WINTER EDITION Bike Check with Robin Wallner
© Emrik Jansson
Check out this winter adapted Ibis HD4, it’s special snow setup and get some pro tips for riding in winter.
Winter is no reason to put your mountainbike away. On the contrary, with a few special tweaks it is more than possible to keep shredding all through the snowy season. We decided to take a closer look at a few of the pro’s winter bike setups and get some quick two-wheeled motivation on top, even in the depths of Swedish winter.
First out is Enduro shredder Robin Wallner onboard his Ibis HD4.
What bike do you have and why do you ride this one in winter?
I am currently doing most of my winter riding on my Ibis HD4. One of the reasons being the wheel size - I have more studded tyres that fit 27,5’’ than 29’’, so it makes sense to ride the smaller wheels.
What do you do to winter adapt your bike?
Actually, I don’t do much in terms of setup change, apart from change to studded tyres and do a full rebuild of the bike.
The studded tyres I make myself out of my regular Maxxis Shortys (click here to find out how to make your own). As for the full rebuild, it is to ensure that there is no mud or water left in cables and bearings from riding in autumn. If there would be mud and water left, it would freeze in the cold temperatures. Some fresh cables/housing and grease makes sure things still work smoothly even in -10 C.
Lately I have also been running flats instead of clips when riding our little DH track at home in Åre. It keeps things interesting to have something different and it is nice when the ruts get deeper.
Do you alter your suspension at all?
If it is super cold I let a bit of air out of my fork and shock as air shocks don’t move very well when it gets proper nippy outside.
Do you have any other new tech on your bike?
Sorry to disappoint - nothing i can tell you about ;)
What’s the worst thing that you ever tried to do whilst riding in winter?
Many things have felt like the worst at the time, but one memory that stands out a little extra is from a day three years ago when I did a long road ride on my MTB.
We’d had a week of super cold weather, so when it got a little warmer, I was eager to go riding outside rather than do another indoor session on the rollers. The thermometer showed -12 C in the morning so I quickly decided to head out as soon as it got light. What I didn’t do (but should have done) was check the weather forecast. It turned out, the temperature was meant to start dropping and the wind meant to pick up throughout the day.
I headed out, happily unaware of this. After an hour and a half of riding I realised that I had to turn back home as i could not longer keep my hands or feet warm enough. When i turned around I realised how much the wind had picked up and that I had been riding with a tailwind the entire time. Going back I faced the biggest headwind and it took me two hours just to get back home.
I struggled so hard to get the door open as I couldn’t feel my fingers or move my wrists...
Once back at our house, I struggled so hard to get the door open as I couldn’t feel my fingers or move my wrists to get the key in the door. When I finally got in, I got straight in the shower, cried for help and booked a ticket to California that same day, ha-ha.
Best tip for riding in winter?
Dress with lots of layers. If you get too hot you just simply take off a jacket or a vest. Also, the best thing I ever did was buying a set of proper winter riding shoes, as well as investing in some good warm gloves.
❄︎ BIKE CHECK: IBIS HD4 WINTER EDITION ❄︎
"I run a set of Maxxis shorty 27,5 x 2.5 with homemade studs for more extreme riding. I also have a set of wheels with Schwalbe Ice Spikers that I use for mellow riding or if the conditions on the roads are too dangerous for a road bike or normal tires."
Want to know how to make your own studded winter tyres? Check the article below: