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In Depth Bicycle Winterizing Article On Wired’s How-To Wiki

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“Two feet of snow, 20-degree temperatures and patches of black ice will keep most cyclists away from the saddle. But a few brave souls insist on combating old man winter’s drudgery by hitting the streets, no matter how poor the conditions.”

Non-cycling specific publications and websites don’t always do the best job of getting it right when it comes to cycling-related news, but in this instance Wired definitely got it right. Wired talked recently with Todd Downs, professional Bicycle Mechanic and author of The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair for Road & Mountain Bikes (which we will be reviewing soon) about winter riding. Unlike the more mountain bike oriented Campbell Coaching piece BR recently posted, this article deals more with urban riding and commuting. There are unique tips in the article, tips you might not find anywhere else:

If you’re riding around on busy urban roads, consider a Respro pollution mask. It will keep your nose and mouth from freezing, and it also helps block traffic pollution from cars with cold catalytic converters.

Downs runs us through everything we need to know to get it together for winter riding, step by step:

Check out the article on Wired.

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13 years ago

Interesting read. I have to disagree with their recommendation of carrying and using 4D-40, however. I see what they’re saying, use it to unseize componentry, but it should also me relubed as soon as it dries. It’ll remove whatever lubricant you had on there.

13 years ago

As usual, the article is full of all kinds of…curious statements.

“If you’re using spiked tires, hydraulic disc brakes are a good investment.”
No idea why the use of studded tires would make them a better or worse investment.

“If you’re not doing any long distances, you can try the zip-tie method shown in this Gadget Lab post.”
They should mention it won’t help on ice either.

“Your biggest worry in the winter is corrosion, says Downs.”
Funny, I thought my biggest worries was going down because of ice, being hit by a car (just like in the summer), getting frostbite without the right gear, etc etc.

I should point out this seemed pretty accurate –
“Keep in mind, however, when you use studded tires, you can stop easily, but cars may not be able to.”

“And look out for ice, especially black ice: A little snow can actually help you steer your bike, so go for the snow if there is ice on the road.”
Somewhat accurate but not entirely. If you don’t have studs and there’s only a little snow it works. But if there’s any sort of decent amount of show and you have studs you usually aim *for* the ice – the studs will grip the ice, but layered snow is unpredictable and I’ve fallen down from it myself.

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