new to winter riding

hammerite Posts: 3,408
edited November 2007 in Road beginners
I only got my road bike in March, I've enjoyed a summer of getting out when I could and have had very few problems (apart from two clipless moments!).

Anyway I went out yesterday, the road was wet even though it hadn't rained for a couple of days. After only 2 miles I found out the roads round here were very slippy, when turning a corner my wheels just slipped out from underneath me, luckily no damage to me or the bike.

I carried on my way just giving myself a bit more room to manoeuvre on bends/corners and took it a bit slower.

Any advice anyone can give me? Is it just a case of taking it a bit easier? Or would a tyre change help (I'm riding with the tyres that came with the bike still)?


  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Depends what tyres you've got - many makes cut corners on tyres, so fitting a decent quality tyre, even better in a 25mm plus don't run it rock hard too - 100psi is fine for most conditions. Try to keep it smooth through the corners too - brake before your reach the turn and set the bike up for a constant radius and speed.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    Damp roads can be worse than running wet ones. You need to take extra care. Do not brake in a corner, do it all on the straight before entering it. Avoid manhole covers like the plague. You will get to know the limits of grip fairly quickly, preferably not by going past it first.
    It is worth getting some more winter orientated tyres such as Continental 4 Seasons. I have found these to be good but I would avoid the Conti Gatorskins as they cut fairly easily and then get carcase deformation. Check out other threads on here for other tyre options. Unless you are using 28mm tyres or larger I would not worry about the tread on them. The contact patch is so small that a tread only makes it smaller and it is not deep enough to clear water.
  • Cajun
    Cajun Posts: 1,048
    No need to be going too fast while cornering on wet pavement...unless you're racing.... :shock:
    That being said, when cornering, try this;
    The outside crankarm of the bike should be straight down, with your weight placed on that downward pedal...and your counterweight placed on the inside hood/drop.
    Example: Making a right-hand turn;
    Left crank arm is straight down, and body weight placed on left pedal.
    Body's counter-weight should be placed on right hood/drop..
    (there's a link explaining this; I'll search for it)
  • hammerite
    hammerite Posts: 3,408
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Monty - off the top of my head I think I have Bontrager tyres, the bike is the entry level Trek Pilot 1.0. I do tend to ride with hard tyres so I guess I can let them soften a little.

    John - I'll check out the 4 seasons.

    Cajun - Thanks for the link. I've not analysed my cornering but I think I pretty much do most of that already instinctively. I did slow down going into the turn, but obviously not enough!!!
  • Cajun
    Cajun Posts: 1,048
    We all go down, no matter what we try.... Last Friday, I flatted just as I was making a right turn; sandy gravel and the tyre trying to remove it's self from the rim gave me an immediate introduction to the pavement...fortunately I was going slow ~8mph) through a blind turn and I managed to land on my right shoulder and helmet (thank God for helmets)...Twenty four months of daily exercises for a (right shoulder) Torn Rotator Cuff paid off...shoulder was really in shape to absorb the impact without real damage.
    No damage to bike; only the ego and changing the flat.. Flatting through a turn was a first for me :o

    FWIW...I switched to Panaracer Extreme tyres in the last 3 years....they are the best I've had for slip resistance on wet or dry surfaces.
  • All that above is graet advice.

    I would add one thing.

    On city/suburban roads particularly, watch out for diesel when the road is wet. It makes the road like black ice and you will go down so hard and fast that you won't have time to adjust and you can do yourself serious damage.

    Diesel on a wet road looks like a little rainbow coloured slick.

    Be careful out there!!!
    17 years commuting up and down the King\'s Road and i still don\'t get faster...
  • pjh
    pjh Posts: 204
    Don't look down when cornering :D cos that's where you'll go .... keep your eyes up and aiming at the exit and as said previously ... do all your braking in a straight line ... leave them brakes well alone when you're cranked over.

    Not sure that I would be 'counter-steering' at this time of year (leaning on the right bar when turning right for example) ... as that just makes the turn steeper!

    Best just to slow down really :wink:

    It's great to be .....