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  1. #1
    Senior Member RolandArthur's Avatar
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    Which of my two bikes shall I get ready for winter commuting?

    I have two bikes, now winter is coming and I have to decide which one I´m going to make my winter commuter: My Gazelle Medeo or my Focus Black Mountain.

    Winter over here means some freezing, some thawing, snow, messy grub, often black ice and plenty of salt on the road.

    The Gazelle has cheaper components, Shimano Alivio, 8 sp cassette, which I can replace at a low cost should they be ruined come spring. The weight is more to the rear when riding this bike giving less pressure on the front wheel. It has rim brakes. The fenders might give some trouble with the Schwalbe winter tires I´m going to use.

    The Focus is equiped with shimano LX, replacing the drive train would be a fairly expensive exercise. This bike handles a bit directer than the Gazelle. It has disc brakes that can get noisy when it is wet and there is a lot of dirt on the road. They keep working fine however. The fenders give no issues with larger tires. This bike is fully insured so should I crash and break anything it is covered, the bike for purchase value, Stuff I´m wearing or carrying for a maximum of 2500 Euro. This might be handy should anything happen. It is not insured for normal wear obviously.

    Both bikes cost roughly the same and I like them both. Which one should I make my winter bike?

  2. #2
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    The one you like the least. Salt is a cruel destroyer of bikes especially if you ride twice daily through a whole winter.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Probably the Focus because I think that one has disk brakes which is less susceptible to ice and snow build up which happens to calipers causing lost of brakes. I would look into studded tires if you're riding will involve snow. Crash insurance? I was never a fan of this kind of insurance, I think it's a waste of money, but if you feel you need it then the peace of mind is what the insurance is really buying because the payout on a crash bike is rare.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RolandArthur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    [...] Crash insurance? I was never a fan of this kind of insurance, I think it's a waste of money, but if you feel you need it then the peace of mind is what the insurance is really buying because the payout on a crash bike is rare.
    It´s a typical Dutch bike insurance. You buy it when you buy a new bike and it is valid for 4 years. It covers anything that can happen to your bike and pays out the damage or the purchase value plus compensation for inflation. I had to use it over a decade ago when my bike got stolen, I could just pick up the same bike but new at the LBS two days later.

    I will be using studded tires just for the occasional black ice. I just need to figure out which bike to put them on. I think the Focus might indeed be the wisest choice. Today I put new chains on both bikes, the factory lube should protect them better against the wet and cold than any lube I can apply.

    I have three chains soaking in gasoline right now, I´m really surprised how much dirt comes out of them. They didn´t look that dirty. The chains are very little worn, now I´ll have to figure out how to reapply lube. Suggestions are welcome.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandArthur View Post
    It´s a typical Dutch bike insurance. You buy it when you buy a new bike and it is valid for 4 years. It covers anything that can happen to your bike and pays out the damage or the purchase value plus compensation for inflation. I had to use it over a decade ago when my bike got stolen, I could just pick up the same bike but new at the LBS two days later.

    I will be using studded tires just for the occasional black ice. I just need to figure out which bike to put them on. I think the Focus might indeed be the wisest choice. Today I put new chains on both bikes, the factory lube should protect them better against the wet and cold than any lube I can apply.

    I have three chains soaking in gasoline right now, I´m really surprised how much dirt comes out of them. They didn´t look that dirty. The chains are very little worn, now I´ll have to figure out how to reapply lube. Suggestions are welcome.
    How much does this "insurance" cost for 4 years?

    Why are you soaking chains in gasoline? It's dangerous and you can't just throw it in the trash! Just use either mineral spirits or degreaser or brake cleaner or diesel, or Finish Line degreaser, or lately I've been trying WD40 and it works really good...not as a lube but as a degreaser of course. Don't get me wrong, I know gasoline is a great degreaser but it's also highly volatile, but you could use the spent gasoline on weeds just don't let the environmental cops catch you.

    So you ride your bike to save gas, but use gas to clean the chain...a bit of irony if you ask me! If you light a match to the gasoline with your chains still in it maybe the resulting fire will super clean your chains!

    On a more serious note; I use to remove chains, put them in my parts cleaning wash basin and go through all of that, I no longer do that, all I've been doing for the past 5 year or so is just use the Finish Line Chain Cleaning Machine (or whatever it's called) and back pedal the chain through it filled with either Finish Line Solvent or WD40 several times till it looks clean, wipe it down with a rag, wait about 24 hours for it to dry (probably dries in 8 hours but I just make sure), then relube it with Speed Skate Lube on the road bikes and Chain-L on the MTB's and the beater bike and touring bikes. I haven't found any difference in longevity of the chain since I stopped doing deep soakings. And I'm not so sure if taking a chain apart 8 to 12 times in it's life is a good thing, maybe that's why some people break chains? The Sram Powerlink is probably the best thing to have on a chain for easy removal without damaging or weakening the chain and I think all Sram chains come with it. But again, I don't think any chain removal to clean the chain is necessary.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RolandArthur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    How much does this "insurance" cost for 4 years?
    It cost me 200 Euro for a 900 Euro bike for 4 years. That is all risk and I live in an area that is somewhat more expensive because bike theft is rampant.

    Why are you soaking chains in gasoline? It's dangerous and you can't just throw it in the trash! Just use either mineral spirits or degreaser or brake cleaner or diesel, or Finish Line degreaser, or lately I've been trying WD40 and it works really good...not as a lube but as a degreaser of course. Don't get me wrong, I know gasoline is a great degreaser but it's also highly volatile, but you could use the spent gasoline on weeds just don't let the environmental cops catch you.

    So you ride your bike to save gas, but use gas to clean the chain...a bit of irony if you ask me! If you light a match to the gasoline with your chains still in it maybe the resulting fire will super clean your chains!
    I used the term gasoline loosely, I don know the exact term. It´s called wasbenzine and it is a mixture of n-alkanes, iso alkanes and cyclic alkanes ranging in 7-9 carbon atoms. Pretty much the same as gasoline, diesel or other solvents like WD40.

    It is cheap and I´m the last one to ditch it in the environment. Here in Holland you can drop it of at the ¨milieustraat¨ where you can leave it behind, they are found in every city. I do plan to save it however for a future pre-cleaning. Super cleaning a chain by lighting it on fire is a silly idea, the heat will make the steel weak.


    On a more serious note; I use to remove chains, put them in my parts cleaning wash basin and go through all of that, I no longer do that, all I've been doing for the past 5 year or so is just use the Finish Line Chain Cleaning Machine (or whatever it's called) and back pedal the chain through it filled with either Finish Line Solvent or WD40 several times till it looks clean, wipe it down with a rag, wait about 24 hours for it to dry (probably dries in 8 hours but I just make sure), then relube it with Speed Skate Lube on the road bikes and Chain-L on the MTB's and the beater bike and touring bikes. I haven't found any difference in longevity of the chain since I stopped doing deep soakings. And I'm not so sure if taking a chain apart 8 to 12 times in it's life is a good thing, maybe that's why some people break chains? The Sram Powerlink is probably the best thing to have on a chain for easy removal without damaging or weakening the chain and I think all Sram chains come with it. But again, I don't think any chain removal to clean the chain is necessary.
    I usually brush it off, take a rag with some WD40 to wipe it clean and reapply lube. To get a bit more miles out of my cassette I started an experiment using 3 chains and giving them a thorough cleaning early on. It seemed like a bright idea to safe me some money. I just have to see how it works out. Next step is getting the chains some decent new lube to last a while.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandArthur View Post
    It cost me 200 Euro for a 900 Euro bike for 4 years. That is all risk and I live in an area that is somewhat more expensive because bike theft is rampant.



    I used the term gasoline loosely, I don know the exact term. It´s called wasbenzine and it is a mixture of n-alkanes, iso alkanes and cyclic alkanes ranging in 7-9 carbon atoms. Pretty much the same as gasoline, diesel or other solvents like WD40.

    It is cheap and I´m the last one to ditch it in the environment. Here in Holland you can drop it of at the ¨milieustraat¨ where you can leave it behind, they are found in every city. I do plan to save it however for a future pre-cleaning. Super cleaning a chain by lighting it on fire is a silly idea, the heat will make the steel weak.



    I usually brush it off, take a rag with some WD40 to wipe it clean and reapply lube. To get a bit more miles out of my cassette I started an experiment using 3 chains and giving them a thorough cleaning early on. It seemed like a bright idea to safe me some money. I just have to see how it works out. Next step is getting the chains some decent new lube to last a while.
    $282 in American dollars is about a third of the cost of a the bike! That seems insane to me. Especially since I have a several bikes I've owned for more then 20 years each. I relate it to buying extended warranty on electronics...it's a waste of money. But if it gives you peace of mind then so be it.

    I just started using WD40 lately and I think I will be using it from now on instead of Finish Line degreaser or some other degreaser. WD40 seems to work just as well and maybe even better, but it's also cheaper.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RolandArthur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    $282 in American dollars is about a third of the cost of a the bike! That seems insane to me. Especially since I have a several bikes I've owned for more then 20 years each. I relate it to buying extended warranty on electronics...it's a waste of money. But if it gives you peace of mind then so be it.
    200/900 is 22%. I didn´t have insurance on my bikes for the last decade (living in Amsterdam, even more expensive) but in retrospect it would have been more economic to have them insured in the end. Two hit and runs by cars the last two years and footing the bill myself made me decide insurance might be a wise choice. And a Kodak Playsport.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    Hello Roland, if it were me then perhaps the focus would be my choice. Despite the parts being more expensive to replace, it can fit mudguards and has disk brakes. I would put up with the expense of replacing pricier parts if it gave me more comfort and safety.

    Wrt insurance: 50 euros per year for 4 years on a 900 euro bike sounds fine to me considering what you went thru over last 2 years.
    1 cx bike, commuter (light off road), 2 road bikes (sportives and fair weather commuter), 1 mtb (off road fun and antics)

  10. #10
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandArthur View Post
    200/900 is 22%. I didn´t have insurance on my bikes for the last decade (living in Amsterdam, even more expensive) but in retrospect it would have been more economic to have them insured in the end. Two hit and runs by cars the last two years and footing the bill myself made me decide insurance might be a wise choice. And a Kodak Playsport.
    Do you own a house? In America a homeowner or renter can buy a floater (attached to the home or rental policy) that will cover bicycles in case anything happens to it accept break down of course, for about $100 a year, it may be priced differently in your country if they even offer it, but again I think it's a waste of money.

    Like I said though, if it insures your peace of mind then get it.

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