Author Topic: Cycling in Snow  (Read 18194 times)

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  • Guest
Cycling in Snow
« on: October 09, 2009, 11:10:02 pm »
It's dangerous to cycle in snow but
some does it. So how do you cycle in snow?

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2009, 11:36:16 pm »
Some people actually have studded tires.  You should have a mountain bike with off road tires.  I ride a road bike with skinny tires and don't continue riding if the snow's sticking on the roadway.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline whittierider

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2009, 11:49:59 pm »
Get Nokian (with the "n" at the end, not "Nokia" like the phone company) carbide-studded tires.  I don't think any of the other studded-tire manufacturers use carbide, and the non-carbide ones don't last at all.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2009, 09:45:47 pm »
Snow riding is slow with studded tires when the road is  untrampled and nearly impossible when others have come before you. Nokian tires are great but expensive. Riding on ice with them is quite fun and on a clear winter night it is delightful just to be out riding safely. The studs really do make it safe on ice. 

Offline biker_james

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 07:20:19 am »
I've considered getting studded tires for the winter commute, as we had a lot of snow last year, but I am concerned that just because I can control the bike doesn't mean I won't get hit by a sliding car. I'm hoping we don't have much snow this year, so I may walk to work, or we may look into getting a second car.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 10:19:57 am »
It's dangerous to cycle in snow but
some does it. So how do you cycle in snow?

Schwalbe Marathon Winter.  Carbide studs.  700x35 and 700x40.  As well as a few 26" sizes.  You still have to pay attention to what you are doing on ice.  You can still slip and slide with studded tires.  Deep thick snow does not work too well.  Snow that has been run over by cars and formed into ruts does not work too well.

Offline geegee

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2009, 06:07:32 pm »
I ride with studded tires in the winter, and they are great on the icy patches. One of the advantages in winter is that you are well padded with clothing and it doesn't hurt much if you do slip and fall (away from traffic, of course!). The streets are reasonably cleared where I am, and I find the drivers give me more room when there is snow because they are generally  more alert than in the summer.

It's a good idea to go slower, and tires with studs on the side require that you run your pressure soft when it is icy so that the studs engage on the surface.

Offline fattirefool

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2009, 07:38:29 pm »
I ride year round. When it snows how ever I actually switch to riding my beach cruiser with a lower psi for better traction an to help ride on top of snow and not in it. The rides are obviously longer due to slower speed but its much worth being able to be out and about.
Winter riding undoubtedly helps fight the SAD away. Also come snow and winter keep in mind if your sweating you are wearing too much.

Don't take turns to fast
Don't brake to hard or to fast
Stay visible to pedestrians cyclist an drivers alike
Expect to eat snow eventually

Offline Turk

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2009, 10:19:32 pm »
I commuted and rode in winter in Minnesota for several years. I also recommend the studded snow tires. I have IRC Blizzard tires, made in Japan, and they worked well for me. It's pleasant above 10 degrees and if you dress for it. I wouldn't ride in heavy traffic. Frozen lakes are fun. Lots of snow isn't. I bought a new Trek mountain bike for the commuting but I would recommend getting a winter beater since the snow and salt are hard on the bike. Fenders are nice to have. About 10 miles is my limit in winter.


  • Guest
Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2009, 03:45:03 am »
Cycling in snow is not an easy job. But it is adventurous. Everyone must ride with studded tires in the winter. These tires are good for the icy patches.

Offline ufcfightermike

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2009, 02:03:39 pm »
I cant go all winter with out riding. I remember the first time I went out in the snow - it quite funny when I think back on it. But that day in itself was a lesson. You will indeed eat snow.
Beverage Refrigerators
"Bow to your Sensei."

Offline robo

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2009, 01:03:53 am »
Here in Denver it's possible to bike almost every day of the year.  Last night I rode home in a blizzard, and today I rode to work on dry streets and trails.  As a year-round commuter for the last 30 years or so, I've learned to turn the handlebars, rather than lean in to a turn.  Staying upright is not only the goal, but the key.  Speed reduction is a very good idea.  I used studs for a couple years.  They were great til the sidewalls blew. 

No more studs- for the last fifteen years or so.   I believe riding snow and ice require care, and the realization that it's a lot more fun to ride than to drive.  I'm quite sure that the bike rides have helped me get through winter- I'm in control, not the weather. (I don't really think I'm in control, but don't want the elements to determine how I operate.)

MTB, touring, or cross bike- they all work.  It just depends which one has tires pumped up and headlight attached.

Offline PoisonID

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2009, 03:21:22 pm »
I live in Oslo, Norway, and I commute by bike all year round. As others here have pointed out, studded tyres are the best way to ride through the winter. It feels like riding on gravel road, and you have to take similar precautions. The tyres that are recommended here, Nokian and Schwalbe, are probably the heavy duty ones with 298/304 studs. There are some lighter city-slick type tyres with fewer studs that rolls easier. They could be considered if you are in an area with more ice than snow on the streets, typically in a winter climate where the temperature is just around freezing point, and where the downpour is more likely to be rain (that later freezes over) than snow. As soon as you get heavier snowfalls, the rougher tyres are the only way to go. They'll give you heavy friction on tarmac, though.

Also take into consideration that the heavy salting on the roads in wintertime is taking its toll on your bike. That also goes for the fine gravel and dust that mixes with snow. The massive quantities of sludge in city streets will splash itself plentifully all over your bike, and corrode and grind all delicate moving parts as well as brake shoes and rims. This shortens the life-span of the particular parts and the bike as a whole considerably. My solution to this is two-fold: First, use your old "been-in-the-garage-for-15-years" bike as a winter bike, equipped with cheap new parts if necessary, and of course studded tyres. Or you can or buy a cheap bike from the store. Do not use your beloved expensive state-of-the-art bicycle. Second, rinse the chain, derailleur and rims/brakeshoes after each trip. I fill up a 10-liter bucket with hot water and pour it over the parts every afternoon when I come home. This minimizes the the wearing. The morning after, I lubricate the chain with oil for wet condtions (ask your dealer), every day. Keep the bike indoors, otherwise you'll get problems with frozen parts.   

Also, pay special attention to the brake shoes. They will wear away in no time, and you do not want to hear the ugly sound of metal brackets grinding your rims while going downhills at full speed. Expect to change brake shoes a couple of times every season. Happy riding! 
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 03:32:59 pm by PoisonID »

Offline santa

studs are meaningless
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2009, 05:38:36 pm »
  Studded tires don't help in snow. They do help on ice. Good mtn bike tires are all that's necessary for most snow, but if your ride takes you over icy areas then studs are indeed a hugh help. For anyone commuting or riding on pavement in Winter, studs are the way to go. If you drive to an off-road trail and ride on the snow with no icy patches (it does happen), then studs are of no real benefit.

Offline PoisonID

Re: Cycling in Snow
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2009, 07:55:50 pm »
I do not understand how one can expect to find snow like that, unless you limit your biking to the first days of the first snow of the season. Snow will melt, freeze over again, and get packed solid during the winter. To assume that the ground under the snow is ice free, and therefore ride without studs, is dangerous.