The Chainlink

Anyone commute in the winter? Biggest challenge? Necessary gear? Bike maintenance issues?

I am determined to do some commuting this winter.

Views: 696

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

OK-- I'm bumping this in the hope that someone will read this deep into the thread to post his/her opinion.

Any ideas for 27" winter tires? They don't make studded Nokians in 27". There are some slightly knobby tires out there, but nothing that seems to be ideal.

I'm hoping to ride an old '81 Le Tour this winter, but the tires are a major concern.

Any ideas on the best 27" tires for the winter? I know there's nothing perfect out there.

Thanks.
There just aren't any really good options for 630/27" winter tires.

You can:

1) Build your own studded tires
2) Use 27 x 1 3/8" (35-630) knobbies (actually *very* good in the snow, bad in the ice)
3) Use long reach brakes and replace your 27' wheels with 700c

If you are committed to using that frame and don't mind spending the money, (3) would seem the most logical to me, mainly because you can always use the 700c wheels/tires on another bike. Not to mention that you'll have plenty of clearance for any variety of winter or studded 700c tires on the LeTour.

Dan M said:
OK-- I'm bumping this in the hope that someone will read this deep into the thread to post his/her opinion.

Any ideas for 27" winter tires? They don't make studded Nokians in 27". There are some slightly knobby tires out there, but nothing that seems to be ideal.

I'm hoping to ride an old '81 Le Tour this winter, but the tires are a major concern.

Any ideas on the best 27" tires for the winter? I know there's nothing perfect out there.

Thanks.
I suppose it depends on where you ride, but I'm going to make the case for regular old tires if you live in the city of Chicago. I used Specialized Armadillo 28mm road tires on my commuter all last winter--I think I ended up taking the el just once--and only had traction issues a couple of times, when there was really wet snow that accumulated quickly. Overall the streets were pretty clear. The Armadillos seem to be sure-footed (unlike the Vittoria Randonneurs on my touring bike, which seem to slide all over the place when it's slick out). I haven't used much else so I can't comment on other brands, but I swear by the Armadillos. And I see they come in 27-inch versions.

Dan M said:
OK-- I'm bumping this in the hope that someone will read this deep into the thread to post his/her opinion.

Any ideas for 27" winter tires? They don't make studded Nokians in 27". There are some slightly knobby tires out there, but nothing that seems to be ideal.

I'm hoping to ride an old '81 Le Tour this winter, but the tires are a major concern.

Any ideas on the best 27" tires for the winter? I know there's nothing perfect out there.

Thanks.
I've done 2) and 3) on an old Schwinn Suburban. For one winter, I ran the 27 x 1 3/8 knobbies (Cross Terra, I think). Like J said, good on snow (especially slush), poor on ice. I ended up taking them off because the clearance between the fenders and tires were very close. It seemed I had to do some fender adjustment every week or put up with rubbing.

I followed that up with a cheap set of 700c wheels with cyclocross tires. Plenty of tire/fender clearance -- but I had to cold set the frame from 120 mm to 130, and drill the mounting locations for the brakes to fit the recessed nuts that come with new brake calipers. A photo of the end result is on my page.

I don't ride the Suburban anymore, but I do still ride the CX tires in the winter. Perfect for salt-treated slushiness.

J said:
There just aren't any really good options for 630/27" winter tires.

You can:

1) Build your own studded tires
2) Use 27 x 1 3/8" (35-630) knobbies (actually *very* good in the snow, bad in the ice)
3) Use long reach brakes and replace your 27' wheels with 700c

If you are committed to using that frame and don't mind spending the money, (3) would seem the most logical to me, mainly because you can always use the 700c wheels/tires on another bike. Not to mention that you'll have plenty of clearance for any variety of winter or studded 700c tires on the LeTour.

Dan M said:
OK-- I'm bumping this in the hope that someone will read this deep into the thread to post his/her opinion.

Any ideas for 27" winter tires? They don't make studded Nokians in 27". There are some slightly knobby tires out there, but nothing that seems to be ideal.

I'm hoping to ride an old '81 Le Tour this winter, but the tires are a major concern.

Any ideas on the best 27" tires for the winter? I know there's nothing perfect out there.

Thanks.
Thanks for the information (J, Natalie, and Koala).

With respect to going to 700c wheels-- I am not sure enough of my abilities to make the switch myself-- and I really don't want to sink any more money into the bike until I'm sure I won't wuss out on winter riding. I don't think I will, but I'm trying to ease into it. A new wheelset plus the labor for the adjustment would be a decent chunk of change.

I don't think I'll get the fender clearance on the knobbies.

So, I guess that leaves me with the available 27" tires-- and the option of building my own studded tires.

I ride from Western and Wilson to the LFP to the loop. I have heard the LFP accumulates some ice.

I will check out the armadillos. Any other suggested 27" tires? I've read about Schwalbe Marathons as some sort of super tire-- but I've also heard the "new" ones are cheaply manufactured and prone to blowing off the rim.



koala said:
I've done 2) and 3) on an old Schwinn Suburban. For one winter, I ran the 27 x 1 3/8 knobbies (Cross Terra, I think). Like J said, good on snow (especially slush), poor on ice. I ended up taking them off because the clearance between the fenders and tires were very close. It seemed I had to do some fender adjustment every week or put up with rubbing.

I followed that up with a cheap set of 700c wheels with cyclocross tires. Plenty of tire/fender clearance -- but I had to cold set the frame from 120 mm to 130, and drill the mounting locations for the brakes to fit the recessed nuts that come with new brake calipers. A photo of the end result is on my page.

I don't ride the Suburban anymore, but I do still ride the CX tires in the winter. Perfect for salt-treated slushiness.

J said:
There just aren't any really good options for 630/27" winter tires.

You can:

1) Build your own studded tires
2) Use 27 x 1 3/8" (35-630) knobbies (actually *very* good in the snow, bad in the ice)
3) Use long reach brakes and replace your 27' wheels with 700c

If you are committed to using that frame and don't mind spending the money, (3) would seem the most logical to me, mainly because you can always use the 700c wheels/tires on another bike. Not to mention that you'll have plenty of clearance for any variety of winter or studded 700c tires on the LeTour.

Dan M said:
OK-- I'm bumping this in the hope that someone will read this deep into the thread to post his/her opinion.

Any ideas for 27" winter tires? They don't make studded Nokians in 27". There are some slightly knobby tires out there, but nothing that seems to be ideal.

I'm hoping to ride an old '81 Le Tour this winter, but the tires are a major concern.

Any ideas on the best 27" tires for the winter? I know there's nothing perfect out there.

Thanks.
Or maybe you can modify your route. The LFP sometimes stinks in the winter. Often, in fact, especially along the curve between and Oak and Chicago, when it can be completely coated with ice. You're way safer on the road. The only problem with the road, and it's a big one, is that if you lose your balance you're totally at the mercy of car traffic. I've been lucky so far.

Dan M said:
Thanks for the information (J, Natalie, and Koala).

With respect to going to 700c wheels-- I am not sure enough of my abilities to make the switch myself-- and I really don't want to sink any more money into the bike until I'm sure I won't wuss out on winter riding. I don't think I will, but I'm trying to ease into it. A new wheelset plus the labor for the adjustment would be a decent chunk of change.

I don't think I'll get the fender clearance on the knobbies.

So, I guess that leaves me with the available 27" tires-- and the option of building my own studded tires.

I ride from Western and Wilson to the LFP to the loop. I have heard the LFP accumulates some ice.

I will check out the armadillos. Any other suggested 27" tires? I've read about Schwalbe Marathons as some sort of super tire-- but I've also heard the "new" ones are cheaply manufactured and prone to blowing off the rim.



I've heard it's impassable between Oak Street Beach and Navy Pier.

I was thinking that I'd jump off around Oak Street and head down through the Mich Ave. area to my office (which is on upper Randolph). There aren't great biking streets in the area, but I think it should work out for the short distance.

Natalie said:
Or maybe you can modify your route. The LFP sometimes stinks in the winter. Often, in fact, especially along the curve between and Oak and Chicago, when it can be completely coated with ice. You're way safer on the road. The only problem with the road, and it's a big one, is that if you lose your balance you're totally at the mercy of car traffic. I've been lucky so far.

Dan M said:
Thanks for the information (J, Natalie, and Koala).

With respect to going to 700c wheels-- I am not sure enough of my abilities to make the switch myself-- and I really don't want to sink any more money into the bike until I'm sure I won't wuss out on winter riding. I don't think I will, but I'm trying to ease into it. A new wheelset plus the labor for the adjustment would be a decent chunk of change.

I don't think I'll get the fender clearance on the knobbies.

So, I guess that leaves me with the available 27" tires-- and the option of building my own studded tires.

I ride from Western and Wilson to the LFP to the loop. I have heard the LFP accumulates some ice.

I will check out the armadillos. Any other suggested 27" tires? I've read about Schwalbe Marathons as some sort of super tire-- but I've also heard the "new" ones are cheaply manufactured and prone to blowing off the rim.



Ditto on changing your route. I live near there and pass Western and Wilson everyday. Lincoln to Wells is clear for the most part. I rode all winter last year and only had problems on the side streets. Good luck figuring it out!

Natalie said:
Or maybe you can modify your route. The LFP sometimes stinks in the winter. Often, in fact, especially along the curve between and Oak and Chicago, when it can be completely coated with ice. You're way safer on the road. The only problem with the road, and it's a big one, is that if you lose your balance you're totally at the mercy of car traffic. I've been lucky so far.

Dan M said:
Thanks for the information (J, Natalie, and Koala).

With respect to going to 700c wheels-- I am not sure enough of my abilities to make the switch myself-- and I really don't want to sink any more money into the bike until I'm sure I won't wuss out on winter riding. I don't think I will, but I'm trying to ease into it. A new wheelset plus the labor for the adjustment would be a decent chunk of change.

I don't think I'll get the fender clearance on the knobbies.

So, I guess that leaves me with the available 27" tires-- and the option of building my own studded tires.

I ride from Western and Wilson to the LFP to the loop. I have heard the LFP accumulates some ice.
BR>


It's always a spirited debate, tires.

But with 27" the choices are limited, yes. There are plenty of inexpensive options from Kenda, Bontrager, Innova, etc. One step up will get you into something like a Panaracer Pasela. I personally like the Tourguard version of the Pasela, which is available at many local shops. Its tread is slightly more aggressive than others in the category and yet the ride isn't too harsh.

From there, you will find the Continental and Specialized tires -- very puncture resistant, but with stiff sidewalls for sure. For slightly more, you will find the Schwalbe Marathons, which used to be rare, but are now stocked at many local shops. I'm keen on these for their reflective sidewall, tread that seemingly runs forever, and tread pattern that's pretty good on slippery and wet roads.

Winter specificity aside, I usually recommend the Schwalbe Marathon at the high end and the Panaracer Pasela TG in the middle for folks looking for good all around 3/4 season 27" tires.

But do try to experiment with tire pressure for sure. A 27 x 1 1/4" tire is still relatively low volume for a winter tire, especially with a heavier bike + person + stuff. Generally what you want to do when it gets icy is run as low a pressure as you can get away with whilst avoiding pinch flats.
So much great info in this thread! Hope to see folks at the Bike Winter kick-off meeting next Tues night.
We'll have 10th anniversary Bike Winter stickers on hand. Start thinking about events, rides and classes you would like to see this winter. Get involved in the planning.
Also, we're doing a free workshop in Logan Square Oct 11th. Would be great to have veterans and newbies alike to swap questions and answers.
All you need for the real cold

1) bandana for face
2) lobster gloves
3) swedish leg warmers (army surplus): they work like a gangster. check the link. You put these over some Performance neoprene booties (get a size or two bigger) and nothings touching your little piggies.

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=504864
I will be commuting this winter again. Biggest challenge? Fresh snow...thankfully it doesn't snow too much here. Necessary gear- fenders, lights, water proof shoes.

RSS

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service