Old 10-24-15, 04:51 AM
  #8  
TuckamoreDew
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Buy the cheaper 90's rigid frame mountain bike.

For your use, in winter conditions it's likely true that you won't notice a big difference between different quality level component sets. I wouldn't make that a major criteria in selecting a bike. My first winter commuter was a dept. store MTB with a Tourney rear derailleur and the rest of the components were generic and unbranded. It worked fine.

In any case, I don't think you can assume that the newer bike will have better components. A decent 90's MTB could have older Deore (or higher) components that are easily as good as a newer Alivio. Also, an older bike will be more likely to to have friction shifting which works better than indexed when everything starts getting coated in ice and sludge. On a newer bike I would change it to friction, anyway.

I also don't believe you will really notice any real difference when riding due to a slightly lighter frame. Even if you were able to notice the weight difference, it's entirely likely that a decent old MTB is lighter than the newer aluminum framed bike, especially if the newer bike has a suspension fork. The suspension fork can be nice on rutted winter roads, but on my old dept. store MTB the fork stopped working in really cold temperatures, and after a couple of winters it seized into a rigid fork, anyway.

Last edited by TuckamoreDew; 10-24-15 at 05:00 AM.
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