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  1. #1
    everyday I'm hustlin' brandonspeck's Avatar
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    SS or FG better for snow or ice?

    Hey guys,

    I was curious what I should do come winter. I have a flip-flop hub and usually never use the SS.
    Some people tell me singlespeeds are better in the snow, while others tell me fixed is the way to go.
    What do you guys think?

    If I run it SS, I'll put my rear brake back on, obviously.
    "I think it’s dumb when you take the inherently fun like riding bikes and singing songs and say they’re not for everyone as if for your whole life you were cool as $h!t."

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  2. #2
    Instigator at best kjohnnytarr's Avatar
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    FG. You'll enjoy the ability to make small adjustments to your speed with traction feedback. In other words, you'll have an easier time slowing-down without skidding-out.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoshFrank View Post
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  3. #3
    zizeked brett jerk's Avatar
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    i've ridden both in snowy/icy northern vermont (commuting and fun-riding). I personally preferred the fixed gear for the immediate feedback that you get (it's a lot easier to tell when you're losing traction on a fixed gear bike than on a bike with a freewheel). That is... unless fixed wheels blow your mind?

    More important though is what kind of tires you're riding. Get yourself a pair of good studded tires, they'll be worth their weight in gold if they prevent you one time from slipping with a car behind you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjohnnytarr View Post
    FG. I either don't know how to use brakes are have bought into a load of **** so much that I have lost all sight of reason.
    If it's cold enough for the freewheel to have problems(very very cold) go fixed otherwise ss is better. You have just as good control over speed. Brakes give an experienced rider good feedback. You have better control of weigth distribution. You can foot dab easily. you can gear lower so you can apply a more even force to the rear wheel while climbing. etc.

  5. #5
    Instigator at best kjohnnytarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutret View Post
    If it's cold enough for the freewheel to have problems(very very cold) go fixed otherwise ss is better. You have just as good control over speed. Brakes give an experienced rider good feedback. You have better control of weigth distribution. You can foot dab easily. you can gear lower so you can apply a more even force to the rear wheel while climbing. etc.
    Dangit, shut down by ol' Dutret.

    Your way with the freewheel and the double brakes sounds OK, except that it'd better be a disk-brake if you're riding in slush. I rode home all bundled up in the snow and sleet many times last winter; when it gets bad enough that I have to wear goggles, I'm all about riding fixed or walking.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoshFrank View Post
    (By icing I mean puke and by cake I mean Lexus)
    Bikes: Flannigan, Finn Mac, Tim Finnegan, Nicholai Ivanich
    Words: Going Underground, Pedicabs After Dark, Thanksgiving Via The KATY Trail

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jawn P's Avatar
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    From my personal experience, fixed gear excels in the winter. It's especially helpful in slush and conditions where rim brakes will not work.

  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I prefer riding fixed to anything else in the winter but should note that here, we spell winter with a capital W and get freezing cold, snow, ice and slush.

    During warm spell I'll ride other bikes but when the snow hits the shovel the fixed gear offers the best efficiency and control.

  8. #8
    everyday I'm hustlin' brandonspeck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutret View Post
    If it's cold enough for the freewheel to have problems(very very cold) go fixed otherwise ss is better. You have just as good control over speed. Brakes give an experienced rider good feedback. You have better control of weigth distribution. You can foot dab easily. you can gear lower so you can apply a more even force to the rear wheel while climbing. etc.
    This is the main reason why I was considering freewheel. I don't think that the temperature will be that cold where there would be problems with the freewheel.

    I've already gotten into some little slip ups where I hit something slippery and I put my foot down and was thrown off due to the fixed cog.
    "I think it’s dumb when you take the inherently fun like riding bikes and singing songs and say they’re not for everyone as if for your whole life you were cool as $h!t."

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  9. #9
    everyday I'm hustlin' brandonspeck's Avatar
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    and in Boulder/Denver it's usually just ice or snow.
    But the slush is something to think about.

    I think what I'll end up doing is putting my rear brake back on, getting some cross tires, and running it singlespeed unless it's wetter and slushy-er which is when I'll run it fixed.


    thanks so much guys.
    "I think it’s dumb when you take the inherently fun like riding bikes and singing songs and say they’re not for everyone as if for your whole life you were cool as $h!t."

    -Bomb the Music Industry!

  10. #10
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    A bigger factor than fixed/free is tire size.

    I built up a 1x1 specific for my winter commute. Slow but fun,

    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  11. #11
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    constant feedback will be necessary, not saying go SS or FG per se, but how often are you going to "coast" through the snow?

  12. #12
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Fixed for snow and ice, hands down. You can see Duret and I argue about this in a blast from the past. If you get a lot of ice, studded tires are the way to go. Most freewheels (except White) aren't really sealed and will give you problems at 32F and below if you get moisture in there.

    If for some reason you decide to go SS, have a fixed cog on the flip-flop, you'll probably wind up needing it.

    The easiest thing to do is ride things both ways the next time it snow and decide for yourself, but I think I know what you'll decide .
    Single Speed Outlaw
    Riding Bikes and Drinking Beer.

  13. #13
    Senior Member beerfilter's Avatar
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    FG is even more zen in snow.

    I can feel my wheel
    sliding on the icy street
    arrospok drifting


    -Basho, Winter 1639

    beer

  14. #14
    Aphoticism.
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    Fixed is great in the winter with snow and ice, more control.

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    i've been thinking about this a lot too because this year i'll have a secondary bike therefore i will have an option. i think im going to keep mine fixed with 700x28 tires, full fenders and front and rear brakes if i can make it fit.

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    big ring MIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerfilter View Post

    I can feel my wheel
    sliding on the icy street
    arrospok drifting


    -Basho, Winter 1639
    Excellence.

  17. #17
    uke
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    it's easy if you let it. uke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerfilter View Post

    I can feel my wheel
    sliding on the icy street
    arrospok drifting


    -Basho, Winter 1639
    Post make thread worth reading.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

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