gravel bike for a winter bike
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  1. #1
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    gravel bike for a winter bike

    Around here there are a lot of days that get up around the high 30s or low 40s F, in the winter. But the roads are wet, and muddy or slushy. I've found that my cyclocross bike is just the thing, with the right tires.
    It's a lot slower than a road bike but it handles crappy conditions a lot better. Anyone else use a graveler or Cx for winter, or just use a 'winter' road bike?

  2. #2
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    I have a CX that I bought used, with the intention of using it as my "winter" bike, i.e. the bike I would use when the roads are wet or sloppy. But it's actually a high end bike - better than my "road" bike, so I use it all year. If you are still going to be riding on paved roads, as opposed to gravel or dirt, you are going to want to stick with road tires, a bit bigger than 23mm, so the extra clearance on the CX comes in handy. Knobby CX tires don't perform as well on wet pavement as do road tires.
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  3. #3
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    My Specialized Awol (a gravel-ish bike) works well for me during crappy weather, since I have a set of Velo Orange fenders on it. But I don't ride in snow. I'm riding 50mm Schwalbe big Apple tires, which do quite well on the slippery stuff.
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  4. #4
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    My winter bike has nearly 5Ē tires and loves the snow and the beach. It never sees the road... I find it a refreshing change of pace. I take it into the woods too. It does well.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  5. #5
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    Any bike can be a 'winter bike'. It all depends on what you need (and prefer).

    Need fenders?
    Need a relaxed geometry?
    Need wider tires?
    Tubeless?
    How many gears?
    How long are your rides?
    Need to carry bags?

    For me, in the PNW, fenders are must, as is a relaxed geometry and wider tires.

    My winter bike happens to be a 1X Ti 'gravel' bike with 32mm Conti 4 seasons (not tubeless) and fenders. Works a treat.... The frame was found on ebay and was a *really* good deal. Ti is ideal for wet muddy rides, and it's a pleasure to ride.

  6. #6
    JSR
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    Iím in the PNW, too. A few days ago I succumbed to the inevitable. I set up my Trek Domane for winter riding, with fenders that go low in the back (riding buddies appreciate it), aluminum wheels shod with some funky tires that have thick road tread, and a somewhat larger Ortlieb waterproof saddlebag. I usually have lights front and rear, too.

    Iíd say the prototype quiver here now has a gravel grinder doing double duty as suggested by the OP plus a really lightweight bike for fair weather riding. Iím happy with my Domane, but sometimes wistfully dream about realigning my fleet.

  7. #7
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    My full blown winter bike has to be a flat bar bike so I can use pogies to keep my hands warm. I haven't found any decent pogies for drop bars.

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  8. #8
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    Love my Poagies!
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    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    Any bike can be a 'winter bike'. It all depends on what you need (and prefer).

    Need fenders?
    Need a relaxed geometry?
    Need wider tires?
    Tubeless?
    How many gears?
    How long are your rides?
    Need to carry bags?

    For me, in the PNW, fenders are must, as is a relaxed geometry and wider tires.

    My winter bike happens to be a 1X Ti 'gravel' bike with 32mm Conti 4 seasons (not tubeless) and fenders. Works a treat.... The frame was found on ebay and was a *really* good deal. Ti is ideal for wet muddy rides, and it's a pleasure to ride.
    With all the silly specialization today (gravel bikes, adventure bikes, endurance bikes, etc), I am surprised no one markets a "winter bike"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    With all the silly specialization today (gravel bikes, adventure bikes, endurance bikes, etc), I am surprised no one markets a "winter bike"
    http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/bikes/...er-road-bikes/

  11. #11
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    I use a Specialized Tricross as my "winter" bike. Granted, our winters here in VA are mild compared to a lot of them. It's mainly just the overload of salt they put down any time we are expected to get a flurry of snow.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by coondogger View Post
    Around here there are a lot of days that get up around the high 30s or low 40s F, in the winter. But the roads are wet, and muddy or slushy. I've found that my cyclocross bike is just the thing, with the right tires.
    It's a lot slower than a road bike but it handles crappy conditions a lot better. Anyone else use a graveler or Cx for winter, or just use a 'winter' road bike?
    Not much difference between gravel and CX. If you have a CX it should serve you well doing both.

  13. #13
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    In order to be a true "winter bike" where winter means "we get snow", I don't think a CX or gravel bike will do as the tires aren't and can't be wide enough.

    Case-in-point, I was riding my CX bike in early Spring on a bike trail that still had a patch of snow cover. I thought I could just ride through it and nearly killed myself in doing so My 700x34c tires were no match for several inches of slushy snow... it was just like riding through sand.

    Here in WI, winter bikes are fat tire bikes.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad.trent View Post
    I use a Specialized Tricross as my "winter" bike. Granted, our winters here in VA are mild compared to a lot of them. It's mainly just the overload of salt they put down any time we are expected to get a flurry of snow.
    I live in Arlington. Yep, the salty roads suck the next day when the roads get slushy. It's nice to have the W&OD and MUTs along the river they don't salt. Riders use them to get to work, so they get plowed like the roads. The next day, they're rideable on 28 or 25 mm slicks.

    I've dedicated a Columbus SL/SLX/SP bike with rack and full fenders, 52/43 up front, 13-28 in back. 28 mm slicks do the trick. The bike has shallower angles than the "race" bike, holds its line no matter what, and under-steers in corners, great on the wet spots. I ride it year round on errands and on rainy days. Thanks to the fenders it stays relatively clean.

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