The Chainlink

Here are a few tips Ive Found on line and I thought they may be helpfull for all of you Die Hard Winter Riders...
1. Follow the plow
Unbeknownst to many summertime riders, bike trails are regularly plowed in many major metro areas. For example, in Minneapolis more than 50 miles of trail is plowed after a snow.

2. Ride straight
Believe it or not, the medium during most winter commutes is often the same dry pavement as in the summer. Sand, salt, sun and snowplows eliminate ice and snow from roads in the days after a storm. But for slippery stretches riders should slow down and stay loose. Brake only on the rear wheel to avoid spinouts on slick surfaces. And be prepared to take your feet off the pedals if the bike starts to tilt.

3. Watch out
Cars are less aware of bikers in the winter months. Ride defensively. “Make eye contact with drivers,” said veteran commuter Dave Olson. “Make sure you know they see you.”

4. Choose the right ride
Don’t use your $3,000 LeMond or full-suspension mountain bike in the snow. Sand, salt and grit can destroy suspension and gears. Instead, go with an older bike you designate for cold-weather use, adding fenders, bright lights and winter wheels. Cyclists like Josh Klauck, a sales manager at Freewheel Bike in Minneapolis, employ single-speed models in the winter, as they have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance.

5. Cold and clean
Unless you plan to clean it off, keep your bike cold and store it in the garage. A room-temperature bike in new snow can cause ice to form on brakes and gears more easily. Also, keep your chain and gear cassette lubricated for best operation.

6. Go Studs
Carbide-studded tires can increase grip on snow and ice, and riders like David Mainguy, a 42-year-old psychotherapist in Minneapolis, swear by them. “Ever since I wiped out on black ice, I don’t ride without them,” A Main guy said of his $50 Nokian brand tires.

7. Protect your core
Any outdoorsy person knows that layering is the key to staying warm and managing sweat in the cold. According to Klauck, the best configuration for biking includes a wicking base layer on top followed by an insulating fleece or similar mid-layer, then topped with a waterproof and windproof shell jacket. “That’s good to 15 or 20 degrees for most people,” he said. For the legs, Klauck skips the insulating layer on most days, going with long underwear topped off with a shell pant. “Some people wear bike shorts over long underwear, too,” he said.

8. Heads up
Jacket hoods are a no-no, as air funnels in as you move, inflating a hood like a sail. Instead, riders like Mainguy and Olson wear balaclavas and sunglasses or ski goggles. “My eyes freeze without protection below 20 degrees,” Mainguy said. Tight-fitting (but warm) fleece skull caps are popular. Top it off with a helmet, perhaps sized larger in winter to fit over all the insulation. “The key is to cover up all exposed skin while keeping your goggles from fogging,” Mainguy said.

9. Warm hands and feet
Switch out gloves for mittens or bifurcated “lobster”-style handwear, which keep fingers close together and warmer. Winter boots, not bike shoes, are best for the coldest days, but use platform pedals with aggressive tread for good grip as you crank. Above 20 degrees, many riders get away with bike shoes, employing neoprene covers to add insulation and buffer warm air. Some companies, notably Lake Cycling, sell winterized (read: insulated) bike shoes compatible with clipless pedals.

10. Use public transit
Many metropolitan trains and public busses allow bikes, letting riders surrender on the worst days and hop a ride home. Bike near a bus route and you have bail-out points should the commute prove too long or laborious in the snow.

Ride On!!!
-Adam 329 Cycles

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YES!!! Great Point M.A.R.K.
I respectfully disagree with #5. Ice under pressure will melt much more easily. So even if ice does form on the brake pads and the rim it should still melt when you apply pressure on your brakes.Seems to me it would be much better for a bike to be kept indoors especially during the winter months in order to melt the ice and the snow that deposits grit into the components. That's just my own opinion...

-Ali
Best way to deal with sand is actually taking your derailleurs apart and cleaning them. I just do this once a week, and I have gotten more and more efficient at it. Now its only an hour worth of work for me to take apart the derailleurs, clean and lube the bottom bracket, as well as cleaning my brakes and cassette. I find it almost therapeutic. Also if you keep up the habit you will soon notice that your parts are lasting you almost twice as long...I used to go through 2 drive trains a summer last year, this year I had to change only one and to top it all of I did more miles than last year.

-Ali
Thanks again for all the great tips. I went to the bike winter kick off meeting tonight at Billy Goat. Excited to get out in the snow and ice this season!
You know if you put together a little clinic on that derailer cleaning, I'd definitely attend...
Use El Duke degreaser to clean the salt off of your bike.
Nick said:
Use El Duke degreaser to clean the salt off of your bike.
Nick where can I get one of those big bottles at?

Oh, my contribution to this thread: use dual-layer gloves that have fingered gloves on the inside, and mittens as the shell. Make sure you get the ones with wrist straps...those are VERY critical.
When you say mittens did you mean these?

http://amlingscycle.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=902

vxla said:
Nick said:
Use El Duke degreaser to clean the salt off of your bike.
Nick where can I get one of those big bottles at?

Oh, my contribution to this thread: use dual-layer gloves that have fingered gloves on the inside, and mittens as the shell. Make sure you get the ones with wrist straps...those are VERY critical.
Well, I meant real mittens: there's a bunch on REI's website. I have a REI pair that were great last year in all temperatures (when snowboarding, mostly) and even have a goggle squeegee for wiping off moisture. However, they don't appear to be available on the website (yet?) this year.
I swear by these mittens for winter riding. They're virgin wool!


Steve 3po said:
When you say mittens did you mean these?
http://amlingscycle.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=902
vxla said:
Nick said:
Use El Duke degreaser to clean the salt off of your bike.
Nick where can I get one of those big bottles at?

Oh, my contribution to this thread: use dual-layer gloves that have fingered gloves on the inside, and mittens as the shell. Make sure you get the ones with wrist straps...those are VERY critical.
I'm thinking about using some "SNO Seal" to seal up things like my bottom bracket and rim eyelets.

Otherwise. I think I'll keep wiping it down and actually spraying it down with some pressurized water. to keep the salt off.
Ali said:
Best way to deal with sand is actually taking your derailleurs apart and cleaning them. I just do this once a week ...

WOW. I barely get the chain/cassette clean once a week.

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