How to Choose Your Best Bike for Winter Commuting? Full Guide
It is rain, mud, snow, sand, ice, reagents, and other “joys of life” on which you will have to ride.
What Are “Winter Conditions”?
For such conditions, wide tires (to increase contact with the ground) and disc brakes (to guarantee responsiveness) are ideal. In the racing calendar, the season begins in the spring and ends in September. Therefore, the winter months are traditionally used to build endurance through long leisurely “base miles.” That’s why the best winter bikes tend to have a more relaxed frame geometry and cassettes with more cogs.
What Is the Best Bike for Winter Commuting?
In short, a winter bike is a second (third, fourth…), relatively inexpensive bike that you ride in the winter (haven’t you heard of it?). It’s usually little more than a bike equipped for riding in mud and ice, though: mudguards, cheap (or old) wheels, and wide tires are all things that a winter bike user should have installed. You can also add a pump placed on the frame to deal with the inevitable punctures, a bigger saddlebag for spare tubes and clothing, and, of course, a decent set of lights. In general, things whose necessity is dictated by common sense.
You can, of course, have just one bike and for the winter to equip it with all these things, but the constant replacement of parts depending on the weather can be cumbersome if you just want to get out of the house and ride. Plus, your bike will be subject to a lot more wear and tear in dirty, cold weather, so if you want to keep your best bike in its best condition as long as possible, it’s worth considering an inexpensive spare bike in winter, late fall, and early spring.
Why Do You Need a Winter Road Bike?
Assume by default that you’re not going to hibernate from December to May, and that you’re determined to ride all that time. Ride outside, not in your room on a trainer. Winter inevitably brings with it bad (for the cyclist) weather as well as mud, salt, and potholes on the roads. In these conditions, your bike can very quickly become covered with a black coating of chemically aggressive substances, and this has a negative effect on the gears, brake surfaces, and the frame itself.
That’s not to mention the fact that you’ll be in the mud too, and a wet bottom of your clothes is not the best companion during long winter rides.
What to hide, your bike has a hard time in winter, and there is nothing worse than watching your thousands of dollars, your pride, your joy, your beloved bike slowly dissolve in the mud. You just shouldn’t use it in the winter! Plus, our summers can now also be wet and cold, so you can think of your second bicycle as a bike “for bad conditions”.
What to Look for in the Best Bikes for Winter Riding?
- Remember, fitting fenders are essential — not only will they keep you from getting wet, but they will also protect you from splashing and dirt, as well as protect all parts of the bike from being adversely affected. In order to be able to put fenders on, you need a bike with clearance for them — so make sure there’s enough room between the feathers to fit them. If you’re going to put fenders that require bolting to the frame, make sure there are holes on the frame for these bolts (most carbon frames don’t have these holes). If you are going to put 25 or 28 millimeters wide tires on your fat bike winter, also make sure that the clearance between the feathers and between the brake pads is sufficient for this.
- Disc brakes for road bikes in winter are gaining in popularity and are no longer as expensive as they were a couple of years ago. More reliable and confident braking, especially in wet conditions, makes disc brakes a good choice for winter bikes. Plus, removing the calipers of conventional rim brakes also means you’ll have more space to install mudguards.
- Pay special attention to wheel selection. You may be able to afford the lightest carbon wheels on your main bike, but for the best bike’s winter riding you need something more suitable (and cheaper). Pay special attention to wheel selection. Since the wheels will be exposed to water, dirt, and road chemicals, you need to take care that they can withstand such conditions well. Many people have a set of old aluminum wheels for just such a purpose (perhaps bought off-hand, or leftover from the main bike, or just bought at a sale). Suitable wide tires with puncture resistance and tread for wet roads are also a good idea. Most tire manufacturers offer at least one winter model.
Which Bicycle Is Best?
The best bikes for winter can really be anything: an old road bike, a cross bike, a gravel bike, or even a mountain bike. Many people, when they buy a new bike, put off the old bike and forget about it, even though they may well use it as a “winter bike.” Winter bikes usually have a metal frame rather than a carbon frame, and if you’re buying a new one, aluminum would be a reasonable choice. Sure, you can use a carbon bike, but it tends to be more expensive, and you’ll probably regret using it mercilessly in the worst weather with all that grease on the road. Choosing the best winter road bikes, of course, inevitably relies on your budget capabilities.
Five Best Winter Bikes for Riding
Decathlon Triban RC
For almost $1000 you get an aluminum frame, reliable TRP hydraulic brakes, and the Shimano 105 needs no advertising at all. There are mounts for mudguards, but you’ll have to buy the mudguards themselves. If you want to spend a little less, there is a model equipped with Shimano Sora for $680.
This bike features 27.5-inch wheels that are ideal for winter weather because they provide traction. They also allow you to ride safely and accident-free on icy winter roads. The bike is equipped with Tektro Gemini SL hydraulic disc brakes for reliable braking in wet conditions. The price is only $1000.
Pinnacle Arkose R1
The price of the bike is $1200. It’s a practical utility bike with internal cable wiring and shield mounts, giving a comfortable and aesthetic ride. And the company itself also claims it can fit tires up to 52 mm wide (pick your jaw up off the floor). All in all, the Pinnacle Arkose R1 has everything you could possibly need from a bike for winter 2021 / 2022.
Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Tiagra
A relatively expensive bike for $2190. The Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc is the bike for the rider who wants to feel just as spry in the winter, but still enjoy a comfortable ride. Part of the reason this bike is so comfortable is the SAVE micro-suspension in the frame, fork, and seat post. It does a great job of “eating up” all the vibrations and can even give you the feeling of riding an MTB in some places. For a skinnier wallet, there’s the Cannondale Synapse on an aluminum frame, with Shimano Tiagra brakes. All in all, there are plenty of options.
The Ribble Winter Road Bike
This off-roader in the world of bicycles provides the right protection for winter biking. The bike’s AS suspension sets it apart from other similar bikes and guarantees you better stability. Its wide 27.5″ wheels will make you feel confident even on the rink!The price for this bike starts at $1000.
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