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Attack the Singletrack!, Issue #010 -- Winter Mountain Biking Tips: How to Winterize your Bike
November 17, 2010

Catch the Buzz on Playing in the Dirt

Attack the Singletrack! Issue #010 -- Winter Mountain Biking Tips: How to Winterize your Bike

Attack the Singletrack brings you mountain bike tips to help you become a better rider and enjoy mountain biking more.

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In this Issue...

1) Tip of the Month -- Want to know how to keep your bike lighter without changing any components?

Click here or scroll down for a tip on lightening the load...

2) Winter Mountain Biking Tips: How to Winterize your Bike -- Do you live in a climate that has snow in the winter, but you are not ready to end your mountain bike season?

With the following tips on how to prepare your mountain bike for the winter season, you can enjoy riding all year round and leave your riding buddies huffing and puffing behind you in the spring! Best of all, riding in snow can be a blast!

Click here or scroll down for some essential tips on turning your mountain bike into a mean snow machine!

3) What's New on Mountain Bike Buzz -- Click on the links below to learn about new information that has been recently added to the site or important seasonal information...

Which Mountain Bike Tubes do You Need?
-- How to choose the right mountain bike tubes. Differences between Presta valves and Schrader valves. Tips on choosing size, width, weight, and other options for your riding needs...

Choosing a Cycling Jacket to Keep you Warm and Comfortable
-- Tips on what features to look for when purchasing a cycling jacket, including pockets, vents, hood, collar, and adjustability options. Information on rain gear fabrics and tips on fitting....

Tip of the Month:

How to Take Weight off your Mountain Bike

Carry your tools, spare tubes, water, and food in a hydration pack instead of on your mountain bike. Although you still have the weight on you, it is not on your bike itself, which makes it easier to pick the bike up when necessary on hike-a-bike sections. This also makes it easier to maneuver your mountain bike when doing techniques and tricks such as bunny hopping and wheelies.

I have the Camelbak Rogue which I really like because it is lightweight, but still has room for a multi-tool, tube, tire levers, energy bars, keys, and other necessities. There is a also a place to stow a jacket.

Winter Mountain Biking Tips: How to Winterize your Bike

Do you live in a climate that snows in the winter season? No worries! With the right tips for winterizing your mountain bike, you can keep riding through the winter season, stay nice and fit, and school your riding buddies in the spring.

Riding in snow is more challenging than riding in dry conditions, but it can be a lot of fun if you have your mountain bike set up right. Mountain biking in snow is a great way to improve your strength and balance on your mountain bike.

How to turn your mountain bike into a mean snow machine:

1. Tires

Having good tires on your mountain bike is the single most important thing you can do to improve your bike's ability to handle winter conditions. Tires that are knobby and are made of a sticky compound will help grip when mountain biking in snow. If you will be riding in a lot of icy conditions, get tires with studs. If you can only afford one studded tire, put it on the front.

The following are some great winter mountain bike tires:

Continental Spike Claw - A nice wide studded tire so it won't sink as much in snow. A very competitive price for this particular tire.

Innova Studded Tire - A less expensive option and great buy for a studded tire, since they can be pricey. Also available in a 29" option.

Kenda Nevegal - This is not a studded tire, but it is great all around soft, sticky tire that is at a great price and will perform well in winter conditions. It's one of my favorites!

Nokian Studded Tires - This brand has several options and is one of the leaders in studded mountain bike tires.

2. Low Air Pressure

Ride with less air in your tires, like 20-30 psi if you can get by that low without pinch flats or if you have tubeless tires.

3. Lube

Use a wet bicycle lubricant so it does not wash off, but is light enough so it does not get goopy when it gets cold. Your drivetrain will get much dirtier in the winter months so you will have to clean and lubricate it more frequently, often after every ride. An example of a good lubricant for winter riding is Finish Line Cross Country Lube and it is only $6.

4. Tools for the Road

Bring along a good multi-tool that includes a chain tool. It's also a good idea to carry a brush and extra chain lubricant in case your drivetrain/chain gets clogged up with ice. Don't forget to bring a spare tube and patch kit.

5. Pedals

It is very difficult to ride in winter conditions with regular platform pedals. Clipless pedals help to keep your momentum smooth and consistent, which is necessary when riding in snow. The best type of pedal for winter riding is a clipless pedal with a platform because then you can still pedal if your pedal or cleats get clogged up with ice and snow.

6. Fenders

Mountain bike fenders can be a cool and fun addition for transforming your mountain bike into a mean snow machine. They are also very effective at keeping snow and mud off you and your bike.

As always, enjoy the ride!

Mary Blomquist
Mountain Bike Buzz

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