Trail Ramblings: What Is Keeping Your Rubber Side Down?

I’m seeing a lot of tire tracks, so even though conditions are atrocious, I know some of you are managing to stay upright in it. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m using studded tires this year for the first time and am enjoying them. While high quality tires, (they were stored about twenty years in the garage with no checking, one of them seeing just one season of wear) the studs are not tungsten steel carbide. I’ve tried to only use them when I need them, but already the rear tire with one previous season of wear is spinning out as if it had no studs, and the front “new” tire is getting worn down so that it is not gripping like it did originally. On the skating rink that is our neighborhood streets and sections of the Billy Wolff in Antelope park I’ve not always been able to keep that rubber side down. I got another studded tire, carbide this time, and will rotate the tires.

I know some who, like myself until this year, are riding stud-less and have had the wheels slide out from under them. If you’re moving slowly, it’s not a big deal if there’s no traffic and you fall well, but there is always potential for a bad fall. Whether stud-less or not, experience and good technique certainly helps. Some think the risk for injury is too great, and that’s fair, especially if one is unwilling to sacrifice speed.
The conditions for fat bikes on the dirt and snow trails in Wilderness, Pioneers, and Branched Oak Parks is apparently good. Speaking of Wilderness Park, a WILDERNESS PARK BRIDGE REPLACEMENT MEETING will be held on Thursday, January, 23rd-6:30-8pm, at Woods Park Place(Health Dept)-Lower Level.

If you are concerned about dirt trail re-routes to the Jamaica North, water crossings and bridge replacements, you will want to attend this meeting.

The Fat Bike Frozen Ididaride is this Saturday at Pioneers Park and registration is still open. It sounds like a lot of fun. Fat bikes at full inflation on the icy city streets though don’t do much better than on a non-fat bike, so lower that pressure. Even at low inflation they may not help as much as you think when riding on on a skating rink unless studded. For your reference I’ve included a link to a site that answers quite a few questions about what tires to be using in these conditions.

Photo courtesy of Ice-Biker