Winter commuting traction tip

Even though I am running on studded winter tires, in some conditions I still find the bike is difficult to control. I have deduced that wheel bounce contributes to loss of traction. For example, ice formed from compressed snow at the side of a road, between the plough spoil and clear area, is often choppy. When I ride over this at a good pace, my wheels bounce, and become slightly unweighted. This unweighting is often enough to result in loss of traction!

Besides reducing tire pressure – I run my tires around 35psi instead of summer’s 70 – one can take a tip from the Paris-Roubaix professional road race. Much of this race is over cobblestone roads. The pros run on wheels with lowered spoke tension, to reduce wheel bounce.

It works on winter’s icy cobblestones as well.

For some of you, it will make sense to have a set of winter wheels, set up with studded or aggressively treaded tires. Consider tweaking spoke tension as well to optimize traction.

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~ by outdoor-enthusiast on January 12, 2013.

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