black ice??? please help

landscapingsam Posts: 174
edited December 2008 in Road beginners
last weekend on my bike i had an incedent which i can only describe as a speed wobble, it felt as if my rear wheel was coming lose and going to come off.
it happened while decending so it was difficult to slow down without locking up, what is the best way to deal with this if it happened again?

i guess the road was just extremely slippery?



  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    Almost certainly was ice, you pedal but there's no resistance because the wheel is spinning and it does feel like you don't have a back wheel anymore.
    Best advice is simply don't ride on the road when it really is icey. Not just because you will lose control, but just as likely other road users will and they might be in vehicles that can hurt quite a bit if they hit you.

    Today there's possibly some ice out there, but I'm waiting until the sun is a bit higher for my ride - it will clear the ice and also not be a hazard for motorists that are following me.
  • woody-som
    woody-som Posts: 1,001
    I agree, certainly ice. I've had t climbing before, the wheel just spins. had a few slips as well in the past. just not worth the risk. stay in, keep warm and safe, the roads will get better. it's not just you, bust like the above poster said, other things can slide into you, and that might hurt.
    Going to be very slippery tommorrow looking at the forecast. stay in keep safe so you can ride again.
  • Definitely, stay off the icy roads if you can. :D
    Some of you unlucky lot are restricted by time in the day (other than work :lol: )
    I'd suggest a turbo or rollers. theyre safer and can be relatively cheap.

    10TT 24:36 25TT: 57:59 50TT: 2:08:11, 100TT: 4:30:05 12hr 204.... unfinished business
  • get spikes for the back tyre like they do in the ice speedway? :P
    felix's bike

    pedal like you stole something!!!
  • Nick6891
    Nick6891 Posts: 274

    get studded tires if you live in an area thats often ice
  • flite
    flite Posts: 219
    So does anyone have experience of using studded tyres on ice or snow?
    Would like to hear any advice, suggested makes of tyre etc.
  • Best bet is to try and wait a few hours until the sun has given the roads a bit of heat (good excuse for a lie-in until it gets warmer as well) :wink: Ice can form even though temperatures are as high as +3 (and even +5 in exceptional circumstances) so be careful even when it appears milder. Other advice is to be wary of shaded spots as these stay colder. Road authorities grit the more important routes so maybe staying on the A and important B roads could be a good idea if it looks dodgy. There is no guarantee that there wont be any problems here though, especially if you have water running across the road.

    As far as snow goes, my experience is limited to my paper-round when i was younger :cry: but its often better not to bother. Fresh snow can be surprisingly easy to ride on unless you turn sharply but it soaks everything. Rutted snow can be worse as if the ruts are frozen then you can come off easily.
  • i've decided to keep off the bike whilst the roads have been heavily frosted (i came off on heavy frost which hadn't thawed during the daytime due to shade and this was early afternoon; cracked a couple of ribs). well since then it's not warmed up and we have had snowfall (this is west yorkshire) and some side roads are now solidly iced up.
    so i'm waiting until it seems safer but it is now nearly 2 weeks since i've ridden. i had winter.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    If you do see icy / glazed patches keep straight and vertical and stay off the brakes if you can and try and keep to the crown of the road, away from the camber. A slipping back wheel doesn't just mean ice, it can happen in the wet with leaves or mud too. Try and keep your weight even, between the wheels and stay seated on climbs if poss - reducing tyre pressure and running wider tyres helps - but nothing offers grip on ice except studded tyres, which aren't really practical in the UK
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • I used to ride a motorbike, now my engine runs on readybrek rather than unleaded but my rule is just the same - if there's any sign of frost out then I don't ride, it's as simple as that. If you hit a patch of ice when cornering then you are going over and there's not a damned thing you can do about it. Odds are you'll just end up with road rash and ripped bar tape, but if the driver behind you loses it as well then you're not going to be walking away from it. Stay in on the turbo, go out for a run, give your bike a good fettling, but for pity's sake don't go out if it's freezing.
  • leedsmjh
    leedsmjh Posts: 196
    Having come off on Saturday due to black ice (and at the precise moment I thought to myself, it's not that icy out here) I think I'll get some rollers and see if I can fall off those instead.
  • Blonde
    Blonde Posts: 3,188
    I agree. Is it worth risking broken bones and weeks off the bike for a ride?! Go swimming, or for a walk if it's not too icy for that as well, or try track cycling, but don't cycle on icy roads. I have stopped riding to/from work as it's been too icy recently. If the temperature rises I'll resume it, but I just wont risk it if there is any sign of a hard frost or ice. On Sunday we put the bikes in the car and drove for an hour to where it was less icy so we could get out and ride - we still used only main roads that were gritted and went really carefully (much slower than usual) and rode in the middle of the road too, as there was a hard frost at the road edges even at the flat coastline of Blackpool. There was no way we could have ridden in the hills here in Bury on Sunday at all though.
    BTW a speed wobble is a completely different thing and nothing to do with the road surface! Touching the top tube with your knees will damp it. It can be due to carrying luggage, especially panniers - if you use panniers try to balance the weight out evenly between both sides of the bike - and don't ride with just one really heavy one!
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    ive switched to my MTB past week or so - keeps me out on the road.
  • Went out this morning before 8'ish - came off twice in 25 mins - went home as it was too dangerous. And that was on a MTB on cyclepaths. I think they are more dodgy than the road in the early mornings.
    Now looking around for a turbo trainer to stay safe and warm for a few months. Bl**dy Ice.
    All my life I've wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific.
  • Scrumple
    Scrumple Posts: 2,665
    Riding in ice is stupid on busy roads.

    You may survive the fall, but not the car that drives over you.

    Only cylce where falling off isn't a risk... Best not to travel in icy conditions if you have to share your route with cars.

    May be stating the obvious, but I had a friend killed on a motorbike as he was hit by a lorry that wasn't able to stop when he slid over.
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    So does anyone have experience of using studded tyres on ice or snow?
    Would like to hear any advice, suggested makes of tyre etc.
    They're great, but as someone has already said, not really practical in the UK unless you're living in the Cairngorms during a really bad winter... They're very heavy and slow rolling compared to normal road tyres and even the narrowest ones need quite a lot of clearance. Also they're not great for riding on normal tarmac, you'll wear the studs really quickly and they make a lot of noise...

    On extensive frozen snow and ice they are amazing though. You could quite literally ride about on an ice rink and be perfectly OK. The problem comes when you stop, get off the bike and then fall flat on your face because your shoes aren't studded! :D

    The best ones are made by Nokian.

    I basically never ride on roads with normal road bike tyres when the temperature is below zero unless it is extremely dry, it's just too scary. On deep snow that hasn't melted and re-frozen MTB or extra-knobbly cross tyres are fine though, the studs are only useful on ice.
  • rally200
    rally200 Posts: 646
    Is it a good idea to go to flat pedals, or back off the tension on clipless in the ice ?

    I lost the front end on one of those shiny white lines on a cycle path - I think I probably bent the cranks with my frenzied attempts to unclip.
  • The best thing to do with ice is avoid going out. Two years ago a morning ride ended in me fracturing my neck of femur and having a dynamic hip screw inserted. It not just old ladies that break their hips you know.
  • rally200
    rally200 Posts: 646
    The best thing to do with ice is avoid going out. Two years ago a morning ride ended in me fracturing my neck of femur and having a dynamic hip screw inserted. It not just old ladies that break their hips you know.[/quote

    very true. I've suspended fun/fitness riding on my road bike for the time being, but have to commute... I do have big old 35mm marathons on the commuter which help a bit - maybe I should let the pressure down a little.
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    There does indeed come a point where discretion as in avoidance becomes the better part of valour as in foolhardiness.
    It was pretty slippy away from salted main routes this a.m. - I had to pedal very carefully!
    With rain forecast for early hours and then a drop in temp to below freezing at around my usual daily ride time, I think I'll not go out in the morning.
    Shame cos I'm running out of days to meet my 6,000 miles for the year "target". Might have to be out most of Xmas Day should it be dry enough!
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • quite frankly....this topic has scared me. its not a nice feeling falling off ur bike.. (well the few times i have its always been like... 35mph+ sick ones.
    so this black ice crap which has written me off going out on the roads.... and kept me in on my turbo...well now u'v totally made me stay in lol.

    good luck, keep safe.
    and remember, don't fill ur water bottles up with yellow snow. it is NOT lemon juice. :):)