 09:31 PM
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Studded fatbike tires for me. I ride through stuff like that alot. The trails I ride through aren't maintained. Same goes for sidewalks that are plowed but still messy. So after a few days, they're full of frozen footprints. It feels the same as my neighbourhood street where it's full of ruts and footprints.

Go slow. Stay careful. Don't be in any hurry.
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Old 12-13-17, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
for frozen footprints and ice, i'd go with studded mtb tires run at a low pressure - studs to help with traction, lower pressure for float over particularly bumpy portions.
+1
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Old 12-13-17, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by baldilocks View Post
Also, have any of you had to get off and walk because you couldn't ride thru the lumpy frozen snow?
We all get off and walk, because we choose to (of course ;-)

Iíve been experiencing my very first winter riding days with studs. But even with studs, one has to be careful; sometimes I just want to play it safe especially turning/crossing roads, or bumpy slippery areas. Again, these are my first experiences so I still have a lot to learn.

Off topic perhaps, but more of a problem has been the fogging of my glasses...
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Old 12-13-17, 03:51 PM
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For the record, I'm on a ridged mountain bike with 26 x 1.95 tires. The first time I crossed the sidewalk on the bridge, the foot prints caused me to fishtail all the way across the bridge. It was a heck of a workout, but I stayed on the bike. It was like going over tightly placed whoop t do's that were kicking my back tire around. Another time I was able to get between the outside wall and the foot prints. I know the other side of the foot prints has large chunks of cement that are now covered with snow. Yesterday and today, I was unable to do either and ended up walking. I think with a fat bike the bumpiness would have less affect on me. And, yes studs would definitely help. If I ride tomorrow, I may see if I can get more speed going across it.
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Old 12-13-17, 04:00 PM
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that stuff sounds horrible regardless of what you ride
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Old 12-13-17, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by baldilocks View Post
For the record, I'm on a ridged mountain bike with 26 x 1.95 tires.
This is a good base for winter riding. Suspensions suffer from winter (salt, wet, oil viscosities etc.). and unless we talk deep snow, tire width should be fine. If you had started your thread as one "looking for winter bike", your bike would have been a good suggestion (besides a fatbike).

Studded tires also should be much cheaper in 2" than fat bike studded tires, or a new fat bike. Not sure if you have a second bicycle. But when you have weeks with clear roads, you may not want to use studs for long distances (though, nothing wrong with it). Really depends how your paths look like in real life every winter day.
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Old 12-13-17, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
This is a good base for winter riding. Suspensions suffer from winter (salt, wet, oil viscosities etc.). and unless we talk deep snow, tire width should be fine. If you had started your thread as one "looking for winter bike", your bike would have been a good suggestion (besides a fatbike).

I prefer ridged bikes for that reason. This is the first winter I've ever rode across something that caused me to have to walk.

Studded tires also should be much cheaper in 2" than fat bike studded tires, or a new fat bike. Not sure if you have a second bicycle. But when you have weeks with clear roads, you may not want to use studs for long distances (though, nothing wrong with it). Really depends how your paths look like in real life every winter day.
The second bike is my 2017 Giant ATX lite with Jones H loop bars on it. I loved my 1998 Schwinn Mesa till I got the new bike. And the old bike would be fine if it would make it across that bridge. My first choice would be a plus bike, but if a fat bike is what I need, I would go that route. I just don't want to have to walk my bike. Part of the reason I prefer a mountain bike, is that I can ride over/through anything. That was, until that stupid bridge defeated me.
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Old 12-13-17, 08:47 PM
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Sometimes you just have to walk a bit. Rough ice underneath loose snow is a tough go.

I have 2 winter bikes. My "fair weather" winter bike has Continental Top Contact Winters for clear cold days.

But most days I ride with studded tires (2" Marathon Winters). I find they carry me through most things in a Canadian winter. In a city, most riding, most days, is on pavement—even in winter. But one usually have to deal with some ruts, some slush and some patches of ice.

For daily riding I think I'd find a fat bike to be a bit much.

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Old 12-17-17, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by John Nolan View Post
Sometimes you just have to walk a bit. Rough ice underneath loose snow is a tough go.

I have 2 winter bikes. My "fair weather" winter bike has Continental Top Contact Winters for clear cold days.

But most days I ride with studded tires (2" Marathon Winters). I find they carry me through most things in a Canadian winter. In a city, most riding, most days, is on pavementóeven in winter. But one usually have to deal with some ruts, some slush and some patches of ice.

For daily riding I think I'd find a fat bike to be a bit much.
I use 700x35 schwalbe winters (too cheap for the marathons - actually I bought theses cheap off kijiji). I agree on the fat bike, and they're also crazy expensive, even just tires.

@baldilocks, is there a way to avoid the trouble spot? A different route you can ride on the street? If not, you likely need to walk the trouble section - I hate to admit defeat on these types of things as well, but it's a never-ending arms race - you'll need 2WD eventually.
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Old 12-17-17, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
I use 700x35 schwalbe winters (too cheap for the marathons - actually I bought theses cheap off kijiji).
I'm too cheap for Marathons too. I was using Winters, but one sidewall tore on me. I got my Marathons on kijiji for $50 for the pair, from a guy who was given them as a gift, and, judging from their condition, used them once.
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