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  1. #51
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    Hi, I lived in Edmonton for 8 years and started the original Riding In Edmonton thread. Winter is certainly a challenge. I used to deal with it by going on a road trip South every winter. If it is possible to get away do it. The winter will be shorter and the trails in the SW US are incredible. For riding in the city I usually chose me single-speed for the simplicity and easy maintenance. I never worried about waterproof but wind proof and breathabilty were my top concerns.

    I retired in July and moved to Cumberland BC on Vancouver Island, partly for the mountain-biking. I can hit world class trails from my door year round. Winter is wet so now waterproof is a concern. Too much steep climbing for my single-speed but my 5/6" bike gets out 4 days a week. I learned that riding even in pretty hard rain can be a blast. The mud here doesn't stick and the trails remain in good shape. Cumberland is a hotbed of mountain-biking and quite a few of my neighbors ride (couple across the street, next door and and his next door). There is a large parking lot at the trail-head and there is almost always a car with a rack parked and on the weekends it can be full. There are always vehicles with mountain-bikes coming and going through town. My second ride here I hooked up with a group of like minded older guys and we get out twice a week together. In Edmonton I knew very few riders and never met any near where I lived. I commuted by bike to the base and was quite impressed by the courtesy of the drivers even though I was quite often the only cyclist on the road. The contrast is like night and day.

    I hope that this winter is short and mild for you.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  2. #52
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    I wonder when the suspension will stop working.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by alavan View Post
    I wonder when the suspension will stop working.
    You just have to compensate with higher air pressure and faster rebound. I don't ride my fully during the winter, but my hardtail is fine. Granted, the fork isn't nearly as responsive as during the summer, but it's good enough.

  4. #54
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    Snow flattens everything out, too. Riding Old Timers yesterday I was reminded that for the next 6 months there's no such thing as "technical" terrain. (And it feels like only yesterday that the snow was melting off in the spring, and I was having to relearn how to ride roots.)

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by alavan View Post
    I wonder when the suspension will stop working.
    Mine works down to aboout -15 C....I did put some lighter oil in.

  6. #56
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    Thanks! I'll try those tricks this winter.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Mine works down to aboout -15 C....I did put some lighter oil in.
    Did you do the same to your rear shock?

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by alavan View Post
    Did you do the same to your rear shock?
    yup

    I just got some light fork oil from a motorbike shop.

  9. #59
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    Went for a bit of a ride south of whitemud park, was pretty decent.

    Seeing that creek there got me thinking.... I wonder if it'd be possible to ride that bad boy once it gets all good and frozen. Anyone ever do that?

  10. #60
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    Quote Originally Posted by schnitzelstein View Post
    Went for a bit of a ride south of whitemud park, was pretty decent.

    Seeing that creek there got me thinking.... I wonder if it'd be possible to ride that bad boy once it gets all good and frozen. Anyone ever do that?
    Use to ride there back in the day (circa 1993-94) then stopped mtb all together. When I got back into mtb in around 2010 I learnt that the entire whitemud valley was off limits to bikes. If I were still 16-17 I'd probably just ride there and not give a **** but now tend to be more a law abiding citizen. Hoping that the trails in there will be open to bikes again one day but seems chances are slim. Will just have to wait until the grandma's that walk their dogs there die off or for the mtb community to lobby Don Iveson into allowing bikes.
    Last edited by funnyjr; 11-13-2013 at 09:16 PM.

  11. #61
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    The dumbest thing about that ban is that the ravine is a really major barrier to cycling. I was trying to find a route to the Riverbend Library once, and the choices are: 122st, along whitemud by snowvalley, past the Terwillegar exit to 53ave; or down by the equine centre, around Ft. Edmonton, and up the back. Anyone commuting from the southwest to downtown could save a few km by cutting through the ravine. Iveson might actually be swayed by that?

  12. #62
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    Got out on Saturday before the City was able to clear the bike paths in Mill Creek. Axle deep snow! Made it to Muttart and headed across on the north side of the river where the snow was only 2-3 inches deep as the City had cleared the paths previously. Went across the High Level (again, not yet cleared so lots of mini drifts), then rode down Saskatchewan Drive that was not yet cleared of snow.

    Good times! Two wipes and countless fishtails!

  13. #63
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    Didn't get out for a ride on the weekend, but tromped through Victoria Secret and Groat with the dog yesterday. Changed my main winterbike over from ss to gears, and the commute this morning was pretty nice.

  14. #64
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    (required a bit more hiking than I'd have liked to get down there.)

  15. #65
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    Nice shot! Going to get again this Saturday. Forecast looks good and hopefully it's a clear and sunny day. Might have to take the camera and take some pictures.

  16. #66
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    I've got out-of-town guests this weekend, so today at lunch at -20C was really my only chance this week to goof around. I should get plenty of time outside at the dogpark though, so it won't be all bad.

  17. #67
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    My Rockshox Revelation Solo Air had some problems with other day in -17c. The seals shrunk and air "burped" from the positive chamber to the negative chamber. I was missing about 30% of my travel by the time I got home. My bikeshop called a Rockshox tech who said it starts to happen around -10c.

  18. #68
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    Strathcona Science Park - To Deep

    I was hoping the fat-tire bikes would have flattened out the paths. Unfortunately it looked like only a couple had been through there. Ended up walking my bike through half the trails. Maybe in a couple weeks, if we don't have another big snow fall.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13-2013-11-24-12.25.00.jpg  

    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13-2013-11-24-12.13.18.jpg  


  19. #69
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    I found the same at the trails at mcnally, just too deep to do any riding. I opted to go 'hiking' around the trails instead.

    Say, is that a Honzo? Ever since hearing about the 'all mountain hardtail' thing I've been really interested in them, how is it?

  20. #70
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    @schnitzelstein It is the Honzo. I think it's going to be amazing, but I only picked it up 2 weeks ago and it's just too snowy to give it a real workout.

  21. #71
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    Ahh, I see. I'm ganna try my damnedest to get my hands on one later in the winter. Hopefully they're not all sold out.

  22. #72
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    Got out yesterday for a good ride. Met a few others on the trail getting in a ride given the weather changes coming up this week. One was on a Specialized fully and the others were on Surly fat bikes.

    Single track trails in Mill Creek are all in really good shape. Single track trails by the Old Timer's Cabin are a bit loose still and not packed down as well as Mill Creek.

    Not sure what the chain link fence from the Mill Creek upper pool parking lot, down to the creek, and across the creek is for. Maybe the City is doing some sewer work within the fenced in area?

    Blocked trail:




    Mill Creek single track in great shape:





    Perfect day for riding:



    First time out with the big tires. Noticeable changes from my 29er in the snow:

    • tires make a huge difference in many ways. There is much less tendency for the bike to wander off the beaten trail. The bike sticks to where you want to go. With my summer bike, I would have to expend much more effort and concentration on keeping the bike upright and on the trail. With the Farley, it's more or less point and shoot.
    • self steer - the bike will self steer, or noticeably pull to the left or right on dry surface. When you add an actual turn to this, the bike really pulls you through the turns. Not noticeable in the snow at all, just on dry surfaces.
    • heavy wheels - much more effort is needed to get the wheels up to speed. No surprise there
    • feels "different" at speed - going fast with these wide tires feels slightly "off" and much less stable than on my regular bike. Not an issue as going fast in the winter time isn't really a goal of mine.
    • hill climb traction is abundant, but all terrain dependent. If the snow is packed, there's no issue. If the snow is soft and powdery, then it feels just like my summer bike, with not as many washouts.
    • Q factor - you can really tell the Q factor difference on these bikes. Makes me glad I didn't opt for the 190mm bikes (9:ZERO:7, Specialized, etc) and stuck with the "old" standard
    • Effort - any advantages gained by the wide tires is offset by the effort to get those tires up to speed and keeping the bike going. It's a good trade off as I'll take stability with more effort for snow riding.
    • "Knarly tires!" - quoted from a dog walker
    • Hummming tires - these tires hum, much like mud terrain tires on trucks do. There's a bit of noise on the snow, but there's a lot of hum on the dry surfaces.
    • Medium turns at speed actually feel more stable than the same turn at speed on the summer bike on a MUT. The tires really stick to the snow, providing the snow is packed.
    • Fun factor - way more fun riding this than my summer bike. These bikes are a definite game changer if you're looking to do some recreational riding in the winter. I'm not sure if they would offer a better setup to a dedicated winter commuter bike with studded tires.
    • Gearing - I went with a 32 x 11-36 cassette, but I'm thinking that a 30 x 11-36 cassette would be better. I didn't factor in the weight difference of the tires into my front ring decision and instead relied solely on the effective circumference of the wheel (similiar to a 29er, so I went with my 29er gearing). Many hill climbs had me in my easiest gear, so I might get the front ring changed up to a 30 from a 32. I'm using Race Face narrow wide rings with a SRAM clutch derailleur and I had no chain drop or slap issues.
    • Front tire washouts are not as frequent with these wider tires, but they do happen. This bike does not make one invincible on the trails, although it gives the feeling of invincibility.


    Forecast is calling for good riding weather again next weekend.

  23. #73
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    Very nice. Are those husker dus or dillengers? And what's the frame? I know what it isn't, but the turquoise has me stumped?

    Interesting to know about the hill climbing. Every fall I debate keeping my winter bike as a singlespeed, but the first snowfall shows me how silly that is, since mashing up hill becomes impossible.

    It'll be interesting to see what snow conditions are like later in the week, but I've been surprised how loose things have been. The stuff we had was mostly packed down, but seemed to be refusing to turn into really nice hardpack.

  24. #74
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    Trek Farley, frame option (built bike comes in black). Tires are 45N Huskers, 120 tpi.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatri View Post
    Trek Farley, frame option (built bike comes in black). Tires are 45N Huskers, 120 tpi.
    Cool. I've seen a ton more fatbikes this year. Even just on commutes some days it might be as high as 25% of the other bikes are fat. Saw one I didn't recognize this morning near Leva by the U that was a pretty bright blue or green.

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