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Year round commuting(5 posts)

Year round commutingtmotz
Nov 1, 2002 3:27 PM
Does anyone commute year round? I live in snow country and wonder if I should do this on my mtb or road bike? My mtb doesn't have a problem with snow but never rode my road bike in it. To use my road bike should I try a tire wider then 23c?
MTB or hybridKerry
Nov 1, 2002 4:16 PM
Depending on how much snow you are talking about, the narrow tires will cut through to the pavement. If the snow is light, this is OK, but if it has been packed down by cars, you'll find yourself struggling to stay up as the packed snow breaks loose under your wheels. The wider tires and more upright position of an MTB or hybrid are much more stable. If you're commuting relatively short distance, you won't suffer much from the inefficiency of the wider tires and less aero position. Commuting in snow country (and associated salt and slush) means arriving at work with a heavy coating of salt and slush on your bike. You may find the need to thaw the bike out during the day to have the derailleur work for the trip home. Lots of oil and grease and frequent cleaning will be the only way to prevent your bike from being destroyed by the salt. Your rims will be trashed by using the brakes in slushy weather. My advice is to get a bike you can sacrifice.
Plus-look271
Nov 1, 2002 6:26 PM
You don't go as fast on the mtb so the wind isn't as much of a factor. My commuter now is my mtb-when it warms up again I'll get the old Nishiki out.....Dang, though, it takes about 3-4 minutes longer on the mtb than on the road bike! (As one who consitantly is right on time or a little late, this is a BIG deal =) )
get a beater cyclocross bikescorpionking
Nov 1, 2002 6:53 PM
A cyclocross bike has a position more upright than a road bike, but not usually so upright as a MTB bike. Most cyclocross bikes can accomodate a tire anywhere up to size 700-40C and they have nice selections of tires which fall in between true road and mtb tires.
None of the usual criteria apply to a commuter ...Humma Hah
Nov 1, 2002 7:56 PM
... The usual reasons for chosing a roadbike, light weight and speed, are relatively unimportant for a commuter. A commuter's primary criterion should be that it gives the fewest possible excuses to not ride.

I'd personally chose my cruiser over my MTB for snow. My Diamondback is squirrley compared to the cruiser, which has been ridden on both snow and sheet ice (not that I recommend the latter). A loss of traction on the MTB would be more likely to send me sprawling than the cruiser would.

I would go with platform pedals, too, as you might need to instantaneously stick a foot out to prevent a fall.

The MTB does have knobbies, but the tires presently on the cruiser have a pretty aggressive tread with excellent resistance to sidways slip.