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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-19-05, 05:34 PM   #1
bostontrevor
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I would post this in the winter cycling forum, but I figure most of you aren't hanging out there yet and by the time you check it out, it may be too late. Plus you're also down with the saving a buck by not going with the cycling specific duds.

Anyhoooo... My grody OD's are shelled out and the crotch cavity gets larger with each passing day, so I needed some shorts, stat! After coming up empty at the Garment District, I headed over to the Army Barracks on Newbury to pick up a pair of overpriced BDUs just so I could hack them off. It's probably more expensive than just buying some civvy shorts, but everyone seems to have put them away for the year. While there, I also found some awesome arctic trouser shells.

You can get this bad boy http://www.armysurpluswarehouse.com/...duct=&item=669 (sans liner, just wear them over your regular pants) for $20. It's about the price of a decent set of windstopping track pants and double what you'd pay at Wal-Mart, but they come with pockets on the side and one in the back and...here's the show stopper...drawstring cuffs. If you're like me, this is great--bunch them up at the knees and tie off the drawstring and voila! windstopping knickers.

I don't know why, but I'm very excited about this. Maybe I'm just really projecting my excitement about winter.

Last edited by bostontrevor; 09-19-05 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 09-19-05, 05:44 PM   #2
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Trevor, I sympathize with your anticipation for winter. A 70 degree temp. drop will definitely put a different spin on any cyclists ride.
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Old 09-20-05, 08:46 AM   #3
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why are we all fretting about winter allready? I just ordered a winter jacket..
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Old 09-20-05, 08:50 AM   #4
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I just picked up a bunch of nice woolen sweaters at TJ Max for like $10 each. Wool rules.

Oh yeah, I love winter.
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Old 09-20-05, 08:54 AM   #5
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Yeah, I'm with everyone else on the sudden anticipation of winter.

Today was the first day that my morning ride started in complete darkness. Time to start building a winter fixed mtb!
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Old 09-20-05, 09:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by herst
Time to start building a winter fixed mtb!
Seriously! I acquired a sweet old three-speed frame that's destined for winter glory, but in the height of summer, I couldn't really motivate to get it fixed up (after spending much sweat using a hacksaw to widen the dropouts, I ran out of steam). Now I have only about a month and a half of pre-snow days to sand, paint, replace bottom bracket, and overhaul rear hub! I better get crackin'.
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Old 09-20-05, 10:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Alexi
why are we all fretting about winter allready? I just ordered a winter jacket..
Are you back?
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Old 09-20-05, 03:44 PM   #8
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cant wait
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Old 09-20-05, 05:28 PM   #9
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I'm not so much fretting, as getting excited. It's kinda sadistic I think. I'm sure I'll feel differently about it once it's actually here. Although, I must say, there are probably more people out on the streets shoveling, trudging and otherwise at the height of a snowstorm than probably your average fall or relatively dry winter day. Anyone else notice this effect?
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Old 09-21-05, 03:59 AM   #10
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Are you back?
nope still in old cambodia, i ordered a new jacket online
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Old 09-21-05, 06:20 AM   #11
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I'm kind of excited; this will be my first winter biking though it. My lady, though, is all panicky that I will be hit by a car, since ice and snow make the road into a bumper-car ring, a venue in which bicycles don't typically fare well.

I'm planning on putting on knobbies, and I already have a lighting setup. What else can I do to stay off the grills of SUV's?
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Old 09-21-05, 06:34 AM   #12
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my favorite part of boston winter was those 35 degree days in march where you could take your gloves off and it felt like tropical paradise.
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Old 09-21-05, 07:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeroplane
I'm planning on putting on knobbies, and I already have a lighting setup. What else can I do to stay off the grills of SUV's?
don't put on knobbies, they just wear down faster and don't grip for huffy, try skinny tires to just cut thru the crud. Most streets will be pretty ice free due to commuting
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Old 09-21-05, 07:47 AM   #14
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Yeah, I rode through my first few winters on knobbies and all they did for me was throw muck in my face (not so sexy when you kiss your lady). Last winter I rode skinny tires through much of the nastiness and only slipped once the entire time. And I lived in an industrial area that didn't get shovelled. The main thing you have to worry about is that narrow lanes get even narrower because of plow drifts. My only dooring happened about a week after a blizzard my first winter here--there just wasn't enough room to get out of the way.

Alexi, hurry up and get back so we can attack All Asia when it reopens.

rob
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Old 09-21-05, 08:03 AM   #15
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What about studded tires? Do those make it easier?
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Old 09-21-05, 08:17 AM   #16
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I've never ridden studded tires but my feeling is that they would only help on sidewalks, which crust up with ice. Most of the main streets are cleared quite quickly. And when they're not clear, it's generally that weird chemical slush that happens before the salt melts everything away.

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Old 09-21-05, 08:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeroplane
What about studded tires? Do those make it easier?
Studded tires make things much easier when it's icy. Rain followed by snow, those days when it warms up above freezing during the day, then drops down at night, etc, are basically trivial with studded tires.

my winter setup invoves studded tires on the ss mtb, and slicks with fenders on the fixie.

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Old 09-21-05, 08:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeroplane
My lady, though, is all panicky that I will be hit by a car, since ice and snow make the road into a bumper-car ring, a venue in which bicycles don't typically fare well.
Mmm. . . I dunno. I've always been a year-round rider and none of my getting-hit-by-a-car incidents (of which I've had several over the years) have come in snowy or icy conditions. I think the secret may be that when trouble wants to find you, it just ignores the weather, tosses back a shot of whiskey, and stomps out into the street to kick your a$s.

On a separate note (still related to winter bikes), I have this question for you wise experts: As mentioned, I'm building up the winter rig. Part of me wants to give it a nice red and black paint job ('cause those are the colors of paint I have), lather on the clearcoat, and hit the muck in style. But part of me is lazy and also secretly thinks that bikes carefully wrapped in various colors of electrical tape look cool. I keep saying to myself, "You got the frame free from the trash and it's inevitably going to get walloped during the colder months, so don't waste the effort on painting when you could wrap it in stylish vinyl and then peel and re-wrap in the spring." I can't tell if that's intelligent reasoning or laziness.
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Old 09-21-05, 11:05 AM   #19
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I'd say paint it and do a good job then just let it rot away. It'll add character to the bike. Anyway, if it's gonna get battered by another New England winter, what's a thin layer of vinyl going to do?

Also, I've found the skinny slicks in the snow trick to be true. I think the snow is more about gearing. If anything (particuarly if you're riding SS) put a lower chainring or larger cog on. This helps more than anything with getting over the 'bumps' of snow and ice that get accumulated on the pavement. Something I learned last year.
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Old 09-21-05, 11:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeroplane
What about studded tires? Do those make it easier?
Studs on the side of a tread make it easier to navigate along frozen/crusty car tire ruts. Ruts are a-plenty in the midst of a storm, and can sometimes stay on sidestreets for weeks at a time. The only time I've gone down in the winter was due to riding in/along ruts.

When riding during "black ice" conditions (usually between dusk and dawn) just keep the speed way down and stay alert. Avoid road areas that may apear to have melted out during the day.

-I'm not sure nokian (the only studded tire brand worth buying IMO) makes a skinny studded tire that would fit any track bike. There MTB tires are awesome though, a bit of overkill for urban riding. I wish they had a model without the studs on the pavement patch, but left them along/near the sidewall edge.
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Old 09-21-05, 12:38 PM   #21
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On the other hand, I might studify my dirt jumper and take it out on the Chaz when it freezes over. Yeehaw! I'd need some body armor and an emergency helicopter at my disposal, though.
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Old 09-21-05, 12:45 PM   #22
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On the other hand, I might studify my dirt jumper and take it out on the Chaz when it freezes over. Yeehaw! I'd need some body armor and an emergency helicopter at my disposal, though.
http://www.digave.com/videos/ice-web.mpg
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Old 09-21-05, 12:51 PM   #23
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Oh trust me, I've seen it. I'm not quite that insane. What I really want is the aquabike!

Incidentally, where was Lucas during the last Midnight Crit? He didn't show so I got to win, but it was a hollow victory. Hollow, I tell you.

rob
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Old 09-21-05, 01:13 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camel
-I'm not sure nokian (the only studded tire brand worth buying IMO) makes a skinny studded tire that would fit any track bike.
Luckily, I ride craptastic conversions that were originally rolling 27" wheels. Clearance galore for CX tires.
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Old 09-21-05, 01:14 PM   #25
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That video's great. I have to do that. Who shot it? edit--never mind. It finally ended. Lucas Brunelle.
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