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Mick 02-26-03 04:54 AM

Winterising a cycle
Hi'ya, (Morning , Afternoon, Evening to some !).

Having gathered a variety of equipment together for an impending trip to Canada I'm at the stage where I need advice on how (if its at all possible) to winterise my cycle.

Having sought advice from a couple of local shops (in the Uk) I have been faced with blank expressions, & it will be alright !!! I'm not entirely convinced.

Having to do things on 'the cheap' I intend to use a tent & camp, thus the cycle wil be exposed to the elements at night. I do intend placeing a tapr over the bike to give it a snow cover but this will not protect it from the ice.

Has anyone any ideas as how a bike could be winterised for such a trip. Simply waiting until the weather improves is not an option. Its nice to be contrary !

Juha 02-26-03 06:03 AM

Hello, Mick, and welcome to the Forums.

You might find some advice here:

Happy sliding :D !


D*Alex 02-26-03 07:46 AM

Precisely where in Canada are you going??

Mick 02-26-03 08:14 AM

I'm off to Newfie & then into Labrador & Northern Quebec, if that makes a difference

D*Alex 02-26-03 09:29 AM

This time of the year? You must be nuts!
I doubt if anybody is biking up in that area at this time. This winter has been particularily viscious, and you are planning on going to an area where winter hangs on well into may nearly every year. Today, Goose Bay, Labrador is expecting a high temp of -24c, and parts of Northern Quebec are expecting temps no higher than -30! Roads will be likeley covered with packed snow, sand, gravel, and salt, with high snowbanks left from 3 months of ploughing. Trails will be under 3-4' of snow cover. Perhaps one of our members from Montreal has a more accurate forecast, but, having worked in this area before, I can tell you that it is essentially impossible weather for all but short commuting rides.
If you are foolhardy enough to try this, at the very least, I'd suggest riding with nokian studded tyres. You will also need polar riding gear-something like a snowmobiling suit will work. Heavy, insulated boot would be required for any trips longer than 10 minutes in these conditions.
You are going into a region where the winter weather is much more severe than anything you know from England. Winter there is probably closer to what you would find say, 500 miles north of Moscow.

Gojohnnygo. 02-26-03 01:59 PM

:) I would have to agree with D*Alex.I say put it off for a couple of months.We have been receiving one Arctic cold front after another coming down in from Canada.Please believe me I have ridden in temps like this,But not for very long it is brutally cold.

Mick 02-26-03 03:06 PM

Thanks for the reply D*Alex & your views.

Essentially I'm looking for information on how to winterise the bicycle, as I get the impression most people apart from the clinically insane (sums me up well) only go out for a few hours or a day before bringing the bicycle back into a walmer environment.

I like to be quintesentially English......... in other world CONTRARY.

This time of the year? You must be nuts!

My psychiatrist would agree with you there

I doubt if anybody is biking up in that area at this time.

Great, just the place that I want to be, away from the crowds


I am monitoring the temperatures & have a friend who is clearing/ploughing a section of the Trans Lab Hwy (Churchill Falls area), & know the conditions that I will face. I have also walked the road from Bea Comeau through Lab City to Schefeville & onto the tundra ( in Oct) before continuing to North West River, some might say I know the area well. People predicted catastrophy then..... why I'm not so sure.

If you are foolhardy enough .......

I have purchased studded tyres & have clothing, with a layering principle down to -65 !!!!!! (but anything around -35 to -40 will be my cut off temperature)

You are going into a region where the winter weather is much more severe than anything you know from England.

This is true & alot of emphasis on the SEVERE, however it is akin to winters in Norway, where I have operated from during the winter months. Walking, Skiing in the mountains for a couple of weeks at a time. I have experianced cold (dry) ... & not so dry, before.

A couple of years ago a Japanese lad traversed the Trans Lab Highway in Feb. The locals stated it was a little cold that week - 50's. So its possible, just a case of a little Endurance, which he had in abumdance according to the folk who met him.

Drop me a mail address & I'll send you a card from HV/GB, telling you how its going........ asuming I made it from Blanc Sabon to Cartwright !

Gojohnnygo. 02-26-03 03:34 PM

:) If you have been hiking and backingpacking in those conditions,You will not have a problem.Here is a link to a north east/canadian backing packing forums.Maybe they can help you a little more.A great bunch of guys and gals. Just like here.

D*Alex 02-26-03 04:00 PM

1 Attachment(s)
ummm....The trans Lab highway in October is WAAAAY different than in late February. The preparations you will need to make will be similar to that needed for an arctic expedition. I doubt that any production bike will be up to running the trans-lab highway in the winter-you will likely need something custom-built (for really wide tyres, sealed bearings, probably something to protect the drive mechanism, etc...
For those who are not familiar with the trans-Lab highway, it runs about 300 miles north from Baie Comeau to the La Grande project, then runs another 500-6-- miles to Labrador city. It is all dirt, often narrow, and carries heavy trucks (like 70-tonne 9-axle rigs)
I'd clear your itinerary first with the RCMP and the Surete Quebec. They just might hold you for a mental evalutation, otherwise. The fact that you are asking here about something as bizarre as what you say you are planning tells me that you are one of 2 things:

1) clueless about what you are going to encounter, or

2) you may be a.....

Mick 02-26-03 04:13 PM

Ahhhhh ............ My friend the Troll.

I'm not into trading slights over the web D*Alex, you have your view points & your welcome to them, I also have mine.

Yes I am clueless in the world of bicycling........ hence the initial question.

As far as operating in a cold climate is concerned I'm exceptionally accomplished, not that I feel the need to say how.

Thanks again for your postings & the laugh you've given me. As I said drop me your address & I'll send you a card.

Mick 02-26-03 04:17 PM

Thanks very much for providing the link Gojohnnygo, its appreciated

A.troll 02-26-03 04:41 PM


Originally posted by Mick
Ahhhhh ............ My friend the Troll.

No, Mick, I am your friend the Troll! :love:

For some good tips on cycling in Winter weather you might want to check out the Icebike website.

Have a great trip! Just watch out for the mad dogs! They may be the only other ones out there.

Mick 02-26-03 05:03 PM

Thanks for the link A.Troll

As for the mad dogs......... I got bit once, suppose it was Rabid & me being English, made for each other.

The lads in the 38 tonners & the Innu will look after me, have done in the past. Don't know why they get so much bad press.:)

MichaelW 02-27-03 06:09 AM

Try asking at Orbit Cycles. They built a Romany MTB/tourer which won the Iditabike race in Alaska.

There are some Iditabike websites worth reading for starters.

mike 02-27-03 06:45 AM

Try to replace parts that are made of non-stainless steel. Make sure your spokes are stainless.

The next thing is to clean your bike often. It really isn't the cold that damages the bike so much as it is the salt on the roads.

I would be interested to hear what others are using for winter grease. I don't switch greases with the seasons, but I do notice that when the temp drop to about 0 degrees F or below, the bearings are really stiff and it takes a lot more energy to pedal.

digger 03-03-03 10:15 AM


I am from Nfld, born and rasied. I now live in Nova Scotia, but I can tell you from 30 years of living in Nfld the following:

For 6 years I rode to and from work 10km round trip. We had particullary mild winters but the past 3 have been nothing but snow. I was there, visiting my parents, last week and the snow is high and the streets are narrow.

Nfld is known for its bad weather especially wind. Except 60km/hr plus for days on end.

Nfld has winter, and 2 months of poor skating, then back to winter.

The people are nice, won't get any better, but they'll think you're crazy for riding in winter. One thing that will contradict what i just said - I have been harrassed more in Nfld while riding my bike than here in Nova Scotia. Actually I havn't been harrassed in NS yet after 3 years. Newfies don't like change or people who are......diferant. Be carefull.

If you need a good bike shop go see Harold Earle of Earle Industries Ltd 51 Old Pennywell Road St. John's, NF. He will treat you good.

My advice - if you are riding off road ok. If on road you're crazy


pinerider 03-03-03 11:38 AM

Maybe the familiar quotation is a misquote. It should be "only
sled dogs and Englishmen" would venture out in this lack of heat

Gojohnnygo. 03-03-03 02:52 PM

:) If you do decide on taking this trip.Please keep us informed.Be safe and more power to you.

bikerider 03-05-03 04:55 PM

Recommended reading: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

TravisJPed 06-23-03 10:28 PM

Honestly unless you have like a 2000$ bike and are extra worried i wouldn't worry.

I took my bike right out with NOTHING! done to it rode it all winter as hard as i could and had hella fun and to this day i see nothing visible that happened from the process not een a spot of rust!

but hey thats me.....

If ur worried all u gotta do is learn some new technique lower tire pressure and possibly buy studded tires or make your own studded tires

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