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  1. #1
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    What's Appealing About Riding in the Snow?

    as much as i try i just can't bring myself to get out and ride in the snow. first off it takes a good 30 minutes just to get dressed for it. then you go out, your traction sucks, you need to REALLY worry about corrosion from the damn salt, and you have no practical way of washing the bike down if it gets dirty from said salt. also, what happens when you bring the bike back inside caked with all the snow/salt? i would think chain lube would be worthless for protecting the drivetrain from wear or rust. all i can think about is little chunks of ice and snow getting jammed up in your f/r derailleurs or cogs.

    so to those who ride in the snow, how do you cope? do you find your drivetrain wears faster? how do you combat the salt corrosion or washing issues? how often do you lube the chain? does it even matter if you lube the chain?

    with all of these issues it makes me wonder why people do it. i just can't see myself exposing a $3-5 k bike to unneeded punishment like that.

  2. #2
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    What's Appealing About Riding in the Snow?

    The riding.
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  3. #3
    Compulsive Bike Builder
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    Same thing is true of dirt

    Quote Originally Posted by TrekFan
    as much as i try i just can't bring myself to get out and ride in the snow. first off it takes a good 30 minutes just to get dressed for it. then you go out, your traction sucks, you need to REALLY worry about corrosion from the damn salt, and you have no practical way of washing the bike down if it gets dirty from said salt. also, what happens when you bring the bike back inside caked with all the snow/salt? i would think chain lube would be worthless for protecting the drivetrain from wear or rust. all i can think about is little chunks of ice and snow getting jammed up in your f/r derailleurs or cogs.

    so to those who ride in the snow, how do you cope? do you find your drivetrain wears faster? how do you combat the salt corrosion or washing issues? how often do you lube the chain? does it even matter if you lube the chain?

    with all of these issues it makes me wonder why people do it. i just can't see myself exposing a $3-5 k bike to unneeded punishment like that.
    Some roadies I know say all the same things about riding in the dirt.
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  4. #4
    Formerly DMR For Life
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    ditto...i get to ride outside...since I severely dislike riding inside..i'll do anything to get outside...myself i stick to paths and trails so i don't have to worry about the salt
    I clean and lube my chain about once a week anyway so there isn't much difference now
    I wash my bike with a bucket of soapy water out side, i find that the dirt is more of an issue than the salt and other things
    DMR

  5. #5
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    I'd kinda like to try it. Sounds like fun slip and sliding around on a snow covered trail on a bike. But the cold just takes all the fun out of riding for me even when dressed very warm.
    Remember, "We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time".-D.Ritchie

  6. #6
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekFan
    as much as i try i just can't bring myself to get out and ride in the snow. first off it takes a good 30 minutes just to get dressed for it. then you go out, your traction sucks, you need to REALLY worry about corrosion from the damn salt, and you have no practical way of washing the bike down if it gets dirty from said salt. also, what happens when you bring the bike back inside caked with all the snow/salt? i would think chain lube would be worthless for protecting the drivetrain from wear or rust. all i can think about is little chunks of ice and snow getting jammed up in your f/r derailleurs or cogs.

    so to those who ride in the snow, how do you cope? do you find your drivetrain wears faster? how do you combat the salt corrosion or washing issues? how often do you lube the chain? does it even matter if you lube the chain?

    with all of these issues it makes me wonder why people do it. i just can't see myself exposing a $3-5 k bike to unneeded punishment like that.
    You are obviously not riding in the right places. Why would you get salt on your bike from riding on a trail? If you use a singlespeed, you won't have to worry about derailleurs. It's not hard to get traction when you use the right tires and shift your weight correctly. Most of all, there is something truly beautiful about riding under a canopy of trees covered in snow with the crisp clean winter air and the sound of crunching under your tires.

    You just need to experience it a little more.

  7. #7
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    The whole fun for me to do it is the fun of slipping all over the place. That and to impress friends.

  8. #8
    fun things are fun
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    Snow riding is so much fun the scenery is awesome and depending on conditions you can ride trails faster.
    And i don't know about cleaning but snow is water so i don't see the point unless your riding slushie trails wich isn't fun just go if it's below freezing that way it's all hard and dry not wet and slippery.
    just be warned you will fall and suspension sucks when it's cold out.
    but thats what those big puffy jackets are for
    "If your not getting dirty your not doing it right,
    unless you ride in the rain then your just muddy"

  9. #9
    Formerly DMR For Life
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    i've never had a problem sliding all over the place the old time i do that is on off-camber surfaces with a layer of wet snow
    DMR

  10. #10
    don't try this at home
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    crashing. when buddies and i went riding in the snow, we used to have all kinds of fun. nothing like riding fresh powder, hitting a turn, thinking you've got the coolest powerslide going but it doesn't stop and you continue to slide past the turn. or we used to bump each other off the powder into the banks. it was a real blast.

    however, i see what u mean. but i really hate that i've become somewhat of a fair weather rider. it's really lame.
    will you rep me?

  11. #11
    PMC
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    It really doesn't take that long to get ready even when it's below 0... Maybe 10-15 minutes at the most.
    Traction isn't an issue if you have the right tires (see below)
    I'm not worried about salt or what have you as it's just a winter bike! I don't ride a bike this time of year with tons of bling-bling, it's just not worth it.
    Properly equipped snow riding is da bomb.
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  12. #12
    igoslo
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    Back when I lived somewhere that it snowed I loved riding in it. I had a set of DIY studded tires and I'd run them at low pressure. I couldn't ride all the trails I'd normally ride or as fast but it sure beat riding indoors.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous
    The riding.
    Yep. I agree with Anonymous. It's cold, it's slow, there's lots of drag on the tires, but it still beats the heck out of riding the trainer indoors.

  14. #14
    the wrench
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    its all about sliding it and sliding it is fun. the sketchier it is the funner it is. wher you think youre in control you really arent but when you think you re its too damn fun to care.
    do it, do it DO IT!!
    DOOOO IIIIIT!!

  15. #15
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    yeah i could see how sliding all over the place would be alot of fun. i guess i'm just hung up on the wear and tear of the bike. winters around here tend to be pretty brutal on shiny metal, mostly because of all the goddamned salt they use on the roads. even in the rack on the car on the way to the trail i'm certain the bike would get sprayed pretty good with salt and crap.

    the other thing i'd worry about is not being able to see anything on the trail, like hidden obstacles, because of the snow. on some of these trails its hard enough to manage things when its 80 and sunny out. take away the ability to pick a line 20 feet ahead of you through the rocks and downed tree branches because everything is covered by a nice blanket of snow and you'd just be asking for trouble.

  16. #16
    Rides with Scissors
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekFan
    the other thing i'd worry about is not being able to see anything on the trail, like hidden obstacles, because of the snow. on some of these trails its hard enough to manage things when its 80 and sunny out. take away the ability to pick a line 20 feet ahead of you through the rocks and downed tree branches because everything is covered by a nice blanket of snow and you'd just be asking for trouble.

    Don't know about that part... I ride over stuff BETTER in the snow than when I can see them. Why? Mostly because I over-think and psyche myself out. Riding goes so much smoother if I can just roll over things rather than having the time to think of how to ride it and getting nervous b/c something looks scary. I need a brain shut-off switch.
    Some days you're the dog, some days you're the hydrant.

  17. #17
    I like to ride my bike.
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    Smile Snow riding=Fun!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mondaycurse
    The whole fun for me to do it is the fun of slipping all over the place. That and to impress friends.
    I agree w/you. Yesterday I was riding in 10 inch deep snow without studded tires. The thing that sucks is that I always have a $75 repair in the spring because the chain+cassete are worn down.
    I like bicycles. Bicycles make me happy. Riding them makes me even happier.
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  18. #18
    Team Blindspot
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathaniel Williams
    I agree w/you. Yesterday I was riding in 10 inch deep snow without studded tires. The thing that sucks is that I always have a $75 repair in the spring because the chain+cassete are worn down.
    Let me get this straight, you have to replace your chain and cassette? FROM RIDING!?

    Damn, that's a reason right there to not ride in the snow.
    Astigmatic Visionary

  19. #19
    Ride Instigator
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    There's nothing all that appealing. Riding in the snow is just more appealing then say....sitting in the house.

    As I always say.... A sh!tty ride is better'n no ride .

  20. #20
    Woods Ready
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    We don't get much snow here, but where I ride the most you can count on at least 3 or 4 two inch snowfalls a year. Nothing beats the sound of snow crunching under the tires. There is this downhill section on one of the trails I ride that is narrow and steep. When there is snow on the ground, you can't see the roots and rocks. Your tires hit them and the snow makes them slide right into the line you should be riding.... the natural line. It's like turning control over to the trail.

    That's what I like about riding in snow. At least the kind and depth of snow we get here.

  21. #21
    beer thief
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous
    The riding.
    Some people have no idea what they're missing. No salt on these "trails".
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  22. #22
    Look out!
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    I don't find it much fun riding in the snow, but check this out for the truly insane. www.alaskaultrasport.com

    Mark
    Ride the bike.

  23. #23
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    I live in the mountain so riding on trails is really not possible unless the conditions are right and that wont usually happen until sometime in late January when winter is on the way out and you have some rain or warm days followed by a hard freeze. What is possible is riding on streets that have packed snow and ice using studded tires. I put about 100 miles on last week on hard pack ice and snow with my studs. I didnt have one fall. However if I had tried riding without studs I would have probably only gone a block or two before a bad fall. It does take about 15 minutes to get dressed plus you have to have all the clothes and shoes to stay warm.

    As far as lubricating the bike I used WD-40. In fact lots of WD-40. I know people say it ruins the chain etc. But so does biking in dirt. An alternative would be to bring the bike in where it isnt frozen but I found spraying the WD-40 on thawed out the frozen derailleurs.

    Is biking in the snow great? Not really, but it is a nice diversion and it beats biking on a trainer. The downside really of winter biking is that once its below 40 or so you are limited to how long you can bike. Like today it might get to 20 degrees, its 3 now so how long can you bike in the stuff?Two hours is about max for winter biking.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mondaycurse
    The whole fun for me to do it is the fun of slipping all over the place. That and to impress friends.
    LOL
    The only impressive thing about most of my rides is the amount of blood squirting out of my nose after a face plant. I learned a long time ago that trying to impress anyone is a recipt for a fugowie.
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  25. #25
    Respect Your Trails
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    Like people have said, its better than sitting inside all day on a weekend. Or the often boring ride on a trainer. If you stay away from the roads, there is no need to worry about salt. Your bike just gets wet....no more than crossing a stream. I wouldn't say there is any more signifigant wear and tear on your gears than trail riding.
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