Tag Archives: ice biking

Here in today's bike pic this bold north biker dude commutes to work on his fatty, through the channel from Lake of the Isles to Lake Calhoun, into the Monday morning sun, in Minneapolis.

Bike Pic Feb 26, riding into the Monday morning sun

Here in today’s bike pic this bold north biker dude commutes to work on his fatty, through the channel from Lake of the Isles to Lake Calhoun, into the Monday morning sun, in Minneapolis.

What better way to continue your riding season fun and to plan your #NextBikeAdventure for 2018, then a ride in the Monday Morning sun. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of the HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Monday Morning Sun’ Bike Pic of the Day  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great week!

Winter’s icy grip can be an unforgivable time for bicyclists riding without studded tires. We enjoy the solitude of winter riding and the added fitness it offers, but as rain or snow turns to ice real dangers abound.

Studded tires extend your season with safety and traction

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking

Winter’s icy grip can be an unforgivable time for bicyclists riding without studded tires. We enjoy the solitude of winter riding and the added fitness it offers, but as rain or snow turns to ice real dangers abound. To combat those slippery hazards the best tool is a studded tire. Basically, studded tires are a deep lugged tire that can accept steel studs. Some come with the studs installed while others are stud compatible.

On-road studded tires for your bike

In my experience the best use for studs is on commuter tires. Commuting typically takes me through roads, sidewalks, bike paths, and bike lanes. These changing surfaces are never uniform in snow removal and always prone to ice. For that reason, I love to use studded tires on my commuter bike. They offer a level of consistency that I can’t get with normal, all-rubber tires. Additionally, the deep tread on these tires has the side benefit of puncture protection.

studded tire

Schwalbe’s commuter studded tire.

Off-road studded tires

Here in Minnesota we periodically run into conditions that require studs off road, but usually winter trails here are white and soft. By contrast, the winter trails in Philadelphia were covered in ice all winter thanks to the normal freeze/thaw cycles. If your trails are particularly icy, off-road studs are a great solution for you. Studded tires are available for all types of mountain bikes with 26″, 27.5″, and 29″ versions from 2″-5″ in width. Also, there are mountain bike tires that are “stud compatible”. These “stud compatible” tires have pockets built into the tread designed to accept aftermarket studs.

studded tire

MTB studded tire from Schwalbe (left) and stud detail of 45nrth tire (right)

Adding studs to your bikes tire

Beyond buying pre-studded tires, you can buy studs that install on existing tires. The easiest solution is to buy “stud compatible” tires, and install the studs when needed. The other option is to buy aftermarket studs like the Gripstud and thread them into a standard tire. Installing this type of stud is a relatively easy process. What is difficult is choosing the right tire. To install studs you need to be sure that the tire you plan to use has lugs large enough to support the stud.

studded tires

Gripstud system explained.

studded tire

Aftermarket studs from 45nrth and Schwallbe

Riding with studs

If you take the leap and go with studded tires, realize that they will be noisy on the road and heavy off road. While that doesn’t sound like a rousing endorsement, the pros do outweigh those few cons. The pros include added traction on icy road surfaces, as well as consistent traction off-road as trails go from snow to ice and back again. Winter is a great time to ride and studs help you enjoy it.

Biking with gaiter’s may be an added bonus to keep you warm

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Cold, snow, sleet and ice are normal conditions for my winter bike commute to work here in Minnesota. With the elements being so inhospitable  at times, I am excited to try any new product that offers warmth. With that concept in mind, I was excited to try the Hillsound Armadillo LT gaiter’s. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a pair of gaiter’s does, they covers your shin and calf below the knee and above the ankle. It works in combination with your winter boots to extend a splash-proof protection up your leg. Basically, they are designed to keep snow, slush and debris off your legs and dripping down into your boot.

Hillsound Armadillo LT gaiter

Wearing the Hillsound Armadillo LT Gaiter for the first time.

A gaiter’s construction

The Armadillo LT gaiter’s upper is constructed out of Flexia, a three layer material designed to stretch, be waterproof, and conform to your leg and stay in place. The lower section is made out of a dense nylon that appears to be extremely tough. The zippers are waterproof and the straps and clips seem to be more than tough enough for their job. Even though these gaiters exude durability, they are remarkably lightweight.

Hillsound Armadillo LT gaiter

High quality buckles, zippers and straps are standard.

A gaiter’s fit

I have to admit that I have never tried riding with a gaiter before. Whereas my point of reference is small, I do spend a lot of time on my bike in the cold. For the frigid weather, my riding boot of choice is the 45NRTH Wölvhammer which is built with gaiters in mind. The Hillsound Armadillo LT gaiter paired with them easily. Thanks to the full-length zipper, I was able to get my riding gear and boots on, then fashion the gaiter into place with relative ease. That ease comes from the stretch that the upper material offers, as well as the easily adjustable lower Velcro strap and upper buckle strap.

Warmth on the bike

The addition of a waterproof layer was immediately apparent when I left my house. We had gotten a fresh coating of wet snow overnight and the salt trucks were out in force. Thanks to the slush created, my legs were immediately doused in slop but stayed dry and warm. This is a far cry from a week prior when I rode home without the benefit of gaiters. This time, I buzzed along through my normal route to work and noticed that my legs were noticeably warmer than usual. Also, when looking down at my legs (not something I recommend), I saw all the sludge my tires were kicking up bounce off the gaiters. By the time I reached the office, my legs were dry and comfortable, and the gaiter was still doing a good job repelling moisture.

Hillsound Armadillo LT gaiter

Snow and slush are no match for the Hillsound Armadillo LT Gaiter.

Moving forward

With my first foray into gaiters I want to see where they are best used. I know that hiker and snowshoeing fans love them for their warmth and protection, now after trying them I am fascinated to see how they will help a cycling perspective. As of right now, I will definitely be reaching for them whenever the weather is both cold and wet. While I am sold on their benefit for wet conditions, I am looking forward to their added against wind chill when things get really cold. Stay tuned for more information on my adventures with the Hillsound Armadillo LT gaiter.