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Thoughts on a cold weather classic/vintage bicycle

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Thoughts on a cold weather classic/vintage bicycle

Old 10-28-18, 04:08 PM
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Thoughts on a cold weather classic/vintage bicycle

I'm hoping to do more cold weather riding over the winter months. Most of the riding will be on bike paths, and most likely, on wet (not necessarily snowy or rainy) bicycle paths. I was wondering what others might be using to fill-the-bill for this kind of riding? Flat bars or drops? Sealed hubs, or is that not necessary? Should I choose one of aesthetically challenged, hi-tensile style frame material, or again, is the opportunity to adversely effect the frame so remote, it doesn't really matter? Do I just get credit for being out there, and a rigid mtb geared for path riding will be just fine? Thanks for you input and advice in advance...
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Old 10-28-18, 04:33 PM
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You're in South Kansas so I imagine you might not receive a bunch of consistent cold and snow like someplace as Fargo (or, shudder, up here). You're in the USA too, probably the ripest place on earth to obtain just about any kind of bike perfect for taking you through winter. Snag any old decent quality steel hardtail which fits properly, trick it out to keep you dry and then use the pi$$ out of it. I treat my go-to bike as an old pickup truck.
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Old 10-28-18, 04:40 PM
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I concur that a hardtail is the perfect winter mount. The extra grip from wider tires and the low gearing for windy days is comforting.


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Old 10-28-18, 04:51 PM
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Snow studs and a 3speed hub is how i do it.
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Old 10-28-18, 04:54 PM
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I'm fond of sealed bearings or at least bearings with good seals.
My commuting bike has Shimano XT rear hub with good seals, SunTour XC Pro pedals that are nominally sealed (and easy to inject new grease into), a Shimano UN-71 bottom bracket, and a Stronglight Delta headset with seals.

Fenders are helpful to keep the crud off of you, the chain, the frame, etc.

Here's a shot of the bike a few years ago on March 1st. Remarkably, there was no snow an hour earlier when I started the bike ride!


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Old 10-28-18, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I'm fond of sealed bearings or at least bearings with good seals.
My commuting bike has Shimano XT rear hub with good seals, SunTour XC Pro pedals that are nominally sealed (and easy to inject new grease into), a Shimano UN-71 bottom bracket, and a Stronglight Delta headset with seals.

Fenders are helpful to keep the crud off of you, the chain, the frame, etc.

Here's a shot of the bike a few years ago on March 1st. Remarkably, there was no snow an hour earlier when I started the bike ride!


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looks horrible and yet wonderful.
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Old 10-28-18, 05:24 PM
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Agree with the others; it's tough to beat a quality MTB for crummy weather riding. You have plenty of room for fat tires and fenders. Riding upright gives you good control. Plus they're available on your local CL for cheap.
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Old 10-28-18, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
I'm hoping to do more cold weather riding over the winter months. Most of the riding will be on bike paths, and most likely, on wet (not necessarily snowy or rainy) bicycle paths. I was wondering what others might be using to fill-the-bill for this kind of riding? Flat bars or drops? Sealed hubs, or is that not necessary? Should I choose one of aesthetically challenged, hi-tensile style frame material, or again, is the opportunity to adversely effect the frame so remote, it doesn't really matter? Do I just get credit for being out there, and a rigid mtb geared for path riding will be just fine? Thanks for you input and advice in advance...
I bum around on my 29er, usually at a slow pace. I figure I'm getting credit for just being out

Last year I built up a real beater of a Panasonic with advertised Tange 900 DB tube - probably the seatube I dumped water out of the freewheel one day. I packed the hubs with marine grease and called it good. I just planned on repacking once a season. Flat bars are nice to use with bar mitts, but the drops are nice for longer distances and getting an aero tuck into the devil wind of winter.
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Old 10-28-18, 06:12 PM
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I'd just go for a CrMo ATB- get studded tires and ride.

I don't do the winter riding thing anymore- a few years ago, I went out- hit this trail- there was a light dusting of snow. As I'm trucking along- I hit a patch of ice- my bike flies out from underneath me, I land in a snow bank on the side of the path. Truth be told, it was fun!!! I got on the bike rode another 50 meters or so, my bike slides out- and instead of a snow bank, I land on the ice. Not so fun. Brushed myself off and continued on- after a couple other similar wipeouts, it became very un-fun. I think I walked my bike back to the "safe" area of the trail. I had a lot of trouble just moving for the next few weeks- that may have been the last time I got on a bike in winter.

Based on my experience, I wouldn't do it without studded tires.
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Old 10-28-18, 06:15 PM
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Clearance for reasonable width tires and good fenders. Not such a precious bike that it shouldn't be ridden in foul weather and put away wet. Lights cuz it gets dark early. As long as there isn't actually snow or ice on the road, that's all you need. Everything else is in the clothes and being a bit more careful on slippery roads.

My year round commuter is a C&V road bike, originally a rather racy model, with 25 mm tires, fender and lights. Before that I rode a hard tail MTB with fenders and lights. The road bike is better - just that bit more efficient and aero which makes up for the worser gription.
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Old 10-28-18, 06:19 PM
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You don't really need a special bike for riding in the wet. Whatever you're comfortable on, ideally with fenders installed. If the roads are salted during the winter, that's when I'd be riding a beater bike. Otherwise I ride my "nice" bike year around in rainy portland unless it's icy or there's snow on the road.
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Old 10-28-18, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I'd just go for a CrMo ATB- get studded tires and ride...I wouldn't do it without studded tires.
Correct-a-mondo. Another alternative that works well on slippery stuff is a roadster with 700c studded wheels. The straight up position helps with balance in a big way, no sudden front wheel slippage, it happens quite a bit slower and your head isn't as close to the ground.

This $25 Eatons rebrand been with us over 20 years, works through the winter and you just can't kill it. You do have to paint it every 5 - 10 years. Pics are a couple of decades apart.
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Old 10-28-18, 07:59 PM
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I'm with those who say you don't need anything special to ride in the winter--as far as the bike is concerned; clothing is a different matter. Fenders are good if it's wet, but that's true all year round. That said, I picked up something new for commuting in the winter, which I've done for many years now in the Boston area: an alu Felt cross bike. It'll get v-brakes, drop bars, fenders, wider 700c tires. Snow isn't a big issue on my route as if there's enough snow to be a problem, things are closed, and I don't need to ride. But melting snow/road salts are really tough on drive trains and any steel parts, so I'll be keeping the regular commuters (a '94 Bridgestone RB-T and a '73 Raleigh Competition) in storage.
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Old 10-28-18, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I'd just go for a CrMo ATB- get studded tires and ride. ...Based on my experience, I wouldn't do it without studded tires.
Yeah, what he said.
I'm building this Crossroads as a fendered 1x7 with studded tires.


Tried riding without studs with results similar to TGB. The frozen grooves from other riders suck you sideways before you can react. Fat tire bikes also work, but I don't wanna work that hard.
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Old 10-29-18, 05:13 AM
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I did a quick read of this thread, and I don't think anyone has mentioned investing in a chain which is more rust resistant. I also recommend using Super Lube synthetic grease on all bearings, including your freewheel, because of its high degree of water and salt resistance.

Plus One with @The Golden Boy 's advice on studded tires and ice. Even then, I once went down on studded tires on ice and hit the frozen solid, concrete hard, snow bank on the side of the road. No fun!
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Old 10-29-18, 05:19 AM
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I dunno if I'd get studded tires for winter riding in south Kansas. I use them in Iowa but for the shoulder seasons here I like the continental top contact winter tires. They're really good tires and they don't have that annoying clacking noise you get from studded tires. When real winter hits, I rely on studded tires as well.
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Old 10-29-18, 03:22 PM
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I'm not sure if the 90s era 700c hybrids fall into the C&V category but surely should be considered for the OP. The big rubber choices to fit with economical and superior V brakes do it all.

My fave.... by far and above anything else is my bargain Cannondale 300 hybrid with Headshok fork. Utilitarian and cruises well for all around terrain.

Retained the reliable but lower end Shimano STX, increased ratios, swapped the bars to a road drop -multi position, dual controls. The levers pull linear V brakes with ease, controlled modulation and power. Added quick detach mud guards. Continental Speedride puncture protection plus jobbies 700x42. Brooks C17. Changed seatpost 2017 Felt ally long tube, plus shorter and riser Cannondale stem for the bar revision. Added front panniers rack and handlebar bag setup.

Its heavy but trucks along with the most plush ride.

Everything fell into place on the initial acquisition plus extras and swap out. $200 all in.

/////
Currently building another hybrid / 700c road drop conversion. Steel GT Hellenic with suspension fork. Triple Shimano RSX drive train and Dia Comp 986 cantilevers.
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Old 10-29-18, 06:14 PM
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Wet, cold (not that cold like the upper midwest and east coast etc), rain, leaves, slippery, seldom ice, but lots of hazards....1974 Paramount P15 Touring is up to bat this winter. 1) Comfortable bike 2) Fenders 3) It has good brakes 4) lower gearing optional if needed. Pretty much anything works.
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Old 12-18-18, 09:13 AM
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Yes, use a low temp grease on your hubs for sure. A winter freehub overhaul would be ideal. There is a dismantling & relubing protocol on the net about the process somewhere. I haven't performed this protocol yet and want to as sometimes the pawls will stick in really cold weather. The headset or pedals don't need it. If you have a three peice, you could try it on the bottom bracket to see how it works. I use a sealed BB so a relube is impractical. I like to apply small spritzes of silicone spray on all the heads of the steel fasteners of the bike to help prevent rust. Be careful about overspray onto your rims or pads.
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Old 12-18-18, 09:52 AM
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Schwinn Breeze. Designed to be maintained by twelve year olds. Not much to break. Easy to get off when it slides out in slush.
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Old 12-18-18, 11:29 AM
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Old 12-18-18, 11:40 AM
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I ride all year in a milder climate, but try to avoid rim brakes for my foul weather bike, as the grit on the roads really wears out rims. Problems with modulation in slippery condition for coaster brakes, makes me inclined to drums and discs.

-Will
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Old 12-18-18, 12:13 PM
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I finished my winter build a week or so ago:



Early 2000 Felt F1X alu frame, Soma steel fork, cheap steel v-brakes w/ Tektro levers, original wheelset with Conti cyclocross tires (these measure around 37mm and clearance at the back is tight!), 9-speed setup with an 80s Deore RD and Shimano bar ends (indexing is spot on), Sugino AT crank set up as compact double. It's got a much higher BB than I'm used to, which might not be ideal for handling in slippery conditions, but we'll see once the snows fall.
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Old 12-18-18, 12:43 PM
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I agree you can probably get by, and even have fun, on just about anything (I rode through numerous Boston winters on a track bike with 23s with occasional white knuckles but no issues), but when I rode through a few blizzards on a cheap alu CX with big tires, ooh-ee that was great.
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Old 12-18-18, 01:20 PM
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Vintage Barracuda A2B Mountain bike that some would consider "classic", studded tires with fenders, Brooks Cambium saddle instead of leather, Ergon black rubber grips instead of cork, and sealed bearings all around.

Did the Frame Saver treatment before I put it all back together.

In other words, nothing that would be vulnerable to moisture (or road-salt).



That's my winter bike recipe.

Oh, and don't forget the bell; folks out walking probably don't expect anyone on a bicycle this time of year.


Upgrading to 1x10 Deore XT soon.

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