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Want a winter bike

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Old 01-27-18, 06:47 AM
  #1  
baldilocks
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Want a winter bike

I will apologize in advance, because this is a bit of a rant. I WANT A WINTER BIKE. I want a winter bike but I'm too frugal. I want a three speed mountain bike, rack and fender capable with studded tires. But unless you get the 26 inch tires they tend to be expensive. So then I've looked for a 26 inch tire single speed mountain bike. Good luck finding one of those. I've considered a 3 speed cruiser, but I don't know that I would like the geometry. Oh, and I don't want suspension. I've found three speeds that have the geometry, but the tires are 29er that can't go wider than 1.7. I could splurge and get a surly troll. But then would I be better buying a 27.5 single speed and buying the more expensive tires. I've also found a 8 speed IGH hybrid, but it has suspension. And then, at the end of the day, non of them would be good enough. I would have to buy Jones H loop Handle bars. Sorry, I'm never happy with a off the shelf bike. I may have to get over it and splurge.
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Old 01-27-18, 07:27 AM
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My suggestion is to look for a used late 80s mtb. If you find one that has forward facing horizontal dropouts then you can convert it to IGH or SS if you want. You should be able to outfit the bike for a few hundred dollars all in (including the cost of the bike). I bought an '87 Bianchi Grizzly and added fenders, a rack and swapped the bars to north roads, added studded tires and have been pretty pleased with it's performance in foul weather.
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Old 01-27-18, 07:42 AM
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Sourcing and building a used frame from eBay might be the way to go if you want a 26er. For several years the bike I ran in winter was an early 2000s Gary Fisher frame. Then a couple seasons ago I bought a belt-driven, IGH bike and haven't looked back.

Don't be overly frugal. If buying a bike gets you outside and active, then it's no worse than someone buying a set of downhill skis.
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Old 01-27-18, 10:43 AM
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I built drum brake hub wheels for my winter , ice on the ground bike.. Old MTB as described above..

piece at a time frame up builds get expensive , but you get to pick your preference for every part..
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Old 01-28-18, 03:30 PM
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So, you want a mtn bike with an IGH

Step 1. Find an old steel mtn bike with horizontal dropouts. Most with horizontal dropouts will have threaded 1" rigid forks. Many of these, especially if they have issues with rear wheel or shifting, are near to free.
Alternate: One of the many cheap 'fixie' frames, depending on how deep your parts box/pockets are. Just use a riser stem&bar and a smaller frame than you would for road type riding.

Step 2. Buy a 26" wheel with a 3sp IGH from amazon

Step 3. Ride, clean, grease & oil, repeat. Don't get too attached. Winter eats bikes.
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Old 01-28-18, 03:31 PM
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Also, look for studded tires used - many people buy studded tires before ever trying biking in the winter at all, and then do it once or twice. Rust on the studs is normal, and no indication of wear.
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Old 01-29-18, 04:11 AM
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[QUOTE=Viich;20136938]

Step 1. Find an old steel mtn bike with horizontal dropouts. Most with horizontal dropouts will have threaded 1" rigid forks. Many of these, especially if they have issues with rear wheel or shifting, are near to free.
Alternate: One of the many cheap 'fixie' frames, depending on how deep your parts box/pockets are. Just use a riser stem&bar and a smaller frame than you would for road type riding.


That is part of the problem, the only single speeds I find are 27.5 or 29er's. I may have to build one of those and just buy the more expensive tires.
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Old 01-29-18, 06:13 AM
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[QUOTE=baldilocks;20137909]
Originally Posted by Viich View Post

Step 1. Find an old steel mtn bike with horizontal dropouts. Most with horizontal dropouts will have threaded 1" rigid forks. Many of these, especially if they have issues with rear wheel or shifting, are near to free.
Alternate: One of the many cheap 'fixie' frames, depending on how deep your parts box/pockets are. Just use a riser stem&bar and a smaller frame than you would for road type riding.


That is part of the problem, the only single speeds I find are 27.5 or 29er's. I may have to build one of those and just buy the more expensive tires.
Or, get a coaster brake rear wheel and either disk or drum brakes on the front and run 26". Outside diameter of 622x23 isn't that far off of 559x60, and many of those ss frames have high bottom brackets when lower is desirable for winter riding (foot dab)
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Old 01-29-18, 08:14 AM
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I built my winter bike from a Jury frame with a three speed drum brake in the rear and a drum brake dynamo in the front. I spent a lot of money on the bike, but I like it a lot. I have a much crappier single speed coaster brake beach cruiser that I use for commuting.
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Old 01-30-18, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by baldilocks View Post
I may have to get over it and splurge.
Splurge away. Splurge all over it.
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Old 02-02-18, 04:20 AM
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My suggestion to you would be that you read this article about biking in winter. Maybe You should just make your own or upgrade your current bike.
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Old 02-02-18, 06:53 AM
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I picked up a 90's Specialized Hardrock at a police auction for $20... needed some work and tires, probably into it for about $50 now. Makes a great winter bike. Generally I am a big fan of Craigslist. Before that purchase I splurged on a cross bike - Felt F85x - which is perfect in the winter but it's gotten thrashed after 2 years. In retrospect I would have probably went the beater winter bike route.
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Old 02-02-18, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by baldilocks View Post


That is part of the problem, the only single speeds I find are 27.5 or 29er's. I may have to build one of those and just buy the more expensive tires.
Yes...it can be difficult to even find single speed wheels in 26/ISO 559. When I "converted" my old MTB, I ended up sourcing one from the UK; it's not the world's greatest wheel, but it's serviceable, and is set up for both rim and disc braking. A few companies had SS wheelsets available in this size; might be worth a google search to see if anything is still available.

The best option might be to pick up an IGH or SS hub with proper spacing and build your own rear wheel. Some shops will do custom as well; $200-$300 for a solid wheel might be cheaper in the long run than other options out there.
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