low money winter comuuter

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  • 06-30-2014
    JUNGLEKID5
    low money winter comuuter
    I know I know its way to early to be thinking about winter but, this winter I want to ride as much as humanly possible with no excuses. So whats the best low budget winter sled? I have to deal with the northeast winters, as last one was crazy.
  • 06-30-2014
    Straz85
    There's no one right answer. Do you prefer road or mountain bikes? Do you want to buy new or is used okay? Is there a max budget you have? Are we talking $100 or $1000 or somewhere in between?
  • 06-30-2014
    fotooutdoors
    Do you have a parts bin? Any spare wheels lying around? That is a good starting point to determine what the best low-budget option is for you. Personally, I would go with a single speed (or IGH) mountain bike with discs and studded tires. It may be cheaper to build up if you have the parts around.

    Personally, I have about $500 in my winter commuter, though I did get one of the studded tires for $3. It has an on-one inbred frame, disc wheels, 40mm studded tires. I set it up singlespeed in the winter (currently geared for mountain biking). If I didn't already have the tires from my previous rig, I would probably go 26" instead of 29er since wheels are cheaper.
  • 07-01-2014
    mtbxplorer
    I was going to say a MTB for stability, with at least a front disc brake, but something like this looks like a good candidate too...Torker Graduate Commuter Bicycle
  • 07-01-2014
    SGocka
    I made it all last winter with a Giant Escape and cyclocross tires.
  • 07-01-2014
    newfangled
    It depends what conditions you've got, but I've been really happy with my rigid, 1x8 29er with discs and studs.

    I prefer big 29er wheels to 26ers because they roll over choppy stuff a little bit easier. And I prefer wide(ish) tires for dealing with all the ruts and maybe providing a bit of float, rather than hoping skinny tires will cut through to the road.

    A cheapo 1x8 setup has worked fine for me for 3 years. Every year I toss the $10 chain, but my $15 cassette is still going strong.

    Whatever you get, discs should be mandatory. I did a winter or two on Vs and they're okay, but every so often you'll roll through some fresh snow and find yourself with absolutely Zero brakes. Discs can sometimes be wonky too, but are generally much more reliable (more expensive to replace the pads, though).
  • 07-01-2014
    sunvalleylaw
    So I would find a used 29'er hard tail with disc brakes (mechanical probably to keep it simple and to avoid having to bleed the dang things), rack and fender it up, figure out your saddle and bar, and call it good! oh, and figure what tires you want. But for that use, why pay more than a used hard tail?
  • 07-01-2014
    JUNGLEKID5
    Thanks for the info. I think a 29er would do the trick for snowy mass riding
  • 07-01-2014
    newfangled
    Another option that should at least be mentioned would be a cheap fatbike. Costco and Walmart have some for a few hundred bucks. I did a couple of winters on a boxstore Schwinn, and it wasn't the worst thing in the world.
  • 07-02-2014
    Straz85
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JUNGLEKID5 View Post
    Thanks for the info. I think a 29er would do the trick for snowy mass riding

    Where in MA do you live?
  • 07-03-2014
    jeffscott
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JUNGLEKID5 View Post
    I know I know its way to early to be thinking about winter but, this winter I want to ride as much as humanly possible with no excuses. So whats the best low budget winter sled? I have to deal with the northeast winters, as last one was crazy.


    buy a cheap hard tail MTB say $200 bucks or less....

    Ride it hard...

    next step buy a cheap hard tail MTB say $200 bucks or less....buy studs for it...ride it hard.

    next step get some lights...ride hard...

    Down side not gonna be alot left of the bike by next May.
  • 07-04-2014
    KentheKona
    I did most of my winter commuting on a Trek 7.3. This was my first year. I live in Rochester, which currently holds the title as the snowiest city. I liked the 700c tires most days because it cut through the snow to the pavement. I wish I had disc brakes though, the slush/ice/salt fouled the rim brakes a lot. Some days I wish I had fatter tires to ride over the ruts, but I don't know how well that actually would have worked out.

    I liked being upright and just accepted I was going to be slow. I'd spend the cash on lights. I have usb rechargable lights from Light and Motion and Cygolite. I was almost always on the road when it was dark and I knew people wouldn't expect me.
  • 07-04-2014
    JUNGLEKID5
    Light I have covered. Starz85 : I am in the worcester area. I do like the idea of a fat bike with a fender as it would float over the ruts nicly. I think it will be slow going but that's ok for winter.
  • 07-04-2014
    fotooutdoors
    I really would suggest studded tires, even if you go fat. Most places in the lower 48 get their streets cleared well enough that ice, not deep snow, is the biggest problem. Course, I would take a fat bike as a second winter bike if my wife let me have more than 3 bikes in the stable, but I really couldn't see giving up moderate width studded tires for most of the winter. additionally, fat kinda blows the whole "low money" thing to pieces.

    I live in Madison Wisconsin, for reference.
  • 07-04-2014
    WiTrailRunner
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fotooutdoors View Post
    I live in Madison Wisconsin, for reference.

    Just saying hi from a fellow Madison commuter!
  • 07-05-2014
    RoyFokker
    What you already have is always the best and cheapest. You just may want to get studded tires. I know last winter I was terrified many times after rain or snow of potentially icy conditions so I ended up walking my bike down the hills several times. I ended up getting studded tires finally when winter was over, figures.
  • 07-05-2014
    RoyFokker
    Drum brakes would suck on any steep hill, especially in winter weather road conditions.
  • 07-05-2014
    BrianMc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    Drum brakes would suck on any steep hill, especially in winter weather road conditions.


    My 90 mm Sturmey Archer works great. Don' t have long hills by Western standards though.
  • 07-06-2014
    fotooutdoors
    Re: low money winter comuuter
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WiTrailRunner View Post
    Just saying hi from a fellow Madison commuter!

    Hey there!

    Okay, back to the regularly scheduled thread.
  • 07-06-2014
    JUNGLEKID5
    Wisconsin what do you al know about winters. 😱in all sarcasm.