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What kind of bikes are suitable for snow?

Il might be difficult to know for who wants to commence snow cycling what kind of bikes are suitable. So we've created this page to introduce the nature of different kind of bikes.

We use three types of bike on snow:
  • Road Racing Bikes
  • MTBs (Mountain Bikes)
  • Road Racing Bikes for Snow
(if you don't know what road racing bikes for snow are, please click road racing bikes for snow)

We are going to explain their nature and behaviour on snow.

Road racing bikes
Cairn Tesseract Tesseract
As we all are cyclists of road racing, we all possess road racing bikes. So we sometimes go to train with road racing bikes on snow. As the air pressure in the tires is high, the vibration from the compacted snow is very interesting when riding on snow. Tesseract

However, this kind of bikes are not so suitable for snow because no studded tires fit the bikes. And snow often blocks the brakes like the left photo when riding on snow.

Road racing bikes have narrow tires so they stick into snow more easily. They therefore skid less than fat tires. But disadvantage you can't use studded tires is huge. You skid much more easily and can lose bike control much more easily than bikes equipped with studded tires. It's very difficult to ride on snow with these bikes, especially on the descent. So we recommend you not to use road racing bikes on snow.

But among us, Cairn and Tesseract like riding on snow with road racing bikes. They say it's ok if you ride on roads on which the traffic is light and they have climbed mountains with road racing bikes although the downhill is extremely difficult. Moreover, they have formed a club called "Riding on snow with normal road racing bikes". But you shouldn't imitate them.

Tesseract's road racing bike

Dr.K Mr.Takahashi Mr.Takahashi
The most popular type of bike used on snow is MTB and many types of studded tires are available for them. MTBs are easy to manoeuvre even in bad conditions. So if you ride on extreme terrain like trails, ski run, cliffs etc. MTBs are the best choice. And also for riders who can't handle bikes well, MTBs will be good. So if you have no experience in riding on snow, it would be reasonable to begin snow cycling with a MTB equipped with studded tires.

The left picture shows Tesseract's first bike. This bike is usually used as road racing bike for snow, which is equipped with road handlebar. But he used this bike as normal MTB for a short time in order to ride on trails. But he didn't like it and he put back the road handlebar soon. So there are only few photos on which he rides normal MTB. So this photo is rare one.

Mr.Takahashi's mountain bike

Road racing bikes for snow
Tesseract Dr.K Cairn
As we already mentioned in road racing bikes for snow, this type of bike is very suitable for winter training. Riding on snow with road racing bikes for snow is very comfortable. However, the usage of these bikes is limited to automobile roads. They aren't suitable for difficult terrain. Moreover, it's more difficult to manoeuvre this kind of bike in comparison with normal MTBs as they have narrower handlebars and their centre of gravity is slightly forward. So if you aren't sure of your ability, you better choose normal MTBs to ride on snow.

In addition, we have explained how to manoeuvre the road racing bikes for snow in the downhill on the page Downhill, if you are interested in, please take a look at this.
Tesseract's road racing bike for snow


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