Icy roads? No problem for biking and running

With the reductions in municipal snow removal, the streets have been a bit of an icy mess for a while, but that’s no excuse for not continuing to bike and run.

My winter bike has Nokian Extreme tires with steel carbide studs he got them from a tire services. They’re not needed all winter long, but they work great on icy roads.

And winter biking is often in low-light or darkness, which makes it difficult to see all of the icy spots.  The Nokians add a layer of confidence that if you do hit the ice, you won’t hit the deck.

For running, I’ve added 11 sheet metal screws to the tread of an old pair of Nikes. The screws are short enough to not poke through. So far I haven’t lost a screw but I sure have worn some down.

There still is a little bit of slippage with these shoes when pushing off hard on the ice. I think a few more screws in the lower-forefoot might solve that.

My Winter Bike

Custom Slingshot singlespeed

Custom Slingshot singlespeed

Between the snow, ice, and salt, winter can be pretty tough on a bike.  Rather than ride your best rig this time of year, many of us hobble together something a little more rugged, simple, and less expensive.

This year I built up an old Slingshot frame I had laying around.

I originally bought this bike as a demo bike.   It never really worked well for me as a mountain bike, so I rebuilt it as an urban cross bike.  That didn’t work, so I had Scott Quiring build a custom fork and replace the rear dropouts with horizontal ones.  We believe this was the second Slingshot with horizontal drops but the first to be built up.

I was a great singlespeed.  I raced it at the Iceman and won the MMBA CPS singlespeed series on it (back before the super fast guys started racing singlespeed.)

As a winter bike, it’s still a singlespeed with the following features:

  • 44mm extra wide SnowCats rims made in Fairbanks, Alaska
  • the front rim is custom drilled with half-inch holes (Thanks, Eric)
  • the rear rim is the SnowCat SL with one-inch drilled out holes
  • the front tire is a Nokian Extreme with steel carbide studs
  • the handlebar covers were made by Schroeder Sports
  • Cane Creek Direct Curve brakes which work well with wide rims
  • Softride suspension stem – the best suspension for winter riding

Many MTB front fenders attach to the downtube, which is really not an option on Slingshots.  I’m using a fender that uses a star nut in the bottom of the steerer tube.

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