I ride a D440 everyday as a Bike Messanger. I have Planet Bike Casscadia Fenders, Avid Single Digits, Race Face cranks/seatpost/handlebar, and Ritchey 700c Speedmax tires. We are in full blown winter up here and the bike is fantastic!
I commute on a mostly stock d440 everyday and I love that sob. Very fast! Except now when there's an inch or two of ice on the ground... I have to ride like my grandpa's grandpa.
Really contemplating studded tires...
I use the SKS 29er fenders on the front and back they've done a great job keeping me dry through absolutely everything you could imagine... that includes riding two miles in four inches of slush. It was nasty, but fun because I had the front and rear fenders. I did get a little splash on my kicks though. I don't think those tight fitting fenders would work very well in situations where you can get build-up, or if you want to run some beefy tires for getting through the snow.
My friend uses a D440 as a daily commuter with 35mm schwalbe slicks when there isn't snow on the ground, knobbies when there is. It works great, good value for the money for sure.
I think redline makes solid frames and offers good value for the components, generally The redline 925 is a very popular commuter singlespeed, and the metro9 uses pretty much the same frame. If you don't need wider than maybe 30mm tires either of those would be great.
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