Though Canadian winters are generally snowy and cold, there are various climates across the country that may play a part in determining what winter bike you are seeking. The bike you need will largely depend on what kind of riding is out your front door, the snow accumulation where you live, and the purpose for seeking out a winter bike. Here are five excellent bikes with very different things to offer to those who are seeking a bike to tackle winter with. No matter which suits you best, the important thing is it helps you to get excited about riding in the years coldest months.
Norco Ithaqua SL
For high-performance in the snow
The western Canadian-based company have a number of fat bikes worth considering but for performance, lightweight and speed the Ithaqua takes the top spot. With clearance for up to 5.0” tires, a carbon frame and fork, and specs across the line-up, The Norco Ithaqua is a snow crushing machine. The line-up starts with the 11 speed Shimano SLX equipped Ithaqua 2 at $3,700 and tops out at the high-performance Ithaqua SL at $7,500.
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The chromoly steel Bombtrack Beyond+ is a rigid trail bike built on 27.5+ wheels that come stock with 2.8″ tires. While not a fat bike, the beyond can still handle precarious traction which will see you riding over and through snow though not with the same ease as something wider. The Beyond+ is a trail adventure bike so if you want something with a bit more versatility it’s definitely worth having a look at easily if you will be riding groomed trails or live somewhere that only gets large dumps of snow occasionally. With plenty of water bottle and rack mounts, it can serve as a bike packing steed as well.
MEC Provincial Road 233
Like the Beyond+, the MEC Provincial Road 233, which we reviewed over the fall, is made from chromoly steel but it’s a drop bar adventure bike that’ll fit 40 mm rubber and has fender mounts. The bike is perfect for hitting messing trails, tackling the road when it’s gritty and is sturdy and capable on lots of terrain. If you have somewhere to store your commuter indoors it will get you to work in nasty weather but then allow you to get some training in outside as well. Put some slicks on it and it’s a very serviceable bike year round.
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Trek Farley 5
For fat bike value
You may not want to sink as much money into a dedicated fat bike as you would your trail or road bike. With that said, it’s still an addition worth making if you live somewhere that receives plenty of snow and you want to take advantage of the possibility of riding in it. With that said, the Trek Fairley retails for $2,150 but brings to the table everything you need for getting out in the snow. The alloy frame and the Shimano Deore 1x drivetrain should be durable and every winter when you want to ride in the snow you will be able to count on it being up to the task.
Giant TCX SLR 1
For snow ‘cross
If you are looking for a bike to kick around on during the winter, don’t overlook cyclocross bikes which can fulfill many roles. The well specced Giant TCX SLR 1 comes with SRAM Rival 1x and Giant finishing components. It retails for $2,400 which won’t blow your budget. The big plus of getting a cyclocross bike for your winter riding is it can also be used in the fall to race ‘cross, in the summer to ride gravel and anytime to tackle some tame singletrack.