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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-10-09, 01:19 PM   #1
texastwister
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Ol' man winter!!show your pic's!!

gettng the commuter bike ready for the winter.. I was not planning on riding this winter, but the closer it gets ,the more i want to keep riding!SO.... i'am ditching the summer slicks for lights, fenders and a treaded tire!
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Old 10-10-09, 02:05 PM   #2
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When we get first ice, the studded tires will go on. That's about it. Temps have already been down to about 24*F in the morning, but no ice on the roads, so I'm already dressing warm.

I have an old, mostly worn-out pair of Nokian W106s. Last year I rode with Schwalbe Marathon Winters, but like others here I found them to be pretty poor in snow; the tread blocks allow side-to-side slippage and I found them to be very unpredictable in wet, heavy snow. I'm probably going to put my best remaining Nokian on the back, where the extra weight caused it to wallow around, and one of the Marathons up front, where the wallowing wasn't a problem.

I'm thinking about a pair of W240s though. I don't need that kind of tread much, but every once in a while, it'd be really nice.
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Old 10-10-09, 02:13 PM   #3
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POST YOU PICS!!!...in Texas they are talkin 40's tonite, but it;s been raining for a week!l..but sooner or later it will be in the 20's and raining come Nov.

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Old 10-10-09, 02:15 PM   #4
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You're in Texas? Do you even get snow? You know, you don't need tread for rain? Just rubber that's grippy.

Had the first real snow today in Denver. Still building up the ole Trek to perform winter commuting duties. No pictures of it, yet.
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Old 10-10-09, 02:25 PM   #5
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You're in Texas? Do you even get snow? You know, you don't need tread for rain? Just rubber that's grippy.

Had the first real snow today in Denver. Still building up the ole Trek to perform winter commuting duties. No pictures of it, yet.
ha !!!this is me on slicks and rain!!
something tells me i should have been riding on tread
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Old 10-10-09, 02:41 PM   #6
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ha !!!this is me on slicks and rain!!
something tells me i should have been riding on tread
No, you should've been riding on tires that were grippy.

Tread is only useful in rain to keep you from hydroplaning - something that does not occur on a bicycle.

Those tires may be better in rain - not because of the tread - but because they're of a softer compound..
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Old 10-10-09, 03:17 PM   #7
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48 degrees on my ride in this morning, felt freakin' great!! Won't last though, so I'm gonna enjoy this for all it's worth.
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Old 10-10-09, 03:42 PM   #8
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48 degrees on my ride in this morning, felt freakin' great!! Won't last though, so I'm gonna enjoy this for all it's worth.
i rode in the teens 2 years a go,,,, BURRRRRRRRRRRRR...i was laid off this past year,,,,but i have a new job,,which meens a new year of commuting !!!
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Old 10-10-09, 04:18 PM   #9
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When we get first ice, the studded tires will go on. That's about it. Temps have already been down to about 24*F in the morning, but no ice on the roads, so I'm already dressing warm.

I have an old, mostly worn-out pair of Nokian W106s. Last year I rode with Schwalbe Marathon Winters, but like others here I found them to be pretty poor in snow; the tread blocks allow side-to-side slippage and I found them to be very unpredictable in wet, heavy snow. I'm probably going to put my best remaining Nokian on the back, where the extra weight caused it to wallow around, and one of the Marathons up front, where the wallowing wasn't a problem.

I'm thinking about a pair of W240s though. I don't need that kind of tread much, but every once in a while, it'd be really nice.
Listen, you really sound like you know what you're talking about. So what do you do? You put spiked snow tires on once the first ice gets here and leave them on? I have never really rode a bike in the winter, so I know diddly squat. Can you ride the tires even if there is no snow/ice?? (that does happen in winter sometimes, doesn't it). Schwalbe Marathon Winter are a no-go?? What do you recommend? Nokian? do they have spikes?
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Old 10-10-09, 04:34 PM   #10
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ha !!!this is me on slicks and rain!!
something tells me i should have been riding on tread
The rule of thumb I've heard is tread is useful in terrain where it will leave tracks. Mud and dirt, perhaps snow, but not rain. I say perhaps snow because snow can also involve slippery ice, where studded tires come in quite handy. Over winter I run Nokian A10's, but that's just for the occasional ice I wasn't prepared for, I don't ride if there's a forecast for snow/ice.
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Old 10-10-09, 04:54 PM   #11
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Old 10-10-09, 05:09 PM   #12
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I don't understand this thread - winter doesn't start until Dec. 21.
We only get that water that falls from the sky for a few days every winter.
Not much winter to prepare for.
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Old 10-10-09, 05:24 PM   #13
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I don't understand this thread - winter doesn't start until Dec. 21.
We only get that water that falls from the sky for a few days every winter.
Not much winter to prepare for.
Huh?? Maybe that's true for TX. However, we had low 30s in the morning, snow is in the forecast for Monday! Just judging by the last 20+ years, we'll have "that water that falls from the sky" for at least four solid months.
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Old 10-10-09, 06:03 PM   #14
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Huh?? Maybe that's true for TX. However, we had low 30s in the morning, snow is in the forecast for Monday! Just judging by the last 20+ years, we'll have "that water that falls from the sky" for at least four solid months.
Yeah, it's looking to be cold for us this winter. I went straight from wearing a short-sleeve jersey, to armwarmers, to a nice warm jacket in the course of a week.
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Old 10-10-09, 06:04 PM   #15
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MT snow bike

I got a really good deal in Helena, Mt Walmart on some studs for Kona Blast. The bike worked great Friday. It was 7 degrees with snow and ice.


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Old 10-10-09, 06:37 PM   #16
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My winter beater. A 1997 fully rigid Rocky Mountain Cardiac bought new in 97. The entire drivetrain has been replaced 3 times on this bike since 1997. The only original parts are the frame, fork, seatpost and stem. A solid machine.
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Old 10-10-09, 08:11 PM   #17
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This is my icebike.
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Old 10-10-09, 08:41 PM   #18
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Listen, you really sound like you know what you're talking about. So what do you do? You put spiked snow tires on once the first ice gets here and leave them on? I have never really rode a bike in the winter, so I know diddly squat. Can you ride the tires even if there is no snow/ice?? (that does happen in winter sometimes, doesn't it). Schwalbe Marathon Winter are a no-go?? What do you recommend? Nokian? do they have spikes?
As soon as it looks like I'm going to be riding on anything frozen (ice or snow), I put them on, and I leave them on until spring. They're pretty slow, but I just look at it as extra training .

Yes, in fact most of the time the studded tires are running on bare pavement. That's fine, as long as you buy tires with carbide (not steel) studs, it won't wear them out. You do need to take it easy; if you ride aggressively (hard turns, hard stops, etc), you can rip studs out of the tires.

For me the Schwalbe Marathon Winters are not really good. They have a pretty low rolling resistance for studded tires, but they don't have much tread, so when the snow is heavy and unplowed (like more than 2 or 3 inches on the ground that hasn't been plowed) I found that my rear tire would just suddenly slip sideways on the power stroke of my pedal, by a foot or more. When that happens I needed to be able to put a foot down instantly or I'd fall.

I previously had a set of Nokian W106's - they're good for mostly plowed roads. Not so good in rutted situations, but I don't hit those often. The Nokian W240s look like the all-around most surefooted tire, but I assume they're going to be the slowest tire of the bunch. Still, I'll take slow over "fall down in traffic" any day.

Personally I'm probably going to mount the Marathons this winter anyway (unless someone wants to buy a lightly used set, cheap!) and just be careful or drive my car when there's deep snow, but when they die (which unfortunately will probably take several years) I'll probably get a set of W240s.
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Old 10-10-09, 08:58 PM   #19
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What the cagers see when it's -10*F or colder:

What my chain looks like the day after ONE ride in wet, road salt conditions if I don't lube as soon as I get home:

Typical post-ride condition:
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Old 10-10-09, 09:03 PM   #20
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That looks pretty rough, ItsJustMe. Can't say I'm jealous, even if that helmet cover looks so snazzy.
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Old 10-10-09, 09:18 PM   #21
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I lent out my current winter bike to someone, but here's its predecessor:



^ out on the highway. It's especially fun to stop in the middle of a snowstorm in pitch-dark conditions for a snack break. The cagers slow down... does he need help? maybe he had a breakdown... and then they figure out it's just an escapee from the insane asylum, enjoying a sandwich and coffee in a snowstorm on the side of the highway.




^ imagine this with a frame/fork that's about 4 pounds lighter, and that's the current iteration.
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Old 10-10-09, 10:22 PM   #22
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I woke up this morning to a coating of snow on the grass. Probably don't need to worry about the roads for a few weeks yet though.

Here's some picks of past and current winter bikes:





This next pic is of Kenda Klondikes vs. Nokian A10s after riding under the same conditions. It shows why the A10s aren't so great in snow.



The rusty chain and cassette on the left also help explain my interest in belt drives.
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Old 10-10-09, 10:37 PM   #23
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You're Dr. Wilson from "House" !!
I never knew!
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Old 10-10-09, 10:43 PM   #24
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I don't live in TX - I live in SoCal. It probaby gets below freezing here for an overnight low once or twice a decade. I don't think it's ever snowed here - but it might have.
This morning's ride started at about 63 and got up to about 75.

We will get some winter water falling from the sky, but it is a strange concept and probably less than most of you get in the summer.
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Old 10-10-09, 11:01 PM   #25
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My winter bike is always ready... the only month we have never gotten snow here is July.

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