Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cowtown, AB
Bikes: Titus El Guapo, Misfit diSSent, Cervelo Soloist Carbon, Wabi Lightning, et al.
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CA to MN - did you lose a bet or something?
SS vs. gears. My wife and I ride all winter, she with gears, me on the SS. I have disc brakes [Avid BB7], she has v-brakes. Our roads are heavily salted and sanded for 4 months each year. The city uses something called "pickled gravel" to turn the snow into brown salty slop. Here is the frquency of maintenance and repair.
Brakes: Me - nuttin' / Her - 2 pair of pads, plus two full teardowns of the front brake [including sanding the corrosion off of the bushings]
Shifting: Me - no / Her - the front derailleur got gummed up, but threw some chain lube on it and it was good to go
Chain: Me - lube once every couple of weeks, cleaned it when the snow was gone / Her - ditto
BB: Me - classic cartridge BB creak, went away after 6 months / Her - outboard bearing crank [Truvativ GXP type], smooth and silent all season
In real terms, my SS needs less work than my wife's geared bike. I recommend disc brakes for winter riding, partially because they don't collect crap the same way a rim brake can. Also, if you go with SS, use a standard hub with a spacer kit and wide cog. I use a Woodman disc hubset, the Spot spacer kit and Surly cogs. The first winter I rode with an ACS Claw freewheel on a Spot rear hub. I trashed/broke 3 freewheels in 4 months, and the bearings in the Spot hub were done at the end of one winter. I find the standard cassette hubs to be far more durable and better sealed. Also, if you do manage to kill one, a freehub is cheap and easy to repair, and almost any shop will have them kicking around [Shimano parts].
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'06 Cervelo Soloist Carbon | '09 Titus El Guapo | '09 Misfit diSSent | '09 Wabi Lightning