how do I create the perfect winter bike?

Despite the fact that tomorrow is the first day of the hottest month of the year, this morning’s commute through the rain made me think that with some time to prepare, I could build the most awesomest winter bike.

I think a fixie or something with disc brakes (or both) would provide much better braking and traction in the wet than side-pull calipers. Fenders are a must.

Is there anything in particular one needs to watch out for in regards to water/grit getting into places they shouldn’t? The drivechain is the obvious one. Any others?

With the inevitable abundance of wetness that will soon be upon us, I’m keen to gather peoples’ thoughts on what is essential for winter riding.

It never rains in Melbourne in winter.
Only during the other seasons.

Ride your bike. Otherwise it’s just winter :slight_smile: Everything else will depend on preference.

could always modify one of these.

A bike!

More seriously;
Full coverage fenders, but add mudflaps too (leather/milk bottle, whatever).

A chainguard/case will help keep the oil off your leg/pants and the road grit/muck off the chain.

Dyno lighting would help pierce the gloom, and a ton of stealth reflective tape will make you light up at night without that dayglo look during the day.

Comedy fake option: chrome rims, flimsy maladjusted sidepulls with hardened pads and rusty cables. For that brakeless feeling without the aesthetics.

I met a bum the other day (well maybe he wasn’t a bum, but quite ruff) with two tiers of reflectors all the way around his wheels, you seem him miles away in traffic!

How effective are those mud flaps that lots of fixies seem to have? They clamp onto the seatpost I think and are just like a long black piece of plastic. Im tired of riding through puddles and getting my ass and back covered in mud, it could be a solution

Very very good.

Good enough to prevent most of the date-stripe, but that’s about it. Also the easiest option for frames without brake/tyre clearance or brazeons

If you can fit a 180º+ fender in there you’ll keep a lot of muck off your seattube/BB/chain/feet.

i’m a big advocate of the mudflaps

Choice of tyres will affect how much of the dirty/greasy road water flicks up. A bit of tread helps disperse water and won’t flick up as much.

My winter commute will be running Schwalbe 700x28 with the reflective stripe on the walls for that nightglow goodness.


the only way to commute this winter

I’d get a cyclocross style bike with disc brakes, convert to fixed and add full fenders and epic commuting lights.

I think winter riding comfort is very dependent on clothing as well. Some kind of shoe covering, warm leggings, fast-dry shorts, clear glasses, a good gore-tex outer shell, water/windproof gloves, and maybe even a balaclava or at least a headband with ear flaps. I definitely need to upgrade my wardrobe, so far all I’ve got is a good jacket.

For the really bad days… a cheap and nasty, ghetto, single speed mtb (that someone dumped and I stripped down) with clip on fender and some glow-in-the-dark tape. thrash it and then trash it.

Get your-self a BBQ bike. Body armour and a source of heat…Rock’n

3rd page of the Herald Scum…Bahahahaha what a muppet!

The front wheel skiddies would be right up the date on that one!

A cyclocross bike is an awesome idea. I totally hadn’t even considered that.

I’m pretty sorted as far as clothes go although some windstopper gloves would be a good idea.

I’m quite curious to see how effective full fenders are at keeping my feet dry. I’m not a huge fan of shoe covers as I reckon they were a large contributor to an achilles problem I had as the zip at the back was bunching and putting pressure on the tendon. It doesn’t sound like much but given that I’d already ridden 450kms that day with the booties on is a lot of repetitive pressure.
I’ve used them since but leave the zips at the back open which seems to do the job. But as I said I’m a little reluctant to use them.

I’m not sure how much of a difference full fenders will make for wet feet. It seems to me like most of the water that his your foot comes from the bottom of the wheel, before it’s covered by the fender. But I may be wrong!