Help with riding in the snow

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Anonymous's picture

So....I have never ridden in the snow before (yes I am a certified cold wimp). Any suggestions for this Saturday's A-19 SIG? Do I need to do anything special for my bike (e.g. change tires, change type of lube) etc. Thanks in advance for the advice.

Anonymous's picture
Paul (not verified)

"Road bike + snow = crazy combination.

But if you're bent on riding in the snow, check out


Anonymous's picture
chris y (not verified)
oops (nm)
Anonymous's picture
chris y (not verified)
fixed gear

"my personal toughts:

I used to train year round... every day in CT. It is not the best idea to ride near cars in the snow.

But the SIG would propably be cancelled if there is still snow on the ground.

If you are going to ride, a fixed gear is ideal. It gives you (with your legs) built-in braking -- which is one of the first critical things to go when wet or in the snow. Take all corners CAREFULLY. Keep your distance from other riders. fixed gear info

If you have brakes... Lightly use them against the rim before you need them. This will get water off and warm of the rims/pads.

Nubby (sp?) tires are good, such as cyclecross tires. tires example

Dress well.


Anonymous's picture
Minda (not verified)
Studded/nubby tires for road bikes??

"I've heard of getting studded tires for your road bike, but I haven't seen that many people actually riding road bikes with ""nubby"" tires out there. Don't people usually just have a bike they switch to when the weather gets bad? It's good to know about other options, besides using a mountain bike, in the winter, but I just *cannot* picture having studded tires on my specialized ruby."

Anonymous's picture
Rich Conroy (not verified)

I've done a lot of riding in the snow, even on a road bike. Under the right conditions, it's a lot of fun. Under the wrong conditions, it's a miserable experience.
Good snow: light and fluffy, or not a lot of it. Fresh snow is ideal.
Bad snow: Heavy wet, salted slush-crete, and/or repeatedly walked on. It's hard for bike to get traction under these conditions.

Equipment: a road bike will go through light fluffy snow, even if it's a little deep. It's better to change your tires to cyclocross tires; but many road racing frames are too narrow to take that type of tire.
What to do/not do: Relax when you ride, especially over any icy spots--just coast through them. No leaning when you turn or hard braking: these summer time maneuvers guarantee a crash during snow.

I don't like riding near cars when it's snowing, so I stick to bike paths (until they get icy from frozen runoff or get a lot of packed footprints).

The SIG will be cancelled if there's snow.


Anonymous's picture
Shervyn (not verified)
Thank you

"Thanks Folks. If the SIG will be cancelled in the snow, then I am not going to worry too much about...see comments earlier re ""Cold Wimp""


Anonymous's picture
rjb (not verified)

don't worry - if it even smells like it's gonna snow, the sig won't happen

Anonymous's picture
Edoin Srudelo (not verified)
Snow riding

"Zepicsz The Village Madman worked several years at finding a way to ride in the snow.

He finally devised a tricle with herringbone-tred balloon tires. He had to gear it very low to get through the slush. It came to 180-T in back and 12-T in front or something like that. I forget the exact formula.

He got through the snow, but it took him until summer, which is a good thing. When he began riding this contraption after a wintry Sirocco slush storm, mischievious boys began throwing ice balls at him.

His tricycle, I heard, was later converted into a pedicab and is now plying the streets of New York. But that could be a rumor.

""And I suppose you would want to fly an airplane along the bottom of the ocean?"" -- Pezics the Skeptic

Your Pal,
(If you don't know who I am, ask one of the older NYCC members.)"

Anonymous's picture
CRCA member (not verified)
To Edoin

Thank God you're back.

Anonymous's picture
Fluffmuffer (not verified)
willkommens Peter Hochstein der untermensch (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Minda (not verified)

Cool to see people hell-bent on riding in the cold and snow. I'm one of them :) I recently looked into just buying a mountain bike for the snow and ice. I heard that Highbridge Park's mountain bike trails, a project that's been going on since 2003, should be opening up this spring/summer, so I figure between that and my commuting needs, it's a worth it to get another bike despite the fact I just spent a lot of money on a road bike. I just love riding in the cold. I was out in 18 degree weather a few weeks ago when the sun was up at 6AM. It totally rules when nobody else is out there. Even ordered a pair of Sidi Hydros from competitive cyclist for the next couple seasons of NYC-style icebiking, and some snow goggles... woohoo!! Anyone else here enthused about cold weather biking? Seems like no road bikers ever do but I have seen people out there on the streets in crazy cold weather, doing the usual crazy stunts.

Anonymous's picture
Jim N (not verified)
I'll miss the cold too

It's quiet, nobody's out, and I mostly hear my breath and the sound of my tires on pavement. I love riding in the cold. I wish it would stay cold longer.

Anonymous's picture
Minda (not verified)

Yeah I hear that. :)

I just wish there wasn't ice and snow on the ground, otherwise I'd be out right now. I don't want to risk it though. At the first CRCA race of the season last week someone crashed and broke their collarbone. Can you imagine?? You can't do anything the rest of the season!! Better to play it safe.

Anonymous's picture
Bob Ross (not verified)
Yeah, I love the cold, but hate the snow & ice...

...and the temperature. That's what I hate most of all. Other than that, I love the cold.

Anonymous's picture
Dr. Kildare (not verified)
What Me Worry?

< At the first CRCA race of the season last week someone crashed and broke their collarbone. Can you imagine?? You can't do anything the rest of the season!! >

Collarbone breaks are a fairly common result of cycling crashes. Far from a season-ending injury... I broke mine and was riding (albeit gingerly) in under 2 weeks. Within a month, I was racing again.

Anonymous's picture
Minda (not verified)

Good to know. Though I'd still rather sit out the icy stuff.

Anonymous's picture
Jack Frost (not verified)
winter riding

No problemo riding in the snow and slush. In fact, it beats walking, as most of the crosswalks are plowed in, and the only place to be is the streets, which are clear the first day or so after a snow storm (like Friday), until Sanitation begins plowing snow *onto* the streets. Then it becomes a bit challenging, like today.

I use an ATB -- no mountain or hybrid -- with full fenders, front and back; very thick front tires for plowing and thinner back ones for focused grip. It takes practice, but it's a lot like downhill skiing. (You've got to go with the utter temporary loss of control, keeping the bars dead-on straight, yet ready to bail out at a notice, so absolutely no clips, but stubbed pedals instead.)

I would definitely not ride a road bike in snow, lite or otherwise, at least those used by Sigies; possibly a Cross, but with care.

Good luck on the next snow storm! I hope to see you all out there!

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