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tried riding ,failed miserably (icy road + snow bank = ouch)

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tried riding ,failed miserably (icy road + snow bank = ouch)

Old 02-08-09, 01:43 PM
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sunstealth
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tried riding ,failed miserably (icy road + snow bank = ouch)

I decided today to do a little biking ,went down the street (a 30 houses no end street) and failed miserably,there was slush and ice on the road, went down while turning out of the driveway and once face first in a snowbank!

how do you guy's manage to ride in the winter ?

are studded tires a necessity?

Btw im from quebec, canada, Land of the snow and ice lol!
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Old 02-08-09, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by sunstealth View Post
are studded tires a necessity?
No, but they cut down on the falling face-first into the snowbank bit. If you enjoy that part, forgot about studs.
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Old 02-08-09, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by sunstealth View Post
I decided today to do a little biking ,went down the street (a 30 houses no end street) and failed miserably,there was slush and ice on the road, went down while turning out of the driveway and once face first in a snowbank!

how do you guy's manage to ride in the winter ?

are studded tires a necessity?

Btw im from quebec, canada, Land of the snow and ice lol!
I have biked several years in Winter w/o studded tires. I usually waited until the streets were pretty much ice/snow free and would leave. Of course commuting was mostly out of the question, but it worked for many recreational rides. If I ran into a solid icy patch, I'd get off and walk.(Walking is also good exercise...)

You'd be surprised at how much biking you are able to accomplish even in these conditions.

Of course, studded tires elevate the possibilities to another plane.
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Old 02-08-09, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sunstealth View Post
...are studded tires a necessity?
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
No, but they cut down on the falling face-first into the snowbank bit. If you enjoy that part, forgot about studs.
LOL at that reply. I ride in Boston but on very well maintained roads. I debated whether or not to get studded tires, mainly because of the alleged increased rolling resistance on non-icy, i.e. wet only or dry pavement. A post by tsl in response to a discussion thread, "Studded tires or fenders?" written by a subscriber who could only afford either/or swayed me:

Originally Posted by tsl View Post
I dunno, maybe it's my age showing. Here in Rochester, at least along my commute, there's always ice that miraculously didn't get salted away.

I figure gunk washes off quickly and easily. Broken bones would keep me off the bike for weeks while they mend.
I have had Schwalbe Marathon Winters for about two weeks now, and IMO the rolling resistance is the same as with the knobby tires. I haven't had much ice or hard-packed snow, but I have traversed some, including mini-moguls, with confidence. The tires allow me to ride farther to the right where even on well plowed and salted/sanded roads, some of the far right side has dubious traction.
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Old 02-08-09, 04:53 PM
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Learning how to ride in wintery conditions is the most important part. I have to say though, I'd never be able to commute in the winter if it weren't for studs. Tire pressure is very important as well.
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Old 02-08-09, 06:32 PM
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knobby tires are a must. if you're riding on ice - and in quebec my hunch is that you are - studs are also a must.
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Old 02-08-09, 06:56 PM
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there's a lot of rolling resistance when you get snow and slush build up on the fenders, studded knobby winter tyres alone aren't that bad with regards to rolling resistance.

a lot has to do with the kind of snow you're going to encounter. slush you can get away with slicks, but once you hit hard packed, powder and ice you'll wish for studded knobbies.
can't really expect tyres made for snow and ice to roll well on clean tarmac.
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Old 02-08-09, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
LOL at that reply.
It was meant for LOLs, but also, let's not forget that some winter riders go in for the falling in the snow bit, but they're generally not on the roads.

Frankly, taking a flier off a bike into a snow pile does sound like a lot of fun, provided it's intentional. My nephew has an old POS that he rides off the dock into the lake in the summer. Lacking a POS of my own to take tempting the fates in a snowpile, I stick with my boring old studs.

Although, now that I think about it, parting company with a bike in motion into a snowpile could be good practice for the tuck-and-roll method of dealing with unintended flying dismounts. Hmmm...
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Old 02-08-09, 08:47 PM
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You should be happy you landed face first in a snow pile.

I'd say studs are definitely worth the price if you live in a area that's below 0C for at least a few months out of the year. It's only now gotten above freezing in February (Minnesota), so I would have been dead without studs. They don't make you invincible, but it's about as close as you'll get. Snow, however, is still a *****.
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Old 02-08-09, 10:05 PM
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roads up here are partially plowed and no ice melting product is llowed to be used on the road where i live so it's pretty much a hockey ring in the street.
I tried again tonight at a lower front pressure and higher rear tire pressure and it was a lil bit better, bike didnt slid from under me, still braking is impossible lol!

so I found an old MTB tire and a buch of screws, hello studded tires

BTW: just to let you know, the snowbanks are hard as a rock , not a flufy snowpile, its more the I will knock you out kinda snow!
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Old 02-09-09, 02:43 AM
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I WISH my area didn't use salt. My components wouldn't hate me, and I'd be the fastest vehicle on the road, =)
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Old 02-09-09, 02:56 PM
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Sporadic ice works okay without studs. Most of the ice is near the edge of the roadway so I ride far enough out to avoid the ice. If I come across a rare patch of ice that I cannot easily maneouver around, I will go over it without braking or steering. Roughed up ice from other vehicles travelling over has much better traction than shiny ice.

However Toronto uses salt by the bucketloads (hello rusty winter bicycle). It sounds like where you live the idea is no salt, ice rink streets, and since its Quebec mandatory snow tires for cars. Here, if the roads were skating rinks drivers would be driving into each other all the time. Few use snow tires and most don't even properly adjust their driving techniques for conditions.

Slush is generally okay (just messy on the bike) but sometimes its hard to discern what's underneath it.
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Old 02-09-09, 04:00 PM
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You can make your own. Studded or chains. Works well, you find them in the sticky on the top of the page.
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Old 02-09-09, 04:09 PM
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obligatory Toronto, the salty city, shot.
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Old 02-10-09, 06:27 PM
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ok so I Made a set of studded tires out of an old knobby for the front and a new cyclocross style for the rear (in 26x1.90) 2 pack of 100 screw and my trusted impact drill

in the end it gives 128 screw/studs in the front
36 on the rear tire

hella grip on even the glarest ice (tryed the bike on the local skating ring and i didnt not even fell )

thank you 1/4" sheet metal screws and you guy's
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Old 02-10-09, 06:59 PM
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I went out in the middle of a winter storm warning (snow storm) because I wanted to try out my studded tires. Yeah, I had to do some walking but I still got to work before some of my co0workers in their cars. Long live studded tires.

Gas, .69 cents the price of a can of beans.
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Old 02-10-09, 07:02 PM
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i can ride on just about anything with out studs. i make sure the bike is perfectly perpendicular with the ground at all times. lightly apply constant pressure on the pedals. braking and turning is an issue but not if you go really slow
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Old 02-10-09, 07:24 PM
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it really only takes one patch of ice... slippery pavement while braking to make you wish you had them.

even more when you least expect your wheels to slide out from under you.
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Old 02-10-09, 07:31 PM
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I commuted in winter for decades without studded tires, have only had studded tires for the last 8 years or so...I sometimes wonder how I ever got along without them.
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Old 02-10-09, 10:46 PM
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We lived in northern Colorado for 5 years. Up there, it gets wintery enough. But you won't really have snow or ice on the roads for months at a time, either. We never used studded car tires, or chains on the tires around town. It'll snow, then in a week or two, it's all gone. So you could conceivably do a lot of winter biking without studs in conditions like that.
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Old 02-11-09, 07:59 AM
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Depends on your biking desires. If you commute everyday then studs are a worthwhile investment. I only used my studs 5-6 days this year(so far) but had I not had them I would have had to drive(which I loathe). If you just commute part itme and drive(mass transit) then I would skip them. It is easiest to have a second set of wheels to use with the studs so last minute adjustments are a snap.
To the poster that said roads are cleaned up in 1-2 weeks, that would mean I would have to drive 1-2 weeks, ain't gonna happen
To poster that said he doesn't use studs and does pretty well: I'm impressed. We had glare ice (1/2" thick this winter, I couldn't walk on it, but could and did ride my studded bike to work. Need-less to say I was the first one in
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Old 02-12-09, 02:12 PM
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Come to think of it, I have a story about winter and tires.

A few months ago I was barely able to start riding again, winter was already here and I couldn't really bend down to grab something on the ground, walk or stand up very long. So doing bike maintenance was pretty much out of the question, and the only bike I had ready to run in winter was an mtb on fat-ish slicks with only a front brake that worked. I really wanted to ride again but it seemed like a bad idea until a buddy of Montreal encouraged me to hit it anyways, saying that I just needed to trust my bike and to not use the brake. It's more convincing when you know he rides professionally around mtl on a fixed gear with slick 23's, but In mtl the streets get plowed and salted aggressively so hardpack and ice is occasional, where by comparaison hardpack and ice represent the large majority of my riding.

Still, I slowly rode around, at first getting winded within 200m and gradually gaining more speed and stamina. I had no problem until I snakebit the rear tire due to lack of upkeep last week, and while I was fixing that I put knobbies on the bike. It instantly became significantly faster and less tireing to ride even tho there's clearly somewhat more rolling resistance, two days ago I went 40 kms and felt surprised at how much less tired I was then I should have felt for it.

I'd say that over those few weeks I got to know that bike as it was setup at least well enough to appreciate our limitations, and the trust that gradually built from this let me manage to ride around with no issues. I didn't feel compelled to put knobbies on it, and if it hadn't flatted I would likely have continued to ride it as it was for a while still, maybe even until snowmelt. So while proper tires for given conditions certainly enhance the cycling experience, but they're not needed.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:20 AM
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All I can add is that it's all about acceleration. If you're not accelerating too fast in any direction, you will be completely fine. Knobby tires certainly help with traction, but you can be just as successful with other tires if you manage your acceleration more carefully.

This means that speeding up or breaking too fast will make you skid, but turning too fast will too. It also means that pedaling through turns can help you and you will be more in control when on slippery ground moving at a speed you can maintain than coasting or breaking. It also means that hitting a snow bank can be just what you need to throw you to the ground, so avoid big jumps or chunks of ice which could disturb your ride.

Also be ready to use your feet. I went down an iced over hill last year and when I started to slip, just put both of my feet on the ground, it's like having 4 feet and just sliding down the hill.
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