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Winter commute bikes

On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
edited October 2013 in Commuting chat
With what seems like the start of bad weather I am interested in what sort of bikes the hardened commuters turn to when the weather becomes bad?

I am going to keep going with my road bike for as long as possible, but I am thinking of changing for a cheap XC bike on semi slicks once things get seriously wet, and for the inevitable snow I guess I will use my On-one with the tyres aired down. Does this sound reasonable? Any advice on tyres etc from those who have been there and done it?

Posts

  • davisdavis Posts: 2,505
    Snow Studs, like the Schwalbe Marathon Winters or similar, are absolutely vital, as far as I'm concerned, but then I'm out in the countryside where sheet ice is quite common. That means a bike with lots of clearance.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    The Hybrid gets used year round, in winter it gets a front mudguard which it looses in summer, the rear mudguard is tiny anyway just bridging the gap between seat tube and the deck on the rack.

    I don't put on winter tyres, but I have swapped off the now totally slick 'semi slick' on the rear for a new one!
  • ketsbaiaketsbaia Posts: 1,718
    I'm putting the finishing touches to my winter commuter, which is essentially a single-speed, steel-framed road bike with 28c semi-slicks on it. Not sure I'll bother if it snows - had an off a few years back on some black ice and am not keen to repeat the trick.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    SS on 25mm slicks for the dry.
    SS with guards and discs (when they turn up) for the wet.
    SS with guards, discs and ice spikes when it snows.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • I ride the same Genesis Aether with full guards and Conti Gatorskin 25s the whole year round. I live just off a main road in London so snow/ice isn't really a problem as the main roads are gritted when it snows. I've done two winters thus far on that setup with no issues.

    I am supposed to building up a Pompino with disk fork, wider tyres etc - once done, that'll be my winter/bad-weather bike, but at this rate it may not be in time for this winter...
  • Remember that only winter compound (high Silica) tyres keep flexible below about 5 degrees. The others go hard and thus give less grip even on tarmac, let alone ice. Winter marathons all the way.
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,505
    Remember that only winter compound (high Silica) tyres keep flexible below about 5 degrees. The others go hard and thus give less grip even on tarmac, let alone ice. Winter marathons all the way.

    Umm doesn't that only really apply on car tyres? I.e. does someone really genuinely bother to make "low silica" tyres for summer use?
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    davis wrote:
    Winter marathons all the way.
    The big advantage of Winter Marathons is that you'll never go fast enough to hurt yourself badly if you do come off.

    Old road bike with mudguards and Conti 4 Seasons for me, CX bike if it snows. Long term plan is to replace the commuter frame with another CX frame, with big mudguards and possibly a dyno hub. Means I can ride in with knobbly tyres whenever I like, without getting the CX race bike dirty/salty, and I get to commute on a bike with disc brakes, meaning I won't have to replace my rims every 18 months...
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 22,320
    Winter bike = summer bike + guards and lights. I stick to my 23Cs all year round as well - am on my first pair of Rubinos atm, so will see how they fare.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • Outer edge of London, so royal parks etc.

    SS with out guards and decent lights.

    I have the MTB that can claw its way if it gets very bad but so far not needed to, worse I found was the freewheel freezing open.
  • On_What wrote:
    With what seems like the start of bad weather I am interested in what sort of bikes the hardened commuters turn to when the weather becomes bad?

    Bike 2. More maintenance and drivetrain cleaning over the winter though. Watch out for wet ironworks on the road surface - slick 23s and those don't play well together.

    TBH, winter clothing is more important in my book.
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • For me its a 2009 allez with crud road racer 2 full mudguards and lights. I always run 2 back lights and discard any batteries on the first of the month regardless of whether I think they need it. That way I should always have at least one back light showing.

    I've just put new chainrings, cassette and chain on as I don't keep on top of the cleaning after each ride - therefore these are disposable items for me.

    I always run GP4000s and don't have a load of punctures. When its gets icy the above bike stays at home and the mtb comes out for a trundle off-road to work.
  • Can't say I change anything for winter on my commuter. Fixed gear, 28c Bontrager Racelite Hardcase tyres, mudguards and dynamo hub. My commute's on main roads so ice/snow is rarely a problem, but if there's a risk of ice I'll go at a slower pace. A lot of it will depend on your individual commute.
  • On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
    Mine is a fairly typical 14miles into London from the south. We do get snow, and it would be nice to try and stay off public transport as much as possible - it really is a total waste of money :evil:
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I haven't got summer or winter bikes, I just ride the same commuter all year round. It's got a rack at the back, guards, 700x23 tyres...
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    On_What wrote:
    Mine is a fairly typical 14miles into London from the south. We do get snow, and it would be nice to try and stay off public transport as much as possible - it really is a total waste of money :evil:
    If I'm honest, the only real reason I commute on a CX bike when it snows is that it's fun, especially through Richmond Park. The number of days on which a normal road bike wouldn't do the job, with sensible route choice and a 100 yard walk from home to the nearest major road, is probably about one a year.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • Mostly I'm still on the Equilibrium, albeit with a change of wheels from the summer - don't think I could live without the dynamo front wheel/light.

    On really bad days, I ride the Day One with the Marathon Winters. It means I have to downgrade my lighting to a Magicshine and go much slower, but once you've got used to spiky tyres, somehow you forget that you used to be fine with 23c all year round. Have been considering an N-1 with the Day One, so may get spiky tyres for the MTB instead.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,289 Lives Here
    Continental do non studded winter tyres. I think these might be a better bet for those in London and the south if they wanted a winter tyre and have room for them. Personally I carry on with the Kinesis unless there is snow on the ground when I go to the MTB with knobblies.
  • tilttilt Posts: 214
    Same as summer - Boardman hybrid (so disc brakes), guards and Conti 4 seasons. If it looks like it'll be icy/snowy then maybe switch to one of my MTBs with snow tyres or take the car
  • tilttilt Posts: 214
    Same as summer - Boardman hybrid (so disc brakes), guards and Conti 4 seasons. If it looks like it'll be icy/snowy then maybe switch to one of my MTBs with snow tyres or take the car
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Unless you're out in the sticks the main difference between summer and winter commutes is the salt or rain on the roads, depending on temperature.
    A winter bike should be more puncture resistant as you're more likely to be visited and repairs are more unpleasant. It should also have a more robust drive train, as it will suffer in dreich weather. Hence the popularity of FG/SS winter hacks.
    Mudguards will help reduce drive train wear, as well as making the riding more comfortable.

    You don't need a mountain bike for winter, that's just a feeble excuse for an N+1...

    My tuppence worth....
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,994
    Unless you're out in the sticks the main difference between summer and winter commutes is the salt or rain on the roads, depending on temperature.
    A winter bike should be more puncture resistant as you're more likely to be visited and repairs are more unpleasant. It should also have a more robust drive train, as it will suffer in dreich weather. Hence the popularity of FG/SS winter hacks.
    Mudguards will help reduce drive train wear, as well as making the riding more comfortable.

    You don't need a mountain bike for winter, that's just a feeble excuse for an N+1...

    My tuppence worth....

    I plan on getting a FG/SS in the next few weeks from the many pikey LBS that I encounter on my way home, it will be a proper hack and I am not willing to pay more than 50 Enlish pounds for it.

    Should be able to get something suitably shite for that
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    Winter bike = Summer bike + Crud MkII's. I run 25mm Conti 4Seasons year round.

    I haven't fitted the guards again yet so if you were drafting me this morning, sucked in.
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • I have a specific commuter bike, it stays the same all year round.

    Boardman Team CX, rack, full guards, Marathon rear, Durano front, Niterider Cherry Bomb rear, Exposure Toro front, Ortlieb pannier.
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