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Old 10-26-06, 12:28 AM   #1
kill.cactus
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South Eastern MI Bikes

Instead of asking about people's winterized bikes in the commuting forum, this is more specialized

Afterall the winters in Colorodo will be different from those in Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor.

Which bikes do you use in the winters in these areas?
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Old 10-26-06, 10:08 PM   #2
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Currently building a new winter commuter.
93 Raleigh M50 ATB with an internally geareg 3 speed Nexus hub, trekking bars, studded front tire and Kenda Kross Plus tire in the rear on snowy/icy days and Geax Streetrunners for cold-and-rainy days.
I ride from Clinton Twp to Sterling Hts (16 & Groesbeck to 17 & Mound) and this setup seems to be what I'll need this winter.
Clothing wise, some 250 weight powerstretch tights with moisture wicking shirt under a fleece shirt under my rain jacket... a few pair of wool socks and hiking boots seem to o the trick. When the temps hit single digits I play around with clothing choice.
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Old 10-28-06, 07:53 AM   #3
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I use a '90 Royce Union rigid MTB with knobby tires (no studs yet) and low (45 psi) tire pressure. I went singlespeed late last year but I'm doing a fixed gear this winter. I get better speed control that way. I expect that it will translate well to snowy and slushy conditions.
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Old 10-31-06, 12:44 AM   #4
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Is this your first winter in Michigan? Usually, the snow on the street is melted by the salt trucks who start early in the morning to have the streets clean by rush hour traffic. When they have to plow the streets, that is a problem, but only happens a couple of times a year. When my kids were going to U of M they closed classes about once per year. The AABTS bike club usually rides all year. A group of them ride with studded tires out at Kensington and many others ride during the week and weekend. They usually switch up to an older bike, or a cross bike. The rides are a little later in the day to let the morning ice melt. Try to ride a straight line to avoid ice under a light snow. I've only seen one person fall because of ice. We usually "take the road" if the shoulder seems doubtful in the winter. BTW, the riding speeds drop from 18-20 to 14-16 mph.
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Old 10-31-06, 12:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick07
I use a '90 Royce Union rigid MTB with knobby tires (no studs yet) and low (45 psi) tire pressure. I went singlespeed late last year but I'm doing a fixed gear this winter. I get better speed control that way. I expect that it will translate well to snowy and slushy conditions.
MY winter bike is an old Royce Union as well! Cool! Yours the Gibraltar model?

By the way, I've had pretty good luck last winter running the Geax Evolution commuter tire. Good traction and stability and less rolling resistance than Knobbies. Also Kevlar tire, so really puncture resistant. I've also done some short weekend tours with this bike before I got my road bike, and was surprised at how well it did!
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Old 10-31-06, 12:27 PM   #6
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Just an old MTB with studded tires (Giant Rincon cheapo). Same bike I ride in the summer but different tires, obviously.
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Old 11-04-06, 09:00 PM   #7
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Last winter, I used a garage-sale 10-speed with Freddy Fenders and cyclocross tires. I should have added a mudflap to at least the front fender, since by spring, the shifter cables were rusty and there was some pretty icky stuff stuck to the bottom bracket. I could also have switched back to slicks a long time earlier than I did, but I didn't trust Michigan weather to not dump a foot of snow on me when I had my guard down.

Since then, I've moved out of a shared house with accompanying garage space into my own apartment, and gotten a good deal on a second-hand Trek 520. I haven't made up my mind yet whether I'd rather subject the Trek to road salt or haul the 10-speed upstairs every day.

If last week's weather is the first sign of a harsh winter, I may well wimp out and commute by bus for a while.
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Old 11-05-06, 12:45 PM   #8
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I ride a bianchi volpe for commuting and touring year round in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I've never converted from my 27 speed setup in the winter. I did run into some problems with my cables freezing up in sub-20 degree temperatures, but they continued to work well enough most of the time.

Last year I used studded 35c cyclocross/mtb tires during the winter. They came in handy for a couple of weeks last year, but I found them to be a bit excessive for the conditions 2/3 of the time. I've talked to several people from Ontario and Alberta that use relatively narrow, non-studded tires in the winter. They claim that the narrow tires work better for cutting through snow, rather than wide, nobby mtb tires that tend to ride on top of the snow. But studded tires certainly offer an advantage in icy conditions.

I'm planning on going back to the studded nobbies this winter. What would be ideal would be to have two sets of wheels, one with studded road tires for the rare days when the snow accumulation is bad enough to warrent them, and one with regular road slicks for the rest of the winter. Alas, I only have one set of wheels and don't intend to blow money to buy a second set, so I'll be riding strictly on studded nobbies from Dec-Februrary.
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Old 11-07-06, 09:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
MY winter bike is an old Royce Union as well! Cool! Yours the Gibraltar model?

Sorry about the lateness of this reply. I completely forgot I posted on this subject! Actually mine is the Savoy model. The frame, fork, and handlebar weighed 10 pounds by themselves! This is in winter trim with both 40 and 28 chainrings and a 14t cog welded to the rear hub. I carry extra links in my seat bag to switch between the two.

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