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I had built a set of snow stud tires a few years ago after a particularly long spell of snow in Seattle.  I hadn’t gotten a chance to use them in last year’s mild winter, and put them away.  In the meantime, I got a new “old” frame that I swapped out all my MTB components on and made a new winter bike.  The problem is that my new bike wouldn’t fit the snow stud tires.  I ended up rebuilding the old mountain bike frame into a dedicated snow beast.  I finished it earlier this year, but too late to test it in the early winter snow we had.

Well – I got my chance on Wednesday.  It was forecast to be a rough commute home with 2-6″ of new snow.  Needless to say, I rode the bike in, and home on dry pavement (figures), and discovered a few things I had learned a long time ago.

  1. Commuting on a mountain bike is no fun.
  2. Thin handlebars with plain old cotton tape is not too comfy – I prefer cork tape overwrapped with cotton for a added girth.
  3. I really like thumb shifters and v-brakes!
  4. A non-leather hammock seat (in this case a WTB) modern seat is not comfortable to me – I developed hot spots on the “cushy” seat after only a few miles.  I’m sticking with Brooks.
  5. Studded knobby tires are a waste of time unless you are on deep snow.  I went through more snow on Schwalbe Big Apple road tires with little problem earlier this year, and they were definitely less work.

I hate to say it, but this bike will quickly be sold, or just become a dedicated mountain bike again.  Sometimes what appears to be bitchin’ is really just lame…