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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 09-19-07, 10:46 AM   #1
modernjess
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What's your bar choice for winter?

I'm toying with the idea of swapping out the drops for flat bars this winter for the commute. I far prefer drop bars for riding, and last year I kept them on through the winter but I never felt super comfy with them in the ice and snow. I feel like I'd have more bike handling control with flat bars in the slippery stuff. My theory is that it would let me utilize more of my meager mountain biking handling skills.

It's an easy swap, have the extra parts/levers. I ride a Surly cross check, single speed, with nokian 106 studded for winter.

Any thoughts or similar experiences? Good idea? Don't bother? Try it and see?
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Old 09-19-07, 11:49 AM   #2
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Personally I wouldn't feel safe riding the drops in very bad conditions.

Flats or something of the kind might be a good idea.
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Old 09-19-07, 12:23 PM   #3
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I love drops for warmer weather, but for winter I use a set of bull horns wider than my shoulders. I use 40 drops and 44 bullhorns.

I had a real hard time getting good brake lever control on hoods while wearing winter weight gloves. I ended up pushing my weight to far forward to keep my fingers placed well on my levers which left me with an unstable feeling on ice. Using the actual drops gave me good break control, but a bad posture on rutted ice. The bullhorns with “reverse” levers let me keep two fingers on the lever and two on the bars comfortably in bad terrain. The extra width is a comfort and general less skittish feeling YMMV.

My winter bike is a single speed with discs and it works quite well.
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Old 09-19-07, 12:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by modernjess View Post
I'm toying with the idea of swapping out the drops for flat bars this winter for the commute. I far prefer drop bars for riding, and last year I kept them on through the winter but I never felt super comfy with them in the ice and snow. I feel like I'd have more bike handling control with flat bars in the slippery stuff. My theory is that it would let me utilize more of my meager mountain biking handling skills.

It's an easy swap, have the extra parts/levers. I ride a Surly cross check, single speed, with nokian 106 studded for winter.

Any thoughts or similar experiences? Good idea? Don't bother? Try it and see?
Both, but most bad days it is a flat bar. Nice days they are drops. I think the real answer to your question is flats but I do try and get the drops out whenever its nice.
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Old 09-19-07, 12:52 PM   #5
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I use one of my drop-barred bikes unless the conditions are snowy/icy, in which case I opt for the flat-barred snow bike with the studded tires and disc brakes. Really, the roads are not that bad around here for a good portion of the winter...the biggest thing you gotta deal with is all the damn salt.
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Old 09-19-07, 01:56 PM   #6
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Yeah, the salt is really tough. The next county over uses sand, I think I'd prefer that.
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Old 09-19-07, 02:19 PM   #7
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i just put comfort bars on my mountain bike to try for winter, i want to sit up a little more,we don't get alot of snow here,i live right out side of Wussyville OH and i think they will work ok this winter,(when im not on my footbike that is!)
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Old 09-19-07, 02:35 PM   #8
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i just put comfort bars on my mountain bike to try for winter, i want to sit up a little more,we don't get alot of snow here,i live right out side of Wussyville OH and i think they will work ok this winter,(when im not on my footbike that is!)
Outside of Wussyville and using a footbike? Welcome, Amish brother.
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Old 09-20-07, 10:03 AM   #9
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Yeah, the salt is really tough. The next county over uses sand, I think I'd prefer that.
Minneapolis actually uses a chemical and salt mixture on their roads. It lowers the freezing temperature even more, but is even more corrosive. Ideally it reduces refreezing of melted ice and so reduces rutting and black ice, but there is still a significant amount of rutted ice on the sides on the road in my experience.

I wouldn't suggest using anything new on a winter bike here. Thankfully we have quite a few used bike and component dealers in the area.
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Old 09-21-07, 11:33 AM   #10
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I usually drink at home, but when i was younger i stuck to the same bars as the summer time.
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