Winter Cycling - Commuting during winter
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05-18-12, 06:10 AM
I was hoping to commute in snow this year but it didnt happen because... well.... we had no snow.
I have only one bike for commuting which is a 10 speed. I have heard that in the snow, you might have trouble with the derailure, shifting, so what do you all do?
And I also heard with the salt/sand they lay down, it can eat your cassette, chain, etc so do you have a set you put on before and after winter?
Cannot get a single speed so thats out of the question. No room left in the small apartment.
05-19-12, 08:01 PM
I've commuted for years during the winter, mostly with old 10 and 12 speeds. They work fine. You will get a few problems once in awhile shifting, but it isn't very often. I just leave extra time for them when I commute. On the very worst day I ever had, I still had 3 gears left that I could use, and some of the others came back in a few miles.
There might be a bit more wear and tear from the salt, maybe sand too, but it's so little that it's hardly noticeable. A bit of clean up and oil occasionally will take care of it.
If you do keep the bike in the apt, that might be a bit of a mess. I leave mine outside all winter long. Bringing it in if it has snow under the fenders, maybe mud too, is going to be difficult.
05-19-12, 08:28 PM
I had my rear derailuer freeze up a couple winters ago for about three weeks. My front would still work fine so at least I had three gears. We had a crazy amount of moisture that year. The last two years I haven't had any troubles at all.
My cassette and chain rusted up in a big hurry. I wound up just dedicating a bike to winter riding. If you don't do this you might want to plan on replacing parts more often as the snow/salt is pretty hard on things.
+1 on dealing with a mess if you bring the bike inside after riding in the slop.
05-19-12, 08:36 PM
I've had things freeze up. I have a dedicated winter bike, too -- an old Trek mtb I picked up cheap. Because of the corrosion, I ended up picking a gear and leaving it there, essentially running as a single speed. I don't have an easy way to clean the crud off during winter. When I re-cable my bike, I'll go with stainless, too.
05-23-12, 07:03 AM
My "winter" bike ('95 Cannondale hybrid, upgraded to 3x9 drivetrain) goes through components at the same rate as my "summer" bike, and sees only a fifth the miles. The sand and salt around here take a toll. I've had some minor problems with snow building up in the cassette and causing some chain skipping, but the derailleur has functioned well. I've had cables freeze up under the bottom bracket on days around freezing, where slop from the road freezes when it hits the bike. But the conditions for that have been on very few days.
Starting a few years ago, I've been able to split the commute on rougher days by taking my bike on the light rail train for the final eight miles. It's been a very nice way to get the bike thawed out. I've felt a little guilty at the puddle left behind on some days, but I guess the cars are designed to handle it, plus people drag a lot of crap in on their shoes too.
08-22-12, 02:22 PM
keep it clean, keep it lubed, wipe it down daily, get a few brushes from the grocery store cleaning isle, don't use water, store it inside, put down cardboard so it drips dry
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