Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-01-08, 08:59 PM   #1
brandonspeck
everyday I'm hustlin'
Thread Starter
 
brandonspeck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes: Surly Crosscheck, Surly Steamrolla
Posts: 453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
brandonspeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-08, 09:01 PM   #2
kjohnnytarr
Instigator at best
 
kjohnnytarr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Columbia, Missouri
Bikes: Motobecane Jury
Posts: 1,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
kjohnnytarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-08, 09:07 PM   #3
brett jerk
zizeked
 
brett jerk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
brett jerk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-08, 09:44 PM   #4
dutret
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: GA
Bikes:
Posts: 5,317
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
dutret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-08, 11:11 PM   #5
kjohnnytarr
Instigator at best
 
kjohnnytarr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Columbia, Missouri
Bikes: Motobecane Jury
Posts: 1,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
kjohnnytarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-08, 11:15 PM   #6
Jawn P
Senior Member
 
Jawn P's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Kent, Ohio
Bikes: Waterford 1200, Redline Monocog, Redline Conquest Pro, Surly Long Haul Trucker, and a Sunday BMX bike!
Posts: 211
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
From my personal experience, fixed gear excels in the winter. It's especially helpful in slush and conditions where rim brakes will not work.
Jawn P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-08, 11:55 PM   #7
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Bikes: See my sig...
Posts: 27,262
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
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.
Sixty Fiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-08, 12:01 AM   #8
brandonspeck
everyday I'm hustlin'
Thread Starter
 
brandonspeck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes: Surly Crosscheck, Surly Steamrolla
Posts: 453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
brandonspeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-08, 12:03 AM   #9
brandonspeck
everyday I'm hustlin'
Thread Starter
 
brandonspeck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes: Surly Crosscheck, Surly Steamrolla
Posts: 453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
brandonspeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-08, 03:30 AM   #10
dobber
Perineal Pressurized
 
dobber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: In Ebritated
Bikes:
Posts: 6,557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
dobber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-08, 03:34 AM   #11
tryfuhl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Waldorf, MD
Bikes:
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
constant feedback will be necessary, not saying go SS or FG per se, but how often are you going to "coast" through the snow?
tryfuhl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-08, 04:34 AM   #12
riderx
BFSSFG old timer
 
riderx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Fredrock
Bikes:
Posts: 1,913
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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 .
riderx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-08, 11:35 AM   #13
beerfilter
Senior Member
 
beerfilter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 264
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
FG is even more zen in snow.

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


-Basho, Winter 1639

beer
beerfilter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-08, 12:59 PM   #14
JYPC
Aphoticism.
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 53
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Fixed is great in the winter with snow and ice, more control.
JYPC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-08, 01:40 PM   #15
chris wielk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: brooklyn
Bikes:
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
chris wielk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-08, 01:46 PM   #16
MIN 
big ring
 
MIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: philadelphia
Bikes:
Posts: 5,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by beerfilter View Post

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


-Basho, Winter 1639
Excellence.
MIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-08, 01:49 PM   #17
uke
it's easy if you let it.
 
uke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: indoors and out.
Bikes:
Posts: 4,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
uke is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:39 PM.