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Best winter biking setup?

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Best winter biking setup?

Postby Handy Smurf » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:39 pm

For many years I've ridden with 700' studded tires, either on a fixed gear or an old road bike. That worked well in a lot of situations but left something to be desired on streets with a lot of churned up snow.

This year I've been riding an old MTB but since I don't have studded tires I've been taking the bus quite a bit. Should I invest in studded MTB tires next year? Or go back to the FG with 700'?

What works best?
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Re: Best winter biking setup?

Postby ArturoBandini » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:44 pm

Seven-hundred foot tires!

My winter beater MTB has 26" studded tires. I think they are 2.1" wide. They do fine in fresh snow or packed snow, but are simply awful on that semi-packed, rutted snow left by cars before the plot gets there. I like to think that a narrower tire would help cut through, but I can't be certain. In those conditions (loose, semi-packed snow), it seems like studs are irrelevant. Fatbikes skip the studs entirely and go for maximum contact patch and float, but such things are not possible on your average junky MTB frame.

This winter I have my MTB setup as a geared bike, which is a big mistake as compared to last year's single-speed setup. My shift cables and derailleurs end up frozen half the time, leaving me stuck in whatever gear I was in last time the bike was wet. Single-speed was much less prone to frustrate me and less messy too.

In the past I just used one studded tire on the front. It worked just fine. Occasionally the rear wheel will spin out, but that's not a big deal in most situations.
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Re: Best winter biking setup?

Postby Handy Smurf » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:01 pm

Thanks for the feedback, Arturo. No, the narrow tires likely aren't much better on the churned up stuff. I may go with the single speed next year.

Oh, and 700" tires!
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Re: Best winter biking setup?

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:38 pm

The best winter biking setup is where you turn your bike upside-down and hang it from two hooks in the wall and then take the bus, your faced pressed against the window dreaming of the spring thaw and the pilgrimage to the bike shop for a tune-up and new accessories.
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Re: Best winter biking setup?

Postby fennel » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:33 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:The best winter biking setup is where you turn your bike upside-down and hang it from two hooks in the wall and then take the bus, your faced pressed against the window dreaming of the spring thaw and the pilgrimage to the bike shop for a tune-up and new accessories.
Dreaming is one word for it.
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