So I already posted this in 'winter cycling' but that forum is kind of dead so I figured I'd ask my fellow cv'ers. After all this is happening on an Ironman.
So I ran into an interesting problem last night. We had the first real snowfall of the year in Montreal and it managed to hit as I was commuting back from school. Luckily (or so I thought) I was on the 'winter bike' I'd been building all fall. An 85 dave scott ironman. The bike is equipped with 32c avocet cross tires and normal exage single pivots.
I've been concerned about the usability of such a twitchy, tightly built bike for winter use. Though last weekend it fared just fine in the mud on mt royal, I naturally assumed it would handle snow just fine. Wrong, in about two inches of snow I found it to be dangerously unusable. The front brake would lock up the front wheel when applied with any reasonable force at all. At low speeds the front tire would slide to a difficult to control stop. Braking from moderate speeds was downright horrifying with the front wheel locking up completely and skidding across the snow.
Could my problem be due to the fact that I've got such a tight fork combined with a short stem and bullhorns? I was thinking I might just be putting too much weight on the front end.
I've ridden two winters and never had this problem. I started as a messenger last year (february) and didn't have this problem once on my old bike (univega hi 10 roadie with 3 speed hub and steel front wheel) but it seems unavoidable right now. What can I do to fix this. Luckily I have another univega I could build up but its a shame to abandon such a nice ride.