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Winter Biking

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Does anybody here bike in the winter? I mean in a locale with ice and snow. Just bought a pair of studded tires for the bike. Planning to continue commuting through the winter.
post #2 of 9
Yea, I stick to the dirt roads around my house all winter. It's fine as long as the snow is packed down. I've never tired studded tires, but you should have fun on them. The only problem I can't seem to solve is FREEZING FEET. Those biking shoes are not made to be warm, and biking doesn't seem to be very friendly towards blood circulation in the feet. Neoprene booties help, but only to a point. I noticed Sidi makes a winter riding boot that accepts clipless cleats. Unfortunately they cost something around $250 and I don't know how warm they really are.
post #3 of 9
Ridden through many winters of Ice and snow. Your biggest problem is'nt you it's the car that starts to slide. Be careful.

Biggest problems - freezing rain and snow on the glasses. Freezes on the lenses, makes it damn hard to see. Take 'em off, you're eyes freeze shut. Your brakes will also freeze and become useless. Your rear cog will ice up and shifting will be impossible. Your chain will begin to skip. your cables will freeze and your spokes will fill with Ice and snow. Your bike will get heavy. Velcro on shoes will freeze and become useless. Shoes with laces freeze and you'll never get them off. All in all it's way better than driving. The good side is that when you crash you slide on snow and ice, and if your on pavement your wearing many clothes. Even in my worst winter crash I only bruised and elbow, so what if my bike ended up in a river.

Cold feet. Many ways to skin that cat. Start with a solid shoe (duct taping the toes helps but does'nt last long.) Try getting some insoles (Dr. Shoals or something similar) they add a cushion of air = insulation to the bottom of your feet and keep your feet warmer. It works, it works well. Never put your shoes on cold.

Best jackets have a solid windblocking front with a fleece or breathing back.

Studded tires. Good for all snow and ice, but if your on clean pavement watch out, it's like riding on ice without studs.

Good luck. Winter commuting brings adventure to the daily routine. Plus you get to see all those cars spun out in the ditch.

It's more fun than riding in the summer.
post #4 of 9
For cold feet when using biking shoes, try Pearl Izumi's Calientoes. They are ploarfleece lined neoprene thingies that slip over the front of your shoes. They retail for around $20 and they work!

You can probably find them at Performancebike.com or Coloradocyclist.com
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Actually I did bike throught the winter last year but not all the time. Didn't spend any money on good winter gear so was cold and looked like a homeless biker. Did some -20°C days where needed ski goggles.
What I was going to do with the studded tires
was put one on a extra front rim and change over when its icy.
I agree on snow days better to keep off the roads and keep to the sidewalks. Last year I took 10 minutes longer on a snow day but the cars took an hour longer.

For feet last year just wore thick woolen socks and hiking boots. Worked ok in that no frost bite. MEC has over boots that fit over bike shoes which are supposed to work pretty well. www.mec.ca

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 09, 2001 10:07 AM: Message edited 1 time, by dougw ]</font>
post #6 of 9
winter biking can be real fun. I liked it if it either was dry and the ground was frozen (no ice or snow cover) which gives the fastes ride ever, or when the snow starts melting and the ground is a slashy white/brown mess. Ultra techical, real messy, 2h ride = 2h cleaning your bike. Full-suspension: Add another half hour for cleaning.
I live in the South now. We do not have winter here. And no mountains either. I am going to move. Soon.
post #7 of 9
Not for a long time. Years ago in college in Iowa my road bike racing friend turned me onto year round dirt road riding. The farmers and others would pack down the snow on the dirt roads, and there were more of those than paved, so we could ride all over. Made me a good bike handler as well as a tough guy. It was fun to come back to the chicago area in the spring and kick some butt on group rides.
post #8 of 9
Last Thursday we had the first snow here, then it got warm and Friday was below freezing... Figure out the rest for your selves! But I can tell you this: Riding with 1.4'' slicks in those conditions was tricky!
BTW: would be interesting to know what kind of bikes you use during the winter.
My year round working bike is a Cannondale BadBoy.
post #9 of 9
Is it winter yet? I'm about to head out for a short break from work ride. It's another perfect 65 degree day. Is this San Diego or what?
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