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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 11-13-17, 02:49 PM   #1
willwebb
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New Winter Bike

I am a new commuter, and I commute 7 miles each way near Washington DC. Some winters can be mild, though we typically get some snow and many days below freezing.

I typically ride a Jamis Bosanova, which is a touring style bike with drop bars, Tiagra components, and 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. I am scared of wiping out on ice.

I was thinking of buying studded tires for this bike and riding them December through mid March or so. I don't think I could fit 35mm with studs, but I've seen some narrower options that I believe would work.

I was also thinking of buying a second bike with studded tires. I have my eye on the REI CTY 1.1. (I can't post a link yet.). It's a flat bar, aluminum frame bike with cheaper components, but it comes with 40 mm tires. I think it could fit 38mm or 40mm studded tires.

Any suggestions for which approach might be preferable? Money is always a factor, but I'm able to swing either (Christmas is coming!).

Thanks!
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Old 11-13-17, 03:11 PM   #2
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Winters can be tough on bikes, snow, slush, sand and salt. I think 45 north makes a 32 mm tire, and lots of 35 mm choices are out there. DC seems to be a mixed bag, weather wise. My 2 cents, get a used mt bike, 29er or whatever, put studs on it. Use the other bike for nicer days? Studs work really well, but sort of like riding trough wet tar. Conti make some winter contact tires, not studs but grip well in the wet and cold. One with the contis and one with studs?
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Old 11-13-17, 03:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for that. I haven't been able to find a used mountain bike for the purpose. (Limited experience with buying used). The REI bike sort of is that solution for me. It's $499, and I'll get 10 percent back at the end of the year.

It appears that 25NRTH makes the Gravdal, a 38mm studded tire that the REI bike should be able to fit with fenders.

Last edited by willwebb; 11-13-17 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 11-14-17, 03:28 PM   #4
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cheaper to try 30mm studded marathons tho ... any black ice show up down there yet? there have been rumors up here but I haven't seen any
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Old 11-14-17, 03:51 PM   #5
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How much room have you got when you have the 35's installed? True, the Marathon Studs are wider than the non-studded ones, but I am thinking that you ought to be able to fit them on anyway. It's might be a difference of a millimeter or two. Totally doable. I'd check the fit first before buying another bike.

While winter is tough on a bike because of the salt and moisture, you can mitigate the damage by regularly cleaning it, preferably with a water bath/shower, and then lubricating it. You can also use some kind wax/oil protective coating on the frame and such to help.

I'm not against n+1, of course, especially if you don't mind spending the money.
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Old 11-15-17, 09:14 AM   #6
willwebb
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I ordered a pair of Marathon Winter 35mm tires yesterday for $84. Seems like an approach worth trying before sinking funds into a new bike. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for the feedback, all!

Last edited by willwebb; 11-16-17 at 08:50 AM.
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