Riding On Frozen Surfaces – What Should I Know?
Looking for tips on what works on frozen surfaces, road and MTB. What should I know?
Been on a few rides where the puddles have frozen over, and a couple where it’s been like this:
Which was basically pinballing around on the snow. Would have been nice to know what would have worked even if we didn’t have it. Like some freehubs will freeze in cold weather, or rear braking is pretty useless.Posted 4 years agochrssmaleMember
DIY snow/ice tyres. Get some old tyres, rivets, rivet gun and some washers. Punch holes small in the tyres then use washers each side of the tyre to try and limit any tearing, punch the rivets through. Then use a tyre liner between the tube and tyre. I did try duct tape 1st year, but found cheap tyre liners on the web the following year.
Hey presto, saved yourself a small fortune 🙂Posted 4 years agoBadlyWiredDogSubscriber
Hmm… ice patches: relax, don’t brake, don’t steer, don’t pedal, don’t tense up and you’ll probably stay on. Oddly, some ice, in the Peak for example, where there’s a lot of grit mixed in, is deceptively grippy.
Snow is just super variable depending on the snow and how wet/deep/soft/compressed/frozen/not frozen it is. At its best it’s improbably grippy, at worst, completely unrideable porridge.
Some wet snow will clog SPDs – flats can work better, but it depends on the snow really. I’ve also carried and used micro-crampons in proper iced-up conditions before now.
If there’s a proper ice/snow cold snap, studded tyres work well and you can ride on sheet ice as long as you’re smooth, also good on hard-packed snow, but draggy and noisy on roads. Expensive too, but let you ride on days when you’d otherwise be stuffed. A few winters back when the trails round here were snowed up for a couple of months, I rode a lot of backroads and lanes – Peak District – on a hardtail with ice tyres on and it was surprisingly good fun.
Also, a little light goes a long way in snow, which is nice, but a little eerie.
Roads? Studded tyres on a cross or mountain bike when things go ballistic, rest of the time, watch out for patches of ice in shaded areas, dips etc. If it’s cold enough for it to form and hang around be prepared to hop off and walk/slide past it would be my take. Or resign yourself to the turbo…
Overall I think you just have to play it by ear. Ride smoothly. Enjoy 🙂dannyhMember
You can get away with SPDs so long as you carry hot/warm drink in your camelbak. Then, as you consume the drink you can use the resulting piss. I’m only half joking.
Other than this, you tend to develop a knack of spotting the freeze dried dirt that is actually really grippy. Fresh snow over hard packed snow that has been there a few days is lethal (discovered that last winter).
Other than that, revel in the way a bit of snow and ice can make trails that are usually mundane into real fun.Posted 4 years agoGary_MMember
Riding on the road when it’s icy is horrible. Some mornings I’ve set off on my commute and it’s been cold and dry at home but icy on the moor road, don’t steer, don’t brake, don’t accelerate and you might get away with it in a straight line. Slightest movement can have you off though.
I’ve come off a few time, first couple were on long icy patches so I just kept sliding on my arse with no injuries, came off last January on rougher Tarmac and lost quite a bit of skin and had a big gash on my elbow. That happened when I reached down for my water bottle on a patch of black ice I didn’t see, it was 7am so dark. I don’t ride on ice now.Posted 4 years agooldgitMember
Road? relaxed arms, cover the brakes gently, split the group up a bit, steady steering, be wary of patched up roads, watch the camber, the white bits are ‘usually’ grippier.
If it looks very wet on the road, but no water is getting sprayed up worry.
Strangely, and I don’t want to start a debate, but I’ve never seen so many helmetless riders including a very smartly attired bunch that didn’t want to cover their expensive looking caps. I had to cringe after what I’d seen today. Sorry.Posted 4 years agobutcherMember
I’m not keen on icy roads. Found myself on the floor a couple of times even taking it very easy, once on a dead straight, flat road! Bit easier when it’s below freezing and dry, you can generally see the patches of ice then, and take whatever action necessary. When it’s wet and hitting freezing temps, it’s a bit of a lottery. I suppose one answer is to hit the most used roads, which are least likely to be affected, but I’d rather stab myself in the eye than cycle in traffic. So I tend to go off-road.
Unless you have some mega serious ice, when riding off road you’ll generally find grip at some point I find. You’ll slide out of the ice and reach dry land, catch a tuft of grass, get caught in a rut, or whatever. It usually works out a lot better than on the road. And in the snow, on a set of nobbly tyres you can get mega grip. If the snow is solid enough you can grab the front brake and it’ll stop you and throw you over the bars if you wish, without losing any traction at all.Posted 4 years agoprojectMember
Just don’t do it.
Ice that is, snow like in the pictures above is ok if you like that sort of thing but ice is a different matter
Plus 1 , have an off and break something,or suspect youve broken something, youll tie up expensive NHS care,stopping someone else haveing that care,someone has to come an rescue you, taxi you to hospital, care for you and pay your wages while youre off work.Posted 4 years ago
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