Author Topic: Winter biking  (Read 4520 times)

dabighen

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Winter biking
« on: November 20, 2018, 07:40:24 PM »
Snowed like crazy here in NH the last week or so but biked to work while snowing and roads covered in snow.

Any tips out there on best ways to prevent rust from road salt?

Brother Esau

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 404
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2018, 06:36:00 AM »
Sorry. No advice for the road salt but I had to post a "winter biking" pic.

BobbyTables

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2018, 07:13:26 AM »
This is going to be my first winter biking in Toronto, my plan is just to quickly wash the drive train every day and use wet lube.

I`ll see what needs to be replaced at the end of the winter. Bought the bike new last spring for 500$ so it`s not exactly a `beater`but the price of individual replacement components does not come out very high. I expect to replace at least the chain in the spring.

Any different thoughts from people about using studded tires? I haven't gotten them, from what I've heard about 1/2 people say you don't need them the others say it' s a godsend. Oh well always have the option to take a bus if it gets too icy.

KCM5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 862
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2018, 09:30:55 AM »
I bike in the winter on salted roads - salted maybe 4 months out of the year? They use brine here, which I think helps. But I just wash my bike once winter is over. Clean the chain about monthly - should probably do that more. This is my second winter with my current bike (a folder, so everythingís pretty close to the ground) and I think Iíll replace the shift/brake/dynamo wires after this winter.

I used to have a bike with a full chain case and when I switched I really worried about the salt, but itís been less of an issue than I thought it would.

Regarding studded tires, they give me more confidence when thereís been a lot of freeze/thaw so a fair amount of ice around. That said, Iím considering not putting them on this year. They do make biking more work and I also have a bus option that I havenít had before.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2072
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 10:00:57 AM »
No snow where I live and I even avoid biking in the rain, but GuitarStv has posted about his year round bike maintenance in Canada:

I ride in a temperate climate . . . not too much rain during the summer, constant snow and salt during the winter.  In summer I do the following about once a week (150 - 200km):
- Wipe the chain, cassette, and chainrings clean with a rag
- Apply some light liquid bike lube (prolink pro gold is what I'm currently using)
- Wipe off excess lube from the chain before the next time I go riding
In the winter I do the same, but every 80 km (two short rides or one long one).  I use a heavy, sticky lube in the winter (White Lightning Wet Ride).

In addition to the above, I'll use a chain cleaner with some degreaser or take the chain off completely and soak overnight in degreaser every 2-3 months.  Then you dry it out and relube.



As far as bike cleaning goes:

Again, the conditions will dictate the cleaning necessary.  Riding in snow isn't too terrible for your bike.  Especially cold, clean, fluffly snow.  Riding on slushy, gritty, salty roads is really hard on components though - and that's what roads around here are like from mid November to mid April.  My approach is to fill a large watering can with hot soapy water immediately after I come home from a wet/slushy ride.  I pour some water over the chain, the cassette, and the chainrings, then over the rest of the frame.  Then bounce the bike a couple times to get most of the water off before it freezes.  I'll use a rag to quickly clean off surface much from the cassette and chainrings, and to dry the chain out.  Then I apply lube to the chain, brake pivots, and occasionally the derailleur pivots.  The whole procedure takes maybe 5 - 10 minutes once you know what you're doing.

^ This knocks the worst of the salt off everything and helps prevent corrosion.

BEFORE the winter happens I do some bike related winterproofing:
- Remove brakes and grease pivots with waterproof grease
- Check wheel bearings and re-grease with waterproof grease
- Remove any bolts into the bike frame and then grease with waterproof grease (all those bolts holding on your fenders and rack)
- Add fenders to the bike (keeps a lot of shit off your drivetrain)
- Take headset off and grease it with waterproof grease
- Grease cables with a light lube (prevents water from getting in the cable housings and playing hell with your shifting/braking when it freezes)

AFTER the winter I'll do the following:
- Measure chain for stretch and replace if necessary
- Replace cassette every two or three chains
- Replace cables every year (cable housings every two years)

big_slacker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1358
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 10:31:21 AM »
I don't road bike but do ride mountain bikes year round. We don't do the ice/snow thing for the most part, but....

Rain gear: Northwave waterproof shoes. Gore or other quality waterproof gear. Sealskinz gloves. Good smartwool socks like Darn Tough. Helmet cover if it's pouring (this can get hot). I LOVE my fuzzy towel poncho thing to change out of the wet stuff immediately post ride.

Bikes: Finish Line Wet chain lube, Mucky Nutz fenders

House stuff: Pressure washer with 'nice' nozzle to blast off mud without damaging seals. Grease gun to keep pivot bearings in shape. A f'in towel to get it dry. :D

BikeFanatic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 208
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2018, 11:44:05 AM »
I second the snow tires, I have Nokians carbide studs, and they Last forever many years, and they do making riding a little tougher.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2018, 02:26:27 PM by BikeFanatic »

Distant dreamer

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Sunny Scotland
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2018, 12:22:22 PM »
I try and clean my bike weekly, just a squirt with the hose and keep the chain well lubed. I love my studded tyres! I tend to just run one on the front unless it gets particularly bad which makes it much easier to pedal. Word of warning...dogs hate the noise they make (like snap, crackle, pop if that means anything to you guys in the US) and often start going crazy as you ride past

dabighen

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2018, 02:54:09 PM »
Update:  bought a watering can (for flowers) and that did pretty good to rinse today.

Regarding studded tires (i dont spell it tyers cause im a bumkin) i found zip ties do great for a cheap alternative.

Clothing:  bar mitts are the shit!  Also overboots keep feet wicked dry.

Having fun with it so far.  Just spent $400 on plugs and wire tune up.  You know what doesnt require that: BIKES!  For that cost i could buy a new bike.  Which makes me not worry about salt even more.

Great comments everyone!

Matt

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5981
  • Location: BC
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2018, 01:38:12 AM »
Snowed like crazy here in NH the last week or so but biked to work while snowing and roads covered in snow.

Any tips out there on best ways to prevent rust from road salt?
My only advice is to buy a cheaper bike for winter... one with good traction tires that you don't mind getty rusty and abused a bit.

They say cars rust more if they are freezing to warm to freezing more often (stored inside).  Maybe leave the bike where it will stay colder?

HenryDavid

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 414
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2018, 09:18:22 AM »
In winter I fimd that the main enemy is wind. Where I live it gets really cold, so I only bike when itís above -15 celsius. Even then, pedalling keeps me warm with just a thin wool or polypro undershirt, a thick fleece jacket, and a REALLY windproof shell. Windproof mitts over thin fleece gloves. Nice thick pastic bags over my toes inside light hiking shoes, wool socks. Ordinary winter tights for the legs, but on the coldest days I put baggy mtn. bike shorts over those. A balaclava thing for the neck, face, ears. Gore tex works well but isnít truly needed, I find. Great if you see some at a thrift store.

If you pedal at a snappy rhythm in easy gears, you create less wind and go slower, but stay toasty warm from the effort. Most days I start unzipping layers if the wind goes down, and if I stop I stay warm quite a while. Your body is a furnace! Just donít let the heat out.

Wind is enemy #1, but low visibility is #2. You don't see as well if you have stuff around your face. Drivers have foggy windshields, are messing with their heaters, and of course phones. And it's dark for longer. Be twice as alert!

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12679
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2018, 11:25:56 AM »
No snow where I live and I even avoid biking in the rain, but GuitarStv has posted about his year round bike maintenance in Canada:

I ride in a temperate climate . . . not too much rain during the summer, constant snow and salt during the winter.  In summer I do the following about once a week (150 - 200km):
- Wipe the chain, cassette, and chainrings clean with a rag
- Apply some light liquid bike lube (prolink pro gold is what I'm currently using)
- Wipe off excess lube from the chain before the next time I go riding
In the winter I do the same, but every 80 km (two short rides or one long one).  I use a heavy, sticky lube in the winter (White Lightning Wet Ride).

In addition to the above, I'll use a chain cleaner with some degreaser or take the chain off completely and soak overnight in degreaser every 2-3 months.  Then you dry it out and relube.



As far as bike cleaning goes:

Again, the conditions will dictate the cleaning necessary.  Riding in snow isn't too terrible for your bike.  Especially cold, clean, fluffly snow.  Riding on slushy, gritty, salty roads is really hard on components though - and that's what roads around here are like from mid November to mid April.  My approach is to fill a large watering can with hot soapy water immediately after I come home from a wet/slushy ride.  I pour some water over the chain, the cassette, and the chainrings, then over the rest of the frame.  Then bounce the bike a couple times to get most of the water off before it freezes.  I'll use a rag to quickly clean off surface much from the cassette and chainrings, and to dry the chain out.  Then I apply lube to the chain, brake pivots, and occasionally the derailleur pivots.  The whole procedure takes maybe 5 - 10 minutes once you know what you're doing.

^ This knocks the worst of the salt off everything and helps prevent corrosion.

BEFORE the winter happens I do some bike related winterproofing:
- Remove brakes and grease pivots with waterproof grease
- Check wheel bearings and re-grease with waterproof grease
- Remove any bolts into the bike frame and then grease with waterproof grease (all those bolts holding on your fenders and rack)
- Add fenders to the bike (keeps a lot of shit off your drivetrain)
- Take headset off and grease it with waterproof grease
- Grease cables with a light lube (prevents water from getting in the cable housings and playing hell with your shifting/braking when it freezes)

AFTER the winter I'll do the following:
- Measure chain for stretch and replace if necessary
- Replace cassette every two or three chains
- Replace cables every year (cable housings every two years)

Two slight addendums to the above that I've been doing to improve the process:

- At the start of your cleaning routine blast the chain with some WD-40 (I know, I know . . . but you're just using it to degrease.  You'll be wiping it off, and re-applying lube).
- At the end of your cleaning routine, spray a little silicone based water repellent stuff (http://www.jigaloo.ca/) on your derailleurs (use a bit of cardboard to keep it off your rims).

dabighen

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2018, 08:25:17 PM »
In winter I fimd that the main enemy is wind. Where I live it gets really cold, so I only bike when itís above -15 celsius. Even then, pedalling keeps me warm with just a thin wool or polypro undershirt, a thick fleece jacket, and a REALLY windproof shell. Windproof mitts over thin fleece gloves. Nice thick pastic bags over my toes inside light hiking shoes, wool socks. Ordinary winter tights for the legs, but on the coldest days I put baggy mtn. bike shorts over those. A balaclava thing for the neck, face, ears. Gore tex works well but isnít truly needed, I find. Great if you see some at a thrift store.

If you pedal at a snappy rhythm in easy gears, you create less wind and go slower, but stay toasty warm from the effort. Most days I start unzipping layers if the wind goes down, and if I stop I stay warm quite a while. Your body is a furnace! Just donít let the heat out.

Wind is enemy #1, but low visibility is #2. You don't see as well if you have stuff around your face. Drivers have foggy windshields, are messing with their heaters, and of course phones. And it's dark for longer. Be twice as alert!

I agree with you whole heartedly on the wind!  First few times i rode without eyepro and eyes dried pretty bad.  Cheap safety glasses did the trick.

m8547

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 311
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2018, 09:09:24 PM »
Studded tires are definitely worth it if there's any chance of ice. If your front wheel hits ice you're almost guaranteed to fall. Around here they don't salt the bike paths, and snow will often melt in the day and refreeze overnight.

If you want to save money, just get a studded tire for the front. A rear wheel slide is controllable if you have good bike handling skills, but a front wheel slide is not.

If you watch Amazon, studded tires seem to go on sale late in the summer when they are selling the least. I've gotten a few for less than $30, I think. There are some tires with two rows of studs and some with four. Two rows is a huge improvement over no studs, but four rows is only a slight improvement over two.

A mountain bike tire works fine for the rear if you don't opt for studs on the rear.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12679
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2018, 02:55:07 PM »
I don't ride on bike paths very often, but would never even attempt it around here in the winter as they're not maintained.  Even the bike lanes on the road are not plowed or salted all winter long (actually, snow plows seem to use them to store extra snow from the road).  :P

svosavvy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Western NY
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2018, 05:50:02 AM »
I picked up a set of Schwalbe "marathon winter plus" studded tires for my commute.  11.5 miles each way x5 days a week on my ebike. izip E3 dash on rural roads western NY.  I love them! I did see them on sale during summer then promptly waited until fall for the price to go up, darn.  The roads are plowed well here but you still encounter lots and lots of ice.  I was mad at myself for paying full price, but, they have kept me in the game instead of taking my car. Still a bargain in the long run. I don't mind paying up for high quality footwear either.  I tried just commuting with a cheap "all season" type tire and it did not work out very well.  I had a minor mishap on some ice once and it was the classic front tire slip.  It is amazing how fast it happens, I was on my a$$ before I knew what even happened.  Paid 75 a tire but if they keep me from hurting myself even once they will be well worth it.  Happy riding out there everybody.

BikeFanatic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 208
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2018, 08:19:46 PM »
Quote
Paid 75 a tire but if they keep me from hurting myself even once they will be well worth it.  Happy riding out there everybody.

+1

kenmoremmm

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2018, 09:29:29 PM »
Quote
Paid 75 a tire but if they keep me from hurting myself even once they will be well worth it.  Happy riding out there everybody.

+1
i had purchased studded tires years ago for seattle winter commutes after an icy night or two. found that i never used them because i didn't want to keep them on all the time for the 95% of time that roads were fine. and, i found my tolerance to bike in icy conditions dropped a lot after a broken hip from biking (not my fault). just not worth the risk. i already do 5k miles a year for my bike commute. a few days off to be safe is NBD.

Brother Esau

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 404
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2018, 05:24:13 AM »
Quote
Paid 75 a tire but if they keep me from hurting myself even once they will be well worth it.  Happy riding out there everybody.

+1
i had purchased studded tires years ago for seattle winter commutes after an icy night or two. found that i never used them because i didn't want to keep them on all the time for the 95% of time that roads were fine. and, i found my tolerance to bike in icy conditions dropped a lot after a broken hip from biking (not my fault). just not worth the risk. i already do 5k miles a year for my bike commute. a few days off to be safe is NBD.

I had a similar experience. Bought studded mtb tires and found that I lost the motivation to put them on the bike for the 2 or 3 rides each year when conditions warrant them.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12679
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2018, 07:03:39 AM »
Quote
Paid 75 a tire but if they keep me from hurting myself even once they will be well worth it.  Happy riding out there everybody.

+1
i had purchased studded tires years ago for seattle winter commutes after an icy night or two. found that i never used them because i didn't want to keep them on all the time for the 95% of time that roads were fine. and, i found my tolerance to bike in icy conditions dropped a lot after a broken hip from biking (not my fault). just not worth the risk. i already do 5k miles a year for my bike commute. a few days off to be safe is NBD.

I had a similar experience. Bought studded mtb tires and found that I lost the motivation to put them on the bike for the 2 or 3 rides each year when conditions warrant them.

If roads are often icy when you cycle, I think that studded tires are a good idea.  Here in Toronto though, we very aggressively salt the roads.  There is maybe one day a year where we have freezing rain where I'd need them.  Other than that, the streets are fine for regular tires (if you wanted to ride on bike paths or sidewalks you might need them - they get no winter maintenance).

svosavvy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Western NY
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2018, 05:45:57 PM »
I put them on and just ride with them until it gets nice here again.  The extra effort required is quite noticeable.  Most of the time like 90%+ the roads are good.  Sometimes I encounter a road/street/driveway that wasn't treated as well as it should have and I have the confidence to take it on.  Black ice here is a big deal too.  I can be cruising 20+mph on a clear road and encounter a freeze patch out of nowhere.  Also, the commute can be nice at 6am and come 3-4pm it is on the naughty list.  I wish I was a little closer to my work than 11.5 miles away, but, I found my piece of land I really wanted.  I'm probably lucky I have a job that close.  It is pretty rural out here.

ACyclist

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2018, 08:34:50 AM »
Last week, I fell on the ice and crashed.  Shifted my weight a little too much, over corrected and BAM! Concrete. Should have been riding my studded bike.

These things happen.

wbarnett

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
  • Location: Denver, CO, USA
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2018, 10:56:55 AM »
I'm in Denver, and bike 4 miles to the bus 80% of the time and the whole way (12 miles) 20% of the time. Anyone have recommendations for a good face mask? I often ride with clear glasses, and the balaclavas I own tend to fog up my glasses.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2072
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2018, 08:54:05 AM »
I'm in Denver, and bike 4 miles to the bus 80% of the time and the whole way (12 miles) 20% of the time. Anyone have recommendations for a good face mask? I often ride with clear glasses, and the balaclavas I own tend to fog up my glasses.
My brother uses a ski mask for cycling in winter.

dabighen

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2018, 02:14:40 PM »
I use a balaclava. And swim goggles.  No fog because the sides arent exposed on the goggles.

kenmoremmm

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2018, 11:05:34 PM »
i have bike commuted now for about 14 years, year round, seattle/bellevue area. 10 of those years were on city streets with lots of overhead light. after moving a few years ago, my streets got darker - at least overhead. but the car headlights got comparatively brighter.

during my first winter of commuting my current route, i really struggled to see the road on my nighttime descents (i have 3 hills that i hit 30-35mph on) because of rain on my glasses + headlights. i thought for sure that my winter bike commuting days were done.

then i came across this product: http://www.dabrim.com/html/products/cycling/rezzo.htm

it looks stupid as all get-out, but it definitely works. i no longer wear biking glasses while using this brim. on my 35 mph descents, the thing barely budges, even when glancing over my shoulders. i will get rain on my face from my mouth down, but that's about it. even with the heavy rains this winter, i have had zero issues.

definite game changer that might help someone here.

dogboyslim

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2019, 11:28:55 AM »
Most is already covered.  For snow, go skinny or go fat.  In between is terrible on the snow that I call biscuit dough, but you will learn balance pretty quick.  For ice, studded tires.  I run Nokian (or whatever the new name is) Mount and Ground 26x1.9s.  Its not quite fat enough to float, so I have to be careful in deep snow.  I use full fenders to keep most of the crud off the bike.  For drivetrain I use wet-lube and lube the chain every night.  When it becomes a wet nasty mess, I use WD-40 to clean it off, then relube.

For weather I use bar-mitts and ski-gloves.  Helps keep the hands warm.  I also have Lake cycling boots, but they are only good down to 0F or so.  Balaclava and ski goggles with a ski-helmet when temps are below 5F, Balaclava and a bike helmet and cycling glasses 5F to about 40F.  For other clothing I wear an UA cold gear base layer for legs/torso that I wear over cycling shorts.  I then have a pair of wind-proof pants (that are anything but wind-proof, but still help) and a Showers Pass jacket.

I'm generally pretty comfy for my 6 mile ride.

For lights I use a hub generator, super-nova dyno-driven headlight and a german taillight from a company I don't remember.  I use a cygolite 550 on my helmet to put light where I'm looking.

I put everything in an ortlieb dry-bag on the rear rack of my Surly Disc Trucker.  This has worked for me for 8 years in the upper midwest.

For when to ride, I generally won't ride the day of a snowfall, but I'll ride the next day after the roads are plowed.  I take the lane more, because the space for bikes is limited due to snow in the bike lanes, and most people seem fine with it.  I have a route that is mostly off the busy roads however.

Its not as bad as people think, and is actually pretty fun.  Enjoy the winter rides!

Vapour

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2019, 09:37:42 PM »
I got a mountain bike with studded tires so that I could keep biking this winter.  I've been bike commuting to work (~5 miles each way) for about 6 years now, but I always stopped riding after the first major snowfall since the roads aren't great after that unless it warms up a bunch.  And it generally gets pretty damn cold where I am and it's dark in the morning and biking just didn't feel safe.  Yeah, I've just been making excuses! 

This year, I just really didn't want to stop riding so I decided to try out this whole winter biking thing.  So far, it's been awesome.  I bought a 29er mountain bike with disc brakes from Nashbar.  They had a good deal going on in November and I can get 50% of it reimbursed through work.  I got some Nokian/Suomi Gazza Extreme tires on closeout.  They're 2.1" knobby tires and have 294 studs (supposedly...haven't actually counted them all).  The studs have worked great on the ice.  I feel much more confident with them so they've definitely been worth it for me.  I'm just keeping the studded tires on all winter.  Sure, it's slower on the clear pavement.  But you never know when you might hit a patch of ice and it's not worth swapping tires out all the time for me.

It's been a pretty mild winter so far where I am.  Snowfalls have only been an inch or two at a time.  We did get some snow, then rain, then cold temps which led to some pretty icy areas.  Like I said, the ice hasn't been a problem.  I have struggled in the snow though, even though we haven't had much yet.  I'm guessing anything more than a couple inches and I'll have to drive.  The temps haven't gotten very low yet either so I'm not sure how low I'll be able to handle.  My problem will probably be keeping my feet warm.  On the days I've ridden so far, that's really the only part of me that's a little cold.

I'm definitely glad I decided to keep biking this winter.  It's been great so far and definitely makes me feel badass to be biking in cold weather with snow all around. I should also be in better shape for riding my hybrid bike in the spring.  It should feel a lot easier compared to wide knobby tires with studs in the snow!

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12679
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2019, 10:19:35 AM »
I'm in Denver, and bike 4 miles to the bus 80% of the time and the whole way (12 miles) 20% of the time. Anyone have recommendations for a good face mask? I often ride with clear glasses, and the balaclavas I own tend to fog up my glasses.

I use a neoprene half face mask that I use (with a toque) when it gets very cold.  It can be tightened around the head so it forms a really good seal at the cheeks, preventing warm/wet breath from blasting your glasses.  It has a bunch of holes punched in the front for breathing that seems to let air through better.  (It also doesn't get completely covered with water/ice and end up waterboarding me on longer cold weather rides like a balaclava does.)

BobbyTables

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2019, 06:43:09 AM »
Today was super slippery, full of wet slush everywhere (Toronto area). I had to walk half of the way unfortunately. Luckily it was not very cold. Maybe for next winter I will invest in a spare front wheel with studded tire that I can swap in for these kind of days.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12679
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2019, 10:30:41 AM »
Today was super slippery, full of wet slush everywhere (Toronto area). I had to walk half of the way unfortunately. Luckily it was not very cold. Maybe for next winter I will invest in a spare front wheel with studded tire that I can swap in for these kind of days.

Much more slippery than I was anticipating.  If I'd known it was that icy and that they didn't salt last night I wouldn't have biked in to work.  I managed to wipe out on some glare ice while stopped and waiting at a light.  :P  Here's hoping those salt trucks get out and get some of the ice melted for the ride home.

svosavvy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Western NY
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2019, 03:23:55 PM »
Still using the studded snows (schwalbe marathon winter plus 700c x 40) on front and back.  Bike commuting in western ny (think Buffalo lake Erie snowbelt) 3200 miles so far this rolling year (feb2018-jan 24 2019) with my ebike.  I had an incident where I dumped the bike 2 weeks ago.  There is a road I travel and it has a hill I take at speed.  Anyway, the evening before I noted the road to be in fine shape.  The next morning as I was descending on my downhill stretch I noted at the last minute basically the ground had opened up and swallowed the road in less than 12 hours time revealing a humungous pothole, an epic sink hole type crater if you must.  I hit the said hole at speed, I bobbed and weaved while trying to slow the bike.  Eventually I got my speed down from about 35 mph to about 15-20 mph while weaving side to side.  I felt myself so out of control I bailed tucked and rolled.  Full of adrenaline I jumped back on my bike and hotfooted it to work.  This happened at 6:40 am in the pitch black.  By 8 am I was well into my workday and really sore.  I excused myself to the bathroom and noticed a really nice fat purple bruise on my left hip, a red mark on my left knee, and a general soreness to my left thumb.  All in all I felt fortunate nothing was broken and pushed on.  The back wheel has a slight hop from the incident but is still tolerable.  Eventually I will need to get it trued.  Still listening to "a gentlemen in Moscow" by Amor Towles on my audio book account free from my library app "libby" and loving every minute.  A small price to pay for being "bad ass".  My coworkers still laugh at me and find me a daily curiosity riding my bike in "this weather."  My neighbors still think I must have gotten a DWI and my coworkers constantly offer me rides as a form of pity for someone so down on his luck he must ride his bike to work.  I constantly reassure folks this is my freedom machine as it allows me to listen to books and have a thought to myself between work duties and family duties after work.  Good luck out there everyone.  Apart from the incidents, things have been great on the constant ice during this mercurial weather.  Mercurial being -20F windchill then 40F and raining all inside 24hrs during this january 2019.   

Brother Esau

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 404
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2019, 05:49:25 AM »
Saw some critters on our ride last night.

cl_noll

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Madtown, WI
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2019, 07:39:36 AM »
I bike commute year-round in Wisconsin.  My commute is only 2.7 miles each way, so not too extreme. Overall, keeping my core warm is not hard at all with a basic winter jacket. I'm usually too warm at the end of my commute, so I need to vent or slow my speed down.  It's the head, hands and feet that need the most attention.

My Most helpful winter biking apparel items
Wind & waterproof helmet cover.  They are cheap and shockingly effective at creating dead air space over your head.

Ski Goggles. You feel like you are in a climate-controlled cabin with them on. I bought a name brand pair on clearance for $30 and they have a good anti-fog coating. Other people complain about goggles fogging up, so it may be worth not totally cheaping out on them. 

Thin merino wool beanie/ skull cap.  This provides just the right amount of warmth on my noggin when combined with the helmet cover, with out being TOO warm or messing up the fit of my helmet.

Merino Wool Buff. I wear it halfway around my head, partly overlapping with my beanie, folded over my face, and down my neck This keeps my neck and head perfectly warm

My waterproof hiking boots + ski socks have kept my feet warm in all but the coldest temps.  I will bust out my Steeger mukluks if it gets in the low single digits.

While mittens or poagies (bar mitts) would be ideal, I just use good leather OR gloves. Not the cheapest, but worth it. Buy them in spring when they go on clearance.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 07:42:03 AM by cl_noll »

katscratch

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1230
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2019, 07:51:09 AM »
I hope you weren't biking today :O

My commute's about an hour, though, so I wasn't confident I could keep my feet and bum warm enough.

cl_noll

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Madtown, WI
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2019, 10:51:54 PM »
I hope you weren't biking today :O

My commute's about an hour, though, so I wasn't confident I could keep my feet and bum warm enough.

Pfffft! I biked today. 

-17 F actual temp when I left, but also little wind and sunny. Quite beautiful, actually.

I had no exposed skin besides the tip of my nose and I was not cold at all!

hainesjd

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2019, 07:02:43 AM »
I bike all winter in Northern Colorado. Granted, we don't have as many issues with salt as some places, but I don't clean my bike or lube my chain until we're relatively "in the clear" - April or so. I have a fixie from Critical Cycles that still looks great after two winters. Perhaps the single gear means less chainwear? I'm no expert.

wbarnett

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
  • Location: Denver, CO, USA
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2019, 09:05:37 AM »
I bike all winter in Northern Colorado. Granted, we don't have as many issues with salt as some places, but I don't clean my bike or lube my chain until we're relatively "in the clear" - April or so. I have a fixie from Critical Cycles that still looks great after two winters. Perhaps the single gear means less chainwear? I'm no expert.

I rode a fixed gear to commute for a decade in the Rockies, including in the winter. Do you have a 1/2" chain? Lots of fixies use larger chains to accommodate the force of back-pedaling. The lack of derailleurs make it very easy to maintain, too. I need to get another one...

katscratch

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1230
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2019, 09:42:13 AM »
I shortened my biking to 2 miles to the train station this week. -25F air temp is doable for me, but -57F wind wasn't working for my feet even with loose boots, double sock layers and hand warmers inside :/ Quite frustrating, because it's otherwise so much warmer to be biking than standing on a train platform!!

I should move to Wisconsin ;)

hainesjd

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2019, 01:02:44 PM »
I bike all winter in Northern Colorado. Granted, we don't have as many issues with salt as some places, but I don't clean my bike or lube my chain until we're relatively "in the clear" - April or so. I have a fixie from Critical Cycles that still looks great after two winters. Perhaps the single gear means less chainwear? I'm no expert.

I rode a fixed gear to commute for a decade in the Rockies, including in the winter. Do you have a 1/2" chain? Lots of fixies use larger chains to accommodate the force of back-pedaling. The lack of derailleurs make it very easy to maintain, too. I need to get another one...

I don't have a larger chain, because I have a reversible back wheel. I don't use the true "fixie" direction, instead opting for the direction in which you can coast without the pedals moving - less force on the chain. I have front and rear caliper brakes, so those and lights are really the only parts I will have to maintain. My headlight and taillight have rechargeable AA batteries. I still haven't needed to replace the brake pads after >1500 miles. We specifically chose our apartment to be located a mile from my workplace so I could bike and go home for lunch. It's all bike lanes and only one stoplight on the way, so hardly any braking needed.

HenryDavid

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 414
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2019, 09:36:33 AM »
Today is International Winter Bike to Work Day.
See how many registered for this in various cities:
 https://winterbiketoworkday.org

Denver was #1 last time I looked. Heading out here in Calgary where itís -20 celsius. Layers!

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12679
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2019, 11:18:00 AM »
I biked to work.

40 - 60 kph winds.  HEADWINDS this morning.  I'm hoping for a nice ride back home though.

If there is a God, the wind direction won't change.

Boofinator

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 624
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2019, 11:45:56 AM »

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2072
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2019, 05:09:34 PM »
Today is International Winter Bike to Work Day.
See how many registered for this in various cities:
 https://winterbiketoworkday.org

Denver was #1 last time I looked. Heading out here in Calgary where itís -20 celsius. Layers!
I wimped out with rain in the forecast (looks like it's not going to start before I would have gotten home). So far less than half my commutes have been by bike in 2019, but I'm confident that that will not be the case by the end of March.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12679
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #44 on: February 08, 2019, 06:58:22 PM »
THERE IS A GOD!

Le Poisson

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11404
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2019, 08:46:39 AM »
I live about an hour east of @GuitarStv and swear by my studded tires - funny how different things are between two riders in essentially the same conditions. Also Steve is way more hardcore than I am - I allow myself 2 "Cheat days" each week, and only ride 3X weekly.

I try to use paths and parks as much as I can, and teh studs make all teh difference. In my first winter biking to work, I fell and broke my wrist. that was enough of a warning to me that my level of stupid (I like to have fun while riding) was going to need extra support. I love the studs.

Eye protection is another animal though. This year I got goggles and I find that my glasses are fogging inside them. I need to start packing the glasses and see if things improve. With a balaclava, snowboard helmet (I know its not DOT Approved), goggles and a face mask or "Gentleman's scarf I am mostly good to go for face/eyes. Without the goggles, I am decidedly uncomfortable. I feel like the gentleman racer in the 1920's motorcar cartoons though. Call me Mr. Toad. It's a wild ride.


GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12679
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2019, 08:54:27 AM »
I don't have any bike lanes or paths on the route to work, it's all on-road.  Roads get cleared much faster than paths after snowfall, and get more salt to prevent ice.  No way could I ride to work on bike lanes in the winter using the tires I use.  Also, I'm weenying out and working from home today rather than bike in during the promised snowpocalypse.  :P

Le Poisson

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11404
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2019, 09:28:04 AM »
I don't have any bike lanes or paths on the route to work, it's all on-road.  Roads get cleared much faster than paths after snowfall, and get more salt to prevent ice.  No way could I ride to work on bike lanes in the winter using the tires I use.  Also, I'm weenying out and working from home today rather than bike in during the promised snowpocalypse.  :P


Me too. About to hop a bus for the PM though. This will be my second time riding Durham Transit. Wish me luck. According to their website, my 10 minute bike ride takes 45 minutes by bus, or 30 minutes walking.  :RollsEyes:

katscratch

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1230
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2019, 01:17:13 PM »
I rode yesterday and it was quite scary - there's still a layer of ice on the roadways with fresh snow and all the bike approved routes not yet plowed (which is unusual). I was glad I was riding at noon and not my commute times because at least I didn't have much car traffic around - I didn't realize how slick it was because my tires were gripping great.

More snow overnight and I most definitely took transit to work today.

wbarnett

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
  • Location: Denver, CO, USA
Re: Winter biking
« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2019, 08:43:48 PM »
Today is International Winter Bike to Work Day.
See how many registered for this in various cities:
 https://winterbiketoworkday.org

Denver was #1 last time I looked. Heading out here in Calgary where itís -20 celsius. Layers!

I rode that day in Denver. Biked an extra 2 miles in 3 degrees F to get a breakfast burrito at one of the Bike to Work Day stations!