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Are there issues with bikes under colder conditions? Why do people not bike as much? I know that it depends whether you're in South TX where there's no snow vs. Wisconsin when you'll basically need snow tires, but aside from that, does the general cold weather aspect intend bikers not to ride?

I'm asking this because I bought my bike about a month ago, but people are saying, oh man I guess you can't ride as much in the off season until the spring.
 

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In North Texas it isn't really an off season. The bikes work fine, but the trails are often closed due to increased precipitation and excessively long drying times.
 

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And snow. Tough to ride in snow without a fat bike or something. Personally, it becomes increasingly more difficult and less pleasant to ride the colder it gets...

Below 60? Whatever, grab an extra layer...
Below 50, siiiiighn. Not perfect, but manageable with the proper gear.
Below 40, ugh. I hate riding in tights, hats, winter gloves. I am a lot less likely to ride at this temp.
Below 30, Crack a beer. I'm out.
 

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Because they don't live in AZ. :D
My thoughts exactly.

Then, i thought... that's just "southern" AZ. As in... the valley and tucson being called "southern".

I bet the flag folks are packing up for the winter, on the whole... while we're just getting started!



I think people just don't like the cold. It's miserable and makes you sore and generally reduces motivation... plus precipation and whatnot making it actually harder to ride AND colder.
 

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a variety of things.

Trails tend to get sloppy until they freeze. A lot of reasons behind that. For one, the trees and other plants are not drawing up soil moisture. Many areas have less evaporation in the wintertime. Those two factors result in soil moisture hanging around longer. Places with clay and loam soils don't handle riding in mushy slop very well. You need rocky or sandy trails to ride that time of year.

Cold can be unpleasant to ride in. You have to buy cold weather riding gear to be comfortable and that's expensive. Rain gear for just above freezing, insulating layers below. It's difficult to keep water liquid when it's below freezing. Some parts don't work as well in the cold. Many lubes used in parts commonly will freeze up. I've seen shifters and freehubs fail to function in the cold because the lube froze. So you've got mechanical issues to deal with. Suspension can be finicky to deal with. Your shock pressures will change and you'll have to modify things as the seasons change. Shocks that rely on oil will not function the same as that oil will become more viscous in the winter.

Daylight hours are shorter. Oftentimes that means folks go to work in the dark and they come home in the dark. If they want to ride, they have to get lights. Good lights can be very expensive.

Snow and ice can sometimes mean you need new tires for a different season. Studded tires can be very expensive. Also, I've found that if there's more than about 4-6 inches of snow on the ground, regular mtb tires get bogged down. This is why fatbikes were invented in the first place.

That said, if you're willing and able to cope with the new challenges, it's very rewarding.
 

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Last year, my last real day of riding was day after New Year. After that, it got too icy.Thought about buying studded tires but they are so expensive. Figured I'd spend the money and then we'd get a foot of snow and they wouldn't do any good.
Personally, I'd ride until it was around 15 F if conditions were good.
 

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I'm in north Texas. I just got my bike about 5 weeks ago. I plan to get some lights whenever I can afford it and ride as much as I can. The increased drying times will be a pain on the trails, but I have a good bit of residential neighborhood I can do laps in to keep in shape.
 

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I ride all winter, what's the problem? Get some studded tires and wear some clothes!

Drew ;-)
 

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My thoughts exactly.

Then, i thought... that's just "southern" AZ. As in... the valley and tucson being called "southern".

I bet the flag folks are packing up for the winter, on the whole... while we're just getting started!

I think people just don't like the cold. It's miserable and makes you sore and generally reduces motivation... plus precipation and whatnot making it actually harder to ride AND colder.

LOL yep... we're just getting started. Besides, if it gets cold, just bundle up and pedal faster!

-S
 

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I also ride year round. Almost everyone near me are fair weather riders. My group rides have dropped to three people from 10 and we will ride year round.

Last year the winter was mild and we took long rides every Saturday. I was in great shape this spring with so many miles in my legs. Getting the clothing, shoes, and lights is expensive though. Good jackets are around 100, base layers for underneath, pants, possible mask, 60 dollar gloves, and the specific footwear that I mentioned definitely adds up fast. I have accumulated it over the years. I just dropped 140 on a set of used lights on ebay and that is considered cheap for two quality lights. When the time changes in a week I will use these to commute to and from work, and on the trail. Don't underestimate the weather. It gets cold fast once the sun goes down and people would rather sit in their climate controlled houses instead of deal with the elements. It's definitely more comfy.
 

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Around here in Tennessee, it's not so much the cold or snow that becomes a hindrance. Rather it's the amount of rain that tends to fall during the winter months. As such, folks are reluctant to muck up the local trails. This will be my first "off-season" as I just gotten back into biking this year. I suspect that I'll be riding more paved and gravel trails unless weather permits otherwise.
 

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Personally, I'm looking forward to riding in winter. I live in Virginia, and to me it's just easier riding when it's cooler. I used to ride BMX freestyle, and my friend and I used to ride in town at night when it was in the 30s or even 20s. Just put on enough clothes to to be comfortable in, and it's fine. Also I can put my full face helmet on to keep my head warm and be more protected at the same time.
 

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Here in the northern part of the country, not only is it pure misery to ride in freezing cold weather (to sane, non-Innuits), but the trails in many places close down when the winter hits. They're too soft and muddy unless it freezes over...and then it's the domain of the truly hardcore.

I've ridden frozen trails, and it's all well and good until you fall. Concrete broken by stiff hands and knees. Oh, what fun.
 

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I live in Wyoming, where it can get -20 to -30 for a week straight. And otherwise very low temps (10-20 degrees) and high winds. Just doesn't spell a fun time. I can handle riding down into the low 30s, but I don't want to really be out when it's much colder than that.
 

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I've ridden frozen trails, and it's all well and good until you fall. Concrete broken by stiff hands and knees. Oh, what fun.
That's what the studded tires are for, although a lot of the time you don't even need them.

However I got studs after one particularly bad session where three of my friends went down with one broken bike in the process.

That was scary enough that I won't ride without studs because I don't feel much like breaking a wrist or ankle in a stupid fall.

Drew
 

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That's what the studded tires are for, although a lot of the time you don't even need them.

However I got studs after one particularly bad session where three of my friends went down with one broken bike in the process.

That was scary enough that I won't ride without studs because I don't feel much like breaking a wrist or ankle in a stupid fall.

Drew
In conditions such as above I'll keep myself at home and when it gets into the 20s. I don't have the proper footwear for those temps yet. I also ride the road bike a lot more during the winter because it is just easier. The trails freeze and thaw here and if I muck them up I'm the guy fixing them. I have ridden several times in the 20s and I do a 15 mile loop, but my feet start to get cold by the time I get home. I plan on buying something better than shoe covers this year. I have walked to warm my feet up and I have also taken shoes off and putting my hands on my feet. That's not usually a good sign, but I've been there. If my hands and feet are warm I'm fine to ride as long as the road/trail is okay. We don't get much snow here.
 
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