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Old 12-31-14, 03:10 PM   #1
Banzai
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Help me build my new winter bike

As the title says. It will actually be a year-round, all-weather fun-and-commute machine. Some starting points:

1) It will have an Alfine 8 and disc brakes.

2) It will need to sport fenders and a rack, when necessary.

3) I will change the tires based on need and season. As thin as 28mm, as large as I can go.

Two front runners are Soma Wolverine, and Soma Juice (or similar 29er.)

Wolverine pros are the drop-bar, cx-like ride geometry, plus some good tire clearances. Negatives could be the upper tire limit, and perhaps drop-bars in a Minneapolis winter. (I've read that drops aren't the best for serious winter riding.)

Juice (or similar) pros are the upper tire limit, and the ability to do fun things like, say, run a Lefty fork or other suspension. I was planning to get a Jones Loop H Bar; I'm normally not a big fan of flat bars, but I tried trekking/butterfly bars once and they were pretty much the worst at everything. Hoping the Jones bar is as good as people say, because they're being touted for 29er touring.

Thoughts? I'll probably end up building on a Wolverine, but seriously considering all options.
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Old 12-31-14, 03:28 PM   #2
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I use relatively wide CX style drops that flare out on my winter bike. They are mounted at about saddle height. I like them but if you go the drop bar route with an Alfine 8 speed you'll need a Jtec shifter or something like it.

I prefer an aluminum frame over steel just so corrosion isn't so much of a concern. Lots of people will still rather have steel though.

My only other recommendation is that you give the Alfine an oil bath rather than keeping the factory grease. It'll spin a bit easier on those cold Minneapolis winter days. An IGH is a good choice for winter but after spending most of this month riding a fixed gear, I think that might be a realistic option for me if geared low enough. I've cleaned that bike up and put it away for the season, but somewhere down the road I may put together an actual fixed gear winter bike.

An old riding buddy works at a bike shop and says that he'd let me try out one of their fat bikes. I haven't taken him up on it yet but before investing in any other winter bike, I think I'd have to at least give one a try.

Last edited by tjspiel; 12-31-14 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 12-31-14, 03:40 PM   #3
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You know you want a drop bar bike that can handle a lot of different road surfaces so the wolverine makes sense. Sometimes when the road surfaces get really bad, flat bars are better so build up a craigslist bike for that purpose. Vintage mtbs are easy to find and can make fine winter bikes.

I have 2 vintage bikes set up for winter. One is a mtb I converted to drops (a 1988 specialized stumpjumper comp); I run 26 x 1.9 continental winter tires. I ride that bike a lot. The tires are really good for mixed snow/ice/pavement type conditions.

The other is an old b'stone with all rounder bars and I use studded tires.

What I'm trying to say is don't overthink this. Get the bike that does the primary job you want it do to (the wolverine) and keep an eye out for an old bike you can mod for those really crummy days when the wolverine might not quite work for you.

By the way, I have a Soma doublecross that came in orange. I love the bike; I'll bet you're really going to like the Wolverine.
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Old 12-31-14, 03:55 PM   #4
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Consider a hub generator with lights and a Brooks Cambium saddle ?
Have an urban commuter with a nexus hub, short and shallow handle bar with Jtek shifter.
A very effective set up for drop bar.

Last edited by martianone; 12-31-14 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 12-31-14, 05:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
You know you want a drop bar bike that can handle a lot of different road surfaces so the wolverine makes sense. Sometimes when the road surfaces get really bad, flat bars are better so build up a craigslist bike for that purpose. Vintage mtbs are easy to find and can make fine winter bikes.

I have 2 vintage bikes set up for winter. One is a mtb I converted to drops (a 1988 specialized stumpjumper comp); I run 26 x 1.9 continental winter tires. I ride that bike a lot. The tires are really good for mixed snow/ice/pavement type conditions.

The other is an old b'stone with all rounder bars and I use studded tires.

What I'm trying to say is don't overthink this. Get the bike that does the primary job you want it do to (the wolverine) and keep an eye out for an old bike you can mod for those really crummy days when the wolverine might not quite work for you.

By the way, I have a Soma doublecross that came in orange. I love the bike; I'll bet you're really going to like the Wolverine.
I like how you think.

However, then I'll also have to build yet another internal gear hub wheel for the second bike.

Currently I have a Nashbar "X" cyclocross frame that has served admirably as a weather beater. To run the IGH I would just need to run a chain tensioner. Then the only things the Wolverine would have on it are:

Quality.
Steel.
Better mounting eyelets.
Very slightly larger tire clearance.
Sliding dropouts.
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Old 12-31-14, 07:41 PM   #6
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Consider a hub generator with lights and a Brooks Cambium saddle ?
I second the suggestion of a hub generator. I love mine.
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Old 01-02-15, 11:03 PM   #7
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I second the suggestion of a hub generator. I love mine.
I raise your second and raise you a third. Hub gens rock!
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