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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Northeast Borders, UK
    Posts
    42

    Question As Spring in UK struggles I'm starting to think about getting a winter bike - ideas?

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    Hi all -
    Here in the UK we ought to be turning our thoughts to summer, but have hardly had Spring yet! Ok, I've decided, I'll do my bit to make the sun come out by starting to think what bike I might buy before the real winter kicks in again...

    So what I want to ask is have any of you suggestions for a bike which is:-

    Light in weight (i.e. something I can lift without doing in my back/neck etc)
    Suitable mostly for roads and occasional cycle or muddy/stony farm tracks (not heavy-duty MTB sort of stuff)
    Suitable gears for hills
    Speedy enough to keep up with the 10-14mph average cycle club weekend rides (I'm 62, non-competitive, average fitness)
    Relaxed geometry for comfortable hours
    Will take mudguards
    Fit an average-built 5'4", 29" inside-legged woman
    Happy with either drops or flat-bars
    ...ummm, I think that's it!

    As you can see from my signature, I've got a wonderful Ruby for when the roads aren't covered in farmyard muck/ice and a hybrid which is OK for shopping but too heavy for me to lift... so this fantasy bike would hopefully allow me to get out on more yucky days.

    I've heard that Specialized are tending to adapt their Tricross more towards a comfortable geometry rather than focussing it on CX competition... Does anyone have one and have useful thoughts about that? What experience of other bikes that could fit the bill might anyone have? Any suggestions gratefully received.

    If getting a winter bike doesn't instantly bring on a summer of glorious heat-wave then nothing will!!

    Cheers
    Jul 2013 - Genesis Croix de Fer
    Nov 2012 - 5yr old Specialized Ruby Comp
    2007 - Giant Cypress hybrid

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    11

    As Spring in UK struggles I'm starting to think about getting a winter bike - i

    I have a tricross that does all of the things you listed! I enjoyed it a lot ! It is now my spare, do it all bike for winter and where I don't want to risk my best bike.
    It survives the UK weather too, as I'm in Wales. I use it with 25 gatorskins and mudguards.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    859
    I have a Surly Cross Check (2011 - Robin's Egg Blue). It's technically a cyclocross bike, but I have SKS Longboard fenders (mudguards), a Brooks B17 saddle, Carradice Barley saddlebag for all my "stuff". It's steel and has a nice ride. Not too heavy. Left the steer tube uncut, so the handlebars (drop) are about the same height as the saddle. Original tires were knobby, but the shop I bought them from specializes in "commuter" type setups, so they put Panaracer Pasela Tourguards on. I has bar end shifters (shimano) which can be easily set to do either indexed shifting or friction shifting. I was concerned about whether I would get used to the bar ends and now I love them. Click image for larger version. 

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    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work" - Thomas Edison

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    The Tricross is their equivalent of my Charge or Surly's Cross-check. It looks suspiciously similar. (Well, the steel version does.)

    It's their more relaxed CX-type bike, but they don't bill it as a cross bike. They advertise it as a "do-anything-except-race-maybe" bike, presumably to differentiate it from the Crux, which is a racer. There's a steel version with discs.

    Since you're in the UK, try Charge's Filter line. I've got the version with Apex. It's steel, so it's a bit heavier, but it depends what you put on it. If I can get a new speed-oriented CX bike, I'm definitely putting a rack and fenders on this puppy.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    So, Tri-cross is more a do-anything bike, and Cyclocross is more for race?

    I knew I still needed a steel cross!!!

    N + 2--> A super smooth steel fixie and a Tri-cross do anything. Yea!
    Well, of course!
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Whitmore Lake, Michigan
    Posts
    920
    Do you have the opportunity to try out a fat tire bike? Those go in mud and snow like no business, not sure how they would handle the rest of your list though.
    Bike Writer

    http://pedaltohealth.blogspot.com/

    Schwinn Gateway unknown year
    Specalized Expedition Sport Low-Entry 2011

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Northeast Borders, UK
    Posts
    42
    Thanks so much for your response - It's good to hear that the tricross does what I thought it did! And thanks for the extra comment about the tyres. If you can bear to put fingers to keys again, could you tell me whether you ride the 25 gatorskins on stonyish 'green lanes' or just keep to tarmac?
    I reckon you've been having far grimmer weather down your way than I have, here on the coast of Northumberland... we're due some sunnier times, but I'm not holding my breath!
    Jul 2013 - Genesis Croix de Fer
    Nov 2012 - 5yr old Specialized Ruby Comp
    2007 - Giant Cypress hybrid

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Northeast Borders, UK
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by Howieduck View Post
    I have a tricross that does all of the things you listed! I enjoyed it a lot ! It is now my spare, do it all bike for winter and where I don't want to risk my best bike.
    It survives the UK weather too, as I'm in Wales. I use it with 25 gatorskins and mudguards.
    Hi Howieduck - my reply at 10.48 was, as you've probably realised, addressed to you but I'd forgotten it would just look like a general reply if I didn't include your comment... I'm learning :-)
    Jul 2013 - Genesis Croix de Fer
    Nov 2012 - 5yr old Specialized Ruby Comp
    2007 - Giant Cypress hybrid

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Northeast Borders, UK
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
    I have a Surly Cross Check (2011 - Robin's Egg Blue). It's technically a cyclocross bike, but I have SKS Longboard fenders (mudguards), a Brooks B17 saddle, Carradice Barley saddlebag for all my "stuff". It's steel and has a nice ride. Not too heavy. Left the steer tube uncut, so the handlebars (drop) are about the same height as the saddle. Original tires were knobby, but the shop I bought them from specializes in "commuter" type setups, so they put Panaracer Pasela Tourguards on. I has bar end shifters (shimano) which can be easily set to do either indexed shifting or friction shifting. I was concerned about whether I would get used to the bar ends and now I love them. Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks very much for your reply and helpful information about the Surly Cross Check... I'll check that out too, though am a bit doubtful about lifting the weight of a steel bike into the boot of my car - my hybrid does all sorts of grim things to my neck/back etc. if I try to get that in Thanks also for including the photo - It certainly looks a very practical equipage, the saddlebag is smart and I love the Robin's Egg Blue!
    Jul 2013 - Genesis Croix de Fer
    Nov 2012 - 5yr old Specialized Ruby Comp
    2007 - Giant Cypress hybrid

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Northeast Borders, UK
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by Owlie View Post

    Since you're in the UK, try Charge's Filter line. I've got the version with Apex. It's steel, so it's a bit heavier, but it depends what you put on it. If I can get a new speed-oriented CX bike, I'm definitely putting a rack and fenders on this puppy.
    Thanks for adding your thoughts on my query. I certainly will go and have a look/try ref. the Charge Filter/Surly options though, as mentioned above, I'm trying to find something as light as is reasonable, without going into carbonfibre. Good luck with your bike-hunt!
    Jul 2013 - Genesis Croix de Fer
    Nov 2012 - 5yr old Specialized Ruby Comp
    2007 - Giant Cypress hybrid

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Northeast Borders, UK
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Writer View Post
    Do you have the opportunity to try out a fat tire bike? Those go in mud and snow like no business, not sure how they would handle the rest of your list though.
    Hi - thanks for your reply. By 'fat tire bike' do you mean a mountain bike? I've already discount MTBs as being too similar to my hybrid but maybe I've got muddled... is a far tire bike something else. It sounds like you get plenty of mud and snow in Michigan - is that right?
    Jul 2013 - Genesis Croix de Fer
    Nov 2012 - 5yr old Specialized Ruby Comp
    2007 - Giant Cypress hybrid

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    A fat tire bike is a type of mountain bike that runs extremely fat (hence the name) tires that are run at a super low pressure. They tend to float in certain types of conditions and terrain, e.g,. sand and snow. Here's an example.

    A fat tire bike, in my opinion, would not be the best choice for what you've described. They're not typically particularly light and they'd bog you down on pavement.

    I wouldn't necessarily rule out steel just because of weight. For one thing, not all steel bikes weigh a ton, but keep in mind, too, that weight has as much to do with the frame itself as it does with how that frame is built up. So, let's say the Tricross frame, with for, weighs in at 4 pounds (which is one of the reported weights I saw for the bike) and the Cross Check comes in at 7 lbs with frame and fork. Assume you build up the bikes the same way, we're talking about a 3-pound difference. I'm not sure that's enough to be a dealbreaker--or at least it wouldn't be for me. The ride quality, however, for steel can be really worth the weight penalty, especially if you're riding the bike offroad. Just something to keep in mind......
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    A fat tire bike is a type of mountain bike that runs extremely fat (hence the name) tires that are run at a super low pressure. They tend to float in certain types of conditions and terrain, e.g,. sand and snow. Here's an example.

    A fat tire bike, in my opinion, would not be the best choice for what you've described. They're not typically particularly light and they'd bog you down on pavement.

    I wouldn't necessarily rule out steel just because of weight. For one thing, not all steel bikes weigh a ton, but keep in mind, too, that weight has as much to do with the frame itself as it does with how that frame is built up. So, let's say the Tricross frame, with for, weighs in at 4 pounds (which is one of the reported weights I saw for the bike) and the Cross Check comes in at 7 lbs with frame and fork. Assume you build up the bikes the same way, we're talking about a 3-pound difference. I'm not sure that's enough to be a dealbreaker--or at least it wouldn't be for me. The ride quality, however, for steel can be really worth the weight penalty, especially if you're riding the bike offroad. Just something to keep in mind......
    This. I have no idea what the weight of my frame is, but my Charge (size small), built up (but without bottle cages or pedals) weighs 22.75lbs, which is quite light for a stock steel bike. I have pedals on there that weigh 1.5 pounds by themselves, though. (I'm not a weight weenie. We were bored at work and got curious.) It also has disc brakes, and I could save some weight by upgrading the components to Rival or getting it some new wheels.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    859
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    So, Tri-cross is more a do-anything bike, and Cyclocross is more for race?

    I knew I still needed a steel cross!!!

    N + 2--> A super smooth steel fixie and a Tri-cross do anything. Yea!
    Quote Originally Posted by Owlie View Post
    This. I have no idea what the weight of my frame is, but my Charge (size small), built up (but without bottle cages or pedals) weighs 22.75lbs, which is quite light for a stock steel bike. I have pedals on there that weigh 1.5 pounds by themselves, though. (I'm not a weight weenie. We were bored at work and got curious.) It also has disc brakes, and I could save some weight by upgrading the components to Rival or getting it some new wheels.
    Well, just so you know, the Cross Check has semi-horizontal dropouts with adjusters to give you single-speed compatibility and wheel base adjustability. The Gnot-rite spacing (132.5mm) allows you to run 130mm road hubs and 135mm MTB hubs. (I copied this verbage from the Surly website). So, see, you can have a steel fixie and tri-cross in the same bike. lol
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work" - Thomas Edison

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Northeast Borders, UK
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    A fat tire bike is a type of mountain bike that runs extremely fat (hence the name) tires that are run at a super low pressure. They tend to float in certain types of conditions and terrain, e.g,. sand and snow. Here's an example.

    A fat tire bike, in my opinion, would not be the best choice for what you've described. They're not typically particularly light and they'd bog you down on pavement.

    I wouldn't necessarily rule out steel just because of weight. For one thing, not all steel bikes weigh a ton, but keep in mind, too, that weight has as much to do with the frame itself as it does with how that frame is built up. So, let's say the Tricross frame, with for, weighs in at 4 pounds (which is one of the reported weights I saw for the bike) and the Cross Check comes in at 7 lbs with frame and fork. Assume you build up the bikes the same way, we're talking about a 3-pound difference. I'm not sure that's enough to be a dealbreaker--or at least it wouldn't be for me. The ride quality, however, for steel can be really worth the weight penalty, especially if you're riding the bike offroad. Just something to keep in mind......
    You TE'ers are just great! I really appreciate all the comments made - and am very appreciative of the contribution from you, Indysteel, as I hadn't really understood how steel stands in relation to the other materials... I'll give it much more consideration now! The fat bike looks AMAZING. With lovely sandy beaches just along the road, plus ice and snow in the winter, how can I resist?! Oh dear, so now that's n=2 + 2... What WILL my DH say?
    Jul 2013 - Genesis Croix de Fer
    Nov 2012 - 5yr old Specialized Ruby Comp
    2007 - Giant Cypress hybrid

 

 

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