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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 10-08-09, 07:29 PM   #1
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Is a mountain bike better for winter riding?

My two main commuter bikes, the Main Commuter and the Winter Beater which doubles as a summer backup, are mountain bikes. I have been thinking lately that I might like to try the more upright riding position. Among the several option on the table for reworking my bike "stable" are some that would involve converting the Winter Beater to have a more upright riding position.

Someone has suggested that the mountain bike geometry is better for winter riding because the bent-over position allows for more force on the pedals, and the more even distribution of weight makes better handling. Has anyone found this to be true? My own riding is rather limited, just six miles to and from work, so I don't have a lot of personal experience with different bicycles and extreme conditions.

Thank you.
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Old 10-08-09, 07:40 PM   #2
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The mountain bike I used for winter riding ... and commuting in general ... had a very upright position and was very comfortable for winter riding.
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Old 10-08-09, 07:57 PM   #3
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Regarding "better handling", was that comment specifically for snow? I think I'd agree with that, but have to point out those conditions take up less than 10% of winter biking (depending on your location).

So for a general use bike, a mountain bike is great. If you like to own lots of bikes, I'd go with a MTB for harsh conditions, and a road bike with studded tires for the rest of winter
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Old 10-08-09, 07:58 PM   #4
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Mountain bikes make solid commuters! I wouldn't say they are better or worse than other bikes...unless you ride in actual snow, then heck yes!
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Old 10-08-09, 08:01 PM   #5
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Opinion: Yes

I think it probably goes beyond riding position, though, since my mtb and CX bikes have somewhat handlebar reach and drop.
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Old 10-08-09, 08:18 PM   #6
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I have studs on my Kona mtb with hyd disks. My Cross Check gets ride time when snow isn't in the picture.
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Old 10-08-09, 09:41 PM   #7
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After a wrist injury, I put a BMX bar on my Stumpy, and it was nice, except sketchy on steep climbing and really increased wind resistance, you won't set any speed records. The first MTBs in Marin County (Klunkerz) used BMX bars in the 70s, so I just copycatted an old idea for a new reason.

Cost factors: bar, 22.4 mm stem, longer cables and housing possible.

Inconvenience factors: The acute riser bar bend requires creative positioning of Rapid-Fire (I had to put mine upside down), but twist-grip shifters should fit. (I bought some on sale, but the triggers worked fine once I got used to the odd positioning, even wearing thick double mittens. I also had to cut slots my Ergon grips as triggers hit them and blocked shifting. ) It's possible that integrated shifter-brake lever units might fit fine.

Pluses: "double-decker" cross bar and bottom central bar provide lots of room for stuff like computer, airzound horn, double headlights, battery packs, front bag...

If this sounds Fredish, it is, but it sure took the pressure of my wrist and made it possible to ride rather than sit the winter out. Sitting up is also easier on your neck.
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