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Rec.Bicycles Frequently Asked Questions Posting Part 5/5
Section - 9.42 Riding on Ice

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Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 12:07:59 -0800

Ice riding is best done with studded tires of which there are a few
suppliers, mainly in northern Europe, such as Nokian:

http://www.nokiantyres.fi/bike/winter/index.html

Riding on ice, especially frozen lakes, requires a few practical
tricks.  This applies to slick as well as studded tires.  Ice, in
contrast to fresh snow, is slick no matter whether it is frozen water
or firmly compacted snow.  It offers poor traction.  Therefore, riding
on ice should be done in top gear to avoid rear wheel spin.  This is
similar to driving cars with manual transmissions where starting in
second gear helps avoid wheel spin.  For bicycling on level ice, top
gear is best for both starting and cruising, because while starting,
acceleration is the main force while once rolling, wind drag, even at
low speeds, readily exceeds traction.

In the absence of studded tires for frozen lakes without a snow crust,
slick tires are better than ones with miniature automobile tread
because they give more contact surface, thereby reducing contact
pressure and slip.

Braking with the front wheel is impractical for two reasons.  Skidding
the front wheel usually causes a fall, and there is no way to detect
that the front wheel is skidding except by falling.  In contrast, rear
wheel skidding is benign and it can be easily detected.  By continuing
to pedal while braking enables a precise ABS.  When the rear wheel
skids, the pedals stop suddenly, to which one can respond almost
instantly by letting up the brake.  The response speed and precision
of this method is surprising.

Good gloves help not only against the cold, but with inevitable
falling, they protect the hands from the ice.  Frozen lakes are a
wonderful way to appreciate landscapes where there is no alternate
route and is safer than riding with traffic on icy streets.  Thin ice,
a term heard often with risky adventures, is a hazard that occurs from
currents and from convection caused by gas bubbling to the surface in
marshy areas.  Stay away from reeds and swamps.

Water in a frozen lake is at 4C (39F), its greatest density because
colder water rises to the surface and begins to freeze while warmer
water rises to the surface and cools.  Marsh gas bubbling to the
surface brings 4C water to the surface to melt ice causing thin hollow
domes that no longer contact the water.

Thin spots can be detected if the surface is clear ice but they
present a hazard just the same.  The bubble method is used to protect
boats too large to be lifted from the water.  It keeps an opening in
the ice from an under water bubbler pipe in the shape of the hull.

http://tinyurl.com/ttp6

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Top Document: Rec.Bicycles Frequently Asked Questions Posting Part 5/5
Previous Document: 9.42 Flats from beer and cigarettes
Next Document: 10 Off-Road

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