Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    VENI VEDI BIKI
    Reputation: skankingbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    646

    Bike choice for fall/winter

    Ok...so I have been a lazy a$$ all year and can count the number of times I have commuted to work on my hands. I finally got the motivation to give it another go. With winter around the corner (live in Wisconsin), I am facing a bike choice dilema.

    Option 1: Currently, I commute on a cheap on-one pompino with a sram 2 spd automatix hub, fenders, and Michelen All city 28mm tires. I am disinclined to use this in the winter due to skinny tires and the fact the hub is not sealed. I do have an extra track rear wheel to run pure ss, but again, I do not think the tires will play nice in the ice and snow.

    Option 2 & 3: My second and third options are my old gary fisher mtb. Currenty set up with drop bars, 1.95 allterrainaasuraus tires, and plastic fenders, I am thinking this may be the way to go. The choice is, do I rig it up as a single speed full gearie, or 1x9? Single speed would be good to minimize equipment problems and cleaning, but I have a 12 mile commute with some hills and it can get windy in the fall/winter.

    Finally, I have a rack for the back of whatever bike I use, but it is a bit heavy. I can strap on an egg crate to the back to carry my stuff, but with slippery roads, I am worried a heavy back end will fishtail and my crap will fall all over. So, I am leaning towards just carrying everything on my back.

    Thoughts from more experienced foul weather commuters would be helpful.

    Thanks.
    Veni Vidi Biki

    I came, I saw, I biked.

  2. #2
    I Ride for Donuts
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4,380
    MTB set up 1X9 is my vote, and maybe consider a 2nd wheelset with studded tires ready to swap on at a moment's notice. That's what I do. And I'm all about the backpack, but with studded tires, the milk crate wouldn't mess with you.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,407
    I agree, your MTB would work well, although I find MTB bars more confidence inspiring for winter than drops. I would run the gears, I haven't had any winter trouble with mine in VT. I use a backpack too, although I don't have to carry a ton of stuff (I think it's about 1000 sizewise and 5-10 lbs). I have just left the studded tires on all winter in the past, partly due to the "ice pavement" on my dirt road all winter. If you can add a fork with disc brake mounts, that would make a mean machine; rim brakes are not so hot in winter on hills.

  4. #4
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,553

    Bike choice for fall/winter

    I vote the mtb. I think you will appreciate gears. Where I live, one ride can be a slog through snow and the next relatively clear. I also have managed okay with gears in winter with the exception of the lube in my shifters getting gummy when it's cold sometimes. I run fully sealed shift cables, also, which results in improved reliability.

    I vote 1x for the drivetrain. The front derailleur is the weak link so why not eliminate it?

    On the mtb you have capacity to run studs and fenders. Not so on the pompino.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: newfangled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,083
    I ride single in the summer, but like 1x for my winterbike. A rear derailleur is pretty bombproof, and winter conditions are just too variable to rely on one gear ratio. If conditions are predictable I've got a second singlespeed I'll take for a spin.

    I also run a rack with panniers, and can't say that I would blame it for any of the times I've taken a spill.

    Carbide studs are really worthwhile if you got sustained temperatures below freezing. Like mtbxplorer says, ice pavement can be a huge pain to deal with, especially if cars rut it up.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,418
    Just finished rebuilding the Ute for winter.
    Wanted to slot some hydros on but that means new lines and a bleed on the back brake and l just don't want to bother with it right now.
    Basil saddlebags on permanently now (well, with the deck bolted over them)
    And Chariot sidecarrier mounted with a couple tire options for that.
    Why? so if the damn bus flakes out on us mid-winter I can still get the prince safely to school.
    Means I look like a wide reflective load without the trailer, and damn near big as a car with it.
    Dura-ace downtube shifters/paul's thumbies on WTB dirt drops.
    Marathon xr's right now, going to be snow stud out back and marathon winter in front when (if) the ice hits.

    My Casseroll just got old xtr 1x8 to snuggle next to the maguras on the new Titec ti bar.
    Swanktacular and fast for non-inclement days!!
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    988
    Another vote for the mountain bike. I just mount the studded tires and leave them on until spring, no matter what. Slow, heavy, noisy and a little sketchy when cornering on dry pavement... but they need to be there when I need them, and conditions can change between morning and evening commutes. Keep 'em on.

    If you might want a front derailleur on there, pick a high-clamp style (pic). They shed slush and snow, where low-clamp types would accumulate it.

    If you can live without the additional forward reach of the drop handlebar, I think flat bars have a couple advantages. One is a wider grip for extra control, and another is the wider range of pogies available if you're so inclined. These are what I'm using: Amazon.com: Kwik Tek ATVM-B, ATV Hand Protector Mitts (Black): Sports & Outdoors $17, and can be crammed in a pannier if I want them on standby when weather's OK but might get ugly later.



    (no, I don't normally haul a 5-gallon bucket around )

    Regarding the rack and milk crate, I think it's better not to have the weight that high if you can avoid it. Maybe make yourself a bucket pannier (Google for easy DIY instructions) so the weight's lower, plus it can have a watertight lid and you can plaster it with reflective tape for good measure.

  8. #8
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,553
    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Maybe make yourself a bucket pannier (Google for easy DIY instructions) so the weight's lower, plus it can have a watertight lid and you can plaster it with reflective tape for good measure.
    bucket panniers loaded with reflective stickers/tape - you mean like this?

    Indycog kitty litter bucket panniers

    2013 Bike to Work Day Indianapolis

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    988
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    bucket panniers loaded with reflective stickers/tape - you mean like this?

    Indycog kitty litter bucket panniers

    2013 Bike to Work Day Indianapolis
    NICE

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,515
    I have done that too:



    There is white/silver 3M tape on the front which you can see on the rear one. Saving everyone the video, I discovered that slight angle in at the bottom totally screws up the return path of car lights to drivers. I share that to be helpful. The tape needs to be perpendicular or maybe that low angle, slightly in at the top. The tape will be destroyed coming off to fix the problem on mine. Bummer. It cost more than half the total cost. Might have to save many for Carradice bags, as Rodar suggested.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    11,147
    What makes bike commuting really easy....

    Is to set your life up so you don't have to carry anything to and from work...

    Now a days this is actually quite easy...

    I have a full wardrobe at work....and a cleaning service.

    I eat out, or go to the grocery store and buy stuff for the work fridge.

    With networking there is no need to carry a computer or whatever around.

    This eliminates a whole slew of problems....

    You don't have to go all the way, but it is sure easy to cut the haulage down a whole bunch.

    The thing that kills bikes is salty gravelly slush....the salt gets into everything and then sets up....

    Washing the bike say every month or perhaps a little more is really quite neccessary.

    Gears and shifting have never been a problem and can definately make some commutes possible, think four inches of snow and wind...

    In those conditions I will easily beat traffic.

  12. #12
    VENI VEDI BIKI
    Reputation: skankingbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    646
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    bucket panniers loaded with reflective stickers/tape - you mean like this?

    Indycog kitty litter bucket panniers

    2013 Bike to Work Day Indianapolis
    Please describe how those are attached
    Veni Vidi Biki

    I came, I saw, I biked.

  13. #13
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,553
    Quote Originally Posted by skankingbiker View Post
    Please describe how those are attached
    No problem. Here are mine specifically.

    Bike choice for fall/winter-kittylitterpanniers.jpg

    Here are some links that may help you make your own. I bought mine from the local bike commuter advocacy group, who sells them for a fundraiser.

    crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: Bike Buckets - An inexpensive pannier system you can make, by Brian Huntley

    KITTY litter pannier!

    This vid shows a slight variation on the theme.


Similar Threads

  1. Fall/Winter wear?
    By littlebadboy in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 07-30-2012, 09:20 AM
  2. Winter Park bike choice
    By bsnielsen in forum Colorado - Front Range
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 07-19-2012, 11:56 AM
  3. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-04-2011, 09:54 AM
  4. 29er Tire Choice for Leaves/Fall in the Southeast
    By dcmielec in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-29-2011, 09:21 AM
  5. Bike choice for Winter Park
    By euroford in forum Colorado - Front Range
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 07-29-2011, 08:57 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •