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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bike Fit And Snow Tires...

...Just because it's time for a rant.  I tried to give some bike fit advise today, but no one listens to me.  I've gone off many times already about bike fit.  Here is a post from February of this year:

I'm not going to go on a long rant here, I promise. I talk a lot about bicycle fit. How do I do it? Good Question. Is it 0.67 x inseam? Is saddle height 0.883 x inseam? Do I use the FitKit? Here is a link to learn more about the many "systems." One thing for sure, if there are so many systems, they can't all be right. It would take a long time to read and understand all this information. So, make sure you read this one by Peter White. I really like this article. I use Peter's basic philosophy along with some formulas and 30+ years of personal experience.
So, if your bike does not fit, buying a new fork is not going to help one little bit.  Your hands hurt?  Tilt your saddle up.  I would never tell an engineer how to build a bridge or a doctor how to remove a gall bladder, but this I know; if your saddle height, saddle tilt, cockpit length, and bar height are not dialed in, you are going to hate your bike.  It's not about the bike, it's about the bike you are comfortable riding.  Now, go back and read Peter White again.  Bike fit is something that takes time, and you may never get it perfect.

Snow tires:  Studded snow tires provide no advantage on snow.  On ice, yes.  They are heavy, inefficient, and very expensive.  Make your own?  Been there and done that, wood screws, sheet metal screws, carbide screws, rolls of duct tape, it was all a waste of time.

Bottom line:  I've been riding in the snow as a commuter and mountain bike rider for over 10 years now in both Montana and Utah.  If the snow is dry, ride a fat mtb tire.  If the snow is wet ride a skinny cross tire.  In the winter (and the rest of the year) ride a fixed gear.  Slow down.  Let some air our of your tires.  If the road is covered in ice, don't ride.  If there are icy spots, learn to recognize them, and slow down.  Never hit your front brake on the ice.  On packed snow, just ride.  Slowly.

Now go out and buy that $800 29er fork and those $238 Nokian studded tires.  You need it!

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