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Do you ride your bike in winter?

Winter Biking Guide

1085 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  MilesR
Hey guys!

So, How's commuting this winter?

I have seen all over the internet and couple times in this forum that people do not know how to safely ride a bike in winter or are too scared to do so because they think it is too dangerous.

Well, yes, it is more dangerous to ride a bicycle in winter, not only because of the snow and ice on the roads but because it gets darker a lot faster in winter than in summer.

70% of all biking accidents happen when it is dark outside because a lot of us do not use any reflectors on our bikes and not even a reflecting clothing. And most of the work ends after 5 PM when it is already dark outside.

But that does not mean that you cannot ride to work or school or anywhere else in winter with your bike.

So I did some research on Google for those who cannot do it themselves. And there was an active discussion in one of the posts about winter biking. Found a lot of winter biking guides and a lot of posts with different tips.

I will add a link to this one and hope no one kills me for it- Basics Of Winter Biking

This will make things clear for all of the newbies and maybe even it will be useful for some experienced cyclists.
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While the OP article generally offers good advice, I noticed that the author specifically calls for the use of rim brakes in winter, claiming they are the most effective. That has definitely NOT been my experience. My bike came with rim brakes, but the frame and wheels were also set up to accept discs.

After my first winter of riding on rim brakes, I swapped to discs and have never looked back. The difference is like night and day, only more so. My rim brakes did alright in warm, wet conditions, but progressively lost most braking force when wet and cold. They also trapped snow and ice against the wheel, helping to spread the moisture around and impede their physical movement when actuated.

Discs can make nasty noises when they're wet, but they retain most of their dry braking force. If it means getting to stop, I'll take some squealing when the brakes are wet. It's also worth mentioning that the trick of wrapping your wheels in zip ties for additional traction will not work with rim brakes unless you're prepared to stop by dragging your feet Fintstones style.

I have also not experienced the issues referenced in the article regarding shifters freezing up. That may be because I switch to a low temperature wet lube in winter. It's definitely not for lack of trying: until this year, I've been out playing in the snow on my studded tires every winter since 2012. In that time, I've ridden miles through snow as deep as 4-5". Deep enough that my toes left little pock marks in the snow to either side of my line with every revolution of the crank.

My favorite is probably snow in the 2-3" range. I've ridden quite a few miles through that at various times, with plenty of hours spent spinning in sub-freezing temps. Lubrication and a bit of cleaning can go a long way. Thanks to the cables being routed beneath the BB, I have to be sure to catch the contact areas with lube or my shifters get balky. Same thing happens with extended summer rides through rain and/or mud.
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This is a very good opinion. Thank you for that! :)
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My favorite is snow on TV, in Movies and in Photos!
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