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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 12-28-07, 07:50 PM   #1
tuvok
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How beat up is your beater?

This is my first winter riding and while I'm enjoying being able to continue riding (although less frequently in the winter) I find that riding my winter beater is a bit of a drag. Here are the specs:
- Purchased for $80.00 at a place called the Bike Dump
- Not sure what brand it is
- Steel everything (steel rims make it hard to stop)
- No-name components (1 pc cranks, no hex bolts anywhere, no quick release)
- MTB style (5 speed)
- In really bad condition (stem is rusted in place, the hubs I repacked are "bleeding" grease etc.)

I guess because I don't plan on using it past the end of the winter I'm lax with maintenance, but it has been less enjoyable riding the beater than one of my nicer fair weather bikes. Anyone else have this problem? Let us know what kind of bike you ride in winter!
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Old 12-28-07, 08:03 PM   #2
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tuvok,

Sounds like you got ripped off. The bike you describe was only worth about 10 bucks around here but of course it depends were you are. You could have got a cheap walmart bike for 80 bucks and while it would not have been a great ride it might have been better for one season.
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Old 12-28-07, 08:19 PM   #3
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Yah, even at $50 that bike sounds like a bad deal. Cut your losses, recycle that "bike" and find something with at least aluminum alloy rims. Check your local craigslist for previously enjoyed bikes.
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Old 12-28-07, 09:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tuvok View Post
This is my first winter riding and while I'm enjoying being able to continue riding (although less frequently in the winter) I find that riding my winter beater is a bit of a drag. Here are the specs:
- Purchased for $80.00 at a place called the Bike Dump
- Not sure what brand it is
- Steel everything (steel rims make it hard to stop)
- No-name components (1 pc cranks, no hex bolts anywhere, no quick release)
- MTB style (5 speed)
- In really bad condition (stem is rusted in place, the hubs I repacked are "bleeding" grease etc.)

I guess because I don't plan on using it past the end of the winter I'm lax with maintenance, but it has been less enjoyable riding the beater than one of my nicer fair weather bikes. Anyone else have this problem? Let us know what kind of bike you ride in winter!
I don't know your financial situation but if you have nicer bikes i would be riding one. It's no funner to ride a crap bike in the winter than it is in the summer. And despite the notion, bikes don't combust if you ride them in the snow/ice/salt.
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Old 12-28-07, 09:31 PM   #5
tuvok
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Well, we are talking $80.00 CAD about 7 years ago. I used it for a few summers back in the day but moved on. I am considering using one of the nicer bikes but using the beater is letting me see what to expect and where the maintenance issues are going to arise. Right now the drive train is turning orange. Some cleaning and lubrication is in order. If I could do this again I would build a single speed (gears are useless in my city in winter) on a road/cyclocross frame. I've never used disc brakes but from what I have read they seem like they would work well in the snow/slush conditions. Maybe someday.

Last edited by tuvok; 12-28-07 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 12-28-07, 10:09 PM   #6
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I picked this frame up free (it was rusted to hell mind you), a set of used cranks, used rims, and $25 of paint:



It isn't super pretty (especially up close).. but its not rusty anymore.. See if you have a local coop.. or dumpster dive. This bike was 90% donated parts that people didnt want to throw away. The fenders are the only 'new' thing on her.
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Old 12-28-07, 10:44 PM   #7
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Actually, it is super pretty.
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Old 12-28-07, 11:38 PM   #8
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Actually, it is super pretty.
I agree.
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Old 12-28-07, 11:49 PM   #9
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My winter "beaters" are both 1987 Kuwahara Cascades that have gorgeous quad butted Ishiwata frames with touring geometry... the longer stays in the rear and slack angles makes for a really nice ride.

One has been converted to a fixed gear while the other has been converted to a three speed.

My three speed as a rain bike...



My three speed as a snow bike...



My fixed gear mtb / commuter / utility bike


The three speed is getting the lion's share of the winter riding as it is more "beaterish" than it's sister and I am finding I really like the three speed in the snow, slush and ice even though the fixie also rocks for winter riding.
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Old 01-02-08, 09:05 PM   #10
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Nice bikes. I have found that the chain on my beater has been jumping quite a bit in the winter. I am really warming to the idea of a single speed for the winter. I think it would also be easier to maintain the drive train.
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Old 01-02-08, 09:10 PM   #11
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I'm presenty down at our local bike co-op where I volunteer and my project of the night is to help one of our members build up his ss winter bike.

SS bikes are very popular here in the winter.
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Old 01-02-08, 09:11 PM   #12
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So beat I can't ride it.


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Old 01-03-08, 03:24 AM   #13
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My winter beater is an old steel frame Asama mountain bike from around 1988. I got the bike for free and this year I replaced the rear wheel. I'll need to do some work on the bottom bracket and chainwheel, but there's no rush on that. This morning, the rear derailleur stopped working, but that's not a big deal either. It runs and it gets me around town in the snow. That's good enough for now, but I'm planning on doing some work on this bike in spring.
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Old 01-03-08, 12:05 PM   #14
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Schwinn Voyageur, 1980 CroMoly. I rode it through college, and resurrected it a couple of years ago... new cassette (uniglide, earliest version of cassette hub, very hard to get a hold of), suntour parts, downtube friction shifters.

I paid $160 for it in 1993, and still get use out of it now... paint doesn't look great, and my repacking of the hubs might not have been as low friction as it could have/should have been, but it does the job fine by me.
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Old 01-04-08, 12:53 AM   #15
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I have a luxury bike I guess. I traded a friend a TT bike for his mountain bike (he outgrew it).

I replaced the chain, stem, cut down the bars and grips, and added bar ends. Sawed off the bottle cage that was on there (the riv-nut things are loose so you can't tighten the bolts) and put one on the other spot. The middle ring is too bent to use so I don't. Broke a spoke in the rear wheel, leaving it that way for now. Added fenders and lights and I use whatever my current pedals are.

http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...ning-htfu.html

Pics are before I sawed off the down tube cage, added a seat tube cage, and put full fenders on the bike.

Seems like a wimpy post now that I skipped riding outside in single digit weather.

cdr
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Old 01-04-08, 08:16 AM   #16
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Tuvok:
Are you in Ottawa? I started winter biking last year. I ride a Jim Kettler Alu-Rad I got at the Sally-Ann for $39 CDN. It was a great deal. After last winter I replaced the rear Suntour derailluer with a $20 SRAM. It had seized up, and the spring was no longer springy. This year I also added a studded tire: a Schwalbe Snow Stud 26 x 1.9. I just have one, on the rear wheel, because I felt I needed more traction, and I'm such a cautious driver, I corner VERY slowly.

Many people say that gears are no use in winter, but I don't understand that at all...I shift frequently as I move from the snow on the side streets to the pavement on the ploughed main roads. I don't think you should go too low on the quality of your winter bike; it's no fun if the bike doesn't work. The conditions are more demanding, so one could argue that you want a better bike in winter.

As to maintenance, I use lots of oil on the drive train, and clear off the crud about twice a month. At the end of the season I repacked all the bearings. The times to watch out for are warm spells when the salty slush can melt on the bike, and bring on rust. I lost a chain to that. This year, I just pour the oil on!

Here's a pic, taken Dec. 3 (first big snowfall):
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Dec_3.jpg (27.3 KB, 22 views)

Last edited by John Nolan; 01-13-08 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 01-12-08, 11:29 PM   #17
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Tuvok:
Are you in Ottawa? I started winter biking last year.
Sorry for not replying sooner. I'm in O-Town as you guessed. I definitely agree with your take on having a bike that is nice enough for you to want to ride it. This is my first winter riding but I'm not doing it regularly, basically just when the roads have been cleared and it is above -20C. Having to ride the beater was a disincentive as well but that may no longer be the case as the bike is really starting to fall apart. I'm in the market for a used MTB that is not too expensive and not too crappy (hard to find around this time).
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Old 01-13-08, 10:46 AM   #18
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The forestroads were ploghed today and I had a blast riding 30 miles on quite solid ice/snow in very nice weather. The bike is an old 531 Crescent roadbike turned into a winter fixie with 106 Nokians. I was really impressed with the ride of the old frame. Soaked up the bumps(that of course has a lot to do with the wide tires), and yet it is plenty responsive. Do yourself a favor and get a good frame.
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Old 01-13-08, 12:00 PM   #19
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I think all my bikes are beaters
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