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idontgetit 06-20-08 09:11 PM

Marin Hamilton 29er for winter riding?

How do the 29ers handle snow and ice? I've been wondering about Marin's Hamilton.
I'm interested in trying single speed or fixed gear next winter, and the Hamilton comes with a flip/flop hub. I also like that it comes without suspension. It lacks a front disk brake but it does have the mount for it.

Has anyone got any winter experience with the Hamilton or something similar?


nmcheese 07-07-08 01:17 PM

Not sure what would change in the winter, but I'm currently using a Hamilton as a city/errand bike and it's nice - comfortable generally upright frame design (some further-swept bars would be good though) and the gearing tops out at a slow 15ish mph but handles hills well. The stock tires have a shallow tread pattern - very street oriented - but handle rain well enough (a positive in Seattle). For snow you might want something with a bit deeper tread. Frame/build quality is quite nice as well.

If you live in an area without hills you'll want a larger crank sprocket - I'll probably try a 44T to see how that affects the speed vs. climbing ability.

jimisnowhere 07-11-08 06:22 PM

I'ld imagine the 29er would float better through snow. Which can be a blessing or a curse depending on conditions. I believe Peter White has studs for 'em. Next problem would be fendering those wheels. BTW this winter I'm running my MTB fixed + W240's.

Jeremiahak 07-12-08 12:35 PM

I think that a 29er is a great idea for riding in snow. On ice I don't think it is as big of an advantage, but it certainly won't slow you down any. Where I live (fairbanks, alaska) most of the winter commuters/riders have switched over to 29er's in the last few years, and we ride in snow about 6 months a year. I just finished building a Kona Unit 2-9 for this years winter riding myself. There are some studs available for them if you need to use studs, and there is a good selection of large knobby tires for snow now too.


idontgetit 07-14-08 01:58 PM

Thanks for the replies. I'm torn between rebuilding an old mountain bike into a fixed gear, or picking up a 29er.

Mtbnomore 09-24-08 03:54 PM

I'm going to resurrect this thread to see how the bike turned out.

I am in a bit of a debate with myself as well concerning a winter commuter (only going to need it to handle snow/ice for a couple of months, probably, and then it would be an all the time commuter). I have a fixed gear (which I would happily use, but it won't accept larger tires), so I appreciate the simplicity and ease of maintenance of this bike, but I'm also concerned that I'll regret not getting a geared bike (like the Kona Smoke or the like) once the winds in MN kick up.

idontgetit 09-25-08 09:35 AM

I spoke to some people at my LBS who said the 29er works best for taller people. I have no idea if this is true or not, but I decided to go with an old mountain bike. I replaced the rear hub with a front disk hub and bolted an ISO cog to the disk mount. I just received my Power Grips yesterday. No snow yet though :mad:

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