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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 11-09-13, 07:37 PM   #1
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Ask Sixty Fiver

These "Ask So-and-so" type threads exist in other forums and it seems helpful some of the time so I thought I would inflict this on @Sixty Fiver since he seems to be one of the most experienced frequent posters here. If that's not okay then say so and we'll have one of the mods lock the thread.

At any rate, here is my question to start it off: I'm considering winter bike options and I'm debating about what size wheel would be best. It seems like a 29er would be the most able to get over the snow but I'm mostly concerned about riding over icy roads and studded tires seem to be more available and cheaper at 700c or 26 inch. Do you think it is worth it to go with a 29er?
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Old 11-09-13, 08:00 PM   #2
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Old 11-09-13, 08:02 PM   #3
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29" and 700 c tires both use 622 rims. If you get a 29 er, you can use 700 c wheels as long as they aren't too narrow (which you wouldn't want to do in winter anyway).
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Old 11-09-13, 08:20 PM   #4
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My Pugsley is essentially a 29'r and goes over the snow rather well... because the tyres are 4 inches wide and it will go where no other bicycle will go.

A 29'r with a 2.0 wide tyre (700:50) is going to behave much like a mountain bike tyre in the same size but will roll over things a little better which might be nice if the roads are rough but if the snow is softer they will bog down... the selection of 29'r specific winter tyres is not yet as wide as it is for 26 inch and 700c wheels but with a studded tyre you'd have a pretty nice set up.

A cross bike or hybrid that could run 40-45 mm studded tyres would be awesome... this would allow for a higher volume tyre like a Nokian W106 or Marathon winter which come as wide as 45mm and put you pretty close to the same size a 29'r wheel.

I have been riding my new old hybrid in the snow which has some 700:38 cross tyres and will handle 45 mm tyres... this is why I picked it up and the ride on the 38mm tyres is rather exceptional and the traction (sans studs) is excellent. Looking at running the Nokian W106 or Marathon winter and they are 45 and 40mm tyres.

The weapon of choice here still seems to be 26 inch wheeled mountain bikes as they are pretty much perfect, you can run wide high volume tyres with studs which will get you through pretty much anything while giving you a nice bit of cushion and winterizing a mountain bike is pretty easy.
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Old 11-09-13, 08:26 PM   #5
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. . .
The weapon of choice here still seems to be 26 inch wheeled mountain bikes as they are pretty much perfect, you can run wide high volume tyres with studs which will get you through pretty much anything while giving you a nice bit of cushion and winterizing a mountain bike is pretty easy.
So what would you do to winterize a mtn bike?
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Old 11-09-13, 08:32 PM   #6
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So what would you do to winterize a mtn bike?
I'd start by picking an older rigid mtb / atb or hardtail... if the climate was very cold I'd look at replacing the front suspension with a suspension corrected fork as most suspension forks are not designed for sub zero use.

Fit full coverage fenders and studded tyres and you are pretty much good to go... we sold two "too nice for winter" Kuwaharas at the coop this afternoon and both had already been fitted with fenders and will be getting studded tyres.
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Old 11-09-13, 08:58 PM   #7
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I'd start by picking an older rigid mtb / atb or hardtail... if the climate was very cold I'd look at replacing the front suspension with a suspension corrected fork as most suspension forks are not designed for sub zero use.

Fit full coverage fenders and studded tyres and you are pretty much good to go... we sold two "too nice for winter" Kuwaharas at the coop this afternoon and both had already been fitted with fenders and will be getting studded tyres.
That's pretty straightforward. What about braking? Older bikes aren't going to work with disc brakes. I was thinking of building a front wheel using an SA drum brake/dynamo hub for a vintage mtb winter bike build.
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Old 11-09-13, 11:32 PM   #8
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29" and 700 c tires both use 622 rims.
Guys, this is the "Ask 65er thread."
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Old 11-09-13, 11:46 PM   #9
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29" and 700 c tires both use 622 rims. If you get a 29 er, you can use 700 c wheels as long as they aren't too narrow (which you wouldn't want to do in winter anyway).
The rims are both 622 but the rim widths are such that there is a narrower range of interchangeability... with this companies like Nokian are bringing out models that are designed for wider rims.
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Old 11-09-13, 11:47 PM   #10
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There is another thread where you could have asked me questions although it involved heavy prescription drug use.
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Old 11-09-13, 11:50 PM   #11
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Guys, this is the "Ask 65er thread."
That what he did. He asked 65er. He didn't say anything about answering
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Old 11-10-13, 07:19 AM   #12
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Does it make sense to have only the front wheel studded if a studded tire will only fit in the front of a particular bike?
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Old 11-10-13, 12:33 PM   #13
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Does it make sense to have only the front wheel studded if a studded tire will only fit in the front of a particular bike?
Yes.

But it seems odd that a bicycle would not be able to fit a studded rear tyre when it could accommodate a front studded tyre... rear clearance tends to be more generous in most cases.
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Old 11-10-13, 12:38 PM   #14
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That's pretty straightforward. What about braking? Older bikes aren't going to work with disc brakes. I was thinking of building a front wheel using an SA drum brake/dynamo hub for a vintage mtb winter bike build.
That would be a nice set up... drum brakes give up a little power to disc and rim brakes but they are impervious to the schmutz and cost very little to maintain.
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Old 11-10-13, 04:56 PM   #15
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Yes.

But it seems odd that a bicycle would not be able to fit a studded rear tyre when it could accommodate a front studded tyre... rear clearance tends to be more generous in most cases.
I actually have two different bikes that would fit this description. On my track bike I have a Leader fork with has a really long atc and my eighties Miyata is 27 x 1 1/4 but I have a spare front 700 x 35c which fits perfectly on the front (i.e. brakes are long enough and the diameter come out to about the same) but I don't really want to buy/build a 700c fixed wheel for the rear.

I can't believe I'm still toying with the idea of putting studded tires on the FTP.

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Old 11-11-13, 08:18 AM   #16
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The rims are both 622 but the rim widths are such that there is a narrower range of interchangeability... with this companies like Nokian are bringing out models that are designed for wider rims.
I don't think we're actually disagreeing with each other here. Sheldon's got a table to show which tire sizes go well with which rim size (where he points out that people very often go past this table and have no problem). In any case, it is certainly worth thinking about what you're doing (and I wouldn't go too far past what Sheldon's table suggests).
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Old 11-11-13, 08:46 AM   #17
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If I had 29er bike with 29er rims, could I put say 700 x 40c studded tires on them without any problem?
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Old 11-11-13, 09:26 AM   #18
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If I had 29er bike with 29er rims, could I put say 700 x 40c studded tires on them without any problem?
According to Sheldon, as long as the rims are between 19mm and 23mm, it will work flawlessly. If it were close to that (18mm, 24mm) I wouldn't expect any problems.
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Old 11-11-13, 09:32 AM   #19
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Sixty Fiver how would you deal with a road bike that can take up to 32mm tires, for intermittent icy conditions? Given that it's not often enough to warrant buying studded tires.
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Old 11-11-13, 01:40 PM   #20
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I don't think we're actually disagreeing with each other here. Sheldon's got a table to show which tire sizes go well with which rim size (where he points out that people very often go past this table and have no problem). In any case, it is certainly worth thinking about what you're doing (and I wouldn't go too far past what Sheldon's table suggests).
Not disagreeing... if the rim and winter tyres are a good match it does not matter if they say 700c or 29'r.

The wider winter tyres are just about as wide as the narrowest 29'r tyres and I could run 45's on my hybrid with no issues and might even be able to run 50's on my rims which are wider.
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Old 11-11-13, 01:42 PM   #21
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Sixty Fiver how would you deal with a road bike that can take up to 32mm tires, for intermittent icy conditions? Given that it's not often enough to warrant buying studded tires.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to set up a second front wheel with a studded tyre that you can swap in when the roads are icy.

It is not as good as running front and rear studs but the front tyre is the most important.
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Old 11-12-13, 08:32 PM   #22
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What gearing do you favor on your IGH?
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Old 11-12-13, 08:49 PM   #23
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What gearing do you favor on your IGH?
Because of my massive quads I can probably rock a taller gear than most mortals so your mileage may vary...

But seriously...

I will be riding my Raleigh 20 this winter and it has a gearing of 36/48/64... the Norco winter bike (3 spd IGH) ran a similar gearing on 26 inch wheels and that bike lives with my friend now. I like the simplicity and ruggedness of older SA hubs and the fact you can use synthetic oil in them which improves winter performance greatly.

Logic here is that a third gear around 65 gear inches is good for winter cruising at moderate speeds (and a higher rpm) and that you then have two steps down for wind, climbing hills, and getting through deeper snow.

I also ride the extrabike in the winter and it has a 24 speed derailleur drive with a stump pulling low, the Pugsley is also a 3 speed (derailleur) that has the same low gear as the 20 but a slightly higher top gear, and the fairer weather hybrid has a 21 speed derailleur set up.

My wife's Breezer has an 8 speed Shimano IGH... it is a beautiful winter bicycle.
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Old 11-13-13, 09:05 PM   #24
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Don't the various textures of snow make choosing a tire difficult? Some snow needs you to cut through, and some snow needs you to stand on top, n'est-ce pas?
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Old 12-01-13, 06:34 PM   #25
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Don't the various textures of snow make choosing a tire difficult? Some snow needs you to cut through, and some snow needs you to stand on top, n'est-ce pas?
I am waiting for the ultimate winter tire that can handle every kind of situation... mountain bikes with studded winter tyres seem to be the best all round weapon up here.
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