cycling in winter conditions - a thought

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by Adam Lea, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Adam Lea

    Adam Lea Guest

    You can joke, but if I did have an accident on roads that were icy
    enough to stop any motor vehicles other than 4x4's then I would be in
    serious shit, because there would be no-one around to call the ambulance.
    Adam Lea, Sep 16, 2011
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  2. Adam Lea

    thirty-six Guest

    If you intend to be foolish, carry a CB and a cellphone.
    thirty-six, Sep 17, 2011
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  3. Adam Lea

    Simon Mason Guest

    I would be even worse off as I do not possess a mobile phone.
    Sometimes it is more exciting to get yourself into a bit of a pickle
    and use your own wits to get out of it.
    I cycled in one Easter Sunday when the roads were empty and the snow
    was about 6 inches deep and I had to use a mix of walking, cycling
    with one leg with the other on the ground and cycling bolt upright in
    packed snow. I made it to work about 15 minutes late, but I was proud
    not to have wimped out.
    Simon Mason, Sep 17, 2011
  4. Adam Lea

    Ian Jackson Guest

    I haven't tried Marathon Winters, but this is not very similar to my
    experience with studded tyres. The bike's handling was a bit odd, but
    testing my brakes convinced me that I would have the grip when I
    needed it, and indeed I didn't have a fall or any hairy moments.
    If you do fall, it'll be low-side. You'll land on your elbow and hip.
    Practice helps :). Last time I fell that way (on ice two winters ago
    before I got the studded tyres) my hip was fine although bruised, and
    the road rash on my hand and elbow was irritating. (Mind you I'm
    pretty robust so if you're a fragile sort I would suggest you try to
    avoid rather than mitigate the fall.)
    Ian Jackson, Sep 19, 2011
  5. Adam Lea

    Ian Smith Guest

    I have a tendency to use one foot as a stabiliser when conditions are
    dicey, especially when gingerly negotiating a slippy downhill stretch.

    On snowy/slushy ascents, I try to transfer as much weight onto the back
    wheel as possible for traction. Occasionally this works. :)
    Ian Smith, Sep 20, 2011
  6. Adam Lea

    Jim Guest

    Bizarrely, I have recently been thinking along the same lines as I
    have similar concerns to you. I came up with this:

    I wouldn't be embarrassed to use them because commuting on a bike in
    the snow is generally considered to be somewhat heroic. I also
    wouldn't be put off by the need to learn how to ride with stabilisers,
    or with a trike conversion, as I doubt it would take more than a few

    In either case, riding with two wheels going through fresh snow is
    likely to be hard going, and that is what would prevent me from taking
    either option.

    Studded tyres work well but the studs wear out very quickly (<300
    miles IME).
    Jim, Sep 22, 2011
  7. Adam Lea

    Tim Downie Guest

    My experience of riding in significant snow has been limited to riding a 20"
    wheel shopper which I found no problem. Perhaps there's something to be
    said for riding a sit up and beg, small wheeled step-through bike in icy

    Tim Downie, Sep 22, 2011
  8. I have found fresh snow fine. The worst stuff is the ice cream mush
    which has been churned up by cars.

    I have been using Marathon Winters for a couple of years. They appear
    to be good for at least 5k miles.

    Andy Sinclair, Sep 23, 2011
  9. Adam Lea

    mrc7--urcm Guest

    In message <j5heq6$u4i$>
    Generally I found cycling in fresh snow OK with ordinary MTB knobbly
    tyres, the problem I found was in cycling on roads with frozen rutted

    mrc7--urcm, Sep 23, 2011
  10. +1

    And worst of the lot, frozen, ridged slush with a layer of snow over
    the top.

    Just zis Guy, you know?, Sep 23, 2011
  11. Adam Lea

    nmm1 Guest

    You don't even need those. Just decent roadster tyres are fine,
    and probably even slicks. Nothing will help on deep, unpacked
    snow :)

    Frozen snow is evil and ice is damn-near impossible.

    Nick Maclaren.
    nmm1, Sep 23, 2011
  12. With studded tires, I've cycled over substantial areas (ca ten metres)
    of smooth sheet ice - cycling over it was much easier than walking, or
    even standing, on it!
    But it has to be clear enough of snow for the studs to bite.
    Julian Bradfield, Sep 23, 2011
  13. Adam Lea

    nmm1 Guest

    I accept that studded tyres reduce it from being damn-near impossible
    to merely extremely evil, though I have never used them on either a
    bicycle or car - and, yes, cycling is much easier than walking on
    such a surface (even, if you are travelling in a dead straight line
    and don't need to change speed, on ordinary tyres), but it is also
    vastly more dangerous.

    Nick Maclaren.
    nmm1, Sep 23, 2011
  14. What about a Surly Moonlander, with 4.7" tyres?

    It should help a bit...
    Craig Wallace, Sep 23, 2011
  15. Adam Lea

    Jim Guest

    Studded tyres make riding on sheet ice easy and pleasurable. Walking
    on it is extremely dangerous, cycling <vastly> safer.

    The limitation on studded tyres is on frozen rutted snow as mentioned
    above. However, these conditions force speed right down and crashing
    is unlikely as stability can be restored by dabbing.
    Jim, Sep 23, 2011
  16. Adam Lea

    Clive George Guest

    Not yet used them on a bike, but I've used both studded and non-studded
    winter tyres on a car (mountain roads in Norway), and my lasting
    impression is that they're magic.
    Clive George, Sep 23, 2011
  17. Adam Lea

    nmm1 Guest

    Negligibly. If even skis sink into it (and they do on fresh snow),
    those don't have anything like enough area.

    Nick Maclaren.
    nmm1, Sep 23, 2011
  18. Adam Lea

    Ian Jackson Guest

    I've found cycling on sheet ice with studded tyres perfectly
    reasonable, and not evil at all. You just have to watch yourself to
    avoid your foot slipping if you need to stop and put a foot down - and
    obviously dismounting on sheet ice isn't a good idea :).

    I have also tried to cycle with non-studded tyres on sheet ice. After
    being dumped on my backside for the 2nd time I gave up.
    Ian Jackson, Sep 23, 2011
  19. Adam Lea

    Mark Guest

    Drivers would not see them and just drive over them IMHO.
    (\__/) M.
    (='.'=) Due to the amount of spam posted via googlegroups and
    (")_(") their inaction to the problem. I am blocking some articles
    posted from there. If you wish your postings to be seen by
    everyone you will need use a different method of posting.
    Mark, Sep 23, 2011
  20. Adam Lea

    nmm1 Guest

    Even if they restore your grip to that or normal tyres on non-icy
    roads (which is most implausible), you have the trouble that you
    have to take EXTRA emergency evasion because of the compete idiots
    in 4-wheel motor vehicles with ordinary tyres. And that sort of
    thing is precisely what needs extreme grip.

    I have walked with hobnailed boots on sheet ice, and it's not too
    hard, but it's still tricky - and I doubt VERY much that studs
    are immensely better - quite possibly somewhat.
    Agreed. I managed until I need to turn ever so slightly, and then
    the same happened ....

    Nick Maclaren.
    nmm1, Sep 23, 2011
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