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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 12-26-08, 04:29 PM   #1
transposon
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Help me decide which bike to use for commuting.

Ok I need some advice. I have two bikes, a rode bike and a beater mountain bike. I will be needing to commute 10mi each way to work. I will be riding around boston streets in the winter.

I was looking at making some of those DIY studded tires. Do you guys think this would be necessary for boston roads or would the knobby tires of the MTB be fine?

Also, which would be better for winter road conditions the road bike or the MTB?
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Old 12-26-08, 04:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by transposon View Post
Ok I need some advice. I have two bikes, a rode bike and a beater mountain bike. I will be needing to commute 10mi each way to work. I will be riding around boston streets in the winter.

I was looking at making some of those DIY studded tires. Do you guys think this would be necessary for boston roads or would the knobby tires of the MTB be fine?

Also, which would be better for winter road conditions the road bike or the MTB?
I commute year round from Kenmore Square to Norwood (14 miles). This year I have decided to ride in bad weather so I have put fenders on my Mountain bike and will be getting studded tires. From what I have heard, certain patterns of the studs are sufficient for riding on slick roads but do not offer too much rolling resistance. Tires made of Kevlar are also nice. I would estimate that I would use the mountain bike about at least about 40% of winter days and need the studs about 10% of those days, but this is a guestimate. If the roads are perfectly dry, I ride my road bike, mainly to keep it clean (that is I don't ride it when it might get grimy).

A good reference for studs is: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp and this was a useful post by alfie43

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...I too, will ride everyday this winter. However, I couldn't do so without my studded tires. You probably have read Peter White's informative pages on winter tires (http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp). With the tire specs therein matched to the winter conditions that I will encounter, I choose the Schwalbe Marathon Winters, a Kevlar constructed tire. At first, I was concerned about the increase in rolling resistance and noise, but they were not of any real significance. The sense of confidence that they provide me on winter road surfaces is well worth their slightly higher costs...
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Old 12-27-08, 06:50 AM   #3
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...Also, which would be better for winter road conditions the road bike or the MTB?
Both will work in winter conditions, but I'd use the bike that you want to replace first. Winter takes a toll on a bike
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Old 12-27-08, 07:43 AM   #4
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You need both. Two different types of tires to suit the conditions of the day.

If your conditions may include ice or packed snow, you need studs on one of em.
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Old 12-28-08, 11:31 AM   #5
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You rarely need studs in the city, because major roads are cleared for the cars. The road bike will work well in these conditions, with your regular tires. You might want puncture-resistant tires because the pavement is dirtier in the winter--especially when the plows throw crud on the shoulders, and they aren't running the street sweepers much.

Studs on a MTB are nice when you ride on poorly cleared side streets, alleys, sidewalks or trails. Studs (knobbies in general) throw up more water, so fenders are good. They're also slipperier on wet pavement so take it slow until you're used to them.

Another consideration is if you have a Plan B for transportation, like bus or walking. If you have an alternative, you can get by with less extreme gear. OTOH, I count on cycling to work every day (I work until almost midnight), so I need to be prepared for the worst possible conditions. I use a MTB with studded tires all winter, every day, "just in case." I don't use agressively studded tires. Lighter studs are more than adequate for city riding IMO, and faster in clear conditions.
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Old 12-29-08, 04:11 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input everyone. I think im gonna throw some studs on my beater MTB.

Unfortunatly there is no alternative transportation. So im gonna have to prepare for the worst.

I need to use the DIY tires till i get a few paychecks in and stabilize my finances. So in order to have lightly studded tires should I reduce the # of screws in the DIY tires? What's a good ball park #?
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