Fresh snow is great to ride in, but it gets a little harder when riding through lumpy bumpy snow on the pathways, and even harder on the mushed snow on roads (also known as car snot…)
Knowing how to ride in snow and on ice can make a huge difference in your confidence and comfort level.
Lower the tire pressure
Riding with less air in your tires lets more of the tire surface be in contact with the snow and ice. Remember, however, that it will also take more energy to ride with less air in your tires. You’ll also have less control when cornering — a squishy tire can feel very slippery taking a corner at high speed.
Keeping a death grip on the handlebars makes you tense up with ever slip and wobble. If you’re relaxed, you won’t notice them as much and won’t overcompensate if you do wobble or slip.
Riding with your bum back and keeping the weight on your back wheel helps the front wheel float over or through the snow a bit more. If there’s too much weight on the front wheel, you’ll definitely find it harder to ride in the snow.
Know the snow types and the terrain
Different types of snow present completely different challenges. Try and notice the types of snow you ride through.
- Light snow doesn’t usually present many problems.
- The light brown patches in the roads are usually traps — the mushy snow will quickly throw your front wheel and send you off somewhere else.
- Lightly packed snow will always present a mix of problems — sometimes it will be easy to ride in, sometimes it won’t.
- Hard pack snow is great to ride on. There’s good grip for the knobbies and the riding is usually fairly consistent.
- Watch out when you’re riding the pathways — it’s easy to hit the edge of the pathway and get thrown or experience a good wobble.
- Black ice — nasty…
You’ll become more comfortable with the traffic, the conditions and your handling skills as you ride more.
Have fun riding!