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Cyclocross for winter?

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Cyclocross for winter?

Old 11-26-08, 04:30 PM
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chico1st
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Cyclocross for winter?

I have read the ICEBIKE site and it recommends that you use a mountain bike for the winter. However much of this site is about winter trail riding and I will be doing winter commuting entirely on roads. So for this purpose would anyone recommend cyclocross biking for winter riding on roads, or are mountain bikes still king?

Also does adding cyclocross tires to my old road bike make it a cyclocross bike? what else is it missing?
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Old 11-26-08, 04:38 PM
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For heavy snow and other treacherous terrain, I like my 26inch mountain bike for it's stability and wider tires. For roads with less snow or just wet roads, my 'cross bike works well also. I mix and match depending on conditions.

Also you probably wont be able to mount cyclocross tires on your road bike; the tires are too wide to fit through your brake calipers and chainstay. Cyclocross frames use either cantalever or disc brakes so the tires clear.

Last edited by Mtn Mike; 11-26-08 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 11-26-08, 04:41 PM
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Depends on the conditions and your tastes. I like a smaller, more stable bike in the winter, so I prefer an old rigid MTB as a winter bike.

Its easy to over-think this. Most any bike with the right tires will be about as good as any other in the snow and ice.

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Old 11-26-08, 11:19 PM
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This is my first year riding a cyclocross bike in the winter. I'm riding a crosscheck with 40mm Nokian studded tires. So far, I love it.

I still ride the mountain bike when the snow or slush gets deep, but here in Anchorage, that's limited to a few days after a snowfall. By then, the plows have been out, the paths are clear, and the snow is packed down.

The crosscheck is no where near as stable as the mountain bike, but it's stable enough on a firm surface, and it's a heck of a lot faster.
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Old 11-28-08, 11:19 AM
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I just bought a CX bike and I love it for commuting (Nokian W106). It is much faster than my Mtb with wider studded tires.
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Old 11-28-08, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by chico1st View Post

Also does adding cyclocross tires to my old road bike make it a cyclocross bike? what else is it missing?
No, a cyclocross bike is a little different than a standard road bike. The frame has slightly different geometry more suited for the kind of racing on a cyclocross course. They also have lots of more clearance around the tire for larger tires and mud clearance. The frame is also a little sturdier to handle the abuse of cyclocross. They also usually have cantilever type of brakes. They can make a good winter bike. Since they have room for wider studded tires and fenders. The gearing is also different on the crank with a cyclocross bike with smaller chainrings. This might be useful in winter if you have to pedal through snow.

While many prefer the mountain bike as a winter bike, a cyclocross bike is certainly much better as a winter bike than a standard road bike for bad road and weather conditions.
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Old 11-29-08, 05:33 AM
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At lest once every winter I have to get off my cross bike and walk it up a hill on really, really snowey days. This is when I am out before the plows and I loose my momentum going up a long/ steep hill. But I also do not use studded tires, they might help. Otherwise I perfer my cross bike for a winter commuter as well and mostly because I like the geometry compared to a mountain bike.
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Old 11-29-08, 05:16 PM
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i ride a touring bike with 32 mm schwalbe marathon winter studded tires, works great.
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Old 11-29-08, 05:29 PM
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Im riding hutichinson cross tires on my Road bike / I also converted to SS for the winter... Its a great set-up.
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Old 11-30-08, 08:12 AM
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I have a CRB by Van Dessel,SS for winter 700x32's disk breaks, this bike will be fun this winter.
(https://www.vandesselsports.com/crb.html) have a good winter!!
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Old 11-30-08, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
I have read the ICEBIKE site and it recommends that you use a mountain bike for the winter. However much of this site is about winter trail riding and I will be doing winter commuting entirely on roads. So for this purpose would anyone recommend cyclocross biking for winter riding on roads, or are mountain bikes still king?

Also does adding cyclocross tires to my old road bike make it a cyclocross bike? what else is it missing?
A cyclocross bike borrows features from different types of bikes. They typically have cantilever brakes like touring bikes or mountain bikes. They have more of a racing geometry than a touring bike.

As far as winter cycling goes in my mind it's the tires that make or break you but other features can make things nice. An internally geared hub for example.

Tires with knobbies are better on snow. Tires with studs are better on ice. Differing numbers of and arrangements of studs will be better based on conditions.

Road bikes meant for touring usually have a lot of clearance for wider studded tires. Old road bikes of all sorts (80's or older) often have clearance for wider tires as well.

This year I've put studded tires on an old road bike to see how it fairs in the winter. In the past I used a mountain bike but it adds a good 10 minutes to my commute over a road bike. I've had a theory that somewhat narrower tires might actually be preferable in small amounts of snow (like a couple of inches). I guess I'll find out. The studded tires on my road bike are 32 mm and the ones on my mountain bike are 1.95" (about 49.5 mm)
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Old 12-01-08, 07:42 PM
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I, too, am commuting on a Cross Check. I'm running Schwalbe Marathon Winter studded tires with a fixed drivetrain. I commute 50km a day and the bike has worked very well so far.
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Old 12-02-08, 10:22 AM
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Just put on some conti twisters on my steamroller so I can't wait to try them out in some snow. I tried them out on some muddy trails yesterday and they seemed to really bite well, I could definitely feel the sluggishness on the softer earth so I got a different type of workout. There were a few instances when I had to jump off the bike and then jump back on but I was just having fun getting muddy and riding some new terrain, the bike has been transformed.
 
Old 12-02-08, 11:03 AM
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I commute on a Kona Jake the Snake and just put the studded tires on over the weekend for the winter. Rode through a bit of snow and ice today and everything was fine. This will be my first winter but I expect my cyclocross bike to be up to the challange!
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Old 02-07-11, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
I have read the ICEBIKE site and it recommends that you use a mountain bike for the winter. However much of this site is about winter trail riding and I will be doing winter commuting entirely on roads. So for this purpose would anyone recommend cyclocross biking for winter riding on roads, or are mountain bikes still king?

Also does adding cyclocross tires to my old road bike make it a cyclocross bike? what else is it missing?
measure the distance in millimeters of clearence you have between the tire and the frame, the total on left and right will be how much wider atire you can put on, i believe cyclocross tires start at around 700x35 or so
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Old 02-08-11, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
So for this purpose would anyone recommend cyclocross biking for winter riding on roads, or are mountain bikes still king?
I don't see anything wrong with using CX frame for winter rides. Make sure you can fit at least 700x35 tyres, as that's about the narrowest useful studded tyre you can find. You may have problems with various cables or mechanics freezing, but those are not CX specific problems.
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Old 02-08-11, 11:46 PM
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Cyclocross tire work fine in the winter - but not on a road bike.

Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
I have read the ICEBIKE site and it recommends that you use a mountain bike for the winter. However much of this site is about winter trail riding and I will be doing winter commuting entirely on roads. So for this purpose would anyone recommend cyclocross biking for winter riding on roads, or are mountain bikes still king?

Also does adding cyclocross tires to my old road bike make it a cyclocross bike? what else is it missing?
Ive ridden a hybrid with cyclocross tires (700 x 30) and it worked fine. The issue is tire HEIGHT not width on a road bike. A cyclocross tire tread won`t clear the brake vertically on a road brake.

The biggest difference between a cyclocross and a hybrid is that a hybrid has flat bars instead of drop bars. The gearing is very similar and both have more tire clearance and space for fenders. Which is something you`ll want. Driving in shushy conditions is unbelievably messy.

I`d also recommend reflective tape and a good light. Daylight hours are shorter than during summer hours so you`ll be driving in low light conditions a lot more.
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