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  1. #1
    Senior Member IchbinJay's Avatar
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    An All Weather Bike

    To make a long story short: I don't want to have more than one bike. I ride strictly on pavement. I am in the midst of creating an all weather bike. It will be good for snow, freezing, sun, rain whatever. Many people will argue that this is what a mountain bike is. They're wrong. A mountain bike doesn't have the appropriate gearing for long road trips nor the correct energy output. Anyone who rides a mountain bike on the road will tell you this.

    Has anyone already made an "all weather bike"? Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Does anyone have any pictures. This is going to be a fun experiment.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    A mountain bike doesn't have the appropriate gearing for long road trips nor the correct energy output. Anyone who rides a mountain bike on the road will tell you this.

    Pardon me??? I've done numerous centuries and a 200K brevet with my 40 lb Walmart mtn bike!!! I'm one who rides a mountain bike on the road, and I'll tell you that they DO have the appropriate gearing for long road trips!

    To make a long story short: I don't want to have more than one bike.

    Why on earth not?? What if you have to take that one bicycle into the shop -- then you're stuck with NO bicycles.

    Has anyone already made an "all weather bike"? Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Does anyone have any pictures. This is going to be a fun experiment.

    Yes ... there it is:
    http://ca.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/mac...59.jpg&.src=ph

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    http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?p...078447&size=lg

    I think it is best to always have a backup bike, though. Of course, two backup bikes is even better...

    Even though 99% of my riding is on this bike, I would never want to have just one.

    Paul

  4. #4
    Senior Member IchbinJay's Avatar
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    A. I can give you a lesson in why mountain bikes don't have the proper gearing. E mail me for details.
    B. I asked you to answer the question; not question the question.
    C. Good for you and your Wal Mart bike. I am a professional mechanic and I'll tell you that Wal Mart bikes are cheap -- and that's it. I am the bike shop. There is no taking the bike to the shop.

    Does anyone have any answers that I'm actually looking for?

  5. #5
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Jay, I would start with a cyclocross frame. I assume you're interested in a little more aggressive geometry and posture than what you'd get with an upright hybrid or a heavy mtb frame.

    This should give you plenty of clearance for fat tires (knobby or no) and fenders. Some will even come with disc brake tabs if you swing that way.

    A Surly Crosscheck would be good or a Rivendell Atlantis if you're looking for a little more flash. The Riv is actually a touring frame, but it'll still fit big tires, fenders, and cantis or calipers.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IchbinJay
    A. I can give you a lesson in why mountain bikes don't have the proper gearing. E mail me for details.
    B. I asked you to answer the question; not question the question.
    C. Good for you and your Wal Mart bike. I am a professional mechanic and I'll tell you that Wal Mart bikes are cheap -- and that's it. I am the bike shop. There is no taking the bike to the shop.

    Does anyone have any answers that I'm actually looking for?
    I'm so sorry I can't support your preconceived notions.

    But I can tell you this. I've had that Walmart mtn bike for 5.5 years now, and have had it into the shop twice for very minor things. It has held up remarkably well considering what I put it through - riding in all sorts of conditions: snow, slush, ice, salt, sand, muck. I've put thousands of miles on that bicycle, including those centuries and that 200K brevet ... I've done two centuries this year already on that bike!! And most of my riding has been on the road.

    You couldn't possibly "give me a lesson in why mountain bikes don't have the proper gearing". I could take you on hundreds of rides that prove to you why their gearing is more than adequate.

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    I built an all around bike by using a Giant OCR touring frame, the 2003 model. I have a FSA road triple with a 53-39-26 chainring, a 12-34 cog, I'm using a multiple position handlebar by Nashbar, I have XT shifter, derailleur, and hubs. I'm using Avids mech disc brakes, WTB Speed Master rims with Ritchey trail mix tires (700/35), and SKS fenders. I can ride it as a road bike, as a trail bike, or even as a touring bike. This frame has mounting suited for fenders and three water bottle cages. I am also using a Marzochi MX comp 29'er front shop too and a Rock Shox seatpost. So it rides awesome on fireroads. It's a little heavey though with this set-up but I really don't mind, because I built it for the diversity and shear pleasure of the ride. I have a road bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike too, so this was more of dream esthetic type bike that I had envisioned to have for my own enjoyment.

  8. #8
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    The guy who recorded the fastest time in the Great Southern Randonnee over 1200km last October was on an MTB with slick tyres and MTB gearing. Something like 58 hours for the ride. Nice young guy, too.

    Many are the people who ride MTBs to commute. They don't want another bike either. The gearing is just fine. Many are the people who have done trans-US and trans-Aus and trans-whatever-other-continent you wish to name on MTB-style bikes. In fact, one of the biggest-selling English touring frames is the 26"-wheeled Thorn Nomad, then the Expedition, with... guess what... MTB gearing!

    And why don't you post your reasons, Jay, for absolutely dismissing MTB gearing for road gearing... I'd be interested to know, too.

  9. #9
    dam this is fun ! STEEKER's Avatar
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    Good for you excellent how you stood up I would have not been so polite and I agree the gearing is fine on a mountain bike I ride two of those and did a road bike too till I wrecked it I use mountain bikes for all my driving now and replace a wore out a chain each year ,,,, Steeker

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    While we are on the topic of "appropriate gearing for long road trips", what about the people I know who have ridden centuries, cross country trips, and even 1200K Randonneuring brevets on single speeds and fixed gear bicycles? They've only got ONE gear to work with in a whole variety of terrain!!

  11. #11
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    IchbinJay, I know where you're coming from....Although I have seven bikes (and if I worked in an LBS, I would have 17 bikes ;-) what I commute with in all weather and frequently at night is a tough 2001 Marin Sausalito- with some "upgrades": 27x1/38" Tioga Bloodhound tires, Cane Creek Thudbuster with Brooks Champion Flyer, Masher (platform) pedals, Bell flexible arm convex mirror attached to Cane Creek Ergo II Control Bar Ends, Cygo Lite Night Explorer.

    Last edited by Leo C. Driscoll; 02-22-05 at 11:06 PM.
    lowenherz

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Going back to your original question about an "all weather bicycle" . . . and speaking of fixed gear bicycles . . . I've got at least one friend who would tell you that the best "all weather bicycle" is one with an old steel frame, such as something which can be acquired at a garage sale or thrift shop, which has horizontal dropouts, and which can be converted to a fixed gear.

    I've been told by many that the handling of a fixed gear is much better in the winter than the handling of a geared bicycle ... you're more in control of the bicycle with a fixed gear.

  13. #13
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    If I could have just one bike, it might well be this. You can buy the frame and build it up yourself: http://www.rivbike.com/html/bikes_atlantisframes.html

    I'm sure some would recommend the Surly Long Haul Trucker for a less expensive option.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  14. #14
    Senior Member IchbinJay's Avatar
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    Let me clarify what I mean by all weather:
    1. Year round...not just for snow. I am talking about one bike and none other, what would it be, how would you build it. That's what I mean by an all weather bike.

    Also, I never said that you COULDN'T ride on the road with a MTB. However, it is pure physics folks, that says the gearing on your average road bike is much more appropriate for the road. That's a fact...you can't argue math and leverage.

    I have a road bike and I have been modifying it over the winter so that it can withstand all weather, not all terrain settings (such as mountains or off road), but all weather. There is a difference, especially since I stated that I ride only road. My main interest is what other people have done, with one bike, to suit their year round all weather needs.

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    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Are we allowed to change chainrings, cogs and tires in this endeavour? Cause my fixed gear Surly 1x1 is a snow plow with 34x17 on 2" knobbies. And she'll cruise right along at 18 mph with 40x15 spinning a Metro 1.5" slick.

    Cartridge bearings in the hubs, cranks and headset. No nonsense construction. Ain't gonna win the tour, but it was created for the dark and crappy times.

  16. #16
    Senior Member cdale56's Avatar
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    I rode for 8 years on a mountain bike, a rigid Cannondale with slicks at times. 3-4000 miles a year: long rides, snow rides, hot rides, pavement, dirt whatever I wanted.

    I did fine with that.



    Now I have a low end Giant that I mainly commute with but have done 2 centruies on this year, with knobbies.

    All weather, all conditions. Anywhere.

    I think the lesson here is: whatever works for you works for you.

  17. #17
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    cdale56 has it right.

    I have a 95 GT mountain with mudders for winter and Hutchinson slicks for summer.
    The Hutchinson's lasted over 2 years on some unforgiving asphalt before showing any major signs of wear.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by IchbinJay
    Also, I never said that you COULDN'T ride on the road with a MTB. However, it is pure physics folks, that says the gearing on your average road bike is much more appropriate for the road. That's a fact...you can't argue math and leverage.

    I have a road bike and I have been modifying it over the winter so that it can withstand all weather, not all terrain settings (such as mountains or off road), but all weather. There is a difference, especially since I stated that I ride only road. My main interest is what other people have done, with one bike, to suit their year round all weather needs.
    No, but you did say: "Many people will argue that this is what a mountain bike is. They're wrong. A mountain bike doesn't have the appropriate gearing for long road trips nor the correct energy output. Anyone who rides a mountain bike on the road will tell you this". Pretty categorical to me. Most of the tours referred to using MTBs were not off-road, and touring is not all flatland.

    Then you backed this up with offering a lesson. Unfortunately, my physics is not terribly good. So I reiterate my request for you to justify your version of why MTBs are ineffiecient on the road. Remember to also bring into your arguments concerning compact road cranksets and 650C wheels on road bikes for comparison. I truly am fascinated and want to understand, especially if an expert can provide the advice.

    I learn, I advance.

    Oh, and to me, an all-weather bike starts with chainstays and fork that are wide enough to take up to 37mm tyres and fenders with mudflaps, and probably wider if there is a need for studded tyres.

    Then follows

    * Cartridge bottom bracket;

    * Probably a Rohloff internally geared 14-speed rear hub, but then there are other cheaper 7-speed varieties such as Shimano and Sram; probably a Schlumph MountainDrive chainring (means only one chainring and one sprocket if an internally geared rear hub, but you have to get good at changing gears with your ankle);

    * SON dynohub with one Lumotech Ovaplus Senso for the standlight and automatic on-off plus an E6 switched secondary light for added brilliance (all for non-reliance on batteries on cold days);

    * Two 5-LED Cateye red LEDs for the rear;

    * Probably disc brakes front and rear with hydraulics to avoid freezing up in winter, but dependent on whether the SON and Rohloff can take them; otherwise good quality cantis or V-brakes which enable the wider tyres and fenders;

    * Flat bars and drop bars with cable-joiners to allow maximum enjoyment in good weather (drop bars), and total bike control in snow and ice (flat bars); however, this will also have an influence on brake selection depending on the types of drop-bar levers used;

    * Carradice saddle bag or Ortleib roll-top panniers for waterproofness (if the Ortleibs, then matched to Tubus stainless rear rack);

    * Two pairs of wheels, one set for wide winter tyres and one set for summer slicks (probably Velocity Dyads for the wider tyres and Aeroheads for the others);

    * Hubs that are probably LX level, laced with stainless spokes straight or butted (I don't care) 3-cross and 36H);

    * Tyres that can range from Nokian studded, to TT2000 x 35s as a tough and reliable tyre for urban conditions as well as touring, to Michelin Dynamics in 23C size for what I have found to be durable, flat-resistant urban and fast long-distance riding.

    Yes, that probably could be my 700C dreambike. But I am happy with bikes that fit my needs and have three or four of them.

    Oh, and the comment about fixed makes sense -- change the gearing for conditions, change the wheelset and tyres... but only one cog and one chainring to expose to the elements.

    I've answered yours, now your turn.

  19. #19
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    My suggestions of all-weather bike features depend on whether all-weather includes slushy, mushy ice/snow/sleet like we are so prone to here in eastern Mass. If so, my first requirement is FENDERS, second is DISC BRAKES. Disc brakes don't freeze up and chatter on the rim, they stay cleaner, & stop reliably. I'll wait for the SON hub until they have designed a system that can charge batteries to run a 5W Star Luxeon LED light, taillight & horn. I personally like studded tires in the winter but that is a preference. Gearing has more to do with getting up the hills on your ride with your usual load, pick what is right for you. We all ride in slightly different conditions with the limitations of our motors, so we all need slightly different bikes. Wouldn't it be boring if we all rode the same bike?
    Help grow the future of cycling in the world. Volunteer at your local "earn-a-bike" program. In the Boston area http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/about

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulH
    http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?p...078447&size=lg
    Even though 99% of my riding is on this bike, I would never want to have just one.

    Paul
    Paul H. that is a nice bike!

  21. #21
    Sarcastic Member Urbanmonk's Avatar
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    I bought a 1970 Hercules English Racer for $15 at an open-aire market, which I rode through all the elements, year round for four years. It only has three gears, but I took it on a 35 mile ride once to the next town, and it did fine. It really depends on what you are going to do with it. I have since purchased a Cannondale Cyclocross and a Trek 520 Touring for commuting. I primarily use the Trek as my main year-round form of transportation; the C'dale for spring and summer; and I still use the Hercules English Racer for quick grocery runs and hauling my daughters in a trailer during the summer months. It depends on what it is used for.

    Cheers

  22. #22
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IchbinJay
    To make a long story short: I don't want to have more than one bike. I ride strictly on pavement. I am in the midst of creating an all weather bike. It will be good for snow, freezing, sun, rain whatever. Many people will argue that this is what a mountain bike is. They're wrong. A mountain bike doesn't have the appropriate gearing for long road trips nor the correct energy output. Anyone who rides a mountain bike on the road will tell you this.

    Has anyone already made an "all weather bike"? Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Does anyone have any pictures. This is going to be a fun experiment.
    This is not only an all weather bike, it is an all surface bike. Meaning pavement and dirt too. It is one of the best. If you have the patience to read about a page of stuff, you may be surprised at how nice this bike really is. There are other models slightly lighter duty and a little faster too. See if this page will link you to the "Nomad" Model.

    http://www.sjscycles.com/thorn/26sol...002/solop8.asp

    edit post: The Nomad, a little lighter and faster. Probably more like what you want.

    http://www.sjscycles.com/thorn/26sol...002/solop9.asp
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 02-23-05 at 08:13 PM. Reason: incomplete

  23. #23
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IchbinJay
    Let me clarify what I mean by all weather:
    1. Year round...not just for snow. I am talking about one bike and none other, what would it be, how would you build it. That's what I mean by an all weather bike.
    When I responded with this:

    Going back to your original question about an "all weather bicycle" . . . and speaking of fixed gear bicycles . . . I've got at least one friend who would tell you that the best "all weather bicycle" is one with an old steel frame, such as something which can be acquired at a garage sale or thrift shop, which has horizontal dropouts, and which can be converted to a fixed gear.

    it applies for all weather, year round ... not just for snow.


    Quote Originally Posted by IchbinJay
    Also, I never said that you COULDN'T ride on the road with a MTB. However, it is pure physics folks, that says the gearing on your average road bike is much more appropriate for the road. That's a fact...you can't argue math and leverage.
    OK, prove it. Bring on the math!!

  24. #24
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    You can gear any bike to how you like it. If you want to run a single or a road double on an MTB (as some couriers do) then its pretty simple to swap.
    Most long distance tourists opt for MTB chainsets; this is one of the standard upgrades that Trek 520 owners make before crossing continents.
    Thorn cycles at sjscycles.com have a couple of good Rohloff -equipped all-weather bikes.

  25. #25
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bostontrevor
    Jay, I would start with a cyclocross frame. I assume you're interested in a little more aggressive geometry and posture than what you'd get with an upright hybrid or a heavy mtb frame.

    This should give you plenty of clearance for fat tires (knobby or no) and fenders. Some will even come with disc brake tabs if you swing that way.

    A Surly Crosscheck would be good or a Rivendell Atlantis if you're looking for a little more flash. The Riv is actually a touring frame, but it'll still fit big tires, fenders, and cantis or calipers.
    Jay, take a look at this one.

    A cyclocross bike with disc brakes. Faster than a mtb but better in the snow than a road bike. Room for fenders. Higher gearing than an mtb.

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/03/cusa/model-3XR1.html
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 02-24-05 at 07:46 AM.

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