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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 11-19-12, 11:03 AM   #1
NDG
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Choosing a new winter bike, not easy!

I am planning to purchase a new winter bike.
I am hesitating between a sleek and lite single-speed and an internally geared bike.
For the single speed, I am having a hard time finding one with disc brakes. Any suggestions?
Perhaps something like the new Broadie DOS 2.2 ? Interesting bike with the SRAM automatix 2-speed hub.
http://www.brodiebikes.com/2013/bikes/dos_22.php
For the internally geared, perhaps something like the MEC Hold Steady or the Trek Soho DLX?
http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...cle-unisex.jsp
http://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en/bikes.../soho_deluxe/#
On my route to work, I have some moderate hills, nothing too steep. I have already seen that I can get by with a single speed. However, I am bit limited when I go to meetings elsewhere in town (Montreal) and I have to climb up some steeper roads.
With regards to internally-geared bikes, I am a bit hesitant to pay over 1200$ and see the bike eaten up gradually by the salt and sand.
Any suggestions?
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Old 11-19-12, 12:08 PM   #2
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You take a new bike for winter riding ?
I found myself an old bike that is in good shape but I didn't want to invest too much to put it in snow and everything canadian winter as to offer.
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Old 11-19-12, 12:13 PM   #3
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Yes, I rode with an old bike last winter and this year I want to upgrade to something better.
I am perhaps naive, but I think that a well-adapeted bike with the right components and good care could probably last many years and be also more fun to ride.

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I am planning to purchase a new winter bike.
I am hesitating between a sleek and lite single-speed and an internally geared bike.
For the single speed, I am having a hard time finding one with disc brakes. Any suggestions?
Perhaps something like the new Broadie DOS 2.2 ? Interesting bike with the SRAM automatix 2-speed hub.
http://www.brodiebikes.com/2013/bikes/dos_22.php
For the internally geared, perhaps something like the MEC Hold Steady or the Trek Soho DLX?
http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...cle-unisex.jsp
http://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en/bikes.../soho_deluxe/#
On my route to work, I have some moderate hills, nothing too steep. I have already seen that I can get by with a single speed. However, I am bit limited when I go to meetings elsewhere in town (Montreal) and I have to climb up some steeper roads.
With regards to internally-geared bikes, I am a bit hesitant to pay over 1200$ and see the bike eaten up gradually by the salt and sand.
Any suggestions?
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Old 11-19-12, 02:21 PM   #4
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Oh, man, if money were no object, I know exactly which bike I would want. Specialized Source 11, with a better rear pannier rack and some studded tires. That would make a great winter bike, if I had money coming out of my ears.
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Old 11-19-12, 02:50 PM   #5
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I dont see this bike on the Specialized web site. Perhaps discontinued?

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Oh, man, if money were no object, I know exactly which bike I would want. Specialized Source 11, with a better rear pannier rack and some studded tires. That would make a great winter bike, if I had money coming out of my ears.
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Old 11-19-12, 02:56 PM   #6
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http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...e/sourceeleven
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Old 11-19-12, 03:31 PM   #7
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The Specialized Source 11 is 2700$, outch!

Just went to a local bike store that sells bikes to messengers. They told me that the most economical solution for a winter bike is a simply a standard alluminum bike with wheels that have stainless steel spokes, a standard Shimano rear derailleur, good tires and cables that are completely covered with good quality housing. They sell a bike like this (Exit, Up Town model) for 525$.
They told me that in their experience, bikes with Alfine or Nexus hubs end up coming back to the shop often for maintenance and sometimes break without possibility for easy repair.
Does this make sense?
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Old 11-19-12, 03:37 PM   #8
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The Specialized Source 11 is 2700$, outch!
Hence my comment about money coming out of my ears. Definitely not a poor man's commuter (which excludes me by a large margin).
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Old 11-19-12, 09:09 PM   #9
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Who cares if your ride a brand new bike in winter. Bikes is a tool...not a jewel.

I bet non of you have a problem driving $40k car in the winter.
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Old 11-19-12, 09:18 PM   #10
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Who cares if your ride a brand new bike in winter. Bikes is a tool...not a jewel.

I bet non of you have a problem driving $40k car in the winter.
Yabbut, you aren't going to get a world a difference in performance between a $2000 bike, and a $250 used MTB (incl. the studded tires) in winter conditions.

I thought half of being a full time cyclist was practical $$$ saving.
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Old 11-19-12, 10:28 PM   #11
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Yes, buy a solid and basic bike for winter. You might want to spring for studded tires.

Also remember, it doesn't take much of an accident to ruin a frame. I would worry about that way more than corrosion. My winter bike is a 1997 rigid mountain bike. Go new if you want, but save the big money for a nice 2 or 3-season bike....
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Old 11-19-12, 11:20 PM   #12
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You can look at something like the Giant Seek, affordable and has disc brakes with plenty of tire clearance for studs. It also has built in reflective stuff on the frame which is a nice touch. http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...5836/#overview

They do a more expensive one with an IGH that is much cheaper than the specialized (although not as nice) http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...specifications
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Old 11-20-12, 09:08 AM   #13
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I agree with the comment that the performance difference between a very expensive bike and a solid decent bike will not be huge when riding in winter time.
However, I am sure that there is a notable difference between a solid decent bike and a clunker.
My goal is not to find a luxury bike that I will be afraid to damage and lock outside once in a while.
I just want a well-made bike that will get me from home to work and back every day without mechanical problems.
I also want the bike to be fun to ride. For me at least, the fun factor is important: I see in Montreal more and more young people riding single speeds and having fun. Perhaps there is a lot of hype involved, but riding a nice bike motivates some people to use their bike instead of their car. That's good for everybody.
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Old 11-20-12, 08:15 PM   #14
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NDG, I am looking for something similar within a given price point. I would like an aluminum frame, single speed, disc brakes, room for studded tires and fenders with a low bottom bracket. I am single speed rider, 95% of the time and 100% in the winter. The difference is I live in Toronto and we don't have that many hills. Like you I looked at the MEC HS but it would be $1600 to set up the way I want for winter and that is too much for me. I would hope around the G note mark would be fine.

A bike that I had for winter was a Specialized Centrum Sport, single speed with disc brakes. It had almost everything on my wish list except it had this incredibly high bottom bracket. It was cheap at $500 but I lent it to my son and it got stolen right after I installed Avid BB7's. Oh well. It has been discontinued but you could always check CL.

Your link to the Brodie looks interesting but again the price is high after you add all the winter accoutrements. Hopefully someone will chime in with some useful suggestions.
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Old 11-20-12, 09:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Yabbut, you aren't going to get a world a difference in performance between a $2000 bike, and a $250 used MTB (incl. the studded tires) in winter conditions.

I thought half of being a full time cyclist was practical $$$ saving.
You won't feel a world of difference between a $40k car and $60k car either.

I agree with you on the $$$ part. I think of it as a bonus tho.
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Old 11-20-12, 10:09 PM   #16
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With the potholes in the road we grow here in the Winter, I wouldn't want to have a 'quality' bike destroyed - so the choice for me would a discount store cheapie mountain bike or comfort bike. Oil the snots out of the chain and derailleurs, ride it all Winter, and sell it in the Spring or just let it sit until next Winter season...

Or better yet, scour the thrift shops for an old three-speed. Yeah, those heavy beasts with steel wheels. I picked one up in like-new condition at a yard sale for $30. Again, just keep the chain well oiled. And thanks to mountain bikes, you can find decent knobby tires that should offer some traction in the snow. The whole braking thing is over-rated When I was a kid, I rode my trusty Sears three-speed through many a Cleveland Winter and I'm still around...

Additionally, I just garbage-picked a bottom-rung Huffy mountain bike that I intend to use for runs to the corner store (less than a mile away) since it already has both front and rear racks.
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Old 11-21-12, 12:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
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With the potholes in the road we grow here in the Winter, I wouldn't want to have a 'quality' bike destroyed - so the choice for me would a discount store cheapie mountain bike or comfort bike. Oil the snots out of the chain and derailleurs, ride it all Winter, and sell it in the Spring or just let it sit until next Winter season...

Or better yet, scour the thrift shops for an old three-speed. Yeah, those heavy beasts with steel wheels. I picked one up in like-new condition at a yard sale for $30. Again, just keep the chain well oiled. And thanks to mountain bikes, you can find decent knobby tires that should offer some traction in the snow. The whole braking thing is over-rated When I was a kid, I rode my trusty Sears three-speed through many a Cleveland Winter and I'm still around...

Additionally, I just garbage-picked a bottom-rung Huffy mountain bike that I intend to use for runs to the corner store (less than a mile away) since it already has both front and rear racks.
I have always wondered how people have such horrible luck keeping bikes running through winter that it scares them from taking anything but bottom of the barrel bikes out for fear of catastrophic failure.

Quality bikes properly maintained will have no problems making it through many many winters. That is why some of us buy quality, my bike laughs at potholes, actually it has seen countless extremely rocky trails with moderate jumps/drops and the wheels are still very true. It also is reasonably light when I do not have all my bags/racks on it so it is still fun to ride fast. Salt/snow are not the end of the world either, just make sure to lube things a little more regularly. Hell even with my bike being basically pressure washed by salty slush behind my car for an hour did not to any damage to it (a year later and the cables are still smooth, hubs are still buttery smooth, derailleurs still work), even after it looked like this....

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Old 11-21-12, 10:56 AM   #18
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It indeed looks very difficult to find a single speed bike with disc brakes. I don't see anything else than the Brodie on the market. I know that Giant used to sell aversion of the Seek as single speed with disc brakes, but they don't seem to sell it anymore. Without the disc brake option, the Trek District single speed also looks interesting. It has internal cabling, which is rarely seen on bikes that cost below $1000.

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NDG, I am looking for something similar within a given price point. I would like an aluminum frame, single speed, disc brakes, room for studded tires and fenders with a low bottom bracket. I am single speed rider, 95% of the time and 100% in the winter. The difference is I live in Toronto and we don't have that many hills. Like you I looked at the MEC HS but it would be $1600 to set up the way I want for winter and that is too much for me. I would hope around the G note mark would be fine.

A bike that I had for winter was a Specialized Centrum Sport, single speed with disc brakes. It had almost everything on my wish list except it had this incredibly high bottom bracket. It was cheap at $500 but I lent it to my son and it got stolen right after I installed Avid BB7's. Oh well. It has been discontinued but you could always check CL.

Your link to the Brodie looks interesting but again the price is high after you add all the winter accoutrements. Hopefully someone will chime in with some useful suggestions.
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Old 11-23-12, 09:26 AM   #19
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OK, I am down to two choices:
The Norco Indie SS, a single speed with disc brakes, or the MEC Hold Steady, a bike with the 8 speed Alfine internal hub.
http://www.norco.com/archives/2012/?id=indie-ss
http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...cle-unisex.jsp
I can get the Norco new for 425$ and the MEC used for 700$.
I am leaning towards the Norco, since I can by with single speed for my commute
However, the 8 speeds would be useful once in a while; but is it worth the additional maintenance and the additional money? The MEC might also be more attractive for thieves...
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Old 11-23-12, 04:14 PM   #20
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Get the Norco, you can always upgrade a rear wheel and get whatever IGH you want.
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Old 11-23-12, 05:27 PM   #21
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What about the MEC skyway? The belt drive might be nice for the winter, and I *think* you could upgrade to disc brakes if you find you need them.
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Old 11-24-12, 02:17 PM   #22
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The skyway looks like a great bike, however, with road handlebars and standard brakes, at 750$, it is not what I am looking for.
I just ordered the Norco Indie SS today. I will get it in one week (has to be shipped from Vancouver).
With cyclo-cross tires and full fenders, it should be a solid commuter.
I'll post pics when I get it.
Thanks for the input.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:33 PM   #23
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I am sure you will be please with the Norco SS Indie. It's inexpensive and seems like to be a good choice. The other bike I have my eye on is the Kona Dr. Good. All it would need is studded tires and it would be ready to go. Plus I really like the Porteur rack on the front.
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Old 11-27-12, 12:42 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bikepacker67 View Post
Yabbut, you aren't going to get a world a difference in performance between a $2000 bike, and a $250 used MTB (incl. the studded tires) in winter conditions.

I thought half of being a full time cyclist was practical $$$ saving.
Gotta be kidding. My first winter was ridden on a Norco Wolvering $500 bike. I was slow... and slow and uncomfortable on rough sections. It had cable disk brakes and that's about the most high end feature it had. When year 2 came around, I needed a new bike becaus the bearings were shot, wheels were untrue, suspension(non-adjustable, no lockout) was leaking, brakes rode like crap on a good day. Got myself a $2600 Specialized XC Pro as I was doing a bit better for myself the next year. This will be the bikes 4th winter, but I also trail ride it a bit in the summer. I've replaced the front deraileur once and rear wheel bearings, that's all, in 4 years of slush, ice, jumps, rocks, salt. At least when I hit a pothold, take a drop on a flight of stairs or ride a rough section of ice, I have a sweet suspension to soak it up. When I want to do some speed because the roads clear up, I can lock it up and move, and when going uphill the bike doesn't weigh me down too much! Pay good money, get good components and actually enjoy riding. I've got some Schwalbe Ice Spikers, Light and motion 180 in theback and STELLA dual 600's in the front. This thing is nothing but trouble free fun! My only maintenance this year for the bike will be a new set of pedals. The bearings in my shimano clipless have gone, picking up a $50 set of PD-m520's on Saturday.

Hydraulic brakes FTW, so smooth even in freezing temperatures. IMO that's VERY important, especially when you're trying to modulate on ice, snow and slush.

Roby!
Happy Canadian Winter Rider
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Old 11-29-12, 09:16 PM   #25
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So, no rust on the wheels after 4 years?

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Gotta be kidding. My first winter was ridden on a Norco Wolvering $500 bike. I was slow... and slow and uncomfortable on rough sections. It had cable disk brakes and that's about the most high end feature it had. When year 2 came around, I needed a new bike becaus the bearings were shot, wheels were untrue, suspension(non-adjustable, no lockout) was leaking, brakes rode like crap on a good day. Got myself a $2600 Specialized XC Pro as I was doing a bit better for myself the next year. This will be the bikes 4th winter, but I also trail ride it a bit in the summer. I've replaced the front deraileur once and rear wheel bearings, that's all, in 4 years of slush, ice, jumps, rocks, salt. At least when I hit a pothold, take a drop on a flight of stairs or ride a rough section of ice, I have a sweet suspension to soak it up. When I want to do some speed because the roads clear up, I can lock it up and move, and when going uphill the bike doesn't weigh me down too much! Pay good money, get good components and actually enjoy riding. I've got some Schwalbe Ice Spikers, Light and motion 180 in theback and STELLA dual 600's in the front. This thing is nothing but trouble free fun! My only maintenance this year for the bike will be a new set of pedals. The bearings in my shimano clipless have gone, picking up a $50 set of PD-m520's on Saturday.

Hydraulic brakes FTW, so smooth even in freezing temperatures. IMO that's VERY important, especially when you're trying to modulate on ice, snow and slush.

Roby!
Happy Canadian Winter Rider
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