riding when its snowing?



wallis

New Member
May 24, 2004
18
0
0
Hey guys,
What are the options for cycling in the snow and sub-zero temperatures?
I’ve just moved to Germany from Australia and I’m not sure what sort of bike I should buy. At home I raced road and XC bikes, can I ride a road bike when it’s below zero or is there too much ice? Should I just get an XC bike or are they both useless if there’s been some snow?
Any tips would be great,
Wallis
 

wiredued

New Member
Aug 17, 2004
1,300
0
0
I'm not sure if real training can be done in sub zero (C not F correct?) weather but for commuting studded snow tires put it on the front wheel if you only have one. Braking with rear brakes only when on ice rear panniers makes the rear brake more effective. Cat **** (not real cat ****) for your glasses to help prevent fogging try to take a route with no stops so you don't fog up. Don't ride if snow is more than 2 inches. Loose fitting face covering that can be adjusted to prevent fogging and double insulated gloves. Tape up the vent holes on your helmet cover your ears.

wallis said:
Hey guys,
What are the options for cycling in the snow and sub-zero temperatures?
I’ve just moved to Germany from Australia and I’m not sure what sort of bike I should buy. At home I raced road and XC bikes, can I ride a road bike when it’s below zero or is there too much ice? Should I just get an XC bike or are they both useless if there’s been some snow?
Any tips would be great,
Wallis
 

WattsAMatta

New Member
Sep 20, 2007
31
0
0
58
See http://icebike.com for lots of good information.

I did some riding in the snow on my mountain bike last winter. I used studded tires front and rear and got fairly good traction. I probably would have done more, but I live in a very hilly area and never quite managed to figure out the right clothes to wear. I was always overdressed for the climbs and under-dressed for anything downhill. Otherwise it was big fun, and probably a lot safer than you'd expect.

-- Bryan
 

patrick_

New Member
Feb 6, 2007
19
0
0
40
Roads are usually ice- and snow-free in Germany. If you aren't moving exactly into a winter sport region you'd miss at most 14 days by not riding on ice/snow.

It does get cold though and rain at just above freezing is worse than a bit of snow.
 

Animator

New Member
Mar 17, 2007
145
0
0
You can train well below freezing, but you'll likely want to keep rides under two hours. Riding on an inch of snow is fun on a cross bike. You'll get the hang of it.

Dress warm but not like the Michelin Man. Wool is best. Thin and very warm -- and you don't have to wash it every day (don't mention this in mixed company). :)
 

Doublebiker

New Member
Oct 20, 2004
41
0
0
We used to ride at 10 below (C)... but that was then...for 3-4 hours...

We used to ride on the canals - pure ice - on tubulars, but with shoes without cleats.

Don't wash your face (seriously) if you train in the morning.

Use the slowest bike you have, like a mtb, the lower the speed, the warmer the body.

Don't cover your mouth or nose with something, it will only be icy.
 

Steve_B

New Member
Dec 31, 2006
750
0
0
I ride at below freezing temperatures often. As long as you keep moving and dress in multiple this layers, it should work out. You will figure out how many layers you need through trial and error.

You probably realize that if you sweat too much and you aren't generating enough heat yourself, the cold sweat on your body will be a big problem. Water conducts heat 25 times better than air alone so sweat on your body or saturated in your clothing will rob you of heat quickly.

It also helps to be sure that you keep your core (torso) warm because if it isn't, your body will rob your extremities of heat to do so. I have actually gone to the trouble of warming up on a trainer for a few minutes before riding outside and it seems to help.

I would not recommend trying to ride outdoors at temperatures around 0F (-18C) or below. That's just a waste of time.

Good suggestion about tires (tyres :)) by others. I use a cyclo-cross bike that allows for wider tires and fenders. Fenders are very important for group rides in wet or slushy weather! Plus it's nice to keep the spray off your back and your feet too. My winter/commuter bike is set up with bar-end shifters so that I can shift easily while wearing heavy gloves. Plus I have a Power Tap hook-up on it too. On warmer dry days, I will often ride a regular road bike just because I want to though.
 

buckybux

New Member
Jul 14, 2005
227
0
0
I usually ride through out the winter, however, I don't go when it is icy or snow on the road. In this area, they clear the roads with a liquid de-icer, so after a storm I can go ride on a wet road about two days after the storm. However, during the storm, the roads turn slick.

I ride down to 20F (-7C). Be careful of the the ground frost, because the temperature my be above freezing, but because the ground is frozen the surface of the road will be coated with ice (we call that black ice).
 

buckybux

New Member
Jul 14, 2005
227
0
0
I usually ride through out the winter, however, I don't go when it is icy or snow on the road. In this area, they clear the roads with a liquid de-icer, so after a storm I can go ride on a wet road about two days after the storm. However, during the storm, the roads turn slick.

I ride down to 20F (-7C). Be careful of the the ground frost, because the temperature my be above freezing, but because the ground is frozen the surface of the road will be coated with ice (we call that black ice).
 

john979

New Member
Jan 14, 2005
244
0
0
Riding in the snow is my favorite and I cannot wait until the arrival of winter. In the last year or so, I have been fortunate to ride in many, many different places from Colorado and Wyoming to Italy and Switzerland, but my most memorable moments on the bike occurred closer to home, in Putnam County, New York on snow-covered trails and hardpack roads.

With the proper equipment, riding in the snow makes for outstanding off-season training. I ride a full-suspension mountain bike with 2.3 inch studded snow tires on wide rims. I am about to purchase ultra-wide Snow Cat rims to effectively increase contact area.

With my current configuration, I had little trouble riding in snow up to 6 inches deep. Ice is no problem, but one must be careful to balance the required tire pressure. Snow requires very low pressure, while if the pressure is too low, stud grip on ice will be compromised. I am considering the tedious option of making my own 3" studded tires, but first I will see how much extra traction I gain from the Snow Cat rims.

Keeping warm is not a problem; I generally have the opposite problem, keeping cool on some of the moderately long climbs we encounter. 50 pounds of bicycling and winter clothing with a snow surface can turn a 20 minute climb into a hour-long one. Therefore, modulating your effort is key. We try not to go too, too hard when climbing and keep the effort up on descents and flats -- easy, as in deep snow descending can be as much work as climbing.

Keeping your feet warm is a must. I use Lake winter mountain bike shoes, wools socks with a chemical warmer. Make sure your shoes are a size or two too large.

Here is a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8E_I_vh2Q4 the further into the ride, the deeper the snow gets!

Winter riding also opens up trail possibilities that you would not consider during the summer...

John979 AKA SnowLeopardNYC