Cold weather grip

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Posted: Jan 2, 2018 at 14:04 Quote
Temps here in Va are cold (for us) and I don't have much experience on the mtn bike in sub freezing temps. I noticed today that I seemed to have way less cornering grip than normal and felt like I was getting bounced around more than usual. Tire pressures were in the low 20's on 29x2.4 Ibex's.

Dropping the pressure down to 18/20 helped, but still felt like there was a lack of cornering grip.

This normal for cold weather and I just need to adjust my riding accordingly? My thought was that it was a combination of the ground being more frozen than I'd experienced before and the tire rubber not liking low temps. I'd been out in some low 30's conditions with no problems, but this was mid/upper 20's after some single digit nights.

Mod Plus
Posted: Jan 2, 2018 at 15:09 Quote
Bike setup for below-freezing temperatures can be a little tricky – air and oil behave differently when the mercury plummets, which means your bike isn't going to feel the same as it does on a warm summer's day. Reducing your tire pressure was a good first step, but you may want to consider trying a tire with a softer rubber compound than the Ibex's 55a durometer. Schwalbe's Soft Addix compound or Maxxis' MaxxTerra compounds are both a little softer, which should help keep them pliable in those colder temps.

Your suspension is another area to pay attention to during winter time rides. Typically, you'll need to speed up your rebound by a click or two; otherwise your bike will feel sluggish and less willing to leave the ground. Don't forget that you changed your settings when the temperatures rise, though, or you could be in for a bouncier ride than you want.

There will also be a learning curve as you get accustomed to riding on the frozen ground. Aside from the surprise ice patches (always a good time), the soil will have less give to it when you really push into a turn – it's faster, but less forgiving than riding in warmer temperatures. Staying loose (appropriate clothing helps here) and as relaxed as possible will help you be prepared to deal with the wider variety of trail conditions that accompany winter rides.


 
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