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Cyclocross bike good for winter?

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Cyclocross bike good for winter?

Old 10-09-16, 05:09 PM
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topslop1
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Cyclocross bike good for winter?

I'm thinking that snow fall doesn't stay on the roads for a very long time...

But the roads end up kinda mushy and crappy..

Would a cyclocross bike be a good setup for the winter with plowed yet kinda crappy roads?
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Old 10-10-16, 02:24 PM
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danthemanohhyea
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I'll be using a cyclocross bike for winter commuting this year.

If you think about it, they're almost the perfect bike for this:
  • Clearance for wide tires
  • Mounts for front and back fenders (usually)

My only hesitation is that I've got cantilever brakes instead of disc.. But if you've got discs front and back, you're one step ahead of me!
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Old 10-10-16, 02:42 PM
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I don't see major problems with cantis on a winter bike. Yes, wet rim stopping is poorer. Snow and ice stopping is even poorer, but isn't so bad. Braking power when you tires are on the frozen stuff, esp ice is really bad!

Now, I have heard of cants with poor performance. The ancient design Mafacs I put on my Mooney served to give me one finger braking for the first half of the descent of Alba Road above Santa Cruz, CA in a full winter Pacific rainstorm with rivers running across the road. (Half way, my index fingers were getting tired and I went two finger. That road drops 2000' in 4 miles. Many curves. Basically a paved, lower, 1/2 height Mt Washington. From a guy who has ridden down both.) See two it you have cantis patterned after the Mafacs or '80 Shimanos (now on my Mooney) and you should be fine. I think it is the shorter cantis with the arms that reach up that are the poorer performers. I set mine up so the arms are ~horizontal at rest. Also with long bridles.

Ben
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Old 10-10-16, 03:40 PM
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I live in Vancouver Wa., not much snow here but MUCHO rain and usually some ice on clear nights/days. I rode the snot out of my tourer that's set up with vee-brakes and it did fine last winter, I'm riding a Surly Cross Check in the mucky weather now that also has vee-brakes and with fenders, 35mm schwalbe marathon evo tires on it I couldn't be happier with it. Some of my rides involve some pretty good climbs and descents, zero issues with braking.
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Old 10-10-16, 03:57 PM
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Fall and winter is the Cyclo Cross season..
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Old 10-12-16, 07:11 PM
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Winter cycling is exactly why I got a cross bike (Specialized alloy CruX) and it i perfect- better tire clearance, knobbier/fatter tires, worry-free alloy, etc. It did come 1x and I switched it to 2x. Mine does have discs but no fender mounts so I use the typical rear fender...have not figured out what to do in the front yet. The snow here is dry so we can get away with no front fender till the spring. That is when the snow gets more were so I just want one anyway.

A cross bike is perfect for the winter. We don't get tons of snow here but in Jan-March if we get a bog snowstorm, the snow can hang around a bit. Plus there will be sand around. The Trigger (33) tires roll quite fast and seems to be more durable when it comes to punctures. They are also more comfy for slower miles. Go for it!

Also, I love the Vancouver area..my HQ is there so I visit 1-2 times per year.
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Old 10-13-16, 01:39 AM
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If your roads end up mushy and crappy, a flat bar bike is better than a cyclocross bike.

For the same reason they use flat bar on mountain bikes - because the wider bar gives you a lot better leverage for handling, which you need to keep the bike upright and stable when what you're riding on is bumpy and unstable.

That's my opinion at least. My summer bike is a curly bar, but my winter bike had to be a flat bar.
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Old 10-17-16, 04:57 PM
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While we are discussing bad-weather bikes, my Specialized CruX is my bad-weather bike (mostly light rain or light snow/slush...during or post) and I have a decent removable rear fender (SKS) but not a front fender. The bike has no real fender mounts though. Before I do my usual and buy something that does not fit, what are you guys using or recommending? I'd like to reduce the amount of road spray from front. While riding it last year, I found that the cold road-spray was soaking my shoes and lower legs. I'm hoping that can be remedied a little by a front fender. I'd prefer something easily removable but that is not a deal breaker.
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Old 10-20-16, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Chandne View Post
While we are discussing bad-weather bikes, my Specialized CruX is my bad-weather bike (mostly light rain or light snow/slush...during or post) and I have a decent removable rear fender (SKS) but not a front fender. The bike has no real fender mounts though. Before I do my usual and buy something that does not fit, what are you guys using or recommending? I'd like to reduce the amount of road spray from front. While riding it last year, I found that the cold road-spray was soaking my shoes and lower legs. I'm hoping that can be remedied a little by a front fender. I'd prefer something easily removable but that is not a deal breaker.


Go to your local hardware store and buy padded p-clamps that fits your fork.
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Old 10-20-16, 03:18 PM
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I can do that but what type of fenders would fit on those? Trying to visualize this...

EDIT: I think I know how this p-clamp thing works with a traditional type fender. Will do some research after looking at my fork legs.

Last edited by Chandne; 10-20-16 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 10-26-16, 09:42 AM
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If you are going to buy a CX bike for winter, pick one with disk brakes, rack and fender eyelets and the rear brake on the chainstay. That will solve a lot of integration issues.
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Old 11-09-16, 09:04 PM
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I've been riding a cx bike for winter cycling for decades without a problem.
I put full fenders on it and use 25mm road tires...I'm not a fan of nobbies on the road.
I get a bit of snow where I live and it gets a tad chilly but the bike works great on crappy roads.
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Old 12-01-16, 11:30 AM
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This is my first winter biking but I decided on a CX bike for a couple of reasons. As discussed, larger tire clearance, fender mounts, disc brakes. Another logic that I used is that I can easily enter the CX world on my daily winter bike should I desire to go that route in the future. I've also ridden my CX bike on easy off-road adventures, dirt paths, gravel, or rutted out grass. It's faster and far more effective than an MTB, for example.


With that said I still have an MTB for deep snow, ice, or big time off road stuff. And for what it's worth I've been riding my road bike on clear days, so the CX solves that nice middle ground for me personally.


Went with a Felt F85X... love it!
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Old 12-04-16, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by danthemanohhyea View Post
If you think about it, they're almost the perfect bike for this:
  • Clearance for wide tires
  • Mounts for front and back fenders (usually)
I had the same reasoning and tried using my cyclocross bike as a winter bike. I added fenders and the bike already had disc brakes. I picked up a set of studded 700x35mm tires which were very expensive. I tried this for several Minnesota winters.

As it turns out I did not enjoy the experience and no longer think cyclocross is optional. Here is why:

  • The thin tires/wheels are OK on plowed roads but I could not control the bike on crossing snow mounds or on unplowed roads/bike trails. I couldn't get very far if the snow was deep or even worse, frozen and bumpy.
  • The fenders got stuck in deep snow a few times, sounded like I was going to rip them off.
  • When riding on plowed roads the drive train got pretty salty and ruined a chain, cassette combo pretty fast.
  • Cyclocross bikes are usually a pretty expensive bikes. It is easily my most favorite bike in my stable. Not the kind of bike you want to gunk up and ruin with salt and winter grime.
I am not talking smack, there are several examples of people who successfully use their cyclocross bikes for winter use. But most bikes can be adapted for winter use.

One of my friends was pretty smart (though I would never admit this to his arrogant face). He just bought a cheap mountain bike (that he didn't care too much about) with disc brakes exclusively for winter use. Put some fenders and a rack on it. Studded tires were much easier to come by and he purchased a pair for 1/2 the price I paid for ones that fit on a cyclocross bike. He NEVER lubed the chain, NEVER serviced the hubs just rode the beast to work and back in the winter. When something broke he replaced it. The key here was his emotional detachment from the bike, I wish I could do that but have not been able to yet. Winter biking is not sexy, and no one is going to notice the bike, just that some crazy fool that is riding in the winter (myself included).

Last edited by Bruzer; 12-04-16 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 12-04-16, 08:38 PM
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Yeah, I cannot do that emotional detachment thing. I love all my bikes. I use my cyclocross bike on snow-crusted MUPs and a bit of road (tons of MUPs here, hardly used in the winter) that I have to use to get to the MUPs. When it really snows, I just take my fat bike and ride my trails (we have about 20 miles) or drive to the myriad of trails systems around here. I sometimes take my mtn bike but once the trails are really snowed in, I take the fat bike. I suppose I could ride my fat bike on the MUP too, if the snow is bad.
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