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winterwheel

Time for some super cold commuting

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2 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

Heard some radio DJ's talking about you on a radio clip replay on 98.5 FM yesterday.  Pretty cool!  You're famous!  :w00t2:

I hear you were suppose to give an interview as well. What happened? ;)
 

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5 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

Heard some radio DJ's talking about you on a radio clip replay on 98.5 FM yesterday.  Pretty cool!  You're famous!  :w00t2:

I've heard that some of the radio stations were talking about it here as well. There's been a whole lot of bad news stories around the cold weather this past week, it's nice they have something nice to talk about for a break.

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On 1/18/2020 at 2:16 PM, winterwheel said:

There are two of us riding XL here this winter, and its been perfect for both of us, not just on the road but on unpaved bike trails as well. I pick the ACM2 on snow days only because I've made the tire switch and it feels a bit better to me. But on packed snow and most ice situations it's been awesome.

Really compressed snow is just as slippery as black ice on really cold days, with the bonus that it is uneven, such as the ruts you mention. For me, riding far forward on the pedals and with a stance as wide as possible so the wheel can slide around a bit without me losing it are the key.

The V8 is a lighter wheel, and I wonder if that may make it a little harder to ride on bumpy surfaces; my theory is that heavier wheels try harder to carry on in a forward direction even when they get bounced around a bit, where lighter wheels might get deflected. My ACM2 is 50+ lbs, and the XL even heavier, and they both seem to handle the conditions pretty well.

 

Just did my first 7k commute with the K50 tire--definitely an improvement. It took some time to get used to the different feel, but it's significantly better on ice/hard-packed snow. For the road conditions I'm riding on I wouldn't even want a faster unicycle in winter--I don't think I ever hit max on the V8. I'll try expanding my stance a little and see how that improves stability. Where I still had the most trouble was with ridges (like the edge of a plowed section), or really bumpy stretches. Since some of it is blown snow here today I actually had to pick the V8 up and walk it over some sections. 

My next questions have to do with other gear--with me traveling in winter, and my eyes getting quite cold, as well as wanting to move in spring/summer/fall to a faster wheel, I am thinking a full-face helmet makes sense. When I picked up the K50 at Canadian Tire I looked at snowmobile helmets on clearance. What do you wear as a helmet? I'm not wanting to spend $200. In winter I can only assume a snowmobile helmet would be great, but I feel like I'd overheat in summer and never want to wear it. But the advantage in winter is I wouldn't need a tuque or anything underneath. 

Also, do you wear knee/shin guards, elbow pads? If I go above 30km/h I think I want to move into that area. 

PS. I'd be happy to move this conversation to messaging, but I don't think I can (either the platform doesn't have it or I can't because I'm a newbie).

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1 hour ago, paulloewen said:

My next questions have to do with other gear--with me traveling in winter, and my eyes getting quite cold, as well as wanting to move in spring/summer/fall to a faster wheel, I am thinking a full-face helmet makes sense. When I picked up the K50 at Canadian Tire I looked at snowmobile helmets on clearance. What do you wear as a helmet? 

I use my regular full face bell mountain bike helmet and a thin balaclava, with ski goggles.  Seems to keep me warm enough and the goggles don't fog up.

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4 hours ago, paulloewen said:

Just did my first 7k commute with the K50 tire--definitely an improvement. It took some time to get used to the different feel, but it's significantly better on ice/hard-packed snow. For the road conditions I'm riding on I wouldn't even want a faster unicycle in winter--I don't think I ever hit max on the V8. I'll try expanding my stance a little and see how that improves stability. Where I still had the most trouble was with ridges (like the edge of a plowed section), or really bumpy stretches. Since some of it is blown snow here today I actually had to pick the V8 up and walk it over some sections. 

My next questions have to do with other gear--with me traveling in winter, and my eyes getting quite cold, as well as wanting to move in spring/summer/fall to a faster wheel, I am thinking a full-face helmet makes sense. When I picked up the K50 at Canadian Tire I looked at snowmobile helmets on clearance. What do you wear as a helmet? I'm not wanting to spend $200. In winter I can only assume a snowmobile helmet would be great, but I feel like I'd overheat in summer and never want to wear it. But the advantage in winter is I wouldn't need a tuque or anything underneath. 

Also, do you wear knee/shin guards, elbow pads? If I go above 30km/h I think I want to move into that area. 

PS. I'd be happy to move this conversation to messaging, but I don't think I can (either the platform doesn't have it or I can't because I'm a newbie).

Glad to hear the tire helped. 

I'm not a full face helmet guy so I can't comment on that; I use a snowboarding helmet and clear-lens snowmobiling goggles. The goggles in particularly are awesome and critical to enjoying riding around in cold temperatures; they don't fog up and give you a clear view. As soon as I started wearing the goggles (sometimes with a toque, sometimes with the helmet) I stopped riding around so cautiously and my travelling speed went back up to normal.

I personally never wear a helmet in summer, even in winter I really only wear it when it is super cold and I need to take the warmest option, so the snowboarding helmet works for me. The one I got was pretty cheap I think, $75 or so, but that was a while back so I can't be sure of this.

My motorcycle jacket has built in elbow pads, in winter that's the most likely contact point when you go down, if the wheel does happen to slip out from underneath you. That's the only padding I wear.

I'm not sure if I mentioned my other, most important tip, and that is that I wear slip on spikes on my shoes all winter long. That allows you to embark and disembark on ice surfaces, and to contact the pedals securely even when they or your shoes/boots have a buildup of snow. It grinds down the pedal surface over the course of the winter, but it's worth it.

I think it's useful to keep this public, for any lurkers who may also be considering doing a little winter riding.

Happy (winter) riding!

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I posted this video last year showing how I handle winter conditions, probably a good time to repost. Interestingly, I was using the V8 at the time this was shot because the ACM2 was awaiting some repairs for a defective chargeport.

Edited by winterwheel

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53 minutes ago, winterwheel said:

Glad to hear the tire helped. 

I'm not a full face helmet guy so I can't comment on that; I use a snowboarding helmet and clear-lens snowmobiling goggles. The goggles in particularly are awesome and critical to enjoying riding around in cold temperatures; they don't fog up and give you a clear view. As soon as I started wearing the goggles (sometimes with a toque, sometimes with the helmet) I stopped riding around so cautiously and my travelling speed went back up to normal.

I personally never wear a helmet in summer, even in winter I really only wear it when it is super cold and I need to take the warmest option, so the snowboarding helmet works for me. The one I got was pretty cheap I think, $75 or so, but that was a while back so I can't be sure of this.

My motorcycle jacket has built in elbow pads, in winter that's the most likely contact point when you go down, if the wheel does happen to slip out from underneath you. That's the only padding I wear.

I'm not sure if I mentioned my other, most important tip, and that is that I wear slip on spikes on my shoes all winter long. That allows you to embark and disembark on ice surfaces, and to contact the pedals securely even when they or your shoes/boots have a buildup of snow. It grinds down the pedal surface over the course of the winter, but it's worth it.

I think it's useful to keep this public, for any lurkers who may also be considering doing a little winter riding.

Happy (winter) riding!

Thanks so much for all the info and the video. The main thing I think I need at this point is goggles--I have a very cheap pair that fog up really quickly. So I'll look for something else. 

I think I've exhausted my questions at this point--I appreciate you being willing to share your experience!

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