CTC Forum - On the road

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Updated: 36 min 58 sec ago

Re: Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 10:43am
Hub dynamo. You will not regret it.

Re: Changing riding style mid ride

19 January 2016 - 10:42am
All the time.

Often when I am crawling up a hill, obligingly tucked out of the way to the left I will get a couple of people squeeze between me and the white line. So I swear and mutter "no more being Mr Nice on this road" and move out so they have to overtake me using enough of the otherside of the road that they cant do it with oncomming traffic (or at least without making that traffic slow, halt or swerve off the road, all of which do happen sometimes).

Then towards the end of a ride when I am exhausted I keep more to the left as I havent the energy to be more assertive further out.

Changing riding style mid ride

19 January 2016 - 10:16am
Last night I had a bad time with close passes. So I started to ride further out into the lane.

Do you ever change your position after getting too many close passes? Is this wise?

Commuting lights

19 January 2016 - 10:13am
This is my first full winter commuting season and I've realised I'm not happy with my lighting system. I have Cateye volt 300 front, Cateye x-lite x2 rear and a set of cheap ALDI lights that look like the highly rated moon ones.

The two Cateye lights are reliable and last a decent time. Plus you get a sign when they're getting low sufficient for my 35 minute ride home.

The aldi ones are backups to get me home but I tend to use them flashing. They last at most 3 days commute but the Cateye lights last over a week (4 days I commute).

I need to replace these but what is worth getting? I used to have battery lights for this role and I'm not sure whether it's better to have a set each of battery and rechargeable ones, what do you think?

Currently my ALDI lights just stop without any indication. The battery warning lights are on even after a full b charge. Not impressed with this but they are about the brightness I need.

P.S. I'd like my rear one to be attached to my rack. I have a Cateye attachment for this but I'm not fixed on the brand if there's a better option that can also fit to the rack light plate I'm open to that.

Re: Leisure rides on icy days

19 January 2016 - 10:05am
I opted to go with the Schwalbe Snow Styd tyres over the Marathons simply because they were cheaper. But I also figured the more nobbly nature of the tyres would mean better handling in deeper snow. Does anyone find that the Marathons tend to spin/slip more on snow than ice?

Yup, and they are horrendous in patches of grey slush that fall off the bottoms of cars - they've lulled you into a false sense of security then you hit the slush and the world spins. In snow a good mud tyre is better...my preference being the old panaracer Spike. But i'd rather than the Winters for road riding were one might meet ice as I'm content to slip a bit in snow and I keep a weary eye out for the slush ponds.

Re: Leisure rides on icy days

19 January 2016 - 9:59am
Vantage wrote:I opted to go with the Schwalbe Snow Styd tyres over the Marathons simply because they were cheaper. But I also figured the more nobbly nature of the tyres would mean better handling in deeper snow. Does anyone find that the Marathons tend to spin/slip more on snow than ice?
I've also found that whilst these things have so far kept me upright when other tyres would have me faceplanting, they tend to slip a bit then grab before it all goes pear shaped. As if the tyre is loosing grip on the bits between the studs. Does anyone else find that?

A few points...
1) Keep the inflation at the lowest possible for your weight. With studs, the more tyre is on the ground, the better grip you have. I run mine at 35 - 40 psi.
2) snow on top of ice can still be a problem, if it's deeper than your tread, but shallow enough to slip on the ice. Avoid riding on stuff like that, if possible.
3) studs are less effective at higher speeds. I find that around 12 mph (it may be at lower speeds with higher inflation pressures) the studs become much less effective. So, I'm super cautious going down hills; I came very close to an off several times before I learned that one.
4) on *just* snow, fat knobbly tyres are better than studded tyres, the Snow Stud in better than a Marathon Winter, & in deep snow, nothing works very well, unless you can get a fat tyre to sit on top.
5) If you are riding a lot on ice, more studs are better; the Schwalbe snow stud tyres have half as many studs as a Marathon Winter, or Ice Spike tyre. Of course that makes them lighter, and ride better, as well, so it's a trade-off.

Re: Lightset on ebay, thought I'd share

18 January 2016 - 10:55pm
Ta ever so - just ordered one, at that price it's worth a try

Re: Leisure rides on icy days

18 January 2016 - 9:58pm
RideToWorky wrote:These marathon winters,

Can you leave them on all year for commuter bikes?!

You can, but it's hard work. I suggest just leaving them on until the danger of ice is past, then putting your summer tyres back on. If you don't like changing, get a second set of wheels, and keep winter tyres on one set and summer tyres on the other.

Re: Leisure rides on icy days

18 January 2016 - 8:32pm
I like rmurphy and philwhitesides posts some very good tips and pointers there. I love the look of schwalbe studded tyres and from video on youtube ridden on an ice rink they seem to work, also very cheap from rosebikes. They are so competitive for tyres, dynamo's, lights etc and good customer service.

I feel like a chicken nowadays not venturing out when 2 or 3 degrees or below, yet reading the posts I'm not alone. The rural roads where I live have many sheltered spots where the ice simply does not go due to the low sun. Many of these on downhill sections with tight bends at the bottom so the need to brake is paramount yet with black ice also guaranteed so I err on the side of caution and go on turbo or long walk. I like to get out on the bike so to miss a few days mid winter is fine in exchange for staying upright and not being put off the bike for 2-3 months due to broken bones. I've been caught out several times riding on "glass" and it's stressful( often I'll bail out and walk sections ), white frost does not have the same fear as it seems to ride ok. I was caught out riding down 5-10% gradient on sheet ice once with the bike accelerating and me knowing that to brake I'd be on the deck....... I had no choice but made it into the snowy verge and got off. I then fell on my "ahem" a few hundred yards later when walking the bike down the hill. I was so pleased to see my home that day, but 600ft altitude though small, meant a totally different climate( about 2 degrees c drop per thousand feet I think ).

So for me I'll go out if it has been dry for a few days prior to the cold temperatures so avoiding black ice issues and even then I'll try to stick to a flattish route on main roads( mostly gritted ) at sea level. A proper Sir Cowardy Custard .

Addendum: I see many photo shoots in C+ showing ice/snow covered roads and that mob riding racing bikes on 25mm or less tyres....... surely they don't go out on long rides in those conditions on tyres/bike like that? It must be just a couple of hundred yards for the shoot, if not they must be crazy.

Re: Lightset on ebay, thought I'd share

18 January 2016 - 7:34pm
Thanks for the link. I've been on the lookout for something similar for a while so have bought a set, was able to collect as well so have them already and saved the delivery charge. They do not come with the helmet mount. Initial impression is that they work well and are worth the money.

In my case I was after decent lights that could be used in conjunction with my bar bag, which obscures lights mounted in the usual bar top position. The fixing on these lights allow them to be mounted on the very bottom of the drops, on the inside. In this position the beams clear the bag, they don't interfere with my hand positions, can easily be switched on & off, and the lights can be swivelled if required to provide a higher or lower beam. They should be ideal for some night rides I'm planning, although a battery life test is still required.

Re: Leisure rides on icy days

18 January 2016 - 7:24pm
Richard A Thackeray wrote:mjr wrote:pwa wrote:I commuted to work by bike for about 20 years, including through the winter, and in frosty weather I stuck to gritted roads. If you don't you will, at some point, end up on your <i>[rude word removed]</i> on the road. And it hurts.
My last ice crash was on a treated road. The buses hadn't started running yet and I think there just hadn't been enough traffic to work the salt in and melt the ice. I bought studded tyres after that. They run slower than molasses in January but resolutely keep gripping in everything we've had so far.
I have too (commuted year round, for 20+ years), even on - when I was using that bike - '20' section tyres, in winter (as they were all that would fit with mudguards, & Salmon Profil, at that !!!!)

If it's too bad, I'll run instead (I try to alternate, run one day, ride next)

It's either a case of fell-running shoes, if deep snow/slush
Such as my Inov-8 'Mud-Claw 330' (note peat-bog tide mark on legs!!, & Cycling club jersey)

2010. Holme-Moss Fell-Race. 12.jpg

If it's icy, I have another pair of Inov-8's (OROC-340) , which are really meant to be orienteering shoes, but great in ice, as they have tungsten studs!

Great shoes Richard. I haven't seen the likes of those before. You look tired but happy [emoji854]

Leisure rides on icy days

18 January 2016 - 7:14pm
HMRC and it's shiny crown has just provided me with a set of Kenda Klondikes. HRH's family, who I think work for Roses in Germany, sent them to the UK today. Not much, but I'm not complaining ...b

Re: Leisure rides on icy days

18 January 2016 - 5:30pm
These marathon winters,

Can you leave them on all year for commuter bikes?!


Re: Most Annoying and Potentially Dangerous Motoring Manoeuv

18 January 2016 - 3:58pm
Mick F wrote:Some of us passed our test before seatbelts were even fitted in cars as standard. Not me though, I passed in 1970 when seatbelts had been fitted legally from 1965.

My first car was a Mini and second a Triumph Herald. I learned to drive in 1970 in a Toyota Corolla and a Vauxhall Viva. No sign of seatbelts ever being used and even the examiner never used them. Those were the days of learning to drive with the window open so you could do the hand signals.

It wasn't until we bought a brand new Mini in 1980 that we used our seatbelts due to them being inertia reel. Previous cars had been fixed and very uncomfortable and you were not legally obliged to use them anyway. Even the Mini didn't have them in the rear like most cars back then.

Our family car is a 1970 Beetle, which has static seatbelts in the rear. PITA, to be honest, and I promise one day I will replace them with modern (-ish) inertia-reel belts.

That wasn't my point in writing though. I was going to add to 'annoying and potentially dangerous' the fact that so many drivers have become so accustomed to seeing lights indicating this that and the other that they forget to use common sense. Our car (again) doesn't have reversing lights, but so many people seem to have become so conmditioned to looking for the white reversing lights that they don't even notice the direction the car is travelling in... People are so used to being handheld through everything in their cars (check this, check that, light for this, light for that, sign for this, please check your brain at the door), and they have forgotten (and some never learnt) to use their own discretion and common sense. I think that is why some people have such a problem with bicycles - there aren't indicator lights and they are completely panicked by the idea that we could just do *anything*.

Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

18 January 2016 - 3:23pm
Yes, they're getting muddier. Everyone's cutting costs such as washing mud from the public roads and there are too few county highways officers to make them, so expect it to get worse until we get a high-profile case of mud-sliding crash victims' insurers going after farms/quarries/etc that haven't washed the roads.

Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

18 January 2016 - 2:57pm
The mud at the moment is mostly due to the ground being waterlogged, you cant even walk on grass at the moment without it being churned into mud.

Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

18 January 2016 - 2:54pm
I normally do most of my cycling on unclassified roads in Shropshire , I do use mudguards. Last week due to ice I decided to mainly use B roads (salted) and the ride was a lot more pleasant . As well as the terrible surfaces on lanes, it strikes me that with larger vehicles from School Buses to Fuel tankers , more home deliveries , massive tractors and other farm vehicles and 4 wheel drive cars , the vehicles are ploughing up the road verges a lot more causing a lot more thick mud on the road

Re: Leisure rides on icy days

18 January 2016 - 2:28pm
I went out on Sunday morning about 9:30am with about 2" of snow & ice on the roads for the first 3/4 of a mile of completely untreated and, initially, undriven/ridden on. With Marathon Winters on I had no problems despite that 3/4 mile including a drop of c 250ft in the first 1/2 mile.


Re: Leisure rides on icy days

18 January 2016 - 1:54pm
I did a loop of just over 50 miles on Saturday morning. Started on the Bath -Bristol railway path where there were patches of ice. Just after I left the path there was a 30 metre section of sheet ice and slush at the entrance to a farm. 8 miles of gritted roads with other traffic followed by a loop through the lanes running up besides the Severn towards Berkley. There was the odd patch of ice here and there plus one hill, just south of Cowhill that was covered in ice both going up and down the other side.

Didn't have any problems with my Schwalbe Marathon Winter tyres and in the lanes I think I saw 2 cars in about 2 hours. The nicest ride I've been on in about 3-4 months as all the other it's been raining, or blowing a gale or raining and blowing a gale.

Re: Most Annoying and Potentially Dangerous Motoring Manoeuv

18 January 2016 - 11:32am
One that is certainly annoying, if of questionable danger level, is responding to noticing a cyclist behind them by slowing down, particularly while accelerating at junctions. This has happened a few times to me lately. In the last two weeks I have twice had to brake sharply in traffic because the vehicle ahead set off sharply, but then slowed down again right in front of me apparently due to the driver noticing me there and for some reason coming off the accelerator in response.




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