When Is It Safe To Bike Through Moving Water?

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Man in jersey and a helmet riding a mountain bike - When Is It Safe To Bike Through Moving Water?

When riding the mountain trails and other similar terrains, which would have a water crossing within the pathway, the first thing to remember is that the wild, backcountry trails will not have the convenience of the maintained trails closer to town.

It would be advised to take your time with unknown bodies of water, especially those along non-maintained trails.

Otherwise, if the wheel is large enough, there is no need to fear riding through certain types of running water. There is going to be a need for caution when doing so.


How Should You Do it?

A few approaches will make this easy for you; the first thing to keep in mind is to check the water first. If this is a first crossing, the best thing to do is to examine the crossing and understand the little elements that will make it difficult to cross on two wheels.

Once this step is done, conduct this check regularly and clear a safe path for yourself and your fellow riders. When doing so, we all know the enjoyment of a well-maintained trail, including running water crossings.


Will the Bike Rust if it gets Wet?

There are going to be some BMX manufacturers that coat their bikes in a protective sealant, which prevents rusting on the frame. However, nature is very crafty in getting material in places to help break down objects to be recycled for use elsewhere on the planet.

Bicycles are made with metallic materials that contain iron. As many know, when moisture and iron are allowed to interact over an extended period of time, the substance known as Iron oxide is created from the broken-down metal.

In short, yes, when a bike gets wet and is allowed to sit in a dank, moist area, there is no doubt that rust will appear.


How Long Can You Bike through Water?

This question will have to be broken into a few different answers; for instance, running water on the pavement, which can be a few inches unless flooding has occurred, can be ridden through as long as the rider has good balance and strong legs.

On the other hand, if you are going through foot-tall water, there will be a certain difficulty level for those attempting it.

There will be folks that will tell you to stay on the roof during a flood, while others will risk the water and ride their bicycles through the rainwater. How long a person can do this depends on the rider’s balance, physique, and overall fitness levels.


How Deep can Water be and Still be Safe for a Moving Bike?

No one height of water will be safe and unsafe; the depth at which a bicycle rider can be moving and going through water will depend on the model of the bike, the height of the wheels, and the abilities of the rider.

However, a solid rule of thumb is that you should consider a different route if the water reaches your feet on the pedals.

As mentioned earlier in the article, there are going to be extreme cases that will require a person to tread water, such as flood situations. A person can safely go through feet of water on a bike, but the movement will be slow going and tiresome for most.


When Should You Not Do it?

The general rule of thumb for adventurers and outdoors enthusiasts is to stay dry, and there are too many complications that come when people get wet when outside, away from the comforts of home.

There, one should avoid going through any type of water when out on trial, and the dangers multiply when a person is wet or has wet clothing.

That being said, specific biking attire and equipment will provide means to speed through water and take the splash, and the material will wick away the moisture, including sweat.


Final Thoughts on When is it Safe to Bike through moving Water

There will be means and ways to peddle through water, even feet-deep levels, to which a person may risk and successfully ride. Avoiding waterways and staying dry is highly recommended if there is no extreme need or competition pushing you to go through water.

Take the rules of a backpacker seriously. A person should have changes of clothes in case of getting wet, and there are too many risks for an outdoorsman to worry about without needing to worry about catching an illness or causing harm to one’s feet.