Trouble with snow- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trouble with snow

    Well i did my first snow commute. Running 2" schwable winter marathons. Packed flat snow, no problem, powder, no problem. Issue is semi packed firm snow on top of the roads, which are probably icy. A coworker says the roads get packed and it gets better. I tried sitting back on the seat, works better but the front end just digs. I am fairly hunched over. I got a 35degree riser coming so might help with weight distribution.

    Also.... I thought my tires still had 50
    Psi from me breaking the studs in this fall. Front had 20 and rear 30... I bumped them up to 34 and 37 as per the itire app.... We will see how tomorrow goes but maybe it was the 20psi? Low pressure is better on snow and sand tho...


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  2. #2
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    It's the snow/road conditions. No tire will work 100% for every condition, hence fatbikes, mtn bikes, etc. Loose snow over hardpack, mash potatos, sluff, is even hard on a fatbike in some cases. Snow is really hard to predict and every type act's differently.

  3. #3
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    I agree with Jordy, and would add that the winter marathons are only rated 3 out of 5 for off road grip...if your snow is more traction-challenged than a trail (likely), they will not be the best tool. That said, they will be faster than the grippier Ice Spikers when they can roll. The Schwalbe comparisons are here Studded | Schwalbe North America Try to stay loose too, the death grip kills your snomojo.

  4. #4
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    Trouble with snow

    Yah i thought that it could be that they are just round and push, could do a ice spiker pro on the front. We will see... Im on paved walking paths that are brushed for snow removal, so there is hard concrete snow and ice on them which these fly on. I just will have to wait a day after a snow storm until they brush it i guess. But... 2-4" of pow i had no problem on. Other than a damn fat bike rut ill have to avoid tomorrow


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  5. #5
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    Yeah, sometimes riding on snow just sucks.

    Being the first person on a mup is beautiful. Being the 10th person on a mup - trying to dodge stumbly footprints, someone else's wobbly tire tracks, and maybe even x-country ski tracks - is awful. And car snot on top of icy roads is even worse.

    But it usually gets better pretty quickly...until it gets worse again. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Riding on trampled and frozen or just deep snow is super hard work. My commute times can triple and even quadruple in nasty snow conditions. The rule is: "Harden the f..k up."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    Packed flat snow, no problem, powder, no problem. Issue is semi packed firm snow on top of the roads, which are probably icy. I tried sitting back on the seat, works better but the front end just digs. I am fairly hunched over. I got a 35degree riser coming so might help with weight distribution.

    Also.... I thought my tires still had 50
    Psi from me breaking the studs in this fall. Front had 20 and rear 30... I bumped them up to 34 and 37 as per the itire app.... We will see how tomorrow goes but maybe it was the 20psi? Low pressure is better on snow and sand tho...


    #canadastrong
    When riding snow....you almost have it right...balance the weight between back and front so that both tires are working at there best...steer from the hips (liek riding no hands)....let the front go where it wants as much as possible...

    The classic is when the snow gets deep and you are looking for rear traction you put some more weight on the rear...then you need to get off so the rear can actually move through the snow....Finally the time comes to give up when you are basically track standing (the snow is deep enough to hold you upright and you are rocking the bike back and forth trying to get the last little bit of forward motion...

    Then you step off the bike take several steps back and take a picture of your bike standing with snow up to the bottom bracket.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    When riding snow....you almost have it right...balance the weight between back and front so that both tires are working at there best...steer from the hips (liek riding no hands)....let the front go where it wants as much as possible...

    The classic is when the snow gets deep and you are looking for rear traction you put some more weight on the rear...then you need to get off so the rear can actually move through the snow....Finally the time comes to give up when you are basically track standing (the snow is deep enough to hold you upright and you are rocking the bike back and forth trying to get the last little bit of forward motion...

    Then you step off the bike take several steps back and take a picture of your bike standing with snow up to the bottom bracket.
    While tire pressure helps a bit....the bike hammer is a different tire size.....just small enough to cut down to consolidated layer...just big enough to not dig in....

    Not matter what you will get it horrible wrong at least once a winter.

  9. #9
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    Try towing a trailer with a kid; it keeps your nose from wandering so much it is actually true, but a lot more work.

  10. #10
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    Trouble with snow

    Well new stem is on. Sit alot like my 29er, feel alot more balanced. Snow firmed up so thats good but yah..... Soft packed **** on top of ice just sucks.

    Worst commute tonight. Glasses just kept fogging, took them off. Im only a -.15 so i can see but nothing is sharp. Also my light i forgot to charge..... So i ran it on the 150 lumen setting. Nothing like flying at 25 km/h relying on poor vision in almost dark... Literly just said fawk it if i hit a drift i crash onto 4" of snow no big deal.



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    Last edited by solarplex; 11-26-2014 at 10:59 AM.
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  11. #11
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    I have 2 bikes with aggressive tread and studs. One is a 27.5X2.35" Schwabe IceSpiker Pro with 378 studs/tire. The other is a 700X42 Contintental Nordic Spike 240 studded tire. For me Fresh snow is ok to ride in. Like other say when I ride through what cars have driven in its a night mare regardless what I do with tire pressure. When its soft and mushy its hard for the tires to dig down and bite into anything. So for me I just have to be patient and wait for the plows/graders to go over the roads, then the studded tires work great as they can easily bite into the hard pack.

  12. #12
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    For soft over hard conditions, a skinnier tire works a little better. It cuts through the soft layer to gain traction.

    Momentum (a function of gear selection) is key for riding soft/hard. More weight on the rear wheel allows for more traction and lets the front wheel "dance" through the cross-ruts. Steering is as much push and pull to counter act the front end over/understeer.

    The best way to get good at winter riding is practice. Go for neighborhood rides and practice various techniques and riding through different road conditions.*

    *edit: I love riding in the worst conditions. I ride more for fun in the winter than summer months. Or, at least, I enjoy the rides more.

  13. #13
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    Take some note as to what tire pressure works best for you in your conditions. Less is usually better for me.

  14. #14
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    When there is no definite surface to work with (i.e. riding *in* snow, rather than on (packed) snow or through (soft not deep) snow, I also run the tire pressure very low.

    To the point that I pretty much need to be tubeless to keep from pinch-flatting on every log and rock under the snow.

    However low pressure on bare pavement sucks, and adding air to tires with a mini-pump in winter also sucks, so keep that in mind on a commute or any ride that has a lot of pavement later on.

    It might sometimes be better to just deal with less-than idea snow performance for a mile or two, than to have a multi-mile pavement slog with comically low tire pressure later.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

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