Comment 70247

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 01, 2011 at 11:49:13 in reply to Comment 70238

Personally, I love winter cycling, and have spent more time doing it than I could ever count. But it can certainly be a bit daunting at first.

My preference is a fixed-gear with a low ratio, mostly because of the extra control and feedback over traction. Plus, I've had breaks and gears fail enough times in the winter (and from it) that they seem like a lot more trouble than they're worth in a snowstorm. For tread, I really like cyclocross tires, designed for off-road racing with road bikes. They have enough tread to grip the snow but are still thin enough to cut down through it to the road itself. For the record, though, pretty much any bike can be ridden in the winter - I've spent enough time doing it on fancy road bikes to know that's not impossible (though, as I must spend this afternoon replacing another salt-mangled dérailleur, not advisable).

Montreal has an incredible number of all-year cyclists. Given their drivers, roads and snow-clearance policies, this seems a bit of a miracle, but it certainly goes to show that it is possible.

As far as bikes go, the best advice I can give is "just do it". You'll be surprised what you can do, even if it's just Sunday rides. Nobody can force you - it's a personal journey, but one which can be incredibly rewarding. I road to Nanticoke and back last weekend, and our group included many "ordinary people", some older than my parents. A bicycle is a machine designed to make moving easier and more efficient than walking - and that's exactly what it should do.

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