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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 10-28-10, 07:17 AM   #1
djpfine
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Which bike would you choose?

I'm looking for the perfect New England winter/rain bike and have it down to two very different options. I don't commute and would use the bike primarily for training and running errands. I ride my road bike when it's nice out and will likely only use my winter/rain bike on paved roads.

1. 2007 Marin Kentfield hybrid. I currently own this bike and got it for a good price on CL. It's equipped with fenders and 35c tires. It seems like a great winter bike, but my hesitation comes from reading BF and discovering that derailers and gears can easily malfunction in inclement weather. How big of a concern is this? I live in a studio apartment and do not have the ability to wash down my bike after every ride. The only maintenance I can do is to wipe down and lube the drivetrain, but I'd like to avoid doing so after every trip.

2. Origin 8 Uno single speed/fixed gear. The SS/FG eliminates any worry of salt/water/dirt mucking up my drivetrain. I'm also interested in trying out a fixed gear bike. Seems like this one would be a great commuter and it's reasonably priced. It has eyelets for fenders, but only comes with 26c tires (maybe a max of 28).

So, how big of a concern are geared bikes when the weather turns nasty? I don't plan on riding in heavy rain/snow, but figure that a lot of melted ice, salt, and sand will be on the roads here throughout winter. Should I just keep the hybrid and run it to the ground? Will I regret buying the SS/FG after riding it through a winter? What would the BF gurus go with?
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Old 10-28-10, 07:40 AM   #2
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The Kentfield has fenders, and can accomodate studded tires. If both derailleurs fail, you are in the same position you would be in with the Uno.

Paul
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Old 10-28-10, 08:37 AM   #3
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Failure of derailleurs is not that big a concern. You'll need to clean them now and then, and replace cables, but this isn't a big deal.

Most derailleur 'failures' are due to cables seizing up or rusting.
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Old 10-28-10, 08:41 AM   #4
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I rode a cheap Diamondback through a Rochester NY winter. Rode it almost every day, to and from work. The drivetrain never failed me, though the chain was pretty worn by the end of it.

Go with the Kentfield. You'll appreciate the gears when you're pedaling uphill into the wind through slush. Just make sure you keep the chain well lubricated.
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Old 10-28-10, 11:15 AM   #5
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The Kentfield has fenders, and can accomodate studded tires. If both derailleurs fail, you are in the same position you would be in with the Uno.

Paul
+1
& the Marin should do alright if components are well taken care of. I do my hybrid in the winter (Sweden!) and the Acera derailleurs has handled without any problems since -03. Clean & lubricate!
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Old 10-28-10, 01:00 PM   #6
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I ride a fixed gear 'cross bike with studded tires in New England winter. I like the extra control offered by a fixed gear for riding on slick surfaces. I have an extra one that I'd be willing to sell (On One Pompino, size large/55cm) with fenders and studded tires.
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Old 10-28-10, 03:05 PM   #7
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I ride a fixed gear 'cross bike with studded tires in New England winter. I like the extra control offered by a fixed gear for riding on slick surfaces. I have an extra one that I'd be willing to sell (On One Pompino, size large/55cm) with fenders and studded tires.
That's a nice frame...pretty similar to the Cross Check from what I've heard. Bummer that it's a tad too big. I looked up geometry on the On-One site and think I'd probably fit best on a medium.
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Old 10-28-10, 03:20 PM   #8
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That's a nice frame...pretty similar to the Cross Check from what I've heard. Bummer that it's a tad too big. I looked up geometry on the On-One site and think I'd probably fit best on a medium.
My other fixed 'cross bike is a Surly Travelers Check. They are, in fact, very similar. The most significant differences to me are the dropouts (rear-facing horizontal track dropouts on the Pompino, forward-facing horizontal dropouts on the Check) and that the Travelers Check has S&S couplers. What size bike do you normally ride? I prefer a 57cm bike and find the large Pompino a bit small.
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Old 10-28-10, 04:20 PM   #9
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My other fixed 'cross bike is a Surly Travelers Check. They are, in fact, very similar. The most significant differences to me are the dropouts (rear-facing horizontal track dropouts on the Pompino, forward-facing horizontal dropouts on the Check) and that the Travelers Check has S&S couplers. What size bike do you normally ride? I prefer a 57cm bike and find the large Pompino a bit small.
I'd say I'm most comfortable on a 52. When I was testing road bikes, I also fit ok on a 54. The Marin hybrid I own is 19" and I just barely fit.
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Old 10-29-10, 08:28 AM   #10
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Keep an eye on Craigslist for SS 'cross bikes. I've seen some recently, but they were closer to your size than mine. A fixie with full fenders and studded tires really takes the suffering out of winter riding.
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