thoughts on a good foul weather bike for trails, commute and trails
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  1. #1
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    thoughts on a good foul weather bike for trails, commute and trails

    Thinking about buying something I can use instead of my road bike to commute, ride trails and use for foul weather on the road. Trying to decide on a used "higher end" cross bike or a new lower end bike like a Gravity Zilla or Windsor Cyclo....any thoughts or suggestions.

  2. #2
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    for foul weather, I would have more confidence with disc brakes than cantilevers.

    other than that, the level of components is up to you
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    2013 Cannondale CAADX-6 Tiagra with 9-speed SLX RD to run 11-32T cassette and Stan's Alpha 400 rims and tubeless
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    Some Burton snowboard setups, one with stiff ol' Camber and one with Rocker-Camber-Rocker

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tednugent View Post
    for foul weather, I would have more confidence with disc brakes than cantilevers.

    other than that, the level of components is up to you
    Yeah. Canti's suck. I'm getting ready to change out my canti's for TRP's linear pull brake.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
    Yeah. Canti's suck. I'm getting ready to change out my canti's for TRP's linear pull brake.
    The reason canti's suck is because they're usually not properly adjusted and they're usually not easy to do so. Linear pull brakes are very easy to adjust so it's easier to get them to work well. However, properly adjusted, a cantilever brake will make cantilevers seem so-so.

    I've ridden my mountain bike with disk brakes in the rain. Like rim brakes I had to brake early and allow for the water to clear from the disk before the bike would slow down, which took a surprisingly long time. The 160mm disks seemed touchier when they finally started to grab, too. Still, the bike I'm putting together to ride this coming wet winter has a front disk brake.

  5. #5
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    I just recently bought a old Fuji mountain bike. It is amazing how soap and water... and a little oil... made it work so nicely. I put on new tires and I need to get a new chain for it as well. Chain, Tires, one tube, and of course full [bicycle purchase] price paid at the yard sale.... and I will be in for nearly $60.

    If I'd realized how nice a bike it was going to be.... I would have dropped eight more bucks and got the Swiss Army tires (not so bumpy). Less aggressive tires might be better for a commuter.

    I know nothing about disc brakes yet (never had any). The cantilevers [on the Fuji] needed adjusting (to shut them up). I've ridden it in the rain... and it stops great.

    Most of the old bikes I've bought have almost no miles or wear on them. There are tons of high quality cheap bikes out there at yard sales, craigslist, and bicycle co-ops.

    If you just want a solid dependable bike to get to and from.... that won't break your heart when somebody steals it. And that you won't lose sleep over cause you know the road slush and salt is eating away the paint job. A good used, quality, name brand, well equipped bicycle would be my choice.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 10-09-2013 at 06:44 PM.
    If I didn't bicycle when the weather is bad... I wouldn't be a cyclist. I'd just be another old fat man... with a bicycle hanging in his garage.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
    Yeah. Canti's suck. I'm getting ready to change out my canti's for TRP's linear pull brake.
    TRP's linear pull brake is a great choice. My buddy is using them for almost a year now if my memory serves me well with no problems at all...

  7. #7
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    I've only had trouble with canti's in the winter when my rim layered up with ice and I was using regular dry brake pads. Otherwise, I've never had issues with canti's and they've been on all of my commuter bikes since I've started bike commuting a few years ago. Having said that, disc brakes are much easier to deal with, canti's need a little adjusting every now and then where disc are more a set and forget system.

    For the bike, hard to beat the versatility of a cross bike. Get some fenders for the foul weather. You may think they look stupid but they save a lot of headache later when parts start wearing out faster or when you go to clean the road shnit out of your drivetrain.

    A lower end cross bike will probably serve you better as most high end cross bike are made for racing and may not have things like fender mounts or bottle cages bosses.

    What kind of "trails" are you referring to btw? When someone says trails, I think single track or two track which might require something all-together different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerector View Post

    What kind of "trails" are you referring to btw? When someone says trails, I think single track or two track which might require something all-together different.
    single track or double track can be rideable on a cross bike. Depends on the technical difficulty of the trail. If it's essentially smooth single or double, it's fine.
    2010 Specialized Secteur Elite with the RBR not-approved Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er upgraded to SRAM X9 with 1x10 and Stan's Arch EX rims and tubeless.
    2013 Cannondale CAADX-6 Tiagra with 9-speed SLX RD to run 11-32T cassette and Stan's Alpha 400 rims and tubeless
    and
    Some Burton snowboard setups, one with stiff ol' Camber and one with Rocker-Camber-Rocker

  9. #9
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    thanks for the info. As far as trails. These are almost exclusively very light off road conditions. there is no thought whatsoever to race off-road. In Cleveland where I live there are some great unpaved paths and trails throughout a metro park system that is in my backyard. What I'm looking for is a versatile bike that will be a 3rd bike for the sole purpose of commuting and recreational riding with friends. I have 2 other much higher end road bikes and I want keep away from the elements as much as possible. My only real reason to consider a used higher end bike was how well the components will hold up and will Sora / Tiarga stuff disappoint when I have used Ultegra, Dura Ace and Red. Ideally a 105 equipped cross bike is what I think I'd like to find. If that changes your perspective, I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts.

  10. #10
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    I picked up a Felt F65x cross bike for the same reasons and it is great. I also am doing a few cross races with it - what a blast! I spent $1800 and it has disc brakes, sram rival/apex which I am going to change to ultegra di2 or most likely campy chorus. I really rack up miles on this bike in the winter on the local towpath.
    Dogma, synapse disc, caad 10, de rosa neo primato, felt CX, epic, fat bike

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerector View Post
    I've only had trouble with canti's in the winter when my rim layered up with ice and I was using regular dry brake pads. Otherwise, I've never had issues with canti's and they've been on all of my commuter bikes since I've started bike commuting a few years ago. Having said that, disc brakes are much easier to deal with, canti's need a little adjusting every now and then where disc are more a set and forget system.

    For the bike, hard to beat the versatility of a cross bike. Get some fenders for the foul weather. You may think they look stupid but they save a lot of headache later when parts start wearing out faster or when you go to clean the road shnit out of your drivetrain.

    A lower end cross bike will probably serve you better as most high end cross bike are made for racing and may not have things like fender mounts or bottle cages bosses.

    What kind of "trails" are you referring to btw? When someone says trails, I think single track or two track which might require something all-together different.
    I'll add my endorsement to this. I had a base model Kona Jake set up with racks and it was great as a commuter / tourer, could off road decently and could be all purpose (do it all in most weather) with the right tire choice.

    If your main use will be more on road, a cross bike is great. If you're going to do more trails, an old mtb might be a better option.
    So 10 times wasn't enough and I'm going back again:my participant page for the 2019 Alberta Ride to Conquer Cancer.

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  12. #12
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    Just saw BD email they have the Zilla XX for 599 (X7/Apex drivetrain) today. That would be a great bike for Metroparks/Towpath and can go 29x1.75 if you want to ride in most any weather.

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