It's the middle of summer and I'm thinking of winter already. I usually stop riding when the roads turn to slush and ice but this year I want to ride through the winter. Here's the info:
My budget is $600 (or less!), not including rack, fenders and studded tires. I won't be buying right away.
I live in NYC, ride over the Williamsburg bridge and the East Side bike path downtown.
I often ride my ss/fg to work when I am not riding my cx bike. My ss/fg cannot take fenders or studded tires (no clearance) and I am not interested in using my cx bike through the winter. I like the idea of not having a derailleur on my winter bike as it is one less thing to maintain and clean, but if gears are important to have for the winter I'll deal.
I do have a 26" hardtail mtb (Trek 4300) with hydraulic fs that I've considered converting to winter use. But I don't really like the geometry for riding on roads, so I'm not convinced I would enjoy using it this winter. I converted it to an Avid BB7 on the front.
I'm currently also considering buying one of a few bikes from Bikesdirect, which are:
- Motobecane Cross Uno: cheap, ss so no derailleurs to foul up, but tight track geometry might be bad for slick or messy roads?
- Motobecane Fantom CX: gears for spinning, would be a great secondary bike year-round, but at the top of my budget
- Motobecane Cafe Express 3: cheap, 3s IGH, upright riding position
- Motobecane Bistro 8V: has fenders and rack included, chain guard, 8s IGH
Anybody have an idea of what direction I should go? What are the most important features to have in a winter commuter?