First off, we would like to apologize for the long delay since we have last posted. The past six weeks or so have been very busy for the both of us. I started a new job the Monday following Interbike and Andrew has been in school. Things are starting to settle in though, so we have some catching up to do. Just because we haven`t been posting new articles, doesn't mean that we haven`t been working on new content. We have enough new stuff lined up to last us through the winter.
Which brings us to the topic of today`s post: winter. Specifically winter biking. As I mentioned above, I recently started a new job. September was beautiful here, so I was commuting by bike to work. As the weather has started to get cooler, I had the thought that many of you have probably had at one point or another: Wouldn't it be great to bike all year round?
So I started to play with the idea of what I would need to safely commute all winter long (and still enjoy it). Staying warm and dry are of prime importance. Luckily, I have amassed enough cross country ans ski touring gear that I don't think that I will have to buy much in terms of clothing. Winter specific tires would be nice. A good set of lights for the early morning rides. And, obviously, I would be in need of a new bike (grin).
I started a “shopping list” of features that would be relevant. In some places of the world, winter biking means it rains a bit more and is cool out. Here, it can mean snow and up to -40 degrees Celcius. Luckily, it is not that cold all winter, but the weather can vary greatly. I feel that disc brakes would be good to give consistent braking in variable conditions.
I talked with a few people who are experienced in winter biking in our climate, and they felt studded tires of some sort is a must, so add that to the list.
The sand and salt that they put on the roads are murder to a drivetrain, so maybe a single speed to keep things simple. Finally, it should be relatively cheap (it is my winter ‘beater’ remember).
Now that I had an idea of what I was looking for, the hunt was on. I set a budget around $1000 for the bike, knowing that I will have to spend another $150 or so getting it winter ready, so an overall project at $1200.
Check back in the next few days for part 2 of this story where I go through the process of finding my winter commuter.