riding in the snow
i am not a beginner but i never mtbed in the snow i was wondering if any of you have any riding in the snow tip for my and those beginners out there
WHOA that's not the trail
I've found it much easier to ride a 29er in the snow than a 26er, unless you're small and light.
On a regular mtb, 3-4 inches is about the limit. Get tires with big, open tread so they dont pack up with snow... Then you'll have zero traction.
Don't make any sudden stops or changes in direction. The key to snow riding is smooth.
It's actually one of my favorite things to do. When the snow is right, it offers good traction. Night rides in snow are awesome.
Just do it. It's awesome. Wear water proof footwear.
For me, it's a cross between riding mud and riding sand. A lot of the time. It has some unique behaviors too.
"Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx
It can be great fun, as stated, or a real pain if the snow is wrong. A crusty snow can force you to pedal downhill as well as uphill!
All snow is not created equal, or all trails through snow.
If you have too much of the wrong kind of snow, it can be just about impossible to ride. Trails packed by lots of people walking their dogs can be easier than the same trails without snow... and a thaw and freeze later the same trail can be so hard that you need studded tires to ride them.
"it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"
Yes! IMO, frozen water (slush, snow, ice) can present a greater range of riding conditions that can dirt (hard, loamy, mud...) I was just out riding in some light snow today. The trickiest part was that it had snowed previously, thawed, and froze again. The areas where people had walked and compressed the old snow was now ice camouflaged under the new light snow. Other areas had several inches of really crusty snow. And some parts were totally devoid of any snow or ice. A few days ago I was just getting to the bottom of a little hill when some runners heading the opposite direction came around a corner and occupied the only relatively clear rut. I was force over, hit some ice and was down in an instant.
Riding in the snow is a lot of fun. Big tires, low pressure, open tread are the best so the tires don't pack up with it. Ice creates a need for studs, but otherwise studded tires are unnecessary. Frozen dirt offers gobs of traction (absence of snow). Deep snow makes it tough to ride. How deep depends on the snow. If it's wet, heavy snow, it doesn't take more than a few inches. If it's fluffy, it'll take more but how much depends on you and your skills and the trails you're riding.
Keeping your feet and hands warm, IMO, is the toughest. Whatever you do, don't pack thick socks into your summer shoes to the point that your feet are constricted. It reduces blood flow and they get colder. Putting your foot inside a plastic grocery bag with summer socks works better than squeezing thick socks into a shoe where they don't fit. I prefer to use platform pedals and wear shoes that can accommodate thicker socks. Either a hiking shoe or a boot. Winter cycling shoes are an option, but they are expensive, and I don't like when the cleat packs up with ice because I had to dab or hike-a-bike (more frequent occurrence in the snow than during the summer).
For gloves, I usually wear gore tex ski gloves over my padded cycling gloves. my ski gloves have a seam in a bad spot on the palm, so the padding is necessary to avoid blisters.
Elsewhere, I prefer to wear multiple thin layers than a single thicker one. Adjusting layers during the ride becomes a little easier if I overheat.
To avoid or minimize overheating, you actually WANT to be cold when you start. That way, when you warm up from riding, you will be comfortable. I tend to wear more layers around my core. My torso, and also I wear regular bike shorts and knee warmers underneath long underwear for the extra warmth in those vital areas (keeping my knees warmer keeps me flexible. cold knees are stiff).
Great tips above!
And x2 on multiple layers. I haven't ridden in the snow yet, but have done a few road rides so far in 25 degree weather. I usually wear 3 layers, none of which are really warm by themselves but together they work well, covered with a windbreaker. I start off cool, but warm up quickly.
I find that under armor type workout clothing does a good job here. I buy the generic brands, much less $$ and works just as well.
I also do bike shorts under long johns covered by cycling pants. No problems there.
My feet are my biggest problem, I've already made the mistake of cramming 2 pairs of socks into a regular cycling shoe. I'm going to try the plastic bag trick, although I plan on buying neoprene booties quite soon.
'13 Salsa Horsethief 2
'12 Trek 6000
'11 Ridley X-Ride
Best help for cold feet are those disposable chemical heat packs. I swear by those things; warm toes make all the difference in the world. Footbeds cut from emergency blanket material don't hurt, nor do baggies, though you can end up with some pretty significant wetness from sweating.
Other than that, as mentioned above, put on your fattest tires, lower the pressure a bit, grab your sense of humor and head out. Snow can be a lot of fun to ride in, and even just to take your bike for a walk in. Conditions and a good 'tude are everything.
Sunday River Mtn Bike Park
Wachusett Brewing Co.
I will be getting my bike in a few weeks can't wait to ride some fresh powdery snow here in Columbus. No one has mentioned head/face gear yet. I'm going to have to go with a FULL face mask lol
I hate doing aerobic sports with my mouth and nose covered!
Though I do love my cycling cap that has ear flaps...
"Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx
First time out make sure you are in a place that is safe to fall.....
Ie not a skating rink...not a busy street....
A grassy field covered in light snow with perhaps a small grade or hill.
Check out playgrounds school yards..
Small hills are obvious fun targets.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8007861@N04/11807507386/" title="Snowpocalypse Ride 2014 by mtbikernate, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2871/11807507386_59ae5e4858.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="Snowpocalypse Ride 2014"></a>
Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
This ride was right at about 30F. I was actually a little overdressed and a bit on the warm/sweaty side. It didn't matter too much because the snow was super wet, too, and wetted out my gear pretty quickly. I would have been warm and wet pretty much however I did it. Unless it's blisteringly cold like today, (-14F for low, -11F for a high, with windchills between -36F to -41F) I also hate my mouth and nose covered.
I just knocked out a snow ride yesterday and it was awesome. It was my first time in snow and rode my '09 5-spot about 8 miles. As for layers I wore my standard summer glove, a single tech baselayer, shoftshell jacket, and PI tights. It was like riding in soft sand most of the time and I drifted the front wheel a lot. Overall though, it was ridiculously fun, and the hardest 8 miles I've ridden so far. It was roughly 30F outside, so not warm, but not too cold.
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