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  1. #1
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    Looking to buy or build winter commuter

    Looking for frame and rim recommendations.

    Bike will be for street use during snowy, slushy, icy conditions. I am not particular about the frame. Where I will spend some cash is the wheels. Definitely want tubeless with good tires.

    I can piece together the rest of the bike, unless buying a complete bike is the better choice.

  2. #2
    Music & Bikes
    Reputation: fokof's Avatar
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    I rode my 25th winter last year , I tried everything.....

    Go with narrow rim, Schwalbe CX pro type of tire.
    The narrower , the better.
    You want to "cut" trough the snow.

    Go SS or IGH
    Disk or drum brakes
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  3. #3
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    that's interesting, i always thought wider tires would be better.

    i have a 26" mountain bike for commuting and could try something like this
    Schwalbe Marathon Winter Tyre - RaceGuard | Chain Reaction Cycles

    There are plenty days in winter when normal tires will do, but sometimes there is a sheet of ice, slush/slop, or I'm riding in a blizzard.

  4. #4
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    You're in "Fat bike" forum :
    for trail , snowmobile , snow shoes trail in the winter : the wider , the better but in town , you want to cut through the snow to contact the asphalt.

    I tried these Schwalbe, they are not fantastic....
    I prefer by a very long shot these:
    Schwalbe CX Pro Cyclocross Bike Tyre | Chain Reaction Cycles
    I don't like studs for commuting , they are useful only a couple of days in the winter.
    The energy loss isn't worth it.

    YMMV

    (I'm in north east Canada)
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  5. #5
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Err, depends on where you live. It snows here and the fat bike with studs will be a more reliable form of transportation. I see the wobbly lines in the snow sometimes from people attempting to ride skinny-tire bikes when it's not too deep for me on my fat setup. I feel sorry for them because they can't go straight and keep spinning out. Keep in mind, what is the snow on top of? More snow? Ice? Is it bonded?

    A skinny tire bike is a better bike more of the time, because it simply doesn't snow every day. It's also more stable on the ice with a narrower tread and studs, but once conditions get soft, it's right out the window, so if your goal is to ride as many days as possible in the winter, I suggest studded fat tire for winter-climate areas (places that get snow where it doesn't go away until spring). There's not that many days really where the fat tire bike makes the difference, maybe 10 or 15, but those days it's the only wheeled option. If snow is rare, might as well go skinny tire, because you won't be able to ride in the deep dump on any bike and in a few days skinny bikes would work fine again. Our bike paths through the city are XC ski-able during winter and even on the paths on the side of the road there will be a layer of ice and snow throughout most of winter.

    Not to mention the deep ruts that the skinny tire bikes create in soft conditions, which make it hard to ride for everyone, skinny tire, fat, etc.

    Yes, I've only been commuting in winter for 4 years, but 4 years in just about every possible condition, from -15F to heavy wet snow to drifting snow to freezing rain and glaze ice.

    I'd go for a 4" (not 5") studded tire setup, as long as you are in a place where you'll be riding on snow/ice most of the time (rather than bare paths/roads). If it's bare paths/roads, then you don't need a fat bike
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  6. #6
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    I have never been in a situation where I couldn't get to the job on my 700/32 commuter
    (With either Rohloff or Alfine)

    It also depends where you live
    Here , as soon as it snows , they get the machinery out , so it's not very long before it's back the asphalt again.
    (here, it is Million and + population , 7,5 foot snow per year average)
    Maybe if you live in a smaller agglomeration that can be another thing.

    (The OP mentioned "Street use")
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  7. #7
    turtles make me hot
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    Surly My Other Brother Darryl is a great tubeless rim if you do decide to go fat.
    Bike Hub Store makes great hubs that won't break the bank.
    I like turtles

  8. #8
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    Ok I am riding into Boston on a main road so most of the time normal tires will do as they do get plowed and salted.

    I am concerned with the days this is not true and I am riding through either a few inches of snow or a blanket of ice, or a messy mix of slop.

  9. #9
    turtles make me hot
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    I'd still do a fat bike with two sets of wheels and swap out as dictated by the weather.
    I like turtles

  10. #10
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    Try endless melt freeze cycles on a mixed use path that is never plowed but stays mostly covered all winter. The ice ruts and craters will throw even a studded tire sideways, and if you do manage to stay upright, you'll be shaken within an ounce of your life. Fortunately, I've only got 2 miles of that, but unfortunately it's 14 miles of mostly clear path on the other side. That equation has kept me on 700 x 35, but I've been reduced to the "walk of shame" many times when a fat tire could have rolled merrily on by.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata View Post
    Ok I am riding into Boston on a main road so most of the time normal tires will do as they do get plowed and salted.

    I am concerned with the days this is not true and I am riding through either a few inches of snow or a blanket of ice, or a messy mix of slop.
    Are the 1 or 2 days in the winter where your normal commuter doesn't cut it worth the cost of a fat bike ?

    If you want an an absolute winter beast , go for a Fatbike with 4,8'' studded tires.
    Worth it ?
    I guess it all depends on your priorities and your annual bike budget

    I own a Fatbike for 4 or 5 years now , bought it for winter trail riding , never had to use it downtown because of a snowstorm.

    (I'm in Montreal)
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  12. #12
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    My winter commuter tire is 1.95 x 26 and studded. With the studs I can ride across glare ice and thru snow up to 8" with no problems. I really don't see the need for fat tires unless that is what you really want. I mean, where I live there are snow plows and snow blowers so it's not like the snow I ride on keeps accumulating. But yeah, I get it, fat tires are cooler.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    "Charlie don't surf"

  13. #13
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    It's more than 1 or 2 days and I wasn't looking at a fatbike because they are cool. I ordered a couple of those 1.35" tires. Otherwise I can give studded a try, but it's usually not overly icy.

    I may still look into a fatbike for some winter trail riding though as I usually just wait for warmer weather.

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