It’s finally winter

It’s been an unusually mild Winter in Madison, and much of the rest of the Midwest. Until last week, we’d had nearly no snow and the temperatures were often in the 40s and 50s. I was beginning to wonder whether I’d even have to build up my winter bike this year.

But worry not: the odd weather could only last so long. Since Thursday, we’ve had about 7 inches of snow and normal winter temperatures. I was finally forced to turn to the studded tires, which in turn forced me to build up the winter bike (the studs are 26″ and I only have one 26″-wheeled frame these days).


[photos have gone missing…]

The frameset is a Trek Clyde from the first year that they were offered.  Black, aluminum, and apparently indestructible. Here’s the rest:

  • Wheels: Mavic A719 + black Surly hubs + Schwalbe Marathon winter (1.75″) studded (the winter wheels, I no longer use them for anything else)
  • Drivetrain: OEM crankset with 40t ring and guard, SRAM PC-1 chain, 18t ACS freewheel (on its third winter)
  • Cockpit: Surly Open bar, Ergon grips, Tektro levers
  • Brakes: cheap Cannondale branded v-brakes
  • Rack: 4-rail CETMA.
  • Fenders: SKS, the widest 26″ ones they make + VO leather mudflap.
  • The rest: bits and pieces from the parts bin.
  • Not pictured: Bar Mitts, Carradice Lowsaddle Longflap with its SQR mounting block, and a double-leg kickstand (still debating that).

It’s geared low enough that I can winch myself through just about anything, often without having to stand up. Better traction that way. And a good way to work on my spin in the off season.

Interesting bit of trivia, which I’d forgotten until I found out the hard way: the chainring is 1/2 inch, not 3/32. So instead of using a 3/32 chain I’d cobbled together out of extra bits of other chains, I had to go for a fresh, new 1/2 inch SRAM PC-1.

But no matter: the PC-1 is one of my favorite chains for fixed-wheel and single-speed riding. It’s strong, cheap, and not ridiculously heavy. Must remember to buy another couple; I had to use my last one.

One thought on “It’s finally winter

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