Good Bike options for Winter
Hi all, after riding on the trainer last for night for 30 min (That is all I could stand on my bike with a trainer. Maybe it was the movie I was watching. All I had was 500 days of summer. I don't think I would watch it not riding the bike, only if you wife / GF ask you. IMO.)
I realized I should just ride to work, but it is winter here in UT, as in many places, and the ride is 20 miles each way. So, there are some considerations I'm not sure of. I have most of the gear to ride, clothes, the only thing I don't have is winter boots, but I think for this winter I will either buy the Lake shoes or use the hand warmers that I can put in my shoe.
Normally, I ride to work on a 9 speed that the max tire that can be accommodated is 700 x 25c barely. I have two mt. bikes, but, the distance seems prohibitive for winter. I have ridden these bikes to work during the summer for a day or two, but the additional time riding for these two bike make me think that riding them in the winter for 20 miles each way will make the winter commute really long.
So, my question is, would it better to purchase a cycle cross bike that has 700 cc wheels or just suck it up and take the mt. bike. I could add studs to the mt. bike, but they would be much slower than a cycle cross or a commuter specific bike.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Last edited by gholt; 01-05-10 at 11:28 AM.
My preference would be for a touring bike, so that I would have the option of carrying panniers comfortably (most road and CX bikes can carry panniers, but their more compact geometry makes them wobbly in windy descents), and be able to mount studded tires when necessary.
Right now I'm drooling over the 2010 Jamis Aurora Elite.
A mtb would be fine though, although a bit slower, as you point out.
Are the roads/paths generally clear? Twenty miles is going to be a long trip in the winter if the roads aren't in good shape. I would get a bike that could take the 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Winter tire. These tires have lots of studs so they're good on any icy patches you may encounter. They also roll pretty well for a studded tire.
Their downside is that they're not so great in snow over an inch or two. Given the length of your commute, riding in more than a couple of inches of snow may not be the best thing anyway. I'd be tempted to drive or take public transit on those days.
Last edited by tjspiel; 01-05-10 at 12:15 PM.
Is there any way to multi-mode commute? Even with a road or cross bike, you'll be slower in the winter, so you need to factor that in. If I were you, I would ride the mountain bike a few times to see if winter riding is something I really want to do. Aside from the speed difference, there are all kinds of factors to consider such as the cold, darkness, and potentially hazardous conditions (snow and ice). Personally, I like commuting year round, but I know it's not for everyone. Before buying a new bike, try it with what you have first to see if it's something you'll enjoy. If you like it and find your mountain bike is too slow, then by all means, look at alternatives.
Originally Posted by jeffpoulin
Also realize that going from a MTB with knobbies to a cross bike with studded tires may not be all that much of a time saver. I think it will make some difference but maybe not enough to justify the cost of another bike.
Not very good method for multi-mode with bus or train. I guess I could drive half way, (never thought of that.) beyond that, the bus would be too slow, as the area where I travel to is mostly rural. Coming home may be better, but it may be better to drive and ride only 10 miles so that I don't have to ride the cursed trainer at night, after about 30 min.
That is a fabulous idea. Never thought of driving half way. It seem that my feet and hands get really cold, but I'm going to try the feet warmers before I buy the lakes, but I saw them on sale through the 15th for ~ $200, so, I may just snag them.
I bike that could handle panniers and fenders may be a good option of the 700 x 35, but I do like my converted racing bike. I'll also try the mtn bike and see how it goes as well.
So, the touring would work better than a cyclecross for those out there. I was going to go down to the shop and see what they have on clearance for 2009.
I commute with a CX bike carrying panniers and have not noticed any wobbliness in windy descents. If you are not going to tour, why carry around the extra weight of a touring bike? A CX bike can accommodate wide tires, studded tires, full fenders, rack and panniers and make great commuters as well as fun weekend bikes.
Originally Posted by vaticdart
If you're regularly going to carry a bunch of stuff or stop at the grocery store on the way home, a touring bike starts to make more sense. However, if you travel fairly light and like the feel of a racing bike then a cyclocross bike might be a better choice.
Originally Posted by gholt
Personally, I wouldn't lock myself into any particular type of bike just yet. Take some test rides and then make your decision. You're going to be on that bike for 40 miles a day, make sure it's comfortable and a pleasure to ride.
I think will see how the Mt. bikes work, and then make some test rides with cyclecross and touring bikes. Thanks for all the help.