||11-22-14 12:22 AM
Originally Posted by alanf
I used to live in Northern Canada and I enjoyed driving my road bike on top of the snow where the skidoos had pressed it down firm. Also when it is really cold, the ice on the roads would be coated with a sandpaper like frost so by being careful, I drove all winter with my road bike slicks.
First year I put screws in my tires but it was like driving uphill all the time so I got rid of them. Gradually I discovered that as long as you are careful you can drive on whatever you like.
As you mentioned grease does freeze and I found that lower than -25 C (-13 F) the chain wasn't too interested in switching gears. By -35 c (-31 F) switching gears was very difficult. Probably would be a good idea to flush the chain in a solvent or diesel to get the crud off first because that is what makes it stiff in the cold, then lube it with something light like WD40.
Fix gears have two qualities that make them uniquely suited for those conditions. One (actually this is true for all non-derailleur bikes) is that the chain just runs over two cogs. The conditon of the chaim makes very little difference, excepth that when you have frozen links, you need to slide the wheel forward to get the proper slack. I never rode in cold like you have, but the salt in Michigan and Massachusetts did a number on chains and no one had there outside hose bibs on to wash the bike.
And, for comfort: fix gears are far warmer to ride downhill!