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Road bikes in winter

Old 08-20-01, 09:54 AM
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Road bikes in winter

Do you use your road bike in winter instead of switching to a mountain bike? And by winter, I mean real winter with snow and ice, but just those wimpy quasi-winters in California where I'm from. I'm going to spend at least one more winter in Boston and am apprehensive about biking in winter with a road bike. Most winter biking websites talk about using mountain bikes. I'm posting this message here instead of in Winter Cycling because I want to hear from you, roadies who ride in winter.
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Old 08-20-01, 10:55 AM
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I use my hybrid in winter, with big, fat, metal fenders, and studded snow tyres (I live in upstate NY). I wouldn't even DREAM of riding my road bikes in the winter.
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Old 08-20-01, 01:36 PM
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I mostly use my mountain bike when the weather gets really bad. I feel more stable with the knobbies on the tires.
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Old 08-22-01, 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by cdc28p
And by winter, I mean real winter with snow and ice, but just those wimpy quasi-winters in California where I'm from.
Sometimes when the clouds get socked in and a strong beeze gets a brew'n it'll drop into the 50's here.

I still brave it on my road bike and just work my way through it.
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Old 08-24-01, 05:54 AM
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Once there is any chance of ice on the roads, I put the road bike, with it's skinny and hard tires away. A road bike can work "OK" on snow, but is terrible on ice.

Personally, I switch to an old single speed middleweight from the 1960's when real winter weather strikes. The reasons are:

The 1.75" tires are stable on bad road surfaces.

The internal coaster brake won't freeze up like caliper brakes do

Road salt eats all bikes and I don't want to expose an expensive road or mountain bike to road salt. Road salt especially eats up derailures and spokes.

The middleweights are available in "girls bike" designes with a downward top tube. This helps keep me from getting hurt or tangled up by the frame when I do go down on ice.

Some people would never consider riding an old single speed bike for any distance. It is as if they aren't REALLY bicycles or something. Try it, though. You will be surprised that those old bikes can get you around just as well as a new bike. It just takes a little more effort. In the winter, they are the ticket.

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Old 08-24-01, 06:21 AM
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FWIW, my caliper never freezes, but sometimes the cable will. I also find that, at least on ice, the rear brake is the LAST thing you want to use (unless, of course, you WANT to slide sideways). Keeping the tyre pressure low for traction on ice, then pumping it up on dry days, to reduce friction, is another key to winter riding.
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Old 08-24-01, 02:37 PM
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Do you use your road bike in winter instead of switching to a mountain bike
I was asking myself the question. I did not have the touring bike I currently use last winter. I can fit it with fairly large tires but I don't think it would be enough for extreme wheather. Also I would remove my toe clips.

I have an old MTB that I think of using then although it is in a pretty bad shape (front derailleur in particular is pretty f**ed up). I'ld hesitate twice before taking it on long rides though. My current bike is very realiable and I can change a tube in no time if I have a flat. I am don't remember changing tire on my MTB as quite that easy. I am not looking forward to change a tire and curse under the snow and hail. On the plus side although heavy (or maybe because of it) it is a very stable bike. It also has a woman frame. I can't see myself falling from it easily.
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