Thorn Cycles Forum

Community => Non-Thorn Related => Topic started by: sd on November 10, 2017, 02:06:22 PM

Title: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: sd on November 10, 2017, 02:06:22 PM

 Had a few zeros here already. Put Spikes on my kalkhoff power assist and my Santos Travel master. Found I had lost a few studs on one rear tyre easy enough to replace with the right tool. Ordinary touring tyres on my Thorn. Looking for my winter gloves. Know I left them somewhere in the house....somewhere. I will start with some thin garden/work gloves and then move onto my proper gloves (if I can find them!) Leather (treated with Mink oil) Gortex lined and heavily insulated. Water has never passed through them. The mink oil paste is a little on the sticky side so trying mink oil mixed with neetfoot. Jacket wise I tend to use walking jackets, cycle jackets are in my opinion overpriced and inferior to a good walking jacket. Although I do miss that rear pocket, you can fit so much into it!
Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: John Saxby on November 10, 2017, 04:28:14 PM
Serious cold today: -12 last night, -22 windchill this morning. Rain, snow and 70 km/h winds last night; sunny today, tho' :)  No bikes to be seen in this neighbourhood, as you might guess.

No cycling for this lad for a while, partly be design -- I'm still recovering from preventive-maintenance foot surgery, and that's going OK. Being confined to barracks isn't much fun, though I have caught up on correspondence, journals, etc.

Cycling matters betw now and Xmas will be:

(i)  Conversations with my LBS about refreshing the late-70's 6-spd Sekine I bought for my wife 40 years ago, which our daughter wants as her city bike in downtown Toronto. It's still in remarkably good nick. Brakes and drive train are good, and bars, saddle and fenders are good-to-OK. Paint needs some touchup on the upper downtube (it's a step-through) and at least one wheel needs to be replaced, though we may go for two, as the old ones are 27" (tires are 32 x 630), and there are not many tire options in that size. The bike has a lovely metallic aqua and silver finish.

(ii)  Fitting my Raven into a bike box to take Down Unda in mid-January for a two-month stay with our son and his family in Queensland. The Raven's gearing will help me manage the 15-17% grades on my favourite route into the NSW border ranges, and I hope that the 'glider and the Marathon Supremes offer some protection against the fine sand in the air and the glass shards on the roads. My ti-framed Eclipse is geared a bit too high for the hills, and the chain and my Marathon Racers didn't fare very well during our visit this past Feb/March.

(iii)  Then, from early Dec onwards, some regular work in the gym and on the skating rink to recover a bit of muscle tone from 5 weeks' enforced idleness.
Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: jags on November 10, 2017, 06:47:33 PM
Thank god we don't extreame weather  like you guys i just could not handle it.
only extra stuff i take is gloves rain jacket overshoes.

anto.
Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: martinf on November 10, 2017, 09:00:08 PM
After a very mild autumn, first frost last week, so I'm thinking about putting the Nokian Hakkapeliitta w240 studded tyres back on my Thorn Raven utility bike for the winter in case we get icy weather. Not frequent here in South Brittany, but it can happen any time between November and March.

Winter gloves (cheap fibre-pile ski goves) have already been used on my work commute, but I haven't yet been cold enough to ferret out the thin merino wool bonnet that fits under my helmet and keeps my ears warm.

I also have a pair of cycling shoes that are half a size bigger than my normal shoes, so I can use them with thick wool socks. 
Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: mickeg on November 11, 2017, 03:39:27 PM
I use 2.0 width Marathon Winters on my Nomad in winter.  I vary the pressure in them based on conditions, higher pressure for minimal ice and snow.  But if there is much ice or snow I lower the pressure to get more studs gripping into the ice.  But I find if there is over a couple cm of snow on top of the ice, the studs do not dig into the ice and it get get slippery. 

First two photos, you can see how the studs will not dig into any ice if there is a thick enough layer of snow over it.  First photo, there was freezing rain and there is a layer of ice on the pavement.

I have never lost a stud.  The tires came with a note that you should ride carefully at first to set the studs better into the tire.  I did that.

I kept records on several dozen rides on what the temperature was and what I wore for clothing and how it worked.  I then got systematic about that and put together a list of what to wear in 5 degree (Fahrenheit) increments.  With that cheat sheet, I find that I rarely am wearing the wrong stuff in cold.  Judging what to wear in cold can be tough, your toes might be freezing while your fingers are sweating.

Below freezing I usually switch to hiking shoes or hiking boots instead of bike shoes.  I use M324 pedals so that I can use SPD clips on my bike shoes or hiking shoes on the other side of the pedal.  And ski goggles help a lot with the cold wind. 

The chemicals they put on roads for ice are highly corrosive, I have a couple chains that are so rusty that I have set them aside for winter use only. 

Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: sd on November 20, 2017, 08:53:47 AM
  But I find if there is over a couple cm of snow on top of the ice, the studs do not dig into the ice and it get get slippery. 
Annoyingly true. Had no problems with sheet ice with big ridges of ice or a decent depth of snow. If just a small amount of snow over the ice the studs wouldn't grip and get me over the ridges. Actually just cycled on other side of road if there was a bit of a snow drift.
Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: mickeg on November 20, 2017, 05:28:52 PM
In winter, most of my riding is because I have cabin fever and want to get out.  I do not really need to ride a bike in winter, but the times I went out and found a few inches of snow on the ground, there was so much rolling resistance that I did not enjoy it very much.  Thus, I generally only go out on my bike if the conditions are really good.

I use two bikes in winter, my Nomad  with studded tires and if I am really confident that I will not see any ice I ride a different bike with conventional tires.  This year my new Titanium bike will be my non-studded tire bike while the Nomad will wear the Marathon Winter studded tires.

Usually around here (southern Wisconsin, USA) if it has not snowed for a couple weeks the roads and trails are largely free of snow and ice.  Sometimes you find patches where snow melted, formed puddles and then froze to form a sheet of ice.  But I largely stick to routes that I know, thus I know where I have to be careful with a bike that lacks studded tires.  But if I expect some ice, I ride the Nomad.

It just occured to me, I do not know where I put my winter waterproof socks.  I need to search for them.

Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: Andre Jute on November 20, 2017, 10:25:12 PM
Thank god we don't extreame weather  like you guys i just could not handle it.
only extra stuff i take is gloves rain jacket overshoes.

We are truly the beloved of the Lord, you and I, Anto. See what a fine climate he gave us. Though a little of that there global warming wouldn't go amiss in the two weeks or so every year that there might be black ice in the shadows of high-flying hedges.

Studs, what studs? We don't have no stinking snow. But we do have a little black ice in the depths of winter, but so little of it that it becomes especially dangerous because it is too rare and unexpect to take routine precautions against it.

I know these lanes well, and can tell you where you will find the black ice. There's one place it is invisible because the sun is always in the wrong position to shimmer on it. Fortunately, it's on the uphill part of the ride (or it was then; new riding companions like bombing down that hill...) so I wasn't going too fast the first time I encountered it. I was on my Kranich, techinally "a unisex cross frame deluxe of the 1935 Locomotief design" which Gazelle kept in production until 1963 as their "priesterrijwiel" or priest's bike for old-fashioned clergy who wore those split cassocks the French call soutane -- images both new and towards the end of the photo essay historical at http://coolmainpress.com/AndreJute'sUtopiaKranich.pdf
-- but you can think of it as a mixte with an extra bar connecting the bottom bracket with the head tube. The Kranich thus offers a medium-low stopover, which is one reason I bought it in contemplation of advancing years. How painful the next maneuver might have been on a standard horizontal crossbar bike I leave to your imagination. When I hit the black ice, the moment I lost traction and with it steering, I put both my great big dirty boots with thick treaded rubber soles flat on the road to form a triangle with the rear wheel, the front wheel being irrelevant because it no longer steered, and gently the bike and I slid rearwards, fortunately not too far because we were gathering speed at an thought-provoking rate, until we got back onto the merely wet tarmac. I turned back, stopped first the wife of a farmer that said the police had already blocked all the roads to her house and she had to get to her children; I told her to drive slowly in a high gear and not to use her brakes if the car started sliding; she made it because a couple of weeks later her husband stopped me on the road to tell me I could ride on his land whenever I wanted. The next guy, in a big Audi, resented being stopped and told by a bicyclist where he could and couldn't drive. He roared off uphill. I heard his crash though by then I'd ridden out of sight so I didn't see it, called it in, and before I reached the town first the police and then the local St John's ambulance passed me, in as much of a hurry as the road permitted.

***
When you reach a certain age, bicycle incidents (when I was an auto racer one could be ostracized for using the dread word "accident" -- I always used to dismiss even the reality with, "Oh, it wasn't a champagne moment.") are especially bothersome because you could break a hip, which would most likely put you off the bike forever, and lead directly and indirectly to life-threatening complications. It's a time to take ice, black or white, seriously, especially when it isn't spread from horizon to horizon, as in the George's photo, but patchy and unexpected. At the height of the winter, I can tell you, I study the hedgerows carefully against the inclination of the sun, because that is the best indication of where black ice will form and remain.
Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: mickeg on November 20, 2017, 10:55:09 PM
Or, you could go for a nice ride up north.
https://cyclingdutchgirl.com/2015/04/24/the-dempster-delights/
Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: Andre Jute on November 21, 2017, 12:00:31 AM
Thank you, George, but I've been to Alaska, and nearly died three times just doing research for a book.
https://www.amazon.com/IDITAROD-novel-Greatest-Race-Earth/dp/1908369000
The Arctic Circle is not my idea of a fun bicycle ride. John Saxby has the right idea: spend the winter in Oz.
Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: Bill on November 21, 2017, 02:38:37 AM
Or, you could go for a nice ride up north.
https://cyclingdutchgirl.com/2015/04/24/the-dempster-delights/

I've thought about doing the Dempster but not in winter. At least there'd be no bugs.
Vik attempted it in the summer and warned me off it, but lots (well, a few) of people do it.

Snow biking on fat bikes with studded tires is big right now, there's not quite enough snow for good skiing, but the fat biking is really good, according to a friend with whom I had lunch today.

I used to commute to work all winter (depending on road conditions) but slush and ice and deep semi compacted snow is not fun, so now I avoid it, maybe take the bike out when the roads dry out a bit. Uncompacted snow on pavement isn't too bad, and compacted snow (not ice) is good, the middle condition of semi compacted , rutted, mixed up snow is horrible.

And as mickeg noted, road salt is about the worst thing for bike and components. Better not take your good bike out in it.
Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: John Saxby on November 21, 2017, 03:03:14 AM
Medium-term forecast today is for plenty of snow in the next 6-8 weeks, and cold temps as well (not old-time cold, nights down to -30 and more, but probably some -20s, and daytime highs of -15.) This bodes well for some X-country skiing bef we head Down Unda in January :) 

BUT.  There's always a 'but', it seems. The dreaded Variable Temps will be upon us, so I fear we'll have an exaggerated version of the snow-thaw-freeze cycles of recent years, hence a lot of ice under foot.

These icy conditions are no fun at all, certainly not for cycling, but not for skiing either, and least of all for walking, tho' I do have my Yaktrax [https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5002-768/Pro-Traction-Device (https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5002-768/Pro-Traction-Device)] and they do the business.
Title: Re: Winter here? What's your set up for winter.
Post by: jags on November 21, 2017, 01:25:37 PM
ah i'v become a fair weather cyclist, at the moment here it's drizzle rain but very mild ,i can't get my arse off the chair to get a handy  couple hours in on the bike  :'(
i know once i get out the door i'll enjoy it but getting on all this cycling gear cracks me up.
how u guys ride in snow is beyond me .

anto.