If you are a mountain bike enthusiast you may be wondering if mountain bikes are good for snow. Or even if it is safe to go mountain biking when there is snow on the ground. If you live and breathe mountain biking and don’t want to give it up during the winter months then read on. This article will give you information about mountain biking in the snow.
A snowy day can be a great time to explore your favorite trails in new conditions and it is actually safer than most people think. There is a slight increase in the likelihood of slips and crashes, however if you fall off you will land on soft snow fall. Above all riding in snow can be great fun.
Preparing Your Mountain Bike for Snowy Trails
If you plan to use your mountain bike in the snow you would need to make sure it has the ability to fit snow tires and maybe fenders. The bike would need to have low gears. It would also need to agile and easily maneuverable with the ability to stay upright and steady. Remember that snow is slippery so you would need to have good balance and bike control.
As mountain bikes have knobbly tires they are able to handle light snow and icy conditions fairly well. If you are following a snowmobile track then the snow will already be compressed and should be safe enough for cycling with normal tires. You may like to consider letting some air out of your tires, lowering your air pressure to about fifteen pounds will help with snowy conditions. This may vary slightly depending on your weight and the conditions of the terrain.
If you plan to go mountain biking in heavier snow you would need to fit snow tires. Snow tires will increase the traction of your tires. They are also available with studs in order to increase the grip. Tyre chains can be bought which you can attach to existing tires. These are easy to take on and off and are often a better option than changing the whole tire.
Follow these top tips in order to stay safe in the snow. Be ready for unpredictable conditions. You will need to have greater concentration and reaction times to stay in control of your bike.
When going downhill it’s important to ensure that your wheel runs smoothly over the trail. If your front wheel starts to dig into the snow you can stall or even come off your bike. It is often best to stay low on the bike. Ride with your hips behind the seat and your heels down. Being low will give you more flexibility in your elbow, if the wheel dives into the snow you will have more control of the bike as you will be able to lean back to generate lift, thus avoiding putting more weight forward onto the wheel as it goes down.
When cycling in snowy conditions remember to tell someone exactly where you plan to go and how long you think you will be gone for. It is often best to go mountain biking with a friend if possible. You may like to stick to trails that you already know well as this may be a slightly safer option. Mountain biking in snow can provide new and interesting challenges. Have fun!