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Getting a 29er for winter use

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Getting a 29er for winter use

Old 09-15-10, 02:14 PM
  #1  
reverborama
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Getting a 29er for winter use

In anticipation of the cold white stuff I've decided to pick up a single-speed 29er from Nashbar for winter duty. I've been riding a 70's Nishiki 10-speed kitted out with moustache bars, 32mm studded tires, and full fenders. That's been OK, but the posture is a little aggressive and the relatively narrow tires don't ride up and over the snow and ruts as well as I'd like. I'll maintain the Nishiki for those nice, clear days when I want to wick it up to 15 mph.

I might have been fine with a regular mountain bike but they all have suspension forks and I really didn't feel like changing that out. As it is, I'll have disk brakes and no derailleurs to maintain. It's pretty flat around here and I don't mind spinning at all. The aluminum frame and low cost made it pretty attractive. Now I just need to find some studded tires for it. The only problem so far is waiting for it to arrive as I am all about instant gratification.


I'll report back on how it works for me.

Bob
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Old 09-15-10, 02:19 PM
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cool! I say any reason to +1 is a good reason! :-)
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Old 09-15-10, 02:38 PM
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Instant thought for Snow was a mountain bike- but the only ones I know that do not have suspension forks are the cheap ones that "May" need a lot of upgrading to get suitable for ordinary riding. But 29er single speed would not be my first choice even with your lack of slopes.I would still want some gears so that when the headwind hits- I could pretend I was going up Ventoux.
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Old 09-15-10, 02:53 PM
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I went year -round last year and spent some time and money setting up a MTB for the worst days and only used it twice. The regular commuter was fine with fenders, lights and studded snows for when it actually got cold enough for my water bottle to freeze.
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Old 09-15-10, 02:58 PM
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Single speed rigid 29ers look like a great way to go. I have seen guys win races on fairly hilly, rough and technical XC MTB courses on them against geared bikes. What can be wrong with cheap, simple and fun?
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Old 09-15-10, 03:05 PM
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riding in the snow is hard work. riding a MTB geometry is hard work. combine the two and you have a tortuously slow ride. last new year's eve was my maiden voyage in a 4" snow storm at 17 degrees and a 47 min summer commute took 2 hours and I wound up straining my IT Band which took several long months to trouble shoot and PT back to normal. IT Band tip: don't ride with the seat too high; gearing too high in very cold temps cuz that's the best way to strain it!

but I don't want to discourage you from your +1 plan - cuz any plan to go +1 is a good plan! :-)
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Old 09-15-10, 05:50 PM
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Try this bad boy for snow riding. Salsa Mukluk.

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Old 09-15-10, 06:14 PM
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Wisdom my friend, sounds very well thought out. You will be riding the "Hummer" of mountain bikes in that winter terrain, sounds good. Pictures please. Us people in Vegas forget what snow looks like.
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Old 09-15-10, 10:12 PM
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https://www.vimeo.com/8346389 is my all-time favorite biking video. Somebody calling himself LesMcLuffAlot commuting in the dark of 12/21/2009 in Thunder Bay Ont. Inspiring.

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Old 09-16-10, 06:10 AM
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It is a given that riding in the snow is neither easy nor fast. 8-10 mph is what I expect. When the roads are clear I'll take the Nishiki out and maybe go 15. The choice is between riding outside at all vs. spending the entire winter as a shut-in on the trainer. And I have to tell you, when you show up for lunch across town in December on 2 wheels you get to state self-righteously that everyone else is a sissy.

I have a couple of friends with Pugsleys. Those are great -- they ride up over everything. I'm not ready to drop that kind of $$! I think both Salsa and Surly are owned by QBP.

Bob
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Old 09-16-10, 09:16 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by reverborama View Post
I think both Salsa and Surly are owned by QBP.

Bob
+1

Congrats on the new bike -- I think it looks like a wise choice.

I bought an old MTB a couple of years ago and restored it for tough winter commuting duties, but it turns out I am not using it as much as I thought. My regular commuter is fine for rainy days, which is most of what we get in Seattle. I have ridden it a couple of times in the snow, but it doesn't snow enough here in Seattle for me to invest in studded tires -- which is what I ought to do.
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Old 09-17-10, 03:22 PM
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The Mukluk is supposed to be great. It's also expensive. I want one.
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Old 09-18-10, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by reverborama View Post
It is a given that riding in the snow is neither easy nor fast. 8-10 mph is what I expect. When the roads are clear I'll take the Nishiki out and maybe go 15. The choice is between riding outside at all vs. spending the entire winter as a shut-in on the trainer. And I have to tell you, when you show up for lunch across town in December on 2 wheels you get to state self-righteously that everyone else is a sissy.

I have a couple of friends with Pugsleys. Those are great -- they ride up over everything. I'm not ready to drop that kind of $$! I think both Salsa and Surly are owned by QBP.

Bob
Riding in snow is not a problem- admittedly slow due to drag and studded tyres do not help on grip. But with snow comes low temperature and that means Ice. That is where studded tyres do work. Even the most aggressive Knobbly does not work on ice.
DSC00151..jpg

And the reason my bike is on its side is that I laughed so much at the rider in front of me falling- that I did the same.
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Old 09-20-10, 07:30 AM
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Here's a little example of what I have in store:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzhSlI5xCVw

This from is the MN HPVA time trials in 2009 out on Medicine Lake. It was -10 degrees F. That's me on the Nishiki passing the tandem after it goes down in the corner. Audio warning- the tandem captain drops the f-bomb a couple of times.
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Old 09-25-10, 08:59 PM
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A little secret is to take a Surly 1X1 frame and install 24" Large Marge rims and outfit them with Hoggy G 3.45" fat tires!

There's your Mini Pugsley! I'm building mine up now.
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Old 09-26-10, 03:23 PM
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Surley is a well known bike for FAT tired bikes. INTERBIKE had a new player called the Black Spider. It looks ferocious. See if you can find one close by and let us know what you think.
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Old 09-27-10, 09:35 AM
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Assembled the bike last week and threw on the Crank Bros. Mallet pedals for a quick ride around the block. Then the rain started. Lots of rain. Ark-building rain.

It cleared up this weekend and I was able to take a couple of 12-15 mile rides. This bike is going to work out just fine for winter. Despite the differences between this and my various road bikes, I was able to ride comfortably with no aches, pains, or sore spots. I'm really glad to have this all resolved while the weather is nice. Without a speedo I have no idea how fast or slow I was going but the pace was just fine for the purposes of winter riding where the goal is simply to arrive.

Bob
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