If you've been following along, you know that my Bottecchia is no longer serving as my winter bike. There were things I liked about it and things I didn't: I liked that my bars were wide and overall loved riding that bike, but I didn't like the lack of clearance/ wrong wheel size for studded tires and the "aggressive" position that makes the Bott awesome in the summer but awkward in the winter
My experiences from my first winter riding gave me a pretty good idea of what I was looking for this winter. I knew I wanted a single speed bike that could accommodate studded tires and full fenders, a rack, and a more upright position. But what is the best way to get what I want? Buy a used bike? Buy a frame and build it up? Or the third option...
A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a blue Lotus mixte that I liked in theory, but didn't really like to ride. I originally planned to ride the Lotus as my "toodle around town" bike for short errands and casual rides, but that was a silly notion because whenever I run errands I like to be fast and efficient. The Lotus was too upright and slow.
I kept the Lotus around as a spare bike to loan to friends that came over because the upright position and mixte frame are easy to mount and ride. (There is no straight top tube so, in other words, standover is not such a big deal because if they are a little short for the bike the top tube is not going to be on their crotch.)
But... to the point.
I went to Sunrise Cyclery and asked Jamie what it would take to convert Little Miss Mixte, as the Lotus is affectionately named, to a single speed ice-crushing bad-ass. It turns out to be super easy and fast to cut the shift cables, remove the shifters and derailleurs, and mount fenders and a rack. It takes a little more time and energy to go the other way and add gears to a bike that's been stripped down/ converted...
1. Wheels- Miss Mixte had 27" wheels, and I needed 700c in order to accommodate studded tires. Wheels $200, Schwalbe Marathon studded tires $120 (and that was with a 2 for 1 deal- ouch)
2. Brakes- Dropped the brakes to accommodate for the smaller diameter 700c wheels.
3. Shifty parts- Snipped all of my derailleur cables, removed derailleurs from the frame, removed shift levers. Donated the parts to Sunrise.
4. Fenders- Purchased new SKS fenders from Sunrise. I had to get some expert help adjusting them just right. This part probably took the longest.
5. Rack- Shayne helped me put on a rack for all of my winter cargo needs.
6. New Name- Little Miss Mixte is DEAD. The Lotus has been reborn! What should her new name be?
The only thing that would make it more perfect would be a better seat. That thing kills after about 5 miles.
I plan on writing a post later about what I like and don't like about my new winter bike.