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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 08-18-10, 11:13 AM   #1
CharlieFree
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Rehabilitate old bike or not?

I am having a tough time deciding what to do to prepare for winter. My winter rig from last year is an entry-level mountain bike and the entire drive train, BB and possibly derailleurs need to be replaced. The parts will probably run me at least $250 (and that is utility-grade stuff). Pros: new parts, the frame is sized right. Cons: still a low-end bike (shifters, brakes, etc.)

I have been investigating just buying a whole used bike in that price range which may be a better value, but of course you are still faced with the issue that it may have parts that need replacing. From what I see there are not a ton of large-size framed used bikes around in my target range. I am quite tall and need large frame (my summer road bike is a 60cm).

Any advice or comments on my dilemma? A brand new bike is unlikely because winters are so harsh on components that I don't want to throw my money away. Surprisingly, both LBSs I went to discuss this with pretty much steered me away from new bikes also (to their credit - I appreciated their honesty and will support them when I buy other stuff).
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Old 08-18-10, 09:52 PM   #2
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If your knees are up to it you could consider turning it into a single-speed. If not, or if your commute is too hilly, you could use an IGH... but that can get expensive really quickly, especially if you want new parts and/or someone else does the work. I bought my IGH bike because winter commuting is murder on my drivetrain and I don't want to replace/refurbish it every year. I am hoping for a relatively maintenance-free winter this season.
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Old 08-18-10, 10:18 PM   #3
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maybe more detail on whats wrong with the derailleurs might help. if you just use if for winter riding i would not worry about replacing anything unless it looks like it is going to break. maybe you should keep an eye out for some one throwing out an old bikes that you could use for parts. i get all the parts i use on my bike for free from the trash or from scrap. the only things i buy are the tools i need to work on my bikes.
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Old 08-18-10, 11:06 PM   #4
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Used beater. I made myself a pretty nice winter bike a couple of years ago... it's not very nice any more. I'm thinking I'll do as others suggest and just slap used parts on it as needed. For me I guess it depends on whether the roads get salted where you live. It can be a real component killer.
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Old 08-19-10, 10:28 PM   #5
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I have an old x-mart bike that looks like it could stand one season as a winter bike, as long as I can find some fenders for it. It's been replaced with a much nicer ride for the warmer months, and is looking rather bored sitting in my garage. I may even put a lawn mower engine on it, if only for shiggles. It's old, heavy, with nearly new brakes and no suspension. I won't have to worry about the front derailleur freezing, as it's already broken, and it's used to running in 6th gear all the time anyway. It might make for a neat experiment, at least.
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Old 08-20-10, 09:49 AM   #6
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I'm using an old Rigid MTB for winter commuting. Over the years all the components have died so it is now a fixed gear ride. I've had everything go wrong in Calgary's winter climate except a fixed gear drive train My free hub froze up and had to use a lighter to get the bike working when it was a Single speed. This is horrible, but this year I'm going to buy one of these Canadian Tire bikes and as parts stop working I'll just tear them off. I figure a cheap SS kit should keep it running, and I still have a fixed 26" wheel to throw on it if I need to.

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows....jsp?locale=en

I should say first that this thing will fall apart and is complete sh*t. But I should be able to keep it running.

Last edited by Sheik_Yerbouti; 08-20-10 at 09:55 AM. Reason: forgot
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Old 08-23-10, 02:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the tips and ideas. You people are awesome.

I forgot to also ask about pedals. I went clipless on my summer bike and like it but am a bit leery of it on snow and ice if you have to put a foot down quickly. Any folks have ideas or experience about platforms vs. clipless in winter?
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Old 08-23-10, 03:11 PM   #8
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I use BMX platforms - the sealed bearing variety. No problems all winter.
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Old 08-24-10, 01:13 AM   #9
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I don't think it's worth the money to buy winter cycling shoes. I just wear my hiking boots. If something goes wrong, you want to be able to walk in the shoes, and you don't want your feet to get cold. The grime and salt is really hard on everything, even the shoes you wear.

x2 on BMX pedals, the more grip the better.
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