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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 11-13-12, 06:18 PM   #1
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Studded tires on hills

I have a hill on my commute that is 2 miles at a 4% avg grade, with a 3/4 mile section that is 6-9%. I have to go down it on the way to work and up it on the way home. Since I am weak and unworthy, this hill kills me every day. I can make it up no problem, but I am mashing my way to the top.

This leads me to two questions:

Should I try to ride down this thing on studded tires? There are three sharp turns and two sections with severely damaged pavement (one of which is on one of the turns)

If I ride down it, will I be able to get back up it? I know that snow tires slow you down a lot, and I'm already in the biggest gear I have. I'm worried that I'll start my way up the hill and end up walking.
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Old 11-13-12, 09:45 PM   #2
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It's not against any law that I know of to walk and push your bike. As you get stronger, you will be able to ride more of the hill, and probably eventually all of it.

Studded tires? Snow tires? Which are you considering? And why, is it icy and or snowy? If you're asking about studded tires because it's icy, then yes that would help, but be careful on the curves. Studs help but you can't get reckless on them as they will only help so much. And if it's snowy and you're asking about snow tires, the same still applies. You have to take care.

I go very cautiously downhill on snow and or ice.
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Old 11-14-12, 11:09 AM   #3
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I agree with scroca. Studded tires should get you up and down the hill just fine, AS LONG AS you're riding sensibly. Even studded tires have their limits on ice and snow. I wouldn't be at all worried about riding up the hill with studded tires; if you can do it with normal tires, you should be able to do it with studded tires. Going down the hill, just be extra cautious when there are snow and/or ice. Ride the brakes down the hill if you have to in order keep your pace slow enough to not lose control if you need to dodge a pothole or something and take it easy in the turns. On snow and ice, I try not to lean very far while turning. If you're leaning very far, you're going too fast and you really don't want to find out the hard way where the limit is.
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Old 11-14-12, 07:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by shepherdsflock View Post
AS LONG AS you're riding sensibly.
+1. Sometimes I get off the bike and realize it's too icy to walk. Just get back on the bike. Go slow. It's safer.
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Old 11-14-12, 09:52 PM   #5
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My Nokian Tires are in their 20th year.. It is not frozen here 90 days a year,
maybe 10 at most..

Though its largely Flattish around the water edge .. Columbia River meets the Sea.

my 160 stud tires are good on mixed ice/'dry' pavement. and more secure than walking on ice.

But, if its really harsh , instep crampons will make walking more secure, too.
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