Riding on Snow

You may encounter snow in patches or on the entire trail, depending on the weather conditions and how old the snow is. Snow can vary considerably in its composition. On well-used trails the snow will be compressed and soon becomes hard packed, making it more like ice to ride on. Fresh trails in the snow are much more bike friendly.

Snow behaves differently, depending on how compact it is and how long it has been on the ground.

As your tires do not get a lot of grip on hard packed snow they have little traction. For climbs, remain seated and use an easy gear to prevent the rear wheel from spinning. On descents use your brakes very lightly. Avoid over use of the front brake and do not use it at all when cornering.

For really snowy conditions use tires with a widely spaced and aggressive tread pattern, similar to downhill tires in some parts of the world riders even have metal studs in their tires for better grip!

Your tires can sink into the loose snow and so they tend to grip well. But very deep snow can be a problem a bit like mud, it makes progress slow and steering can be difficult. Use a low gear for sections of snow. The snow will hide obstacles, such as, ice, rocks and logs. Keep a good look ahead when you are riding, as they are often camouflaged but still visible.

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