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Tips for riding when it's frosty ?

MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
edited January 2011 in Road beginners
It seems that here in Berkshire, we're just about the only part of the country that's not going to get snow !! It's a beautiful sunny day here at the moment and looks like it's going to continue over the weekend. It is, however, bl00dy cold, likely to hit -4C tonight !

So, not wanting to miss out on this crisp dry weather, I'm heading out over the weekend, but am fully expecting some of the roads to be a bit frosty.

Does anyone have any tips before I find myself sliding head long down the road ?

Cheers........ Matt
Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
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  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    Drop your tyre pressure down to about 90 psi which will give you a little better grip.

    Take a more cautious line in corners. Sudden, hard braking and/or changes of direction are your biggest threats.

    I hadn't missed any weekends in 2010 until I wrecked my knee playing rounders :oops: in July. Managed to ride through all Jan & feb without problems.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Try to avoid using your front brake if at all possible.
  • PostieJohnPostieJohn Posts: 1,105
    Keep of the paint and man hole covers.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Beware of shady corners; frequently alternating patches of damp leaves and black ice
  • Common sense really mate as above just go steady lay off the front brake
    Trek Madone 4.5
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    If you find your self unexpectedly cycling on ice do not steer or brake. Focus on staying going straight and stay relaxed.
  • I fell off on a shady corner two winters ago, destroyed the rear mech, shoulder very painful for a few months, various cuts and bruises.

    I was going really slowly turning right at the time but even so fell heavily like a sack of potatoes.

    Since then I learnt my lesson and take it really easy when it's icy out there.
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,276
    edited November 2010
    If you do hit ice when braking or steering you'll be down before you know it so you have to try and anticipate where the ice might be and avoid roads where it is most likely. I've been off 3 times now and that's enough for me.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    Cold and dry is OK
    Also if you can stick to treated roads you are OK
    If I thought there was going to be much ice about I would stay indoors-just not worth it
    You also need to think about vehicles as well
  • same weather up here. avoid leaves and go slooow over lumps of soil left from tractor treads, theyre like concrete.
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Learn how to fall on ice.
    Keep your hands firmly on the bars, never break your fall with an outstretched arm.
    Tuck your head and elbows in.
    Try not to tense up
    Take the impact on your upper arm. Try and roll onto your back a bit. Its basically the same as a parachute landing, you want to distribute the impact over time and space.

    If you try and fight a fall or twist away you will hurt yourself more and may impact hip-first.

    There is not much you can do to control your direction and be aware that following cars will have no braking or steering.
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,276
    All that in a fraction of a second. :?
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    Alternatively, treat icy days as rest/bike maintenance days and don't ride.
  • ChrisSAChrisSA Posts: 455
    MichaelW wrote:
    Keep your hands firmly on the bars, never break your fall with an outstretched arm.

    Broken collarbone/AC-joint territory!
  • gavintcgavintc Posts: 3,009
    MichaelW wrote:
    Learn how to fall on ice.
    Keep your hands firmly on the bars, never break your fall with an outstretched arm.

    Did just this when I hit a diesel spill about 3 yrs ago. Sadly, I ended up smashing my fingers between the bars and the road.
  • do tyres make much difference? I've got totally smooth summer slicks on...
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    In terms of riding below zero, steer well clear of any shiny bits - it might be wet or black ice - you won't know until you're on it.

    In terms of tyre choice - rubber on ice has almost no grip, tread doesn't make any difference. Running wider tyres at lower pressures does give a bigger 'footprint' and can help in marginal conditions, but not sheet ice.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    I'm just next door to Berkshire. I'll be taking advantage of the all the mud being frozen by getting the MTB out.
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    This is all academic now, as I've woken to a dusting of snow and a dose of man flu :(
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • OMG MAN FLU use the link for advice.


    .
  • ChrisSA wrote:
    MichaelW wrote:
    Keep your hands firmly on the bars, never break your fall with an outstretched arm.

    Broken collarbone/AC-joint territory!
    oh yes lovely joint to break isnt it? lol, had a serios injury when i used to do Judo and i couldnt move my shoulder for a month! i struggled to walk because of the vibrations it was causing and i almost missed out on passing my level two in Exercise and fitness because i wasnt able to instruct people for a good month and couldnt write since im right handed and i fell on my Right shoulder...

    i suggest not going out to the OP it's getting quite dangerous now so if you know conditions are idea i would be careful, select a good route when you know where you want to go and make sure your always in the Suns rays..
    Coveryourcar.co.uk RT Tester
    north west of england.
  • The only time I slid badly on ice was on a river towpath. I didn't even see the sheet of ice I slid on until it was too late, at which point one wheel slid one way and the other wheel slid the other way. All I remember was putting a foot down, then slipping, then hearing the side of my helmet tap the ground and being thankful I was wearing a helmet.

    I was lucky - no damage to the bike, a slightly sprained wrist but still strong enough to cycle home, and the towpath was wide enough I didn't end up in the Thames...

    So to answer your question I think there are lots of things you might do, and lots of things that would theoretically help, but whether you'll think of them and be in a position to implement them in the time you have between your slide starting and some part of you meeting the ground is questionable.
  • GavHGavH Posts: 933
    I apply the logic that when it's frosty/icy/snowy then there is little point to going out on the bike. The physical benefits are reduced by virtue of having to take it easy. The enjoyment is reduced considerably further still by constantly worrying about coming off. Ultimately, not going out mitigates the chance of reducing that enjoyment and benefits over the longer term by not comin off on ice and injuring myself and wrecking my bike. I'm not a competititve cyclist so a few days here and there off the bike will do me no harm whatsoever. YMMV of course but if you don't HAVE to go out in such conditions, why bother?
  • contango wrote:
    The only time I slid badly on ice was on a river towpath. I didn't even see the sheet of ice I slid on until it was too late, at which point one wheel slid one way and the other wheel slid the other way.


    is this possible on a bike? or was it a skid.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,163
    I went for a swim and and a run - nothing major 20 lengths and 15 minute run ...still agonising over whether I wimped out.

    As others have said - keeping to the main roads - and wondering is this icy etc - takes the fun out of it. Switched all the lights to the MTB today - so might give that blast next week.
  • PostieJohn wrote:
    Keep of the paint and man hole covers.

    well said,sir.
  • make sure to give the bike good rinse down to get the salt of it
  • northpolenorthpole Posts: 1,499
    Sub Zero temperatures -> eat food; watch telly; drink beers.

    Or, if that gets too much, consider turbo trainers or spin class in your local gymnasium.

    Unless you are totally confident about the road surface, best not to risk injury.

    Peter
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    marusches wrote:
    make sure to give the bike good rinse down to get the salt of it
    ive never really understood this. my bike with sora has sat for several winters as is because it gets dirty to quickly for me to be bothered spending hours most days cleaning it. it still cleans up well when i can be bothered.
  • MTB & Ice Spikers :wink:

    I was out today and the roads were literally solid ice. Spikers are hard work but you don't cycle at this time of year without it being a little uncomfortable and it helps generate some body heat. Yet to fall off in 500 miles of sub-zero riding (famous last words...)

    Personally I think you'd be insane to ride a road bike in these conditions.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
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