Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Member Loyal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    NL, Canada
    My Bikes
    2009 Specialized Sirrus Sport, 1980ish Kuwahara Woodlands, 2003 EV Global E-bike, 2010 Kona Dawg
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Opinions on first winter bike

    I just started cycling this year with a Specialized Sirrus Sport and I want to extend my riding season so Iím considering winter riding. The Sirrus will be stored during the winter and I want a winter bike to ride on frozen ponds (like Im going to ride on a non-frozen pond) and snowmobile trails.

    I have two possible options for a winter bike:

    1) My +20 year old purple Kuwahara Woodlands mountain bike. Its in pretty good shape, has a decent rear tire and good components . . . no suspension though. But I donít really want to trash it. If I did keep it I would look at getting a cheap set of tires to stud.

    2) Buy a cheap used department store bike ($50-$80) with front suspension that I donít care if I trash. I would stud the tires and keep it in relatively good shape . . . but I would not be as picky as the Kuwahara.

    Thoughts and opinions would be appreciated.
    Zuki

  2. #2
    No fashion sense cyclist IR Baboon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Near Port Angeles, WA
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT
    Posts
    104
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I rode my 07 sirrus with 700x35 studded tires in the serious ice and snow with few problems last year. Of course corrosion became a serious issue, even with daily baths. I love my Sirrus, and couldn't bear to do that again.

    I would recommend a beater with cheap components, non home made tires (carbide studs are way hardier). I tried it last year for part of the year, and thats what I'm going with this year. This way, you wash the salt off the frame to keep it from rusting out, and replace the other stuff in the spring for not too much. With a little time and care invested you'll be pleasantly surprised how well even cheap components hold out.

  3. #3
    Member Loyal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    NL, Canada
    My Bikes
    2009 Specialized Sirrus Sport, 1980ish Kuwahara Woodlands, 2003 EV Global E-bike, 2010 Kona Dawg
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I actually mentioned my plans for winter cycling to the crowd at work and a coworker actually has a cheap bike that he will give me. He bought it a couple of years ago and used it twice. Now its taking up space in his basement. Excellent.

    Although I would like to go with a non-home made tire . . . I want to keep this as low cost as possible so I gonna make a set of my own winter tires for his year and see how things go.

    tks for the input.
    Zuki

  4. #4
    Senior Member JasonC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    My Bikes
    Trek Pilot 1.0, Giant Sedona (old, winter/rain bike)
    Posts
    162
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For what its worth, my I bought some inexpensive studded tires (Innova Tundra Wolf... $30 each) for my first winter commute. I hated it. The studs were noticeably worn before the end of the season. The following year I bought some Schwalbe Marathons ($75 each) and am completely happy with them. I expect to get at least 2-3 more years use out of them.

    Not sure if you are buying tires for your homemade studded tires... but be sure to weigh that plus your time spent making the tires against dropping $150 and being done with it.

    I also have the "excuse" of having only one car between myself and my wife. It is a great way to not feel as bad about the occasional purchase of bike equipment

    Just my opinion...
    -Jason

  5. #5
    Member Loyal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    NL, Canada
    My Bikes
    2009 Specialized Sirrus Sport, 1980ish Kuwahara Woodlands, 2003 EV Global E-bike, 2010 Kona Dawg
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think the tires are ok. Not planning on buying tires, but if I do I will indeed keep that in mind.
    Zuki

  6. #6
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Des Moines
    My Bikes
    1974 Huffy 3 speed
    Posts
    9,294
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Bike: I would stick with the more dependable, but older bike. True that winter tends to be hard on components, but if you wash the salt off after every ride (I just fill up my water bottle and run it over the chain and cassette...), these stand a better chance. If it's a steel bike, it will eventually start to rust, but it does take a while and you could slow it down by applying Frame Save or some rust check product to the inside of the frame. I frankly wonder if you would get even one winter out of a Walmart bike...)

    Tires: If you live in St John's where there's a ton of snow followed by a ton of salt from the trucks, I wonder how much you need studded tires. I use them here and they are great in icy conditions (and ice under that snow...). In heavy snow, less useful. More useful are tires with considerable tread.

    EDIT: (Still... if I remember correctly) , there are lot of icy patches on the streets and studded tires would be great.
    Last edited by gerv; 09-30-09 at 09:24 PM.

  7. #7
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    5,096
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Stay away from a walmart special it won't even make it half-way, beyond crappy seals will just leak salty water into your hubs and bottom bracket. Once this happens, it's game over man, game over!

    Order a bunch of cheap chains and chain-checker, with cinder and salt allover the road u can feel the chain destroying itself. Keep the chain lubed up real good and use a can of wd-40 to drive out the salty water... pouring water into your chain could be a bad idea because it might freeze in the rollers and lead to premature failure! I'll be honest, your chain won't last very long no matter what you do!

    Also prep your freehub with a lighter oil or it will probably freeze up(depending).

    Studs are a good investment... but not necessary if you are young and wearing a helmet!

    Mountain bike geometry is good(make sure you can use fenders), maybe get something a little smallish for you, it will be easier to control when the going is slow compared to a long touring like frame.
    Last edited by electrik; 09-30-09 at 11:46 PM.

  8. #8
    Member Loyal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    NL, Canada
    My Bikes
    2009 Specialized Sirrus Sport, 1980ish Kuwahara Woodlands, 2003 EV Global E-bike, 2010 Kona Dawg
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm gonna be staying off the roads and stick to the trails and ponds. I barely trust drivers around here during the summer. :-)

    I picked up the bike from my co-worker and it is a CCM Pursuit that sat in his garage for about 6 years. The little knobbies were still on the tires from lack of use. He would not take any $$ for it so i bought him a weeks worth of coffees.

    The tires, while in good shape, did not have a large enough lug to hold a screw so I started looking for cheap or used tires with a large lug. After pricing a few I decided to call a friend of mine who is really into mountain biking to see if he had any used ones kicking around. When I mentioned what I was doing he said "stop right there, I have just the thing for you . . . two studded Innova tires with the repair kit." I was rather excited . . . but when he said I could have them for free . . . I swear he could see the grin on my face over the phone.

    So far this is what I have:
    Department store bike = FREE
    Innova studded tires = FREE

    I just need some fenders, lighting and some prep work to help slow the cables from freezing.

    I will post pics later
    Zuki

  9. #9
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,624
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That is awesome dude! Now you have 0 excuse when it is -20C with windchill and 70km/h blizzard.
    Vancouver Modern Portrait Photography

    Zenfolio.com membership discount code: UBV-HJY-SCY

  10. #10
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
    My Bikes
    I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes
    Posts
    2,557
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Fenders are an absolute must in winter especially with all the salt that they use on the road. Just make sure you keep your chain lubed. I recomend that you get a small can of ' Rust Check ' at crappy tire and use that for your cables and deraileures, that stuff is great and prevents stuff from freezing, I used it a lot. Depending on how often you ride just be prepared to replace, the chain, cassette and maybe chainrings after the winter. Good luck, winter commuting can be a lot of fun

  11. #11
    Spandex free since 1963! HauntedMyst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    215
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Forget those options and go get this bad boy on ebay right now. A bargain at $3200!!!


  12. #12
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    1,778
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ditto, I don't care who says otherwise or who performs "tests" for comparison....after working on 20+ department stores bikes....they suck, badly. Try working on one of those plastic, terrible shifting units on one of these...

    Use what you already have!
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    4,396
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Stay away from a walmart special it won't even make it half-way, beyond crappy seals will just leak salty water into your hubs and bottom bracket. Once this happens, it's game over man, game over!

    Order a bunch of cheap chains and chain-checker, with cinder and salt allover the road u can feel the chain destroying itself. Keep the chain lubed up real good and use a can of wd-40 to drive out the salty water... pouring water into your chain could be a bad idea because it might freeze in the rollers and lead to premature failure! I'll be honest, your chain won't last very long no matter what you do!

    Also prep your freehub with a lighter oil or it will probably freeze up(depending).
    Studs are a good investment... but not necessary if you are young and wearing a helmet! - as long as you are totally cool breaking a major bone every several years if you bike regularly

    Mountain bike geometry is good(make sure you can use fenders), maybe get something a little smallish for you, it will be easier to control when the going is slow compared to a long touring like frame.
    There, I fixed it for you. :-P

    If you are extremely risk adverse to any sort of recreational activity that is *very* likely to result in one or more broken bones, like I and the majority of people are, studded tires are completely necessary. If you're like the bike shop guy I met who had his arm in a cast and said "Well, eventually I'll get to old for my body to handle breaking bones, but until then I'm doing high risk mountain biking as much as I can!" (I'm paraphrasing), then studs aren't completely necessary, you're right.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    4,396
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Loyal View Post
    I'm gonna be staying off the roads and stick to the trails and ponds. I barely trust drivers around here during the summer. :-)

    I picked up the bike from my co-worker and it is a CCM Pursuit that sat in his garage for about 6 years. The little knobbies were still on the tires from lack of use. He would not take any $$ for it so i bought him a weeks worth of coffees.

    The tires, while in good shape, did not have a large enough lug to hold a screw so I started looking for cheap or used tires with a large lug. After pricing a few I decided to call a friend of mine who is really into mountain biking to see if he had any used ones kicking around. When I mentioned what I was doing he said "stop right there, I have just the thing for you . . . two studded Innova tires with the repair kit." I was rather excited . . . but when he said I could have them for free . . . I swear he could see the grin on my face over the phone.

    So far this is what I have:
    Department store bike = FREE
    Innova studded tires = FREE

    I just need some fenders, lighting and some prep work to help slow the cables from freezing.

    I will post pics later
    That's pretty cool.

    I would say, though, that if you change your mind and do much street riding, you should *really* replace the studded tires with the quality ones (Nokian, Schwalbe) with carbide studs. If you do much research here, there's post after post after post from people who had the cheap Innova tires with steel studs, then after less than a year of riding wiped out and realized the studs had completely worn down to the tire.

    On the tires with carbide studs the tires itself will wear out before the studs do.

    The free Innova studded sound perfect for what you're talking about - cheap studded tires for offroad (and ice) riding. The steel studs won't wear nearly as quickly if they're not subjected to riding on pavement. Sounds good - as long as there's no or very very little road use.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    178
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Having been living car free in Maine through two winters in a town that salts the roads till they're white (no exaggeration ), I can tell you to shoot for an 6-8 speed (on the rear) bike with a cartridge bottom bracket. I've ridden my Diamondback Topanga Comp (mid level hybrid) in all weather, and eventually gave up on washing the chain, and just sprayed on some more WD-40 when things sqeaked. Despite the abuse the drive train survived two winters with minimal problems.

    My wife, on the other hand, had a Wal-Mart special, and that thing made it about 2/3 through the winter before total critical failure. The chain stretched horribly, and even worse the freewheel froze up, so that she would pedal, but the rear wheel wouldn't turn.

    If you want to bike through winter, I would highly recommend using a mid-level bike (i.e. $600 to $800) and invest in some quality studded tires (I use Nokian Mount & Ground which have treads that bite through any snow, and studs that show now signs of wear after 2 years of use). Also, assume that you're going to be buying a new drive train after a couple years, it's just part of the game.

    A typical winter commute


    Nokian studded tires (notice the lack of snow in the treads)


    However, if you're really enthusiastic about winter riding, you can always invest in the ever famous Ktrak.

  16. #16
    Member Loyal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    NL, Canada
    My Bikes
    2009 Specialized Sirrus Sport, 1980ish Kuwahara Woodlands, 2003 EV Global E-bike, 2010 Kona Dawg
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My main goal for this year . . . my first time winter riding is to get something relatively capable for under $50. I don't want to invest a whole pile of $$$ if I don't like it. As mentioned in an earlier post, I'm into a bike and a set of studded tires for $0. Fenders, lighting and toe clips are next. If I like winter riding then next year I may invest some money into better equipment . . . this year it is an experiment.

    I plan a posting (sort of a blog) on my el cheapo winter beater when I get all the parts together.

    I'm not planning on commuting, just trails and ponds\lakes for now. If I get adventurous I may ride up and down the street and tease the kids. :-)
    Zuki

  17. #17
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    5,096
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    There, I fixed it for you. :-P

    If you are extremely risk adverse to any sort of recreational activity that is *very* likely to result in one or more broken bones, like I and the majority of people are, studded tires are completely necessary. If you're like the bike shop guy I met who had his arm in a cast and said "Well, eventually I'll get to old for my body to handle breaking bones, but until then I'm doing high risk mountain biking as much as I can!" (I'm paraphrasing), then studs aren't completely necessary, you're right.
    Hey, I also run carbide studs...

    I just want people to know that they don't have to get the studs, as long as they're cool with the extra risks... not really worth the extra risk it in my view, but that is relative.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    4,396
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Hey, I also run carbide studs...

    I just want people to know that they don't have to get the studs, as long as they're cool with the extra risks... not really worth the extra risk it in my view, but that is relative.
    Well...I just didn't read "not necessary if you are young and wearing a helmet" as meaning "lots of extra risks that probably aren't worth it". Seemed pretty...different.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    4,396
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm just going to post this here for anyone else who runs across this thread.

    My general advice is for someone who want to ride safely in cold weather and winter, like I do. My definition is "no more risk than riding in the summer". If you're comfortable with the idea that "Eventually I'll break some bone biking" or having your bike slide out from under you at 15mph, this advice is not targeted at you.

    1. Studded tires are the single most important safety item on your bike when doing winter riding, aside from a structurally sound frame and wheels. They even tie with your brakes working - working brakes will stop you in snow and on non-icy surfaces, but without studded tires your brakes are useless on icy surfaces, and without studs your front wheel can slide out from under you without any braking involved at all. And there are other ways to brake even with brakes - there's no other way to stay upright on your bike if you hit some ice and your tires lose traction. If the front tire goes out from under you, you won't even have time to react and put your foot down. If you're debating whether to spend money on better components vs studded tires, you really need to rethink where your priorities are.
    2. If you're biking near or below freezing you need studded tires (unless, perhaps, if you're biking in some sort of desert where it never ever has any precipitation). No amount of plowing seems to keep the streets free from ice - some always seems to manage to stick around somewhere.
    3. Home made studded tires sound cheap, but they're really only appropriate for off-road use, for a couple of reasons -
    a. They have a *massive* amount of rolling resistance on pavement. Way, way, waaaaaay more than commercial studded tires.
    b. The don't hold up. The relatively soft metal used to make screws gets ground down by pavement pretty quickly, and once it gets ground down even with the rubber tire they don't grip ice any more.
    4. The cheap commercial studded tires, like Innova's, or any tire that uses a regular steel stud, are crap for regular winter riding on streets and bike lanes. The steel studs will get ground down quickly on pavement (people say less than one season of regular riding). Problem is, there's no warning - one day they seem fine, then one day they don't work any more and you find out when they fail. They could work if you actually check them all the time, but most people won't do that. I've also heard bad things about the quality of the cheaper studded tires in general. The "expensive" studded tires, like Nokian's and Schwalbe's that use carbide studs don't have this problem - their reputation is that rubber tire will wear out before the studs do.
    5. Running a front studded tire is better than none, but a front studded tire isn't going to keep you from falling down in bad winter conditions. Of the other people I know personally who tried to bike commute with only 1 studded tire in the winter, they both had essentially the same experience. It worked fine for a while, I think it was over a year, then they both had a massive wipeout.

    Just to be clear, as I wrote earlier, the OP's plan sounds fine. Good, even. He's nearly only riding the bike offroad so the studs won't wear down at nearly the rate that they will on-road. And he is using studs. As long as he realizes that he needs to keep a watch on how badly the studs are wearing, and that they wear out relatively quickly, it sounds good to me.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Buffalo NY
    My Bikes
    Gerry Fisher Nirvana, LeMond Buenos Aires
    Posts
    1,035
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    That's pretty cool.

    I would say, though, that if you change your mind and do much street riding, you should *really* replace the studded tires with the quality ones (Nokian, Schwalbe) with carbide studs. If you do much research here, there's post after post after post from people who had the cheap Innova tires with steel studs, then after less than a year of riding wiped out and realized the studs had completely worn down to the tire.

    On the tires with carbide studs the tires itself will wear out before the studs do.

    The free Innova studded sound perfect for what you're talking about - cheap studded tires for offroad (and ice) riding. The steel studs won't wear nearly as quickly if they're not subjected to riding on pavement. Sounds good - as long as there's no or very very little road use.
    That happend to me. After less than 2 months of use the Innova tire on the rear (I already had to replace the front with a Nokia as the bead had failed. The bead failure would have been covered under warrentee, but there was at least 2 week back order plus shipping from the west coast adds an other week. I could not be without my bike for 3 to 4 weeks). The front Nokia W106 held on just fine, but the rear tire got not grip on any sort of ice. I went down hard and got lucky I didn't bread anything. I could barely more my arm and shoulder for over a week. After that the pain went away quickly and there were no long term problem. After that I bought a 2nd Nokia and after two full winters on the Nokias you'd be hard pressed to tell that they were used at all. Carbite studs are AMAZING. Steel studs last about 30 to 60 days on pavement.

    Happy riding,
    Andrť

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •