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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-24-05, 10:45 AM   #1
Ken Cox
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Changing gears for winter

I got out the winter clothes and changed over from my cotton newsboy bag to my Chrome Kremlin.
I think I will change my gears, too.
I presently ride 53X17 for about 82 gear inches.
I really like 47X17 for about 72 gear inches because I can almost always do all my braking with my legs, which keeps me off of the front brake.
I'll probably switch chain rings this afternoon or tomorrow.
So, what does everybody else plan on doing in preparation for winter, if anything?
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Old 09-24-05, 10:58 AM   #2
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as soon as i get my track bike up and running, i'm going to give my geared ride fenders, fat-ish knobbies, drop instead of bullhorns, and a bike rack
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Old 09-24-05, 11:21 AM   #3
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Fixed gear mountain bike. Grr, tough!

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Old 09-24-05, 11:41 AM   #4
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Fixed gear mountain bike. Grr, tough!

What's all that white mud-looking-stuff on it?
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Old 09-24-05, 12:00 PM   #5
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That's how fun looks on camera.
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Old 09-24-05, 12:03 PM   #6
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my commuter is getting a fork swap-- tight road to wide mtb allowing fat 26 knobbies and wide studded 700's depending on condition. reducing gear combo to 43x20 or 36x16 or around theres. front and rear fenders. debating what pedals to use. ugly but rugged.
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Old 09-24-05, 12:04 PM   #7
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i'm cold looking at that pic

anyway i think i'll be taking off my rear brake and sticking a cycle cross or some other knobby tire on the back
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Old 09-24-05, 12:16 PM   #8
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You'd be better off putting it up front for control.
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Old 09-24-05, 12:30 PM   #9
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i'll get as big a tire there under the brake as i can
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Old 09-24-05, 02:07 PM   #10
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I bought cx knobbies this week, switching frames and cranks for smaller gear and possibly the coolest looking dhromed fenders i can find
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Old 09-26-05, 07:36 PM   #11
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I am thinking about taking a ENO hub and building a new rear wheel for ye old hardtail for the gravel and such this winter. Plenty of off road stuff so a 32 up front and something nice and slow on the rear. Don't mind the conditions, just the traction, i.e. ice.
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Old 09-26-05, 08:17 PM   #12
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I just need to buy some new lights as my old ones have pretty much given up. Might also make a bigger mudflap for my front mudguard as it currently doesn't stop water from spraying the bb/chainring.

I find one of the big advantages to fixed/ss is you don't have to mess about much before during or after winter. Keeping my mtb going on the other hand...
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Old 09-26-05, 09:16 PM   #13
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Ahhh... the pleasantries of living in the south...
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Old 09-26-05, 09:35 PM   #14
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Since I got a nice old Trek 400 12 speed, I took my nishiki 10 speed and single speed-ified it, added riser bars with mtb levers and some old cruiser grips, 42:16, same ratio as my fixed. I'll probably swap out the crankset for another I have with a chain guard. Then I'mma probably buy some BMX pedals that take toe clips and put some resin clips on so if I want to ride in winter I can also fit boots on the pedals. I also have 700x32c specialized flak jackets on it for now but I'll probably switch them out to some 25c's I have lying around for now as the 32s are kinda slow
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Old 09-26-05, 09:36 PM   #15
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I'm going from 48/17 to 38/19 when the snow hits. That and studded tires. I'm riding a converted 80's rock hopper on 26" wheels.
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Old 09-26-05, 09:44 PM   #16
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I just converted from 48/14 to 48/17 for the winter and I am planning on putting some cx konbbies(instead of slick 23s) on it as well but haven't picked a tire yet....suggestions?
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Old 09-26-05, 09:54 PM   #17
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What are the advantages of a mtb frame over a road frame in the snow? I've already decided to do another conversion for winter. I figure if I get an older road frame fitting cyclocross tires shouldn't be so hard.
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Old 09-26-05, 10:24 PM   #18
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I think basically fatter tires, the geometry would also be more stable than a racing geometry road frame.

For myself I put on full fenders with water bottle cut out mud flaps, I'm still running my 25c Volantes because in portland, it ain't gonna be snowing for a while (if at all).
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Old 09-26-05, 10:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Ahhh... the pleasantries of living in the south...
Amen.
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Old 09-26-05, 10:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
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What are the advantages of a mtb frame over a road frame in the snow? I've already decided to do another conversion for winter. I figure if I get an older road frame fitting cyclocross tires shouldn't be so hard.
mtb's are soooo much better for snow. if you slip and lose balance, you can put your foot down much easier to catch yourself. front vbrakes or disks are great in snow. tire clearance is better. come summer, you have a fixed mtb for trails
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Old 09-27-05, 09:04 AM   #21
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Winter prep:

Add a front fender to the road fixed gear (rear always on). Drop gearing a tooth in the rear to compensate for flappy clothes and dense air.

Put the studded tires on the single speed MTB. Drop gearing to 42X18, so that i can actually spin up the heavy, heavy tires, and for plowing through snowbanks. Put on bmx-style platforms for those emergency dismounts and tripod turns.
It's got a flap-style fender on the back, to prevent snow from building up between fender and wheel.

Wrap bars with inner tubes rather than cork.
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Old 09-27-05, 09:20 AM   #22
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I'm doing up my winter ride now, and It's so delightfully ugly, I can't wait till it's done. It's a light blue women's 3-speed frame (Ross Eurotour) with a wicked-long seatpost that I copped from an exercise bike (to accommodate my 6'4" self), super swept-back cruiser bars, 700 rear wheel with 35 mm knobbies, and the original 26 x 1 3/8 front wheel. It's all set up with a 46 x 15 ratio right now, which is much too tough for winter. I have a 40-tooth ring for the front, but I need to take it to the LBS because it has a one-piece crank and somehow, although I have the right size of wrench to take off all the other nuts, the one that holds the chainwheel to the crank is some special Communist size that I can't undo.
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Old 09-27-05, 09:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genericbikedude
mtb's are soooo much better for snow. if you slip and lose balance, you can put your foot down much easier to catch yourself. front vbrakes or disks are great in snow. tire clearance is better. come summer, you have a fixed mtb for trails
Of course a cyclocross frame has all the same advantages except a mtb will obviously be built for heavier offroad use in your summer months.
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Old 09-27-05, 12:22 PM   #24
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Do y'all in the northeast ride clipless in the snow? I usually go platform and boots, and have wished I was clipped in more then a few times, but this will be my first fixed winter.
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Old 09-27-05, 12:33 PM   #25
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Last winter I had clips and straps, working in awkward conjunction with boots. I guess the key is to find yourself a pair of winter boots with a relatively small toe that can fit in a clip. I don't know from clipless, but I know they make those insulated booties that go over bike shoes, so you could wear thick wool socks, clipless shoes, and booties (and maybe some galoshes with a hold cut out of the bottom) and probably stay pretty warm & dry.
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