Snow Biking

newborn Posts: 69
edited December 2010 in MTB general
I'm in the landscaping industry, with the few inch of snow thats just fallen I have a bit of free time. I've been wondering if it's worth going out on the bike in the snow. Is it a case of sliding around, getting stuck and not being able to do much or is it a good laugh and I can do a few miles. I'm not spashing out on some new tires with spikes. :?
I'll have a slice


  • Stoo61
    Stoo61 Posts: 1,394
    On road, not much fun...when is it ever?

    Off road, is real fun, the frozen ground is far better than soggy muddy ground. Although, we have had a lot of snow and apart from maybe in forrest covered areas it would be a slog.

    Gotta go out and try it though, lower tyre pressure...go go go! Had a great ride on Saturday, bike stuck to the trail perfectly with some pressure let out.
  • peter413
    peter413 Posts: 5,120
    I did most of the red at Glentress along with a secret and the green route yesterday with a couple of others, none of use had proper spikes, just DH tyres with low pressure in them.

    Just slow the pace down, don't take it seriously, be ready to have a little prang or two and you will be grinning from ear to ear by the end of it.

    And two other things, clipless is no no for most and don't be afraid to show some love to the trees in the form of a big hug :lol:
  • .blitz
    .blitz Posts: 6,197
    edited November 2010
    There's snow and there's snow.

    A few cm of crunchy stuff makes everything look pretty, fills in all the braking bumps and is not that slippery.

    Then it gets compacted.

    Then it freezes.

    Then some more snow falls. Your freewheel ices up. You try pushing but the rear triangle gets clogged up with snow that sets like concrete. Then it starts snowing some more and it clogs up the vents in your crash helmet, the contents of your CamelBak turn to slush and your expensive SPDs become useless balls of ice.

    Have fun :wink:
  • He he, I prefer the 1st bit. Did you have to piss in your drinking water too. He he.
    I'll have a slice
  • Old friend of mine was a landscape gardner. Regarding snow though its brilliant when your bikes back end slides out and going sideways, and doing plenty of drop offs on DH tracks in the snow. You learn quite a lot in the snow. :D:):lol:
  • Bum clenching.. but interesting none the less!!
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    If you like to slide, it's brilliant. And if you like the techy/bike handling side, it's doubly brilliant. If you like going fast and swooping, then it kinda sucks. But I love it... Pic from yesterday



    Bloody hard work though! If you've got mud tyres, use them, they work well. Either that or any other skinny knobbly tyre will do. You want something that'll cut into the snow easily, rather than having to be pushed through it. Though as you can see from my bike there (the black one) I'm ignoring all that advice :lol: Couldn't be bothered to change tyres.

    Things get very tricky once there's enough snow that your feet dip into it- some of the sections recently had bottom bracket shells dragging through the drifts, hard work. Today's about 3 times deeper so I think I'll give it a miss for now!

    But snow is ace. Not for everyone but it's got to be attempted.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • scale20
    scale20 Posts: 1,300
    Riding in the snow is the mutts and should not be passed by. Even better at night with the lights on. It certainly brings on your skills.
    Niner Air 9 Rigid
    Whyte 129S 29er.
  • SPD's need to be replaced with flat pedals and you'll love it as long as your warm and dry
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    Nah, SPDs still work, as long as they're decent SPDs anyway. A wee bit of kicking to clear the snow occasionally might be needed though.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • Riding in the snow is ace, deep snow / drifts aren't so fun tho, have had to pick the bike up and throw it as far as poss, wade thru the snow, pick bike up, throw it again ect ... quite a few times to get thru the really deep stuff.
    Last time i was out in the snow we had to turn around and head back as it was all to deep, we decided it wasn't the best idea to keep going as we'd just passed some folk on ski's coming from where we were heading.
  • Atz
    Atz Posts: 1,383
    Oh and clipless is fine in the snow. I found it easier than flats as I had to be committed and couldn't just take a foot off every 20 seconds. I rode earlier this year on both and was significantly quicker clipped in...
  • Night time snow riding is the real buzz!!! :D
  • rockmonkeysc
    rockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    It's all fun untill bits of your bike start to freeze, including pedals.
  • tsenior
    tsenior Posts: 664
    as long as you are equipped right and prepared for it to take a long time and alot of effort to get anywhere its alot of fun to ride normally workaday routes such as your commute or local woods in the snow.

    i tend to stay off the high ground, although thats for safety reasons as i mostly ride alone.

    most important thing is to plan your route so you have the option to stop at a pub with a roaring log fire :D
  • its just like riding on very wet mud.
    as long as your bike is lubed up properly the snow is no problem... just bring your bike inside to dry when your done...
    "Orbea, Bianchi, Ridley, Van Nicholas, Planet X, Niner. My Euro-bike menagerie was going well up to the last 2..."
  • As per the Broken Rigby player says:

    Night snowriding is the tits. Just cme back from my first one this year. Cannock Chase is a wonder in this weather and the fact I dont need to get the car out to get there is even more of a bonus.

    10 miles all toasty and warm. Saw a few other tracks but doesnt seem like many have gone out tonight. Missing out on some awesome conditions up there. Certainly better than the recent quagmire. :D:D:D
    4 wheels bad
    2 wheels good
    1 wheel for fun
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    Chris McG wrote:
    its just like riding on very wet mud.
    as long as your bike is lubed up properly the snow is no problem...

    Up to a point this is spot on... But once it gets deeper it's a very different kettle of fish. Likewise if it starts to freeze up rutted. Then, it's a remarkable ba*tard to ride in :lol: Up til that point it's ace
    Uncompromising extremist
  • thel33ter
    thel33ter Posts: 2,684
    Last time I used SPD's in snow, the pedals filled with ice, and so did the cleats, up to the point where I was hacking it out with a screwdriver every time I poot my foot down :lol:

    The most fun is going very fast down a big hill, cause as you speed up you rise up on the snow until you are skimming along on the top, have no grip, and always crash at the bottom :D
    And now you know, and knowing is half the battle
    05 Spesh Enduro Expert
    05 Trek 1000 Custom build
    Speedily Singular Thingy
  • Valy
    Valy Posts: 1,321
    It's fun as long as you are not bogged down but really deep snow/slushy snow with an uneven harder layer underneath won't be too good.
  • rockmonkeysc
    rockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    I found another problem tonight, frozen ruts hidden under the snow.
    You have to get lines spot on or crash
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Night time snow riding is the real buzz!!! Very Happy

    +1, especially if it's snowing. But not when the snow is too deep or you end up nowhere.

    Might I also suggest cross country skiing, superb fun and a good workout. Also good at night! Just been out tonight, -12C - I must be mad. - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • bike-a-swan
    bike-a-swan Posts: 1,235
    Best at night, preferably with no snow falling- you won't need lights if you're lucky.

    Anyone else get the 'star wars hyperspace' effect if trying to use a helmet light with snow blowing in your teeth? Couldn't work out if I could see more with the light on or off.

    Also, I'm loving singlespeeding in the snow- nothing goes wrong, freezes up, needs huge amounts of cleaning when you get home. And you never really go very fast on a geared bike anyway
    Rock Lobster 853, Trek 1200 and a very old, tired and loved Apollo Javelin.
  • On_What
    On_What Posts: 516
    I went out last night to recover my car on the MTB, really good fun rode on ice and snow.

    Great stuff
  • I did some snow riding last January - it was great fun! Made it more interesting in some places and was great to ride in a different environment.
  • Nachimir
    Nachimir Posts: 126
    Went out last night and learned a lot about hill climbing; really emphasises the differences in traction between different riding positions.
  • Tried today. Didn't get very far.
    12inch of uncompacted snow so took little boy sledging.
    00 carrea kraken SE(still going)
    09 M-trax 2.0ht
    11 Cube AMS 100 comp. 2011
    12 Canyon Nerve XC 8.0
  • i did my first snow ride yesterday after being sent home from work, just went to the local woods, pretty immense, very hard work but good fun, shame it's not the hilliest. The snow was pretty deep halfway up the wheels at quite a few points which was the struggle. On the plus side, no broken bones or bike :D [/img]
  • Ransaka
    Ransaka Posts: 474
    + potato for night-time snow biking. My commute home was simply epic fun, ploughing through 4 inch deep, untouched snow on some of the singletrack in the woods, grin from ear to ear and cackling out loud like a madman, loved every second. Almost makes me wish it was 18 miles home rather than 8. :lol:
    BOYDIE Posts: 528
    I haven't been able to get further than the end of my street,the snow here is around 12-15inch,and its the very dry powder like stuff just impossible to get moving.Even the skinny wheeled singlespeed is struggling.
    Last year there was a lot of snow which stuck around for a long time,but it stopped snowing last year long enough to compact it and get the roads open.

    Im nervous for another reason my wife is about to give birth to our second child any day now,Im getting a cracking workout defrosting and digging out the car 2 to 3 times a day. :?