Am I doing it wrong – riding in snow?

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  • Am I doing it wrong – riding in snow?
  • muckytee
    Member

    I went riding in Marsden and I got onto the moor; now I could see where the trail was, everything was covered in snow mind and the only tracks on the trail where of a fox. I managed to start riding but I would quickly lose momentum and grind to a halt. I found that if the snow wasn’t compacted down in some way then my riding involved a lot of stop/starting and hike a bike, especially uphill or on the flat.

    My bike is a 26″ Single Speed @ 36:19 and has 2.35″ kenda nevegals on it.

    I am wrong to expect to be able to ride my bike in such thick snow?

    I remember riding in Esholt last year when it snowed and I had loads of fun. This time I struggled to get enough momentum and keep it..

    Cheers

    There’s a lot of variety in snow – the crisper and denser, the better it rides. The fluffy wet stuff is incredibly hard work! You’d need strong legs to singlespeed in less than ideal snow.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Are you spinning up the rear, or finding the drag the problem?

    cfinnimore
    Member

    Interesting.

    Cycling,SS, XC style, through deep snow, is hard.

    I found the most fun to be had over the past fortnight is stand at the bottom of a hill, pick the bike up and walk to the top.

    Check tyre pressure.

    Remove Fear-Limiter-Brake-Toucher.

    GO!

    I find that if you let “wheeeeeee” escape, it helps.

    muckytee
    Member

    Both, It’s spinning the rear at first, then when I do get going I end up slowing down and stopping, and also getting stuck in the deeper parts, I would then have to walk to less deep snow since if I tried to get going in the deep snow I struggled to even move.

    edit: Downhill wasn’t too bad, although more like sledging on a bike than riding..

    Remove Fear-Limiter-Brake-Toucher – is there a special tool for that – I can’t get mine off 😛

    I’ve been riding that difficult snow since it warmed up a bit on Tuesday and fell as slightly sleety fluffy stuff – stupidly low tyre pressures (under 20psi), keeping my hips back so the front wheel’s light, keeping in a low gear, constantly shifting weight to maintain traction and pumping both up/down and fore/aft to keep the bike moving have worked best for me.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Starting in deep snow is bloody hard! Nevegals are alright in snow but big tyres need a fair bit of effort as you’re basically pushing/squashing more snow, and sometimes they don’t find that much grip either as the pressure’s quite spread out. But they usually do alright…

    Singlespeed’s bound to make it harder, sitting and spinning is very effective in snow, to weight up the back wheel and keep the torque lower. I have no answer for that tbh, even my 1×9 bike can be frustrating.

    oldnick
    Member

    Anything between narrow tyres that cut through to fat bikes tyres that float over will be hard work, good luck and imagine how fit you’ll be later!

    cfinnimore
    Member

    I love the snow!

    Sounds daft but being the young idiot that I am, I like to watch bike videos and then go riding.

    So, I watched Where The Trail Ends & From The Inside Out.

    Turns out,the technique the pros use for riding Gobi/Utah desert sands are the same for snow. Ish.

    Arse off the back, hips, momentum. Repeat.

    I need new hubs though. Bad, bad , bad lateral landings.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    You’d need strong legs to singlespeed in less than ideal snow.

    Don’t I know it.. The eskimos have 50-odd words for snow, I have 2, good or crap )
    Last weekend it was dry powdery snow, a few inches. Rode my usual longer chilterns hilly loop and it was a driftier version of summer riding, either fast and packed or loose and brilliant fun. No probs onthe climbs, just a little more effort needed.
    Thursday, long night ride. Thawing and denser wet snow. Stalled on minor climbs, corners were difficult unless downhill or using a lot of weight shift, half of it was a major slog and my legs hurt on friday.

    Tyres make a difference too – 2.2-2.4 at 15psi or less when drier, once it gets wetter mud tyres cut through, offer less resistance to momentum, just work better. ie, use tyres as you would on dirt, just with less pressure?

    SS can help as well as hinder in snow, it’s like a torque limiter on climbs and doesn’t clog but I stall sooner than a geared bike.

    Sorry to raise this one too, but unless it has 4″ tyres on, 29″ often works better in snow ime.

    jekkyl
    Member

    it does take a man of courage to stay off the brakes on a snow covered downhill where you would normally freewheel. instead of ‘wheeeee’ I like to go with ‘shiiiiitttttt oh shhiiiitttttttt’

    Wrong type of snow

    cozz
    Member

    wrong type of bike

    N’winds question was a good one. I think the snow really forces you to work on dynamic body position and adjusting your weight correctly. Sensing if/when the problem is at the back or the front etc.

    surlynot
    Member

    ^ plus 1

    😉

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    Some of you take this snow riding a bit too seriously!

    Just have fun and prat around – find a big drift, just ride into it and see who can get thrown over the bars the furthest!

    allthepies
    Member

    Team Hurtmore wrote:

    N’winds question was a good one. I think the snow really forces you to work on dynamic body position and adjusting your weight correctly. Sensing if/when the problem is at the back or the front etc.

    THM, last Sunday rode over Hankley (from Tilford entrance to exit by the Cemetery Elstead side), the bike resembled an ice sculpture by the end 🙂

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