Cycling on ice can be hazardous or fatal! These ideas are presented entirely at your own risk and expense.
The Nordic ice skating community has developed specific tools for assessing ice thickness. Luc Mehl’s Wild Ice course (highly recommended) was the catalyst for this little project. This blog post is a DIY adaptation of an ice probe sized for carrying on and deployment from a fat bike; without interfering with other gear typically carried for winter camping. While this probe has so-far only had a few trips I’m very impressed with the timeliness and accuracy of the information it can provide.
The primary components of the ice probe are a shortened segment of aluminum Nordic ski pole, and a length of steel rod. Combined the weight is around 500 grams. Given the anticipated harsh service I opted for creating a single pole that does not extend or retract. The potential for unwanted corrosion of dissimilar metals is minimized (perhaps eliminated) by the separation of aluminum and steel with self-fusing heat shrink tubing around the steel rod. The steel rod is then driven inside the segment of ski pole.