if you want to lower your winter costs and increase your steeze (style with ease), turn your car in for a bike this winter. just imagine it, your riding through town square in a snow storm, with howling winds, low temps, a smile on your face and a fresh 6-pack in one hand. no big deal right? that’s because you did your homework and now you kick ass! if you aren’t winter commuting yet, here’s how you get it done:
things you’ll need: a bicycle, studded tires, fenders & lights
optional extras: leg band, low light shades, full length cable housing.
frame: the most reasonable bike to set up would be an old, steel, suspension-less mountain bike, but most bikes will work, 26″ or 700c, without a problem – just stay away from proper road bikes.
tires: you’re going to have to set up your rig to handle several types of surface conditions: ice, slush, snow, pavement and any mixture of those. you need studded tires. the advantage to a mountain bike studded tire is that it’s more effective with the added surface area. the road (700c) studded tire is going to be faster which will make it better for the shoulder seasons (when most of the snow and ice is gone).
fenders are a must. all of the sand, gravel, salt and whatever else makes it onto the roads can be completely blocked from reaching your ass by some good fenders.
lights: since the road conditions are less than spectacular (not that you care) and variable, you need to see the road at night. this is different than a lot of our summer commuting methods, where you really just want cars to see you. invest in a light that can help you see the variable conditions, and you will ride safer and faster.
extras: the leg band keeps your pants from getting caught in your drive train – this can be as simple as a rubber band. low light shades help riding at night and the day – keeping the crisp air from tearing up your eyes before you walk into the bar will help you avoid unneeded conversations. and if you want your braking and shifting to work great all winter long, take ‘yer steed to your local bike shop to have some full length cable housing installed, this will keep any moisture from sneaking in there and locking your cables up.
and the best part about your fresh new ride is that you don’t have to wait for it to warm up in the morning.