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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 11-11-11, 06:39 AM   #1
bermanfb28
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Help picking out a winter bike

I can't decide what kind of bike to get for the winter I ride a full carbon road bike but thats my baby and it will not be used on salted and snowy roads. I will be using it mosly on the roads but the roads in NH can get pretty nasty so I need something with good tires. I was thinking a cyclocross bike and putting good tires on it because then I till have the road style which I like but the budget it probably around $300 so im thinking I might have to go fixed or single speed which i would be ok with. Any thoughts or recommendations on a bike to buy this would be my first winter actually riding.
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Old 11-11-11, 07:57 AM   #2
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Look for an old touring or cyclocross frame built for 27" wheels. Fit 700c wheels to it and you might well have the clearances to run fattish (say, 37mm) tyres.

Singlespeed or fixed is good in winter. I bought my first fixed because of snow clogging the cassette on my old bike.
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Old 11-11-11, 08:47 AM   #3
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I think this one might work (Trek Jazz), but I have never heard of this model:



Worth the $50? The other bike I asked about a while back fell through, so I'm getting desperate!
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Old 11-11-11, 11:24 AM   #4
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I was thinking about this but I dont know what good winter tires would fit on this
http://www.roadbikeoutlet.com/landin...rack-bike.html
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Old 11-11-11, 02:28 PM   #5
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I was thinking about this but I dont know what good winter tires would fit on this
http://www.roadbikeoutlet.com/landin...rack-bike.html
Track bikes are usually designed for skinny tires. I doubt if you'll be able to fit more than a 25 or 28 on that. For $300, you have your pick of old steel frames that could be converted to fat-tire fixed-gear bikes.
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Old 11-25-11, 01:02 AM   #6
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I would advise and internal geared hub as the cassettes/freewheel can get encrusted with snow/ice and can easily quit shifting and and skip like crazy I've been using a Masi Sommerville 8spd and LOVE it!!!! I used to use an old Schwinn cruiser but my knees can't "take" it any more, if it's icey studs are a MUST!!!!!!!!!!! I've also gone from 26" wheels to 700c as they roll better, ride nicer and have a larger contact area.
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Old 11-25-11, 06:22 AM   #7
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I've also gone from 26" wheels to 700c as they roll better, ride nicer and have a larger contact area.
Mostly correct.

Contact area is a product of tyre pressure, nothing more, nothing less.
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Old 11-25-11, 06:27 AM   #8
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Niner tires will generally have a slightly more oval contact patch and sixer tires will be more round, if the tires are similar in other attributes. I've never found 26" tires to be slow, and I like short wheelbase bikes, so I roll 26" on MTB. Well, that and around 500g XC tires instead of ~700g XC tires.

Berman, if I were you, I'd buy two nice, rigid mid-90s MTBs for around $100 apiece and DIY stud the tires on one of them. I actually just have one front DIY studded tire and get around fine, but we only have a few snow days a year, so maybe just buy one used MTB and a spare front wheel if you think you can get by like that.

Oh, and if you wanna single speed it, it's often pretty easy. This one was really close to hitting the magic ratio with 34x15. It's a little tight, though so I'm gonna file out the fronts of the rear dropouts a bit to relieve some chain tension. I think I might go drops with this one as I scored some of those $10 EA50s @ Jenson. Just need to dig up some brake levers and stem.

Kinda depends on length of commute also. Shorter commutes I'm fine with flats/risers. Longer ones I want drops. So far this bike cost me $5 for bike, $13 for bars, $5 stem, $3 for grips.


Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 11-25-11 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 11-25-11, 07:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bermanfb28 View Post
I can't decide what kind of bike to get for the winter I ride a full carbon road bike but thats my baby and it will not be used on salted and snowy roads. I will be using it mosly on the roads but the roads in NH can get pretty nasty so I need something with good tires. I was thinking a cyclocross bike and putting good tires on it because then I till have the road style which I like but the budget it probably around $300 so im thinking I might have to go fixed or single speed which i would be ok with. Any thoughts or recommendations on a bike to buy this would be my first winter actually riding.
Well I used a MB last winter but didn't like giving up the "road style" of riding. So this year I sourced a used 2003 Kona Jake The Snake CX bike and am trying that. It has been equipped with a set of full coverage fenders, lights, and a rear rack with trunk bag to hold all the extra gear you need for winter riding. I'll be getting some studded tires for it real soon. Hopefully this will work for me but I won't know until the real storms come in. The MB had disc brakes which gave me no problems last winter but the Kona has rim brakes so I might have icing issues. I too would love a IGH but just can't justify the cost right now. I did have problems with the rear cassette packing full of ice and leaving me with one slipping gear a couple of times. Hopefully the better fenders on the Kona will help alleviate that problem. Anyway I think a CX bike is a good compromise as a winter bike for us roadies. Just takes some case to get it fully converted to what works best. If I have brake isues then I will spring for a new CF front fork and install discs up front. That should do the trick for the mostly flat winter riding I do.
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Old 11-25-11, 06:04 PM   #10
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one thing that I hated about my older steel CX bike, is that it couldn't run the fat tires without removing the fenders. With the fenders, the snow just clogged up on the canti brakes and fenders, causing extreme drag.

Since last year, I'm using new aluminum MTB with drops and it allows 26x2.1" tires, with fenders and plenty of room left over to keep the snow from building up.

MTBs have more tire selections and the frames and parts are cheaper.
If you don't mind having only SS, then it is entirely possible to make a cheap dropbar MTB that is much more worthwhile than trying to make a SS CX.
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