It takes skillz.

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I did not like riding singletrack in fresh snow. It was fun in the not-so-serious way but aggravating at the same time that I couldn’t stay upright and pedal for long.

snow shoe

At least I know now.

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About Judi

Bicycles are my salvation. They are my way of life. If you don't like it, then you can go straight to hell. Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

36 Replies to “It takes skillz.”

  1. Dress warm. Pedal an easier gear. Don’t expect to haul any kind of ass. Enjoy the cold silence of the woods. Leave the Camelback at home cuz it’ll freeze. Have fun.

  2. 1-Maybe one of those insulated bladders and your hot bev of choice.
    2-Pugsley’s the first thing I want if I ever have the cash. One would be unstoppable.
    3-Studs are the answer on ice; somewhat helpful on hardpacked snow. Useless on the floofy stuff. What you really want is a fixed gear.

  3. Joe-are you serious, a fixie?! Fixed is the worst idea in the snow and one speed is the 2nd worst idea. You need to be able to bail into some easy gears in the snow. Coasting through some nasty crap like multiple tire tracks is key, especially with that front end wagging all over the place. I don’t want to have to worry about non-stop pedaling too. I’ve tried fixed in the winter, it’s not fun. ESPECIALLY offroad like she’s doing.

  4. Judi, snow riding can be awesome but it requires some very specific conditions. Watch for a bit of warm spell where the snow packs down, absorbs some moisture (or even rain) followed by a cold snap to harden it up. run the fattest tires you’ve got @~20psi and it can be a blast.
    and depending on snow depth you’ll need to be on a fairly well trodden walking, snowshoeing or ski trail.

    Otherwise sloopin and sloppin and spinnin through loose snow is every bit the fools errand you found it to be.

    -1 on the single speed. a mit full of gears (all of them low) is a good thing.

  5. Johnny, Kark, I doubt the both of you combined have ridden more than a couple miles fixed in your entire lives.

  6. Not true Joe. my get around town bike is a single speed flip flop and the wheel (white bros eccentric eno) has been run on my xc race bike on a few occasions also.

    My get around town bike sees a fair bit of winter use here with schwalbe ice spikers on the canal and pathways to pub. and I’ve tried it off road and it’s just not that useful. far as it goes, I kinda like the fixed thing a *little* bit for flat riding and occasionally flip it over to fixed but novelty for my money I just don’t see it as the panacea that the whole ‘fixie nation’ would have us believe.
    ..and thats just commuting.

    For winter riding on snow, in hilly terrain it’s just not workaable for me.

    bottom line is that you’re mistaken. My opinion is based on enough open minded experience on varied terrain that I’m comfortable standing by it.

  7. Well, whatever works for ya, I reckon. Me, I get nervous enough just trying to ride a bike that keeps going when you stop pedaling. Throw in the slippery stuff and-well let’s just say it ain’t for me. But last winter I finally threw my studded tires (Inova knobbies) on the (fixed, natch) Monocog. First thing I did was to ride right onto a big sheet of ice and hold the longest trackstand ever. Can’t beat a fixed gear for surefootedness, especially at the speeds you’re likely to ride when it’s bad out.

    And don’t even get me started on iced up shifty bits…

  8. The eno is pretty cool. It’s an expensive solution ..tho I don’t remember what I paid for it cause it’s been 5 or 6yrs now, but it allows me to do a keep-it-simple bike with a frame that has vert drops and sentimental value so it was worth it to me.
    And as mentioend it can be run on a couple of my bikes with only a little bit of wrench time.
    Durability seems good in my experience. I’ve never serviced it at all and it gets run in the worst conditions and it was even run on a park bike for a bit. (disclaimer. I’m pretty f-n tame when it comes to park riding)
    The eccentric part means its *probably* not possible to run rear brakes with it but that’s no issue for me.

  9. I ride rigid ss 29er in the snow…just dropped my gear from a 32 x 16 to 32 x 18…awesomeness ensued.

  10. Good job on getting some “pow” tracks.

    I’m with Joe on this one. Fixed in the snow is divine. No freewheel to freeze up, and the ability to back pedal on the slippery stuff makes traversing it a lot easier. I rode 28 miles, round trip, through the winter on my fixed gear with 700×23 slicks.

    With winter riding it is not “when I fall,” rather, “how many times i fall.”

    This is my 3rd winter with no crashes on the ice.

  11. Check out the new 4.0 w/ uberknobbsz on the PugsZ!
    (old moto tire, chewed up and spat about)

    Will be trying it out on the slushified slopes of Sunlight Mtn 2nite.

    In a coupla months, we’ll head down to Tucson with the PugS’z for Old Pueblo… Should have a coupla teams of 4.

  12. …non sequitur but what’s up with this sudden rash of arbitrary & ambiguous “comments” in various chicks names, some on months old posts, happening here on drunkcyclist ???…

    …anybody got a ‘take’ on that shit…this isn’t a ‘sexiest’ concern, this is a “what the fuck is up with that shit ???” concern…

  13. I know what the website is and all but snow = ski. xc esp for cyclists that want to gain aerobic fitness and enjoy outdoors year-round or alpine/tele/alpine touring or all for best of all worlds. Don’t fight winter.

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  15. well then, there was 12 kilometers of skate yesterday, 78 minutes… not fast, but not that bad either. Keep the waxy side down.

  16. Good thing I read DC or I wouldn’t know why I couldn’t read Judi’s blog anymore. (Girlfriend! Send up a flare or something.)

  17. Riding in snow is the beast of a different flavor. There is no pushing the bike through turns or any of that mess. Ride “light,” but charge the uphills. I ride a SS in the fresh powder and save the Pugsley for the hardpack and commuting. The fatties dont float on the soft stuff and you just end up pushing a wider tire through it. I think the key to snowriding is kepping the weight centered and fairly upright. Let the bike dance under you while the body stays in the line. It is the most fun until you get deeper than 6″ or so of the fresh stuff. here is a link to a wintery bikepacking trip I took last year…

    tis the season for fun.