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Questions for the Diehard Winter Cyclists
#1
Ok I only have one question, but as for the rest of the proper clothing hope this thread opens up other questions. What gloves would anyone suggest for riding in cold weather?

Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#2
Bill, I live in northern Idaho and try to ride as long as I can into the winter. I have tried lots of gloves. The best winter cycling gloves I have found are the Sugoi Firewall. I've tried the Garneau Magma and they were not warm enough for me. When the temps drop down into the lower 20's or teens I also use a very thin liner glove. If it gets colder than that I put one of those "Little Hotties" inside the glove on the back of my hand. I have also used ski gloves with good success but prefer the Firewalls.

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#3
Thank I will definitely look at all of them. I tried regular winter gloves but find them way too bulky. I do take my dog with me on her daily walks and need the warmth, grip, and slimness in that fashioned. So thanks I do appreciate the help there. Good and safe riding to you.

Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#4
If it is cold and wet, try gloves with GoreTex. They are warm, not too thick and keep your hands dry. They are not as bulky as normal winter gloves. If it gets colder, go for the "onion" style of clothing: use many layers you can add or remove as at gets warmer or colder during your ride. I really enjoyed biking in winter, I'll definitely ride through this winter, too (if it doesn't rain too much, I don't mind the cold, but rain is... yuck).

Also take a look at http://www.icebike.org/

Last winter we had below -20° C (~ -5 F?), which is quite uncommon for central Germany, but I kept riding. I relied on:

Clothing:
- long underwear (Odlo, medium weight)
- Long cycling tights (Crane, brand of Aldi, a supermarket chain in Europe)
- Long cycling jersey (also Crane)
- warm socks (Falke TK2)
- gloves (Mountain Equipment Coop), woolen gloves, GoreTex gloves (different combinations depending on temperature and humidity)
- Specialized Defroster MTB winter shoes
- Vaude overshoes (softshell)

Bike: old Peugeot road bike (late 70s)

Tyres: Schwalbe CX-Pro cyclocross tyres, 30x700. I only crashed twice on black ice... this year I will try and see if I can fit a Schwalbe Marathon Winter (spiked tyre) in the fork (no chance in the rear, clearance way too small).
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#5
Thanks. That is definitely what I call Diehard lol. Yeeuck on the black ice Sad . I looked up some of these suggestions and found them very useful. Also when I was looking at the Hand Warmers Idaho suggested I was thinking why they haven't come out with hand warming grips or covers that would go over them? By the way, some advice, use "little hotties hand warmer" because BEING TIRED and using only the first two words in a search engine gives out a very unwanted search result. Lol anyways are the Spiked tires worth it?

Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#6
Dunno so far, I just bought them and now have to build a new front wheel (old hub is shot) + it is not icy yet + have to reassemble the old road bike. Tests by bike-magazin.de (a german mtb magazine) suggest that spikes help. They tested them in an ice stadium... I had to go with the Marathon Winter, since they are the only narrow (35mm) spike tyres, they have been tested as "ok, but more spikes / wider tyres are better".

"worth it" it depends on whether you have icy roads more than a week or so. Last winter was unusually long and harsh for this part of Germany, I think I will not use the spiked tyre that often, but it is nice to have the option. Maybe some Canucks or Poles or whoever can comment on spiked tyres?

Concerning the covers that go over the grips: I saw something like that on the interwebs, but I cannot remember where. Maybe on bikehacks?
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#7
Have to agree with more Spykes are better, but they can only put so many in a narrow tire as you said. Just reading on a website that sells them has a couple of warnings. One I kind of laughed with was this,"So there you are, riding along on glare ice with good control. You start to think you're a hero. And then you have to stop. So, you grab the brakes, the bike comes to a controlled stop, and you put your foot down, just like in the summer. ZING! Your foot slides to the side, and you fall over doing a perfect Olga Korbut split. That's right, your shoe doesn't have carbide studs like your tires. So, unless you're a gymnast, be careful when you stop on ice!" {quote from peterwhitebicycles.com}. That would be something I would have probably done like a creature of habit if that warning was not present. Maybe some older football shoes with the metal spykes in them could be of help to me,lol.

I thought you had used them before, but where I am located here in the US there are mountainous terrain. As far as snow and ice we are a definite candidate.

I will look on bikehacks and instructables, maybe I just wasn't using the right keywords.
Good luck on your bike.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#8
The brand of hand warmers that I buy a the local grocery store are "Grabbers", and work great. In cold rain, I've used neoprene (wet-suit material) gloves. These kept my hands warm for a 4 hr. trip in 40F constant rain recently. I've ordered a ski helmet to use instead of my bike helmet this winter. I also just put in an order for a pair of Nokian Extreme 294 studded tires, so I plan to be pretty serious about keeping up my cycling this winter.
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#9
I just finished building my new front wheel for my crossified Peugeot road bike and rode some km with the studded tyre (Schwalbe Marathon Winter, the only studded tyre that fits the road fork). On dry roads, it sounds quite a bit like a tank, just a bit more noisy... (remark: Schwalbe recommends to ride them for 40-50km to make sure the studs sit well in the tyre).

I'd not insulate the head too much, in general, if you do sports, try not to overheat. For me that means one buff pulled over my head before I put on the helmet is enough.

And: yeah, keeping hands warm (and dry) is tricky, GoreTex works well for me.
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#10
Joe,
Congrats on getting your bike on the road. I was wandering does it cause any drag? Also what air level do you keep it inflated?
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#11
Yeah, lots and lots of drag (and noise!). I'm also a bit shy to corner at higher speeds, but this wheel is for when the white stuff falls and the roads get all icy and slippery. I crashed twice on ice last winter, not gonna happen this year! On dry roads I go with max pressure (6bar), on ice I plan to use minimum pressure (2.5 bar). So far we're above 0° though and just rain, so I still ride my Schwalbe CX-Pro (on-road: 6.5 bar, off-road 3.5 bar), drag is ok for those. Last Sunday it took me 32 minutes for 30km on a muddy, narrow, winding path (bike segment of a cross duathlon).
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#12
Ok thats what I was wandering. I have a few different bikes and may now, that I have heard first hand, arm one of them for winter with a couple of the studded tyres. Makes sense on minimum pressure on ice. Thank you for your help once again.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#13
First day of "winter" here in Germany (the first snow and ice).

This morning I had a stretch of rough ice (where the cars compressed the snow, it melted and refroze). I went along at about 28km/h and did not crash, in fact, the front wheel stayed on course unexpectedly well. I also had some stretches of frozen puddles and no problems there. I didn't try cornering and braking on ice so far and expect most ice will be gone by tonight when I ride home, but I'll keep reporting the findings. So far I cannot say that the studded tyres offer much more safety than the cross tyres but as I wrote above: I still have to test braking and cornering on ice, there is just not enough ice for those tests at the moment (only close to a road with lots of fast traffic).

I was about 3-4 minutes slower than with my cross tyres (~43 minutes vs. ~39 min for 17km on my way to work, don't want to ride too hard) but since I donated blood last week the comparison is not unbiased, also the number of traffic light stops is an influence in the order of ~1 min (rough estimate).
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#14
Great to hear! I do have one concern for you, braking. I am sure you already know that slow anticipated stops are best on ice. You have it made for the front tyre, but what about the rear? You think adjusting the front brakes is a good idea? It would seem to me that if one grabs the front brake to fast that it causes it to grab the wheel and pow all the weight shifts to the front leaving the rear very light susceptible to a slippery consequence? Having spykes on the rear tyre would be of great benefit thus allowing you to use both brakes in a fashion to a much better stop. Just some thoughts Joe.


P.S. Had a little time this evening to do some actual thinking, lol.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#15
Spiked tyres on the rear are not an option, at least until somebody produces them in 30mm. It is an old Peugeot road bike and I have a hard time to install the 30mm CX-Pro in the rear. On dry roads I almost exclusively use the front brake. The rear brake is essentially useless then. I know how to brake, I know how much force to apply to just lift my rear wheel and how to keep it under control. The main problem is not the loss of traction of the rear (that will happen actually much faster if you brake), but rather that the front could start slipping. Good luck catching that.
Tyre report update: Brakes well on ice, mediocre performance on snow since it has no "real" tread). When braking on ice it will work quite well but eventually start to slip, however I felt quite in control of the situation.
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#16
Very interesting. Again I would like you to know I really do appreciate your input and sharing of your experiences. The questions I had in the last post were just those one thinks about. The pressure change working out ok?
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#17
Yea, though I'll probably run less than the recommended in the rear, 4.5 bars is still too much on snow. Last year has shown that 4 bars are still ok and I don't get pinch flats.
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#18
Update
I have to agree to Bill's concerns about the rear wheel. The problem is not when braking but rather when accelerating. Yesterday we had above 0°C temperatures, the snow melted and formed slush on an icy substrate, additionally covered with water (icy rain). The rear wheel (Schwalbe CX Pro) did skid when pedaling too hard, the front wheel (Schwalbe Marathon Winter) stayed on course.

Results
I tested the Schwalbe Marathon Winter on the front wheel of a Peugeot ~'76 road bike (I cannot fit a tyre wider than 30mm in the rear) under several weather conditions during the last weeks during my commute to university (~17km). Pressure was 2.5 bar.
The rest of the setup: Peugeot '76 road bike, Mafac center pull brakes, BBB Cross Stop brake pads, Simplex shifters and front derailleur, Shimano Deore rear derailleur with LX 9 speed cassette, Stronglight crank set (45t - 54t), rear tyre: Schwalbe CX-Pro (pressure: 4.5-6.5 bar, depending on weather).

Performance
  • Ice: good
  • Snow: Mediocre
  • Hard pack: ok
  • dry road: ok
  • Slush: good
  • Off-road: not tested
Conclusion
It was a good idea to buy them, I will continue riding them when the temperatures here in Germany drop below 0°C again. For regular on-road use I have to say that they are just too noisy, the drag is ok, better than I thought at first. I'm also afraid that the off-road performance is mediocre at best, since the tread is simply not designed for that. I am extrapolating from the performance on snow here.

The Schwalbe Marathon Winter tyres are a good alternative for those on 700c (28") wheels who want to continue riding no matter what. Supposedly the Ice-Spiker series is superior but unfortunately only available in 26".
Studded tyres 700c (width in mm) by Schwalbe
Schwalbe Snow Stud (38)
Schwalbe Marathon Winter (35) <-- tested
Schwalbe Marathon Winter (40)
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#19
If you get cold hands then try some pogies on your bicycle they cost a little but they sure keep your hands nice and warm and they don't look to bad over even if they did I would still use them they have help my hands to stay warm in the winter when I go riding.
My dad always told me a Sledge a matic can fix any thing.
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#20
Under Armour Extreme Cold Gear gloves.

They're waterproof, windproof, fit like a, well, a glove, and most important they're plenty warm.

The coldest it's gotten here so far was right around zero (f) and they worked great.
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