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Winter Riding Hazards

This topic contains 275 replies, has 62 voices, and was last updated by  Mick 7 mos, 4 weeks.

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stefb

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Jan 27 2014 at 11:19am #

I only saw other fat bike tires at 530am today. I tried to warn people on fb that if they attempted it on skinny tires, they may have a bad time.


jonawebb

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Jan 27 2014 at 11:31am #

On the way home yesterday from the Waterfront the bridge sidewalk was impassable even with my snow tires. A fat bike would have been a good idea. I ended up taking the road, which was a scary mess.


byogman

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Jan 27 2014 at 11:59am #

stefb wrote:I only saw other fat bike tires at 530am today. I tried to warn people on fb that if they attempted it on skinny tires, they may have a bad time.

I rode in late on the EFT with, well, not skinny tires, but not at all knobby ones either. Slow going, sure. But I had a fun enough time anyway. Your expectations just have to be in the right place and you have to derive enough enjoyment from the fact that most people think you’re crazy.


meaculpa

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Jan 27 2014 at 2:26pm #

This winter has provided some novel experiences: some were old lessons that needed to be re-learned & there is always the new equipment/winter conditions experimenting.

1. Its a testimony to how mild the last 4 or so winters have been that this time I’ve not been tempted to swap my studded tires for anything less slow & heavy.

2. Saturday’s additional snowfall prevented my normal commute home up through Schenely Park, I could barely move an inch forward for every foot of sideways slippage. That hasn’t happened before. Had to hike the bike up the steps to the road and so go through the golf course.

3. If you’re gonna ride with rim brakes in these conditions, having cartridge pads that can slide out and be scrubbed clean and reinserted all within 15 min, well thats been really helpful (this means not inserting the cotter pin, but the pin seems to be superfluous anyway).


meaculpa

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Jan 27 2014 at 2:32pm #

jonawebb wrote:On the way home yesterday from the Waterfront the bridge sidewalk was impassable even with my snow tires. A fat bike would have been a good idea.

Seeing as these bikes are $1100 and up, I can only hope that someone, someday will rent theirs out so I can try one…in the snow of course.


Benzo

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Jan 27 2014 at 2:38pm #

meaculpa wrote:Seeing as these bikes are $1100 and up, I can only hope that someone, someday will rent theirs out so I can try one…in the snow of course.

I’m not going to recommend this one, but you can get them for $700ish if you look hard enough and can figure out the assembly.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fat-bikes/fantom-fat-bikes_fb4comp_xiv.htm


JaySherman5000

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Jan 27 2014 at 5:13pm #

meaculpa wrote:
3. If you’re gonna ride with rim brakes in these conditions, having cartridge pads that can slide out and be scrubbed clean and reinserted all within 15 min

With a multi-tool (or allen wrench), this can be done to brake pads with threaded posts in 15 min, easy. You can also accomplish this by undoing the quick release on V-brakes or cantilever brakes and not have to remove anything. just sayin.


Marko82

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Jan 27 2014 at 5:14pm #

Even cheaper…

http://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Mongoose-Beast-Men-s-Oversized-All-Terrain-Bike/22861845

of course you get what you pay for, but if all you want to do is commute in the snow… you could buy a new one every year.


Ahlir

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Jan 27 2014 at 7:04pm #

Hey, the streets are just fine.

Yes, it’s frackin’ cold (though for some reason only on downhill).
Yes, there’s all this frozen snow clogging up the streets.

But consider this:

a) A bike tire slices right through the goop, and unless you’re careless and end up on ice it’s not all that much different from rain. My 32mm city slicks work great (until I get on a trail).

b) Car drivers are eerily nice. But maybe they’re just following behind hoping to see you slip and die in some horrible satisfying way.

c) Disc brakes work just as well as under any other conditions. I haven’t noticed any difference (well, true, I’m not hammering down the hills).

Some practical things:

I don’t do the bunny hop. But banging the bike up and down on the ground doesn’t seem to get all that much crud off the bike. Other than getting down (and yucky cold) what can you do? Assume that putting the bike in a warm space is not an option.

All this salt and street dreck is starting to bug me. What do you do? My thought is to go (on an above-freezing day) to a self-serve car wash that has hot/warm water and hose the bike down. Anybody do this? Is there such a thing as a Take-You-Bike-to-a-Car-Wash Day? (seeing as you could probably run n bikes through in the time allotted for a car)


paulheckbert

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Jan 27 2014 at 7:19pm #

The bike mechanic I asked recommended wiping the chain down with a damp cloth, to get the salt off, at the end of each ride.


jonawebb

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Jan 27 2014 at 7:22pm #

Ahlir wrote:My thought is to go (on an above-freezing day) to a self-serve car wash that has hot/warm water and hose the bike down. Anybody do this?

I do that all the time. There’s a car wash next to where I work that I use sometimes, or the one on Greenfield Ave. You can even clean the chain that way. Works great.
Between washes I just lubricate a lot, and try not to look at the buildup of ugly gunk.


Jacob McCrea

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Jan 27 2014 at 7:57pm #

It does work great, but be very careful with where you direct the high pressure water. Over in motocross world people use car washes and pressure washers to clean bikes all the time, but are cautious about aiming the high pressure spray at suspension linkages, seals, bearings, etc. On bicycles, the high pressure water can push itself, along with a good deal of dirt, right past the seals on your head set, pedals, bottom bracket, etc. and prematurely wear out those bearings. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea; just give some thought to where you are directing the high pressure spray.


J Z

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Jan 27 2014 at 9:08pm #

paulheckbert wrote:The bike mechanic I asked recommended wiping the chain down with a damp cloth, to get the salt off, at the end of each ride.

This, for sure.

EFT was swept by this evening, prior to my commute home. Impressive.

In light of tomorrow’s projected weather, anyone try these? I like the idea better than the chemical throwaway heaters.

https://www.1starmy.com/p-nordic-gear-sport-lectra-sox-battery-powered-80462


paulheckbert

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Jan 27 2014 at 10:24pm #

J Z wrote:
anyone try these? I like the idea better than the chemical throwaway heaters.

https://www.1starmy.com/p-nordic-gear-sport-lectra-sox-battery-powered-80462

On Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Gear-Battery-Heated-Lectra/dp/B003BRN9FM), a number of people are saying they don’t like these Lectra Sox: “I wore these socks with my boots while working outside and they hurt my feet horribly-the wire goes under your toes and after a few minutes it feels like you are walking on rocks or something. I was limping by the end of my work and my feet hurt for two days afterward. Aside from that, they barely even got warm!”

BTW, here’s some discussion of the chemicals in oxidation-based hand warmers. They don’t sound too nasty.

http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/questions/are-disposable-hand-warmers-toxic


Marko82

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Jan 27 2014 at 10:49pm #

@jz, those battery socks don’t seem to last very long because the heating wire is very thin and breaks easily. I had a pair for ice fishing and they only lasted a few trips. I’ve heard other guys with the same complaint.


Mikhail

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Jan 28 2014 at 8:43am #

Do it itself — http://forum.velomania.ru/showthread.php?t=68964&p=1039950&viewfull=1#post1039950 using side mirror heating elements. It’s in Russian but look at pictures. This is for cross country rides in snow for 50 miles and temperature -20C (current at the street here) is kind of on warm side. Recommendation is to get it on for about 10 minutes every hour.


J Z

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Jan 28 2014 at 9:40am #

@marko82 shoot, I was hoping.

I went with these this morning for feet, and a pair of the handwarmers slotted in my trigger finger gloves.

http://www.heatfactory.com/toe-warmer.html

Good enough, I suppose, but there has to be a better solution than the standard multi-layers of socks, plastic bag, booties combo.

I saw something online, remote controlled rechargeable insoles, but the cost/benefit is prohibitive.


J Z

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Jan 28 2014 at 9:44am #

@paulheckbert thanks for posting that link, didn’t realize there were “rechargable” handwarmers.

“Your best bet is to look into reusable hand warmers that function a bit differently from hand warmers of the disposable variety. Perhaps least expensive are reusable hand warmers that generate heat through the exothermic crystallization of a supersaturated solution. These types of hand warmers are triggered by a metal device within the packet and can be “recharged” when boiled in water.”


Benzo

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Jan 28 2014 at 11:17am #

FWIW, I did just order a pair of those military trigger finger gloves off ebay for $13 shipped. I’m willing to see how they work, and maybe I can use them as an extra shell over my other gloves.


Benzo

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Jan 28 2014 at 11:21am #

To clean my bike in the winter, since I don’t have a hose hooked up, I keep one of these hand pump lawn sprayers (about $30 or less at most hardware stores) by my door. You can rinse off your bike before you bring it inside. Then wipe it down and lube the chain indoors.


J Z

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Jan 28 2014 at 11:28am #

@Benzo Broadway Army/Navy downtown carries them for around US$20 and has wool glove liners, too, if anyone is in the market.


andyc

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Jan 28 2014 at 12:20pm #

On the original topic, Pocusset St is a mess.

Under the snow is a layer of bumpy ice to throw your tires about.

My skis can bust through that kind of stuff (known as “crud”) – bicycle, not so much.


Benzo

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Jan 28 2014 at 1:07pm #

@JZ – Thanks for the heads up, I’ve got some on the way, but I’ve been looking for an army/navy store that I don’t have to drive to.


JaySherman5000

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Jan 28 2014 at 1:22pm #

Mikhail wrote:Recommendation is to get it on for about 10 minutes every hour.

well that’s one way to keep warm…


Marko82

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Jan 28 2014 at 3:13pm #

A new take on an old idea:

“Strap-on Skis for Your Bicycle”


paulheckbert

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Jan 28 2014 at 11:06pm #

Milwaukee cop likes to bike if the wind chill is above -20F:

http://www.wcsh6.com/news/watercooler/article/268979/108/Wisconsin-cop-chooses-bicycle-over-squad-car-despite-the-frigid-weather


StuInMcCandless

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Jan 29 2014 at 3:07pm #

I haven’t tried this myself, but seems you could jigger together a big plastic sheet (like would wrap around a new mattress), a big super-soaker squirt gun, and a bunch of old towels or sheets. Instant car wash bay. A few well aimed squirts of warm soapy water, then sop it all up and throw the towels in the tub to drip dry.


chinston

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Jan 29 2014 at 5:35pm #

What are conditions like on the jail trail and junction hollow trails now?


J Z

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Jan 29 2014 at 8:00pm #

chinston wrote:What are conditions like on the jail trail and junction hollow trails now?

Fine. Couple of sections between the Parkway retaining wall and the *cough* jail have a little bit. Access ramp to Second going to Bates in bad shape. Don’t know past the Second Ave access ramp towards Hot Metal, but looks clear from what I can see. Don’t know re: Junction Hollow.


chinston

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Jan 29 2014 at 8:05pm #

Thanks.


Marko82

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Jan 29 2014 at 8:54pm #

Hey Stefb made the Sunday print edition of the Trib

http://photos.triblive.com/mycapture/enlarge.asp?image=50446202&event=1759729&CategoryID=61265


stefb

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Jan 30 2014 at 4:09am #

It is my happy derp face!!!


ericf

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Jan 30 2014 at 5:46am #

@stefb,
It is impossible not to have that face when you are on a fat bike! They are an absolute blast. What brand / model is yours?


Eric

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Jan 30 2014 at 10:10am #

I must be the only one that make a fat-bike frowny face.


Mick

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Jan 30 2014 at 12:35pm #

24 degrees outside!

It’s like springtime!!!


rainbow dog

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Jan 30 2014 at 3:52pm #

How is the North Shore Trail for a road bike right now? I haven’t ridden in the past couple of weeks. Just wondering if I should take the streets from the North Side to Bellevue or the trail.


stefb

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Jan 31 2014 at 5:26am #

You don’t like fat bikes, Eric?


cowchip

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Jan 31 2014 at 6:31am #

I would like To ride in the cold sun and ride a big FAT one some SNOWY DAY


gg

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Jan 31 2014 at 9:25am #

Other than the expense, what about fenders for the fat bike? I have to have fenders so I don’t get soaked and full of crud on the way to work. For the few snow days, I don’t think I will ever spend the money. Fun to ride though. Just rides right over big curbs or whatever.


edmonds59

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Jan 31 2014 at 9:35am #

Seems like a fat bike would work equally well among sand, palm trees, hammocks, and rummy drinks. Hmmm.

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