I rode my wife’s winter bike to work today (she rides only part of the time and took the bus) in order to test out some changes that I made over the weekend. It’s the first time I’ve ridden anything but one or the other of the fat-bikes since the snows came.
The two-inch-wide Schwalbe Marathon winter tires are more than enough for the current road and path conditions, which consist largely of packed snow impregnated with sand, salt-snow, and bare pavement. But we already knew that, as I’ve been riding one wheel size or another of these tires for quite a few winters now.
But I did find out a few things:
- The handlebars feel much too narrow for me, but I suspect this is just because I’ve been riding nothing but 710mm Jones Loop bars for the past while. And she likes them, which is what matters.
- The rear fender’s jury-rigged mounting was only somewhat successful. I’ll either have to add more zip-ties to connect the fender to the rack, or swap it for a different fender.
- The front fender (they aren’t a matched set) is perhaps a little too narrow, based on the amount of sand and snow dust on my lower legs.
- The pedals do not have adequate traction, but also don’t have replaceable pins. I’ll switch them for a different pair.
- The rack fits well, and the panniers can be set far enough back so that they don’t get in the way of my heels (and her feet are naturally smaller than mine, so all the better).
- The gearing is awfully low–but we knew that already. She had me leave the 34×18 drivetrain when it snowed, but it’s pretty clear that a 34×16 would serve her a lot better.
Back to the shop with this one…