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Cold Weather Training In Mpls

Not too interested in training indoors. Mpls does a great job of clearing the bike paths after each snow event.

I try to do 25 miles each trip with my single speed bike with 37 mm studded tires.

Any other cold weather bikers out there?

14 Replies

jwsknk, January 26, 2016 at 8:21 am

through the fresh snow last night and this morning. decent temp at least mid to upper 20’s


andytetmeyer, January 27, 2016 at 5:28 pm

my studded tires are 100mm, and I have 10 gears. We do it different in the St Paul part of Mpls.


teamloon, February 10, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Please pass the word for me. I have room for more bus passengers to & from Ragbrai from Maple Grove, MN. This is my 24th Year & I can hardly wait! Thanks. Mamaloon (Mary Swanstrom 763-427-2909 or mamaloon@juno.com)


Iceman, February 11, 2016 at 9:30 am

I make it a point not to ride when it’s less than 40, which is infrequent in my part of Texas. We’ll miss maybe two or three weekend rides. Otherwise, we ride all year long. Of course, summer is a whole different ballgame compared to Minnesota.


jwsknk, February 11, 2016 at 11:22 am

first sub-zero morning although have been close a couple of times. Jamie from Sunrise up in MSP has a little over 200 so far this month on the fattie.


bjimike, February 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm

I know what you mean about indoor training! I bought a Surly Pug last year and haven’t looked back. I live in Bemidji and although we have some great bike trails they’re not groomed for winter biking so I just stick to the backroads and scores of frozen lakes up in my world. My best purchase was a set of 45Nrth studded Dillenger tires, they are the best thing on ice. Give me a one hour ride at -17 degrees over a boring hour on the treadmill any day.


skb-mpls, February 16, 2016 at 11:02 am

Ya, I used to do a lot of x-country skiing in the late 70’s-early 90’s. I did too much hearing boning up steep hills and my hips and back are not happy x-country skiing. It is getting rare that one has good ski trails due to climate change. Used to have a January thaw but the last 10 years we have a thaw at least every 3 weeks that melts the snow and ices up the tracks. Skate skiiers do ok as they can grind up the crust into a skateable path.

Biking in the winter has been a terrific replacement. There are a lot of commuters in Mpls, St Paul – but when the temps drop below 15 degrees (f) the numbers of recreational bikers really drop. In a 25 mile trip around the city lakes & greenway I may only see 2-3 recreational bikers. On a 25-40 degree winter day I will see 50 or more.

Dressing for winter biking can be challenging as one generates a lot of heat – but there can be considerable wind chill so keeping the face, hands & feet warm… Layers, Layers etc….


Gypsy Rose, February 16, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Two days ago, here in Vermont, I woke up to 21 degrees below zero and a stiff north wind that sent the wind chill much lower. Today, it’s nearly 50 degrees and pouring rain (following the 5 inches of snow that fell last night). Tough time to think about much riding.

Looking forward to spring rides!


skb-mpls, February 17, 2016 at 10:08 am


You folks on the East coast have had some wild weather. In MN it has be quite warm & not a lot of snow. Pouring cold rain in my book the nastiest conditions to ride. Not sure if any rain gear would keep me comfortable in those conditions. Breathable rain gear would not keep the moisture out & waterproof rain gear would not allow your body to breath during moderate activity.


Juan Medium Moose, February 18, 2016 at 1:16 pm

This upcoming weekend (Feb. 20-21) the St.Paul forecast suggests temperatures in the upper 40’s. I hope to get a few miles in. I’ll call it the start of spring training.

I’m considering riding the Ironman in late April. For those who are not familiar with it, the Minnesota Ironman is a bike ride, not a triathlon. It is the first big organized ride of the season. This will be the 50th anniversary year.

Pouring cold rain in my book the nastiest conditions to ride.

Agreed, @sbolstad. On my first Ironman we had cold rain and just the right amount of gusting wind to make the whole thing a miserable memory that still gives me chills ten years later. It was also my first metric century, so I didn’t suffer for nothin’.


vjennings19, February 22, 2016 at 1:10 pm

i was tired of indoor trainers also so invested in a fat bike this year and haven’t stopped peddling all winter!


KenH, February 23, 2016 at 8:20 am

I’m not a big fan of indoor trainers but the reality for me is that if I don’t ride on rollers I won’t ride much at all during the winter because of limited daylight hours and my personal schedule. So I’ve made peace with it as best I can. For me watching videos helps a LOT. And doing intervals does too although that is not something you should do every day. But this past weekend was glorious in the Chicago area. I got out and did 25 miles on a bike trail that was almost completely free of snow which would be unusual in late March and even more so in late February. Maybe some day I will be able to afford a fat bike and do more winter riding but rollers will still be a necessary evil even then.


skb-mpls, February 23, 2016 at 9:19 am


You don’t need a $2000 fat tire bike for winter riding on urban area bike paths. The salt & sand WILL trash your drive train after 2 seasons. Studded tires are nearly mandatory & are $500 for a pair for fat tire .

If you are wanting to ride on mt bike tails or deep snow – yes by all means get a fat tire bike. Most northern cities plow, salt & sand the bike/pedestrian paths which only require a old grunge bike.

Don’t ride in the winter unless you have fenders or a waterproof diaper. haha

I ride a 20 year old Single speed bike in mpls. Fewer gears to clean & maintain and costs me $60 in parts to completely replace my drive train every two years. I have a detatched unheated garage- so it is tough to thouroughly clean regularly. I do wd40 my chain & wipe till clean – every 50 miles – then put wet chain oil – then wipe down again. My chain never shows any rust- like most bikes I see in the winter in mpls.

Just took off my studded tires earlier this week & biked 25 miles each day for the last 3. Glorious!


KenH, February 24, 2016 at 9:59 am

Ha! I was thinking more like a $300 department store fat tire bike so $500 for tires nixes the idea for me!! It’s not like $300 is beyond me but there are a whole lot of $300 items on my buy some day list right now….

In my part of the Chicago metro area (can’t speak for the rest but I have my suspicions…) we do have a plan to clear the bike and pedestrian trails during the winter. The plan even has a name. It’s name is April. Some years March steps up to the plate and this year, for now at least, February did the honors and I was able to ride outdoors this last weekend! More snow expected today, amounts are a matter of much speculation. And some years, hopefully not this one, May has to pick up the slack. Illinois is broke, my friends, we are lucky there is still money to plow the streets. Of course when they do plow the streets the plows just dump more snow onto the bike and pedestrian paths which sometimes run right alongside the street.

Appreciate what you have up there in Minnesota!


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