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  1. #1
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    Chosing a bike that'd be best for winter

    Hello, I am looking for advice into buying a new bike, around entry level for commuting. I live in Toronto and plan to commute through the winter, so I could use some advice and whatnot on the pros and shortfalls of the bikes I am considering buying.

    I already have a thread in the commuting forum for some more background if necessary.
    Help noob chose a commuting bike

    The bikes that I considering are the following:

    The Kona Dew, at 450 the least expensive and one I really enjoyed riding.

    The Kona Dew Plus, which I think is basically the same with a few better components and disc brakes. Are disc brakes that important in snow riding? I have only ever ridden bikes on hot tropical weather before, never in snow, and always with old style brakes, so I am not sure if the 100 bucks difference would be worth having? Also, I hear that it is more difficult to add stuff like fenders and rack to a bike with disc brakes, is this true?

    Jamis Coda 08. test rode this one in two sizes, 16 and 19.5'' I think the 17.5 would be best but the 19.5 would be good enough, and really enjoyed riding this bike as well. 25 bucks more expensive than the Kona Dew plus, and no disc brakes.

    Jamis Coda Sport 08. I haven't test rode this one. The store did have it in 17.5'' and I am trying it today. It goes for $675 and this would be the top of my range, spending-wise, for just the bike. Maybe stretching it a bit, I would have to really like this bike a lot more than the others to buy this one.

    I also tried the KHS Urban-Xpress and KHS Urban X, the Kona Smoke and the Trek 7100. The last 2 had grip change gear system which I didn't like so I am no longer considering. The Urban Xpress was nice, but at the same price as the Jamis Cona, I think I'd go for the latter. And I have yet to try any Specialized or Giant bike in this range.

    Now the main questions would be, would the disc braking of the Dew plus really make a difference for the winter? Would the thinner tires of the Cona's make it more of a pain to handle in the snow? And also, any advice suggestion provided would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    I rode without disc brakes in the winter for decades...but today I'd much rather have them on wet/snowy/icy/slushy roads than not. They stop better and more consistently, last longer and don't grind down my rims with road grit.

    Fenders and racks are no problem with discs...they used to be, but the market has adapted.

    As far as tires...wider is good in the snow...but studs are better on ice. Tires can be changed, don't let the tires that come stock on a bike influence your decision unless they are the only difference between bikes you are choosing.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    I rode without disc brakes in the winter for decades...but today I'd much rather have them on wet/snowy/icy/slushy roads than not. They stop better and more consistently, last longer and don't grind down my rims with road grit.

    Fenders and racks are no problem with discs...they used to be, but the market has adapted.

    As far as tires...wider is good in the snow...but studs are better on ice. Tires can be changed, don't let the tires that come stock on a bike influence your decision unless they are the only difference between bikes you are choosing.
    Listen to this man, as he speaks the truth.

  4. #4
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Listen to this man, as he speaks the truth.
    Agreed. You can pretty much close the thread now.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  5. #5
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    Heh, so I guess this was a short-lived thread. Still useful though. Help me make up my mind even more about the Dew Plus.

  6. #6
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    As someone mentioned in the other thread, consider a Giant Transcend LX...which has everything the Dew Plus does, but also comes with fenders and rear rack.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    AEO
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    kona dew series if you have parts for it lying around, or giant for a complete bike.

    alternatively, kona dew drop would be an interesting option. well, ok, that's the bike I plan on getting eventually.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  8. #8
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    -Cheap (used is good for Winter)
    -Plenty of room for tires and fenders
    -Fender braze ons
    -A bit smaller than what you usually ride (its easier to fall off a small bike)
    -Cheap

    jim
    Cross Check Nexus7, IRO Mark V, Trek 620 Nexus7, Karate Monkey half fat, IRO Model 19 fixed, Amp Research B3, Surly 1x1 half fat fixed, and more...
    --------------------------
    SB forever

  9. #9
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    I started year round commuting in Calgary three years ago. The first winter all I had was a Kona Dew with studs on the front. My commute was 15km each way. The Dew was a pretty good choice, but the narrow tires were really a pain in deep snow. I've since added a mountain bike (Kona Fire Mountain) to my stable. Some days you just want more rubber on the road. I still ride the Dew in the winter if the snows not too deep. If I had to replace my Dew now, I'd likely go with the Dew Plus for the discs.

  10. #10
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    The Surly Pugsley.

    I'm just saying that. I can't afford one.

  11. #11
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    My X started out as a Kona Fire Mountain, First time I had disc brakes in approx. 6 yrs. adult riding.
    I love them, definitely a plus.
    As a matter of fact that is why I didn't use the Univega (vintage unknown, purchased at a yard sale)as the donor bike for the X. If I could find a 1" steel fork w/disc mounts I would go ahead and build another X.

  12. #12
    old and in the way gomadtroll's Avatar
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    my $.02, frames that accept wide tire, like the surly FFF (fatties fit fine) frames. Since conditions vary from locale to locale. Here 54-622 are a minimum for all winter conditions. I like steel frames, when was the last time you saw a snowplow made of aluminum :-) , weight can be helpful.

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