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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 12-02-12, 10:42 AM   #1
starjag
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Outfit 1995 KHS rigid MTB for Winter riding

I would like to outfit my rigid MTB for Winter riding in Southern Ontario.



I am looking for 26" knobby tires at least 1.35-2" wide (not many options in 26") and fenders. I might consider studded tires later on.

What about brake pads and other items I might be overlooking? Thanks!
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Old 12-02-12, 11:03 AM   #2
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26in tires have far more options out there than any other size on the market. For winter commuting I just used whatever knobby tire I can get cheap unless you want to go the studded route. There are some "snow" tires out there that should work great in shallow snow but I doubt they would work well in deeper snow.

Fenders are a great idea. You can get some kool-stop salmon brakes pads if you want better we stopping power, they really do work MUCH better in the wet than any of the black colored pads I have tried.

Other than that, just making sure the bike is in good working order and that everything is properly lubed/greased and you will be just fine.
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Old 12-02-12, 11:32 AM   #3
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For me it would depend on where in southern Ontario you lived. Do you get more rain/slush than snow? Here in Toronto I would suggest fenders as the most important piece of equipment for winter riding, other wise you just get soaked. If this slush turns to ice often then I would go with studded tires. Plus the black ice will most likely bring you down.

If you live in that part of Southern Ontario that is more like snow country, then studded tires are a waste of money, fenders are a maybe but nice knobby tires to grab into the snow would help.

Then again I didn't say anything Chriskmurray didn't mention above. He gave great advice.
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Old 12-02-12, 11:48 AM   #4
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Big fenders for sure. If you get a lot of ice on the roads it might be worth it to get a front tire with studs. I ride in the path that cars take and on the plowed trails around here so I don't really have a need for studded tires. I ride 700x32 year round without too much trouble... gotta take it easy on corners and so on. If you're wearing big winter boots you might find BMX pedals more grippy. I like them a lot myself in the winter since I use sorels and the roads can get slushy here. I'd take your seatpost out and grease it too, maybe the BB & pedal threads if you've got the tools and stuff.
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Old 12-02-12, 12:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by starjag View Post
I would like to outfit my rigid MTB for Winter riding in Southern Ontario.



I am looking for 26" knobby tires at least 1.35-2" wide (not many options in 26") and fenders. I might consider studded tires later on.

What about brake pads and other items I might be overlooking? Thanks!
That should make a great winter bike. Check the wheels and make sure that they are aluminum wheels and not the old steel wheels. Steel wheels will not stop when wet. Aluminum wheels are much better in this regard. If it's mostly below freezing when you ride you can get by without fenders. If it's a lot of slush and wet roads you will need fenders. I like a rear rack on a winter bike because you will need to carry more stuff in the cold and the rear rack can be rigged as a rear fender with lots of clearance. The full coverage type of fenders work best in wet conditions but often don't give enough clearance for snow and slushy conditions.

I would advice Stopflats2 tire liners for a winter bike since they are light and will help reduce flats. Which are a real pain to fix in the cold. I would look for a wide easy rolling rear tire with small knobbies at first. That will work in a wide range of conditions. Something that's like what's already on the front.
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Old 12-02-12, 12:42 PM   #6
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If you want to run skinny 26 inch knobbies then have a look at Schwalbe CX PRO (26x1.35), they are very good for riding in snow and slush... but if it's icy out there you are gona need studded tires. Also full fenders are one of the best things you can put on your bike.
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Old 12-02-12, 04:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. I was going in the right direction :-)

clasher... I am also in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.

I settled for 26x1.95" knobby tires with fenders and clipless/clip pedals in case I go out with boots rather than cycling shoes.

Will give the bike a try once I lube things properly. Cheers!
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Old 12-02-12, 04:53 PM   #8
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If you find you get melting snow during the day, there will be black ice and hard ice patches in the morning. Studded tires are needed for safety in these conditions. If when you start getting snow and it stays cold all the time and dry then you could get by with those knobbies. Personally I have tried it both ways over the years and now I simply put on my studded Nokians and leave them on all winter as they have carbide studs that won't wear out on dry pavement. The studded tires are a substantial investment at first but will last for several seasons and well worth it. Other than that, as mentioned above, fenders, rear rack, lights if you ride late in the day and platform pedals so you can use hiking boots or something warmer.
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Old 12-02-12, 05:22 PM   #9
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If you find you get melting snow during the day, there will be black ice and hard ice patches in the morning. Studded tires are needed for safety in these conditions. If when you start getting snow and it stays cold all the time and dry then you could get by with those knobbies. Personally I have tried it both ways over the years and now I simply put on my studded Nokians and leave them on all winter as they have carbide studs that won't wear out on dry pavement. The studded tires are a substantial investment at first but will last for several seasons and well worth it. Other than that, as mentioned above, fenders, rear rack, lights if you ride late in the day and platform pedals so you can use hiking boots or something warmer.
+1. This is what I have: http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...d-tire-26-inch

They are about the best value I found when I was shopping. Studded tires do have substantially higher rolling resistance, but personally I don't want to take the chance of going down hard on ice.

I have other bikes, so I keep the studded tires on my old mountain bike all winter. If the weather conditions indicate I don't need the studs, I take another bike.
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