I'm looking at two $650 to $800 bikes for winter travel and year around wet weather use.
One is a CX bike with room for 700x32 studded tires: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...0_10000_202396
The other is a commuter/touring model with room for 700x35 tires & fenders: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400310
Neither bike is perfect. The commuter/touring bike was a lousy crank-set and with only three frame sizes, I'm between the large and medium size.
The Nashbar bike might have too little tire clearance for a good studded tire & fender.
Does the disc brake on the commuter/touring bike along with the added tire clearance make for a better winter bike than the 105 series Shimano spec CX bike? If I install very good brake pads for the rim brakes on the CX bike, can I get the same winter braking performance as the low-cost mechanical disc brake on the touring bike?