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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 09-22-08, 12:57 PM   #1
COcatlady
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Winter cycling on a BUDGET!

Hi! I'm new to these forums (just introduced myself) and am interested in winter commuting. I just moved from Phoenix, so my bike and I are unaccustomed to winter/snow. I only work about 2 miles from my apartment and that would probably be my longest/most regular commute (I'm like 5-10 minutes from whatever stores I need to go to, so work is the farthest away). I have a very basic mountain bike--this is the bike I have: http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/bik/804366733.html

What I'm wondering is what are the BARE MINIMUM things I should have for winter cycling. Our winters aren't terrible here, I hear, so I'm hoping that's true. I'm more interested in gear for my bike than clothing since I have a lot of layer-able stuff already. I'll be traveling on fairly maintained roads w/ bike lanes that will likely be plowed all winter.

Any suggestions are much appreciated
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Old 09-22-08, 03:23 PM   #2
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Lights, fenders, and a rack.
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Old 09-22-08, 03:45 PM   #3
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Get in touch with the folks at Club Hypoxia. The northern branch is based right there in Fort Collins. Great bunch of folks and several are active winter cyclists.
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Old 09-23-08, 10:30 AM   #4
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Thanks!
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Old 09-23-08, 10:45 AM   #5
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One important bit of info, too, is to dress for how you'll feel five minutes into your ride.

I learned that one the hard way and almost gave myself pneumonia in the process.
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Old 09-23-08, 11:08 AM   #6
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To winterize your bike, pack the bearings fairly full of grease. It will ooze out when you spin. If you have cheap hubs with poor seals, this will prevent winter crud from entering.
Grease all metal-metal contacts (stem/post) and threads inc pedals. Use full-length cable outers if possible and grease well.
Clean and wax the frame, wax any exposed cable inner and bolt heads. Wax is a cleaner anti-rust than grease that will not contaminate your clothing.
If the frame is steel, think about the inside. Spray it with WD40 or splash out on some weiggle framesaver. I use WD40 into all the small vents in the tubing.

Make sure you start the winter with tyres, tubes and cables in good order. These are the most likely failures, usually when it is cold, dark and wet.

Spiked tyres depend on your local roads and ice conditions. There are some DIY instructions around.
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Old 09-23-08, 12:59 PM   #7
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With only a two mile ride you'll do that in 10 minutes, barely time to get your heart rate up. I'd just wear whatever you'd wear to go for a walk. Without breakin a sweat you don't have to worry about most issues with riding in the cold. On a 10F day for 2 miles you'd be fine in a pair of jeans, winter jacket, warm shoes and ski gloves, glasses.
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Old 09-26-08, 11:02 AM   #8
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For your bike, the most important thing to get is a good lighting system. I've got a NiteHawk Emitter in the front. It puts out one watt on the low setting and 10 watts on the high setting. That's fairly bright. In the back, I've got a fairly bright flashing blinkie. It's also possible to get much brighter lighting, or to build your own lighting system.
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