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Commuting/rain/booties/retro fixies(9 posts)

Commuting/rain/booties/retro fixiesvindicator
Mar 19, 2003 7:12 AM
Multiple musings this morning...

Well, I've been bike commuting for two weeks now. Fun stuff - I'm loving it!

This morning was my first commute in a good, solid rain. No problems except my shoes and socks were soaked through. Any recommendations? I have a pair of Performance fleece-lined neoprene booties which I assume would work quite well at keeping the water out. Anyone have any other suggestions that might be better for warmer weather but still keep the dogs dry?

And last night, I saw quite a vision when I went to go home. I use my one and only road bike for everything, so it has aero bars on it, two of the "bar extenders" that stick out in front and give me more bar space - which I use to mount two forward lights for commuting plus my computer and my hrm. In back, a seatrack with a rack trunk, blinkie, etc. Threadless stem, STI shifters, 9 speed triple, 2 bottle cages, frame pump, all sorts of stuff all over this bike. Even though it's steel with round tubing and a horizontal top tube it's still a fairly modern bike and certainly a fairly loaded and complex one.

And there next to it in the bike rack last night, I saw for the first time an older Schwinn frame, traditional road geometry, single speed. No extra gears, no shifters, no pump, no rack, no computer, not even a bottle cage. Just a frame, wheels, one gear in front and one in back, and front and rear hand brakes. Not a nick on it that I could see, either. Beautiful!

Now I just have to figure out who in my building might ride such a fine steed!!
singlespeedAndy M-S
Mar 19, 2003 7:28 AM
Not all singlespeeds are fixies...

I just built up a new rain bike--an early '80s Sanwa cromo frame, a 7-speed 700c wheelset (with a single cog installed) instead of the original steel-rimmed 27" wheels, the original caliper brakes fit (yay!). A single chainring and fenders, and it's all set.

For this one, I used a short stem and Arc bars w/BMX levers for a more upright position, but I've done singlespeed road bikes before as well.

There's a lot to be said for this approach, and since I carry my commuting goodies in a Carradice no matter which bike I'm riding, it's easy to just strap on and go.

Simpicity is good. But don't forget to carry a good pump and patch kit in your saddlebag...
Yeah, I didn't check for a freewheelvindicator
Mar 19, 2003 7:30 AM
So I don't really know if it was a fixie or not. Definitely single speed, though.
I have Gore-Tex booties that go inside my shoes.dzrider
Mar 19, 2003 7:52 AM
I thought they were cute but dumb when my wife got them for me, but now I like them. Worn over wool sox, they keep my dry long enough to get warm and stay warm. I have come to accept that if I ride in the rain long enough I will get wet, and no longer try to shrink wrap myself to stay dry. In stead, I try to wear combinations of clothing, usually involving wool and wind proofing, that keep me warm after I'm wet.
Haven't used them yet, but I recently bought these...jtferraro
Mar 19, 2003 8:25 AM
re: Commuting/rain/booties/retro fixiesJS Haiku Shop
Mar 19, 2003 8:41 AM
looks like you need some fenders with mudflaps.

also, i recently found some cannondale ov'r'socks at a gear outlet--at $5 or $6 per pair, bought 2 pair. they're wind/waterproof, and actually do breathe. used them in 10-hour 29-35*F ride in snow, ice, mucho wet roads. started with wool socks, then chemnical foot warmers, then ov'r'socks, then shoes, then neoprene booties. i've had the most problems of any with fingers and toes in cold and wet, but no problems this ride, even comfy after the chem warmer wore out. recommended, if you can find them.
You are dedicatedContinental
Mar 19, 2003 9:23 AM
You are from St. Louis area, aren't you? Hats off to you for not letting the rain stop you today. It's awfully wet and gray! Just be extra careful!
It's beautiful now!vindicator
Mar 19, 2003 11:07 AM
St. Louis is correct. It's gorgeous as I look out my window now, but they say it should cloud up and perhaps bring more rain by the time it's time to go home.

Wish I could bug out now,

gore tex boots work well, but they're expensive...keeshadog
Mar 21, 2003 7:53 PM
i rode all winter in rainy seattle in a pair of ecco gore tex boots. they were really great. i just started commuting this winter and i tried a couple of combos the first week and finally settled on the boots accidentally, really, when i just happened to absentmindedly lace them up one morning. i forget what they're called, but they go a couple of inches above the ankles and they kept my feet warm and dry, with just a thin sock on, all winter, through drizzles and hard rain storms. i didnt realize how effective they were until i commuted in today with my regular biking shoes and those neoprene socks from perfomance - those things are very nice actually - and i actually felt a little bit of a chill when i first started out, something i never felt with the gore tex boots. only problem is that after 3 months of commuting, the boots look like they are 5 years old. i take good care of em, but it doesnt really help much. before i started using them the sole was much stiffer, the leather was not worn, noticably, but the day to day riding definitely will do a number on a pair of good leather boots. actually, i'm trying to find another, cheaper option, one that will keep me just as dry and warm. but if i cant find one, i'll keep on using my ecco's and just plan on buying a new pair this coming winter. keeping my feet warm and dry is worth it. cold, wet feet will make a few miles of riding a miserable experience.