Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a bike commuter in Minnesota, where snow on roads seems to be more often dealt with by large quantities of salt instead of being plowed. Most of the time, this results in a nasty slop that covers everything from the main traffic lane in to the curb. What I'm talking about is not the melty wet slush of spring time, but something that might constitute a new form of matter: a funky soft mix of snow, salt, and sand that seems to be neither solid nor liquid. I'm running Nokian Mount & ground tires, with studs that handle ice and a tread that clears snow well enough. However, in this nasty quicksand-like mess, my tires just pack up with it and slide all over.

I've heard of people using a light cooking spray to help tires clear mud; anyone have any idea if this will help in the frozen quagmire? Anyone have any other suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
I know the exact type of product you're talking about. They spread the same stuff around here after it snows;)
Usually I just suck it up for a few days and leave a little extra time for my commute. I ride in the "tire lane" when I can and move over for cars when I need to.
I ride a mountain bike, but my understanding is that a cross bike is better because the thin tires cut down to the road surface better and they also don't pack up with snow as easily.
Can anyone confirm or deny this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
460 Posts
ziggurat44 said:
I know the exact type of product you're talking about. They spread the same stuff around here after it snows;)
Usually I just suck it up for a few days and leave a little extra time for my commute. I ride in the "tire lane" when I can and move over for cars when I need to.
I ride a mountain bike, but my understanding is that a cross bike is better because the thin tires cut down to the road surface better and they also don't pack up with snow as easily.
Can anyone confirm or deny this?
Not from experience, but logically speaking it seems to make sense that if a tire has less surface area, then there's less area upon which material can accumulate. Plus a thinner tire sheds crap easier.

My $.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Point taken about the narrow tires. For the near future at least, I'm stuck on my 26x1.9's. I've managed three winters' worth of the slop, but I figure there's got to be a better way. For me at least, it's not so much the extra effort in keeping the bike on track and moving. It's the abrupt loss of control that can occur. Sometimes parked cars and buses leave little room for error.

I'll try to get my tires cleaned up, give 'em spray, and report back if it makes a difference. A crappy ride in is still better than being crammed in a crowded bus, at least for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,171 Posts
I'm running the same tires and also have problems with "quasi-snow". They don't use salt here but what happens is that the snow gets dirty and mashed up by cars a day or two after a snow. I don't get anything sticking to my tires but it does get hard to hold a line in the stuff - just like riding in sand on a regular tire.

I think the problem would be solved by a WIDER tire that floated over the crud better but since I usually only have to deal with ice and well-packed snow I'm happy with the M&G tires since they are relatively light and fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,083 Posts
I call that car snot, ride the M&G as well.

Only solution for me is keep the momentum up and get the weight on the rear before you apply power.

Our stuff does not seem to plug up the tires just overwhelm them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think one can go either way on tire width. On one hand, a narrower tire will cut through the slop. On the other hand, something W I D E like the Pugs' footprint might float on the top. Any thoughts on if my slipping and sliding is really due to packed up tread, or am I hopelessly caught somewhere between cutting through it and floating on it?

For the record, this is not going to keep me from riding. If all else fails, I'll simply suck it up and keep plowing along as before. Just looking for some other thoughts on it.
 

·
Double-metric mtb man
Joined
·
4,482 Posts
I'm hailing from Alberta, Canada...and we get a variety of stuff here too... the same "slop" as he OP has described plus the "snow-plates-on-ice" (packed snow that isn't stuck to the well poilshed and compressed (read ice) beneath it so when you ride it either a) shifts suddenly as a solid plate or b) splits so that you end up riding on ice).

I find that you need to go to extremes. A thin tire will cut in a bit better (hopefully there is traction below)...if I go this way, I would go for a thin studded front and thin, good clearing knobby rear. OTOH, the wider tire will float over things better...if I go this way, I forget about the studs and get the most angular knobby that clears well so I can to get some traction in whatever I'm trying to float over.
 

·
What day are we riding?
Joined
·
1,088 Posts
I run the really skinny Michelin Jet cyclocross tires in the winter, they do a great job of cutting through a variety of crap in addition to working great on the compact snow and ice. They are like having siped tires on your car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,083 Posts
6 inches fresh light powder, easy ride in the fresh stuff, but three to five cars tracks and the as PsychoMike says the dinner plates just flop out of the way.

I practised steering with my hips and just let the front go, with more weight on the rear.

I think skinnier would have been better than fatter, at least up to a 2.4 or so (thats all that will fit my forks).
 

·
1946:2006:2066
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
do not use tires with a directional tread pattern.

In heavy slop they cause the front wheel to wander.

If you have a front tire with a directional tread pattern,
run it reversed to minimize any streering effect the slop causes.
But realize, doing so reduces braking performance.
However, riding in slop, braking is, sometimes, merely a matter of not pedaling.;)

michael
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tried reversing the tread

On my commute home last night, I flipped the front wheel around. Might just be psychological, but it seemed to cut down on the sliding. Seemed counterintuitive to me at first. I figured the directional tread (in this case, a pronounced chevron pattern) would cut through the slop better, helping to push through it. I think I might be wrong. With the tread reversed, it felt easier to pull out of the slides. I suppose the sideknobs grab better in this direction instead of continuing to push off in the direction I don't want to go.

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,083 Posts
Yeah

I run the rear chevron pointing to the front when on top of the tire, so that if it slips when driving, it will clear snow out to the side better.

I run the front chevron pointing to the rear when on top of the tire, so that if it slips when braking, it will clear snow to the side better.

I think those little sideways slips are more like braking, so I think it works for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's how I'm set up now, and I think I'll keep it that way. Seems to work pretty well. With my weight on the rear, the forward direction seems to bite well enough. I have seen people with the tread reversed on the rear; anyone have any experience doing that with the M&G? Maybe if roads are clean there would be a difference in rolling resistance (running the front or both in reverse), but given typical winter conditions I don't think it will be an issue.

Slightly off topic, do those of you running the narrow tires (CX, etc.) have any trouble with hard-frozen ruts, chunks of ice, or other winter obstacles? I try to avoid such hazards, but there have been plenty of times that I am glad to have a beefier tire/wheel when I hit something. How do the narrow wheels hold up?
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top