I'm really getting into riding gravel and rocks on some of the more recent excursions.
I also need to pick up a winter bike, well, just because.
LBS has a 2013 Ridley Xfire in my size, with disc.
Do those badboys ice up when covered in slush and temps hovering 20F?
Also cross seems to have a million different tyres on the market.
Is there some sort of general all arounder? Something with some bite for the snow and could take daisy watching on gravel roads in the meantime and wont get flat spots when on pavement?
Sorry for the crazy noob questions. Short on time and need to make my mind up asap before someone takes that xfire.
Both my cross and fat bike have disc brakes. Although my cross is rather new, I've ridden my fat bike for awhile, especially in the winter. I've even ridden my fat bike through water in the winter and I'm still riding it today. So I'm sure you'll be fine.
Here's a vid of me riding my fat bike, with discs, through water in the winter...
Maybe I'm spoiled by the weather in California. I don't mind mountain biking in the rain. But road?! Anything more than a little drizzle is going to deter me. If it's snowing I'm going to the gym to sit on a cycleops stationary bike. That said, I got caught in a hail storm this past year...
To answer your question, I have a cross bike that I use to race cross and tool around. A Crux disc. It WAS my wet weather training bike as a 1X10 but then I made it a single speed. I'm running hydraulic brakes and a flat bar, which makes it a heretical abomination. Tires are small block 8s right now but I have a set of tubeless hutchinson piranhas at the ready. Again, this is for fireroad, cross, and just putzing around. I would probably race in snow...but I'm not ready to train in snow.
Disk brakes are fine in the winter, heck other brakes are too, you just have to pump them by hand every now and then to keep them from freezing up.
I'll ride in any condition, the worst being rain to snow change with temperature drops. Even my road brakes work, you just have to pump them to clear the ice off the rim, or stop if it's really bad and clean them off by hand. I worry more about the tires and grip than I do about stopping.
Wear lots of clothes to stay warm, and they also pad your fall when you go sideways
"I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"
Nothing is ever *that* waterproof when you have cleats coming out of the bottom
Apparently, you have NEVER worn winter cycling shoes. Waterproof MEANS waterproof. The bottom is sealed from water....
Again, my feet were warm and dry, even after purposely stepping in this puddle.
Waterproof winter cycling shoes are NOT regular cycling shoes with shoe covers on them to protect from the rain. They are waterproof, warm, and have neoprene by the ankles and shoes to prevent water from entering.
I've had problems with discs during winter, hydraulics and mechanics...
The hydraulics seem to lose a bit of power in the cold (I'm talking -20C or lower, at 20F, it shouldn't be a problem) but it was managable.
The real issue I had was more due to the tons of calcium they put on our roads here in the winter, they dump truckloads everywhere even before it snows or freeze it seems. When it mixes with melted snow, salty water gets everywhere on bikes and it can quickly damage both hydraulic and mechanical calipers by corroding the moving parts, I have seen both types seize beyond repair (Avid BB5 were the least durable in that regard). Now that depends where you ride or if you can clean them after each ride (I didn't have a garage and was living in a small apartment at the time, I was commuting everyday. Now I use a fixed gear bike with just a front rim brake, less problems, cheaper to fix if there are) but I'd take hydraulics over mechanicals anyday (they also happen to, usually, perform better, cold or hot).
Last edited by Dan Gerous; 09-20-2012 at 10:25 AM.