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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 07-28-13, 10:50 AM   #1
dragonflytype
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Which bike?

I'm not sure this is the right forum, but it should be close enough.
I'm about to move to Syracuse for school, and plan on biking year round. Mostly very short trips- to school, grocery store, etc. I don't anticipate more than 5 miles in a go. Because of all of the snow and salt, I'm not sure what to get. I'm going to check out a Trek SoHo Deluxe that is super appealing because of the internal gear hub that will be protected, but the bike is more expensive, and actually above what I want to pay. But if it means not having to replace parts/the whole bike (I read a thing where someone said they got a new bike every year because of the water and salt, eesh) then it might be worth it.
I'm also checking out a Raleigh Detour 3.5. I rode the 2.5 the other day and kind of loved it. For the short rides I'm doing, the upright-ness is pretty great, and shifting and braking were smooth. But will the exposed gears choke and die? Will caliper brakes be fine in wet weather?
Any advice between these two? Or other bikes that I should hold out for? I'm on a budget, so looking for used.
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Old 07-31-13, 11:27 AM   #2
droy45
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That would make a fine bike but I commute to work year round and a little winter maintenance takes care of the salt etc. Never had trouble with anything deteriorating falling apart because of the weather. Just keep it all lubed up it will remain protected.
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Old 08-03-13, 06:04 AM   #3
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Before you commit to a bike, if you are going to ride on ice and snow make sure that it has space for studded tires with fenders (it appears that both your choices do) and that you don't have toe overlap with your front tire. I didn't consider the latter when I picked up a used hybrid, but realized how bad it was on my first commute in snow. Every time I started to slide and had to correct by oversteering in the opposite direction, I caught my toe. That bike got put away and was unused for the rest of winter.

Gears get loaded with ice, as can your freehub. Those have been by biggest issues with geared bikes in the winter. Last fall, I set my almost ultimate winter commuter; disc brakes, fenders, studded tires, dirt drop bars, single speed (this is the "almost" part-if money weren't an issue, I would go with an IGH) 29er. It worked very well for its intended purpose, but I functioned fine (besides losing my brakes to puddles a few times) for two winters on my geared touring bike with rim brakes.

Good luck on the search!
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Old 08-11-13, 07:25 AM   #4
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I've had a old MTB with deum brake hubs in the wheels I built , on hand, for black ice days , out here,

for 25 years , got the Tires, Nokian, about that time, and still have them in service..

26x1.9" Mount and Ground W is just 2 rows of studs but OK when pavement is more bare than Icy , because of It.

Sturmey Archer Drum - IGH are made in 3,5 &8 speed
[Though, the actual Ratios of the 8 speed, lends itself best to 20" wheels]

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-11-13 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 09-05-13, 08:40 PM   #5
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A bike shouldn't be destroyed by a single winter. That's just not true. I use a 1990s steel frame rigid fork mountain bike for winter biking with nokian studded snow tires and sks fenders. Look for a good used one. Touch up any place on the frame where the paint is gone. Plan on cleaning and lubricating the chain a few times over the winter. You may occasionally need to spray lube into the derailleur pivot points, and a cable may go bad here or there. That's about it. Internal gears aren't really necessary.

I have little emotional attachment to my winter bike, and I recommend the same. Don't spend too much, and you won't worry about a little rust here or there. If it gets messed up in a crash, parts for old mountain bikes are cheap - as are replacement bikes.

I grew up near Syracuse. Plan on lots of snow, partial melt during the day, turns to ice at night, snow again, warms up enough for most of it to melt, snow again, turns to ice.... Best of luck!
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Old 09-06-13, 01:09 PM   #6
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I've been commuting on the same bike for the last six winters. Starting number seven this year. If you get a bunch of snow on the bike you just brush it off with a broom. I rinse mine with a gallon jug of warm water. I pour it over wherever the left over snow is at. You may get a few screws that might rust. But most bike parts are made of aluminium so no need to worry there. And most frames are a lot hardier than you might think in winter.
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Old 09-07-13, 02:47 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=Spld cyclist;16036082]A bike shouldn't be destroyed by a single winter. That's just not true. I use a 1990s steel frame rigid fork mountain bike for winter biking with nokian studded snow tires and sks fenders. Look for a good used one. Touch up any place on the frame where the paint is gone. Plan on cleaning and lubricating the chain a few times over the winter. You may occasionally need to spray lube into the derailleur pivot points, and a cable may go bad here or there. That's about it. Internal gears aren't really necessary.

I have little emotional attachment to my winter bike, and I recommend the same. Don't spend too much, and you won't worry about a little rust here or there. If it gets messed up in a crash, parts for old mountain bikes are cheap - as are replacement bikes. [/QUOTE

+1
I wash my bike at the end of the day and bring it inside the house to dry every night. Then every weekend it gets lubed. No worries!
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