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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 09-08-12, 04:30 PM   #1
fonfa
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Just moved from Brazil to Canada, need help choosing a bike for the upcoming winter!

Hello there!

I just moved to Montréal for a new job and would like to get a new bike, since I left my good one back in Brazil (heard that the bike thefts are crazy around here)!
I'd like something cheap, a beater that won't make me so upset if it gets stolen, and doesn't need to last more than 3 years since I don't plan on taking it back home. I also was thinking about a single speed or fixed gear (or flip-flop), so it means less parts to gather slush and all that crap.

So, I've been looking around a bit and those two models caught my attention:

http://www.norco.com/bikes/urban/urban-lifestyle/heart/ ($360+tax)
http://www.louisgarneau.com/ca-en/pr...id/ZONE_1_BIKE ($260+tax)

The Zone 1 looks like a great deal for its price, I guess I'd just have to swap those tires for studded ones and get fenders. The Norco Heart comes with skinny treaded tires, which a fixie winter rider told me it's more than enough to handle the winter in Montréal.

So, any thoughts on this?
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Old 09-08-12, 07:30 PM   #2
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I would not buy a new bike for winter use. In the winter the roads are covered with salty slush, and the salt gets everywhere and ruins the bike. The best thing to get is an old rigid mountain bike or '10-speed' road bike, put on mud guards or fenders, and narrow knobby or studded tires.

Singlespeeds are fine if you don't have any hills to climb, and gear mechanisms can get gunked up and stop working in some conditions.

Of the two bikes you linked, I really liked the Garneau. I think the disc brakes make it a better winter bike.
Get a set of full-wrap fenders for it. You can probably get some that match the bike nicely.
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Old 09-10-12, 05:46 PM   #3
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local classified ads like kijiji or craigslist (no idea what's popular in MTL) have a lot of bike listings I'm sure. pick one from there.

PS
why leave a beautiful country?
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Old 09-10-12, 05:52 PM   #4
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If you are going to use the bike year round it might be a good idea to pick up a mtn bike. I would go with trek or giant or you can look on line for a mtn bike in the 500 dollar range. I bought my bike in summer so by the time it was winter it was used. I had to replace the front and rear cassette last year but but be smart when you go to get them replaced because all you might need is a new chain after you get the skipping.

Keep the bike in the same temps during winter. Changeing the temps from warm to cold can weaken your frame.
You can but wide tires on in the winter and skinny tires on in the summer.
clean you bike after you ride with a brush and some good chain cleaner.
I use a trek 3700 year round. I loved that bike but I had to leave it behind when I moved to indiana from wisconsin.

good luck
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Old 09-10-12, 10:23 PM   #5
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Don't get wide tires in the winter - narrow tires are better for riding in the city when snow will be slushy and soft from the salt put down by the city. Wide tires tend to float on top of the slush while narrower tires cut through and ride on the pavement underneath.
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Old 09-11-12, 08:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
Don't get wide tires in the winter - narrow tires are better for riding in the city when snow will be slushy and soft from the salt put down by the city. Wide tires tend to float on top of the slush while narrower tires cut through and ride on the pavement underneath.
I agree. The only time wide tires have an advantage is on bike paths that don't have the snow cleared. If a lot of mountain bikes are packing it down, narrower tires will sometimes sink in. That makes for difficult pedaling.

But for street and roads narrow tires are a lot less work.

My ideal tire is 700 - 32, or 27 x 1 1/4. The cheap old 27 inch tires used to have a nice amount of tread on them. I never had to bother with changing them, they were good for winter and summer. I got an expensive one and it was too slick for winter.
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Old 09-11-12, 08:48 PM   #7
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I agree. The only time wide tires have an advantage is on bike paths that don't have the snow cleared. If a lot of mountain bikes are packing it down, narrower tires will sometimes sink in. That makes for difficult pedaling.

But for street and roads narrow tires are a lot less work.

My ideal tire is 700 - 32, or 27 x 1 1/4. The cheap old 27 inch tires used to have a nice amount of tread on them. I never had to bother with changing them, they were good for winter and summer. I got an expensive one and it was too slick for winter.
Hybrid tires about 35mm or 1.5 inches wide are generally good. Narrower is fine, but I wouldn't recommend going any wider.
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