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Winter Biking....Almost That Time

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Winter Biking....Almost That Time

Postby Endo Rockstar » Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:52 am

The snow's about to fly. What are other forons doing for the winter commute by bicycle? I'm going to try to bike as much as possible this winter, so a trip to the bike shop is in order to convert my single speed road bike to a snow and ice buster.

I'm thinking a smaller chain ring and a bigger rear sprocket that will take my current set-up down to half speed should serve me pretty well. Any recommendations for 27 x 1 1/4 snow tires?


Outside magazine has their list of snow bike out as well. Some of them look like you could roll over a car like a monster truck!

http://www.outsideonline.com/blog/its-d ... bikes.html

-Dan Motor
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Re: Winter Biking....Almost That Time

Postby Ducatista » Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:33 am

My husband rides a Fisher Mendota with aftermarket fenders and studded tires (dunno width or make), plus waterproof structured panniers. Traction is no problem with the tires, to the point that he has to remember that the surface might be slick when he puts his feet down at a stop. Disc brakes really up the stopping power in shitty weather.

On him: snowboarding helmet, gloves, & goggles. He used to use a dirt-jump helmet, but the removable liner on the board lid is easier to manage than helmet + hat.
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Re: Winter Biking....Almost That Time

Postby Galoot » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:24 am

I don't really need to do anything special, just oil the chain on the old Raleigh Gran Sport that I got off Madison Freecycle years ago.

I love winter cycling. I use a Nokian Hakepelitta 700C studded tire on the front only. Sure, the Raleigh was built for 27" tires, but it works fine with a slight adjustment of the brake shoes.

I generally use a City Box hardshell pannier on one side, and a foldable wire basket on the other side, with a plastic trash bag tied inside the basket. I doubt the City Box will last more than another year or so, they're very cheaply made and not known for durability.

I've biked in -10F weather a few times, but I got lazy the last couple of years. I'm going to try to bike all winter this year. The toughest part for me is keeping my feet warm. The cold hand problem was solved by getting some Bar Mitts--what a fantastic invention they are.

I think I'll just have to get used to putting a chemical heating pack in each boot when it is much below 20F. My North Face boots are rated for -20F, but it still isn't good enough.
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Re: Winter Biking....Almost That Time

Postby rabble » Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:24 pm

Galoot wrote:The cold hand problem was solved by getting some Bar Mitts--what a fantastic invention they are.

I thought I was up current bike technology but I hadn't heard of those. With only a few pictures and reviews to go on, I have to agree those things look great.
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Re: Winter Biking....Almost That Time

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:56 pm

This time around I'll see how far I get through the winter. Maybe I'll fit my otherwise unused cheap Gary Fisher mountain bike with studs in the front. A problem with my daily driver is that snow gets in between the tires and the fenders, and the whole thing seizes up.

The thing I hate the most is that the streets keep getting narrower and narrower, forcing me out into the car lane.
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Re: Winter Biking....Almost That Time

Postby Galoot » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:14 pm

Oh, I wouldn't winter bike at all if I had to commute in the "bike lane" next to traffic. That's just asking for trouble. As you know, Yupster, 90% or more of my commute is on dedicated bike paths.

Rabble, I got my mitts at the winter bike fest at the Alliant Energy Center, and they were a bit cheaper there. It's really amazing how well they work--in weather that previously required double-layered gloves/mittens, I can get by with just thin gloves inside the Bike Mitts. Of course, they don't work with the 70's era chicken wing "brake helpers" that came with my Raleigh, but that's ok with me.

Somewhere around here I have the foot version, neoprene booties that velcro over a pair of cleated bike shoes, but they don't come close to providing the insulation that the bike mitts have. There's an invention there, waiting to happen. I might buy some thick wetsuit material and see what I can come up with.
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Re: Winter Biking....Almost That Time

Postby WestSideYuppie » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:02 pm

Galoot wrote:Oh, I wouldn't winter bike at all if I had to commute in the "bike lane" next to traffic. That's just asking for trouble. As you know, Yupster, 90% or more of my commute is on dedicated bike paths.


Mine's about 50% streets, but nowhere near as long as yours. I've got a bit of off-road too. I'll be playing it by ear, especially since I have no idea what the snow conditions will actually be like.

Somewhere around here I have the foot version, neoprene booties that velcro over a pair of cleated bike shoes, but they don't come close to providing the insulation that the bike mitts have. There's an invention there, waiting to happen. I might buy some thick wetsuit material and see what I can come up with.


Is there anything made for cross country skiing, that could be adapted?
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Re: Winter Biking....Almost That Time

Postby DCB » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:28 pm

Da ex-mayor has a remarkable piece right here. Remarkable in that I read the whole thing pretty much nodding in agreement.
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Re: Winter Biking....Almost That Time

Postby L_White » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:04 am

Must be exhilarating. I've got to try that sometime...when I'm in winter country.
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Re: Winter Biking....Almost That Time

Postby BillEKlub » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:35 pm

Studded tires...check
Balaclava...check
Lobstah mittens...check

Snow? Pleeease?

While 50 F is easy to deal with, a snap to shovel and very Un-Wisconsin like...how about some damn snow!!!
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