Winter biking

12boy

Veteran
Location
Casper WY USA
I've always found winter biking to be slower and more work. I believe this is due to......
Colder air is denser than warm. The reference l found said a drop of 3 degress C increases density by 1%.
I am bigger in terms of air drag since I wear more clothes when it's cold.
Those clothes increase my weight, especially my feet since I wear heavy socks, larger shoes to fit and neoprene booties. Not sure if having the weight on my feet makes any diference compared to the weight being on my torso, for example.
There could be a difference in the consistency of lube on chains and bearings.
The bike, specifically the wheels could weigh more if tires designed for snow are used vs slicks.
Studded snow tires not only are significantly heavier, but are stiffer which I understand increasing rolling resistance.
Any thoughts on this?
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Traditionally, winter was the season for training long slower miles for endurance. Speed training was done in spring. Not sure if that club tradition still stands.
Personally I dont train, just ride and winter is just a bit slower.
Studded snow tyres are only needed for a week or 3 in most of the UK. If you need studs you really dont want to push your speed.
 

matticus

Über Member
Studded snow tyres are only needed for a week or 3 in most of the UK. If you need studs you really dont want to push your speed.
Not true - our Gulf Stream affected weather is far more variable than that. In the South of England we often get ice in November and snow in March. A week later it can be shorts weather.
 

cougie uk

Senior Member
I think it's definitely more to do with the extra clothing. Less aero innit.

Plus a lot of us go to winter bikes with extra weight and sturdier tyres.

Never used ice tyres - I don't need to cycle commute so if it's icy I'm on the turbo.
 

lane

Veteran
I was reading a thread on here this morning about increasing speed for ultra endurance and it gave a figure for how much slower a 5c drop in temperature made you, but I can't remember the figure and can't find the thread. However I am also probably faster in the summer because I am doing more miles.
 
OP
12boy

12boy

Veteran
Location
Casper WY USA
Got off my flabby buttocks this afternoon and swapped my summer mtn bike tires for studded snows. Next snow I'll be ready. What i will encounter will be bare pavement in some areas will be followed by ice in shady spots, either going downhill or on a curve. The studded tires are a lot more work but I am riding for exercise and l get to be outside. At this time of year we can go from 18C to -7 in 10 hours.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
You go slower in winter because more energy is required by your body to keep you warm. So less available for pedalling.
I've always believed this to be the main reason for my winter riding being slower.

I do ride a slower bike in winter so have to work extremely hard to match my summer riding. As a group we all look to back off during winter and simply build the miles as training for spring.
 
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