I’m going for it this year! I invested $130 in a new setup that has gotten me through all kinds of ice and snow in the last two weeks with no problems whatsoever. Will I make it all winter? Hopefully, but only time and Paul Douglas will tell. Here’s my ride:
Safety tips so far include: wear reflective vest in the evening, take it slow, and, as per my usual advice, take the back roads whenever possible. Also, I really like the ski goggles that Adam got me as an early Christmas present, though they’re not 100% necessary.
As usual, we tried to be as thrifty as possible, so here’s the cost breakdown:
$50 complete Nishiki Uptown bike in working order (via craigslist)
$65 set of Innova Tundra Wolf Studded Snow Tires
$15 set of SKS Beavertail fenders
The Nishiki Uptown was a great find. That thing is a tank. Added bonus: it has horizontal dropouts so after I trash the components this year, Adam could potentially convert it to a single speed or fixie for winter 2011-12.
Update, 12/27/2010: Boy, did I pick a great year to commit to winter bike commuting. We’ve had 33″ of snow so far this December, on our way to a record (more is expected later this week). But I only wimped out and took the bus a total of 3 times so far. I will, however, amend my earlier advice about only taking the back roads. During a snow emergency, you’ll want to stick with main roads and try to leave just a little before or a little after the main rush hour. I’ve been taking Bloomington Ave when the side streets are impassable and it’s been mostly pleasant.