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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 09-16-09, 02:16 PM   #1
tdreyer1
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Pre-winter preparations

Here in the midwest, winter weather will be on us as early as next month. I am currently going through my winter gear and replacing old gear as necessary. This got me to wondering... For all you winter bikers out there, what is your pre-winter routine? New gear, clothes, bike parts?
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Old 09-16-09, 02:45 PM   #2
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Figure out what one or two items ended my riding season last year and pick up whatever I need to fix those problems. Every year I've been able to keep riding another 5F colder and wetter. Once the weather has finally knocked me off the bike, I'll leave the rest my cycling budget in the bank until Spring.

This year it will be Power Grip pedals so I can wear my winter boots without feeling quite so "unclipped" and a pair of lightly tinted goggles. I'm not sure the goggles will deal with the fogging any better but I need to pick some up for skiing anyway so I might as well try them before investing in a face shield.
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Old 09-16-09, 03:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tdreyer1 View Post
Here in the midwest, winter weather will be on us as early as next month. I am currently going through my winter gear and replacing old gear as necessary. This got me to wondering... For all you winter bikers out there, what is your pre-winter routine? New gear, clothes, bike parts?
I've heard that it's harder to get studded tires in the winter, so that's one thing you might start looking for if you are inclined to use them. Once I decided to get them though, they were readily available here in Boston in January. This summer I did get the zippers on my winter jacket fixed, since I seemed to need it up through almost May and couldn't leave it for a few days at the "Zipper Hospital."
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Old 09-16-09, 04:01 PM   #4
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I'm heading into my fourth winter. Over the past three I've gotten things pretty under control. As it stands now, there's nothing that I *need* to buy. Even my spare parts inventory is full.

All I really have to do is swap the SKS P-35 fenders from the Portland (my four-seasons commuter) to the road bike, and mount the 45mm PlanetBike Cascadias in their place. Then, on the Portland's second wheelset, I have to swap out the CX tires for the Nokians.

But, I want to pick up a second pair of the Endura Thermolite bib tights I liked so much last year. That way I'll have two pairs to rotate. Maybe I'll get a third pair just in case they decide to "improve" them in the future. I *really* like those tights.

I may pick up some more long-sleeve wicking shirts for layering, so it's not a stinky emergency if laundry day is late a day or two.

I had a couple of unexpected expenses this year (new computer, moving) so I won't know for sure for another six weeks, but I'm still hoping to be able to afford a dynamo hub and lights. If not, my DiNottes are still just fine.

But really, worst case, Mom Nature could dump a foot out there tomorrow and I'll be just fine without buying anything.
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Old 09-17-09, 10:00 PM   #5
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I geared up last winter, $$ I am hoping to be all set. I did buy a pair of Nokian Extremes, 54-622, at REI last spring for a good discount. I will be using these this winter. The 54-559 ones worked so well on my mtb last winter. Removing fenders and changing tires hopefully will be it.

I really , really want a Supernova E3 triple, maybe a lottery is in my futrure.
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Old 09-18-09, 06:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tdreyer1 View Post
This got me to wondering... For all you winter bikers out there, what is your pre-winter routine? New gear, clothes, bike parts?
I'm heading into my fourth winter now. The main part of my routine will be building up the winter bike. Right now it's configured as a mountain-bike, and it's on loan to a friend's kid. Sometime between now and snow, I need to grab the bike back, swap in the rigid fork, put on my rack and fenders, put on my lights, and mount the studded tires.

I'll go over my clothing too. I can't say that I have everything dialed on the clothing front. Winter weather has wide variations and throws lots of curve-balls at you.

In fact, your post reminds me that I need to go over my winter clothing period, not just the biking stuff.
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Old 09-19-09, 12:42 PM   #7
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I take some old fleamarket frame and make a winterbeater every other year. Last years ended up being a rather tired Fisher Montare that will end up in a dumpster soon. Now I am in the process of making this seasons beater. I will be riding my CX bike with Nokian W106 most of the time (commuting and on fireroads), but when the snow comes down heavily or there is too much ice I need a bike with wider studded tires. (I have the the road version of Nokian Freddies Revenz). This years beater is a small Kona Kilauea that I am setting up with mostly 8 speed LX stuff. Had a long thought process today whether I should break out a NIB Thomson Elite seatpost I had lying around. Needed the extra length and it was 27.0 which is what the Kona takes. Only have to put on gear wires and cables and I am ready for some bad weather .
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Old 09-19-09, 01:28 PM   #8
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As previously mentioned, studded tires are the main thing if you don't have any or have worn through yours. They can be harder to find once you get to November or December.

Last winter, I actually started planning in the previous winter. As I biked home in the snow and cold I noticed a few things I wish I had, and I wrote them down. For example, a mirror (I don't usually use one) and ski goggles. So when the next fall came around, I looked at my list and knew exactly what I needed.
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Old 09-19-09, 01:44 PM   #9
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My winter bike got tuned up this summer and got a lower drive gear, better fenders, and new brake levers but is was already good to go.

My gear gets checked, mostly to make sure it's all where it needs to be in case the weather turns... and it can turn on a dime here.

If stuff is worn out it gets replaced.

I might swap out the Schwalbes for some bigger fatter Panaracer XC Pros but we'll see about that... they have served me well for winter riding.

This is the most important item on my winter cycling list... the U.A.V.

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Old 09-19-09, 02:14 PM   #10
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My winter bike has been in storage for months, so I'll give it a checkup and a test ride before first winter commute. I'm pretty much using other winter gear already (lights, outer shell clothing etc) so I'm not expecting big issues there.

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Old 09-19-09, 05:58 PM   #11
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Does praying for good weather and warm fingers count?
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Old 10-03-09, 01:59 PM   #12
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I prep in the summer looking for gear that might be on sale. I bought a pair of Sporthill XC pants that retail for $105 and I got em' for $76 with free shipping. Two years ago I found them for $64. The boots that I've had my eye on were on sale back in Aug. and I didn't buy them. Now they're back to the regular price. I could've saved $40 on those. It's all about the gear. And I try to always get mine on sale.
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Old 10-03-09, 09:38 PM   #13
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Does praying for good weather and warm fingers count?
God helps those who take a big helping for themselves (Firesign Theater).
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Old 10-05-09, 10:01 PM   #14
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all my clothing should be sufficient from last season, i got a high quality rain suit this summer which i'll be using as a wind breaker this winter.

i'm in the process of building up a dedicated winter beater. i ordered a blank black mtb frame from nashbar, i'm gonna single speed it with all the random parts i have laying around.
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Old 10-05-09, 10:06 PM   #15
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Haven't got the studs on yet but probably should with lows in the teens this week.
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Old 10-05-09, 11:18 PM   #16
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We're supposed to see our first snow on Wednesday... bring it on.
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