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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 09-06-08, 12:31 PM   #1
Gitane GranTour
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Opinions needed

I have searched through this forum looking for some answers and seem to have come up without enough information for me to make a decision. So any input the experienced winter commuters could provide would be really helpful. The image attached below is my daily commute to and from work, as you can see I have some major elevation changes to deal with, and none of it is straight. I am trying to decide if it is worth the cash to upgrade the bike I am building into my winter commuter to disc brakes. We don't normally have a lot of snow in the winter compared to some areas but the roads I ride are not major thoroughfares so the snow removal is not great at best and I am concerned about trying to stay in control on the downhills with snow and ice to deal with. Anyways I am starting to ramble so any advise would be appreciated.

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Old 09-06-08, 07:28 PM   #2
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Disc vs rim brakes

Commuting in snow in upstate NY, and more recently in the upper midwest, I've found V-brakes to be more than adequate at slowing the bike. (Tires are the weak link in my experience, and I am currently running studded snows.) Having said that, the rims do take a beating with any rim-brake in the gritty conditions that accompany snow, and discs will avoid this problem. Hope someone with experience with both will chime in!
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Old 09-06-08, 10:56 PM   #3
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You do not need disks. I commute 4-5 days per week, in Alaska where you can be assured of 6-months of real snow, without disks, with no problem. The two bikes I have with disks actually are more of a problem (cable actuated) due to icing of the cable mechanism.

I must note that the previous post about rim-grit may be a concern. I'm going through rims about every 3000 miles or so due to wear.
"Where you come from is gone;
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Old 09-07-08, 07:30 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, I was planning on going with studded tires for the nasty days. I will just go with my first instinct and get a set of salmon pads for the v brakes and ride these rims till they die. I am thinking I am going to try to find a cheap set of spare rims to keep some non-studded tires on for the days without ice or snow. This is all going onto a free dumpster find giant mountain bike that came along just in time for me to start working on my winter commuter.
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Old 09-07-08, 08:23 PM   #5
Brian T
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You can do a disk conversion on just the front. This is what I did, it's about the same power for stopping though. but it does save on the grinding of your rim, from all the crap on the road. I would add pictures but I'm forward deployed. Good luck on the winter commute.

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