Got any tips for riding in the ice & snow?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Bigtallfatbloke, 21 Nov 2007.

  1. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    ...looks like we might be getting some looking at the weather on Tv just now. Apart from taking it slow and easy are there any other pointers/do's & don'ts for riding in winter conditions?
  2. let out a round 10/15psi out of your tyres it gives you more grip.

    you can do the same if your off roading and its to wet.
  3. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    Riding in icy conditions? Either (1) Fit studded tyres, or (2) Don't ride!

    I went out on my mountain bike one New Year's day and crashed three times on black ice in less than an hour. I fell heavily each time but got away with a lot of cuts and bruises. I could easily have broken a hip or my pelvis. Knobbly tread won't help you unless there is some snow on top of the ice to bite into.

    I've learned my lesson now and do my best to avoid ice, but it is always possible to get caught out so here's one tip - at this time of year (in the UK) the sun is low in the sky and casts long shadows. It is often in the shadows that ice lurks. Steep north-facing descents with hills either side are the worst because they don't catch the sun at all. Last year I saved a couple of motorists on just such a hill. The road was in perma-shadow and was completely covered in ice. I had to walk my bike up the hill on the grass verge. To the side of the road was a huge drop to the valley floor. I saw two cars racing down the hill towards me so I started waving frantically and just managed to stop them before they hit the ice. The chav driver from the first car leapt out and was about to hit me until I pointed at the road surface and shouted ICE!!! He looked rather sheepish after that...
  4. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Always take condoms. You never know!! :blush:
  5. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Birmingham, UK
    All changes of momentum have to be very gentle - so don't go leaning hard into corners!
  6. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    On my commute I stick to the roads which get a bit'o'traffic and a gritting.

    Fresh snow is OK, sorta fun. It's a bummer if it freezes, then snows on top. If this happens I don't use the front brake. Ride slow and steady.

    Studded tyres: I've thought about getting some junk MTB and having it set up permanently with 'em. Haven't done it yet. Or have some spare wheels ready-shod with 'em. I'd not use them much. Since I've done the same commute for so long I know where the icy bits tend to be.
  7. Ive got a pair of IRC Blizzards, havent used them for two years but OMG they're brilliant on ice, they wail. And they make a cool noise which is nice.
  8. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London

    Spend some time poking around in there, most of it is way more extreme than Essex will throw at you, but it still can apply and is pretty interesting.

  9. er er mate if you cant ride on ice dont! DO NOT PUT OVER PEOPLE off doing so its grate fun. if some one has not done it before dont just tell them the bad things of doing so :blush::angry::smile::angry::smile::angry::smile::angry::smile::angry::smile::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry: DO NOT FU**ING DO IT.

    (bigtallfatbloke) just take it slow you will get to where you meed to be in time but dont give up. if you think you need help in riding in snow and ice just get some studed tyers and they will run in the dry (not like snow chains).
  10. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

  11. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    If any new riders out there are thinking of riding on ice, STOP. DO NOT DO IT!!!


    I repeat one last time, do not ride on ice in any circumstances it is lethal for any cyclist.
  12. OP

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I think i will stay off the bike and go swimming if it gets icy...last thing I need is broken bones and a forced period of getting fat agin
  13. beware when the sun drops.

    ice/frost will have thawed in the sun and then refrozen as the sun goes again.

    this needs to be considered when leaning your pride and joy into a corner at 20+mph.

    this is also not to be done over a holiday period where your nearest chemist is the chav haven that is Tesco and it's a mile away and there's no public transport.

    i speak from experience.

    if you are going to cycle in icy conditions, keep a stock of bandages and savlon at home. it'll save you hobbling to the chemist.

    i have ridden the MTB in snow and it was great fun... apart from my fingers and toes freezing. i also punched myself in the face as i was trying to loosen my helmet straps and as my hands were numb i couldn't work them properly. my face had gone numb too, it was only when i thawed out at home then the jaw pain dawned on me.
  14. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    You'll have to break the ice first, though! :blush:
  15. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    I don't know what I wrote that so upset spandex but for the record...

    Referring to that MTB ride of mine - I went out on NY Day precisely because it was a lovely sunny winter day. The sun was shining and I'd never ridden in snow before. Well, I really enjoyed riding in the snow though it did tend to clog the bike up somewhat. I was riding with caution but what can you do when you suddenly come across a 15% downhill slope with changing camber and bends and covered in a sheet of wet ice? Answer - fall off! I went down very hard and slid for about 30 metres it was that slippery. One benefit of falling off on ice, to be fair, is that road rash is minimal, but the risk of broken bones must be high!

    Despite horror stories like this :blush::sad::smile:, even I would never suggest not riding all winter. Perhaps the best advice is to keep your eye on local weather forecasts and steer clear of ungritted roads when there is a likelihood of frost. I do a lot of of my cycling on minor roads above 1,000 feet and they are lethal in very cold weather when the gritters don't get to them. If the road surface is below freezing, any rain falling can turn instantly to ice.
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