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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 12-10-10, 07:23 PM   #1
cooleric1234
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Disc brakes or fixed gear for winter?

Hypothetical question here. Let's assume you have a choice between two bikes that have the same studded tires, one bike is a single speed with disc brakes and the other is a fixed gear bike with canti brakes. All else being equal, which would be better for winter commuting (snow and ice)? If it makes a difference assume this is a pretty short commute (I'm being intentionally vague).
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Old 12-10-10, 07:30 PM   #2
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Assuming the same gearing, I'd go with the fixie, since it's more fun. I've never had any problems with rim brakes in the cold, and a fixed cog seems even more foolproof than a disc brake.
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Old 12-10-10, 09:52 PM   #3
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Discs. If you have to deal with serious snow and ice, even V-brakes are lacking. Rim brakes are prone to getting crusted with snow and then just not stopping you. My discs Just Work, even after plowing through thick layers of snow and slush.
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Old 12-10-10, 09:55 PM   #4
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My winter bike is fixed and front disc. I would much rather switch to freewheel than to a rim brake.
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Old 12-10-10, 10:15 PM   #5
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i feel that fixed gives you no advantage in snow. frankly, it gives you no advantage period (this is coming from someone who has 2). it's just fun to do. so for me it comes down to the brakes, and disc brakes work WAY better in deep snow. as said before, rim brakes are more likely to get **** all over them and not work properly.
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Old 12-10-10, 10:53 PM   #6
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I'd go for the discs.
unless it's a really cheap freewheel that's prone to freezing.
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Old 12-11-10, 06:50 AM   #7
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I have a fixed gear and I also have a singlespeed with disc brakes. Both have been extremly realible. If you decide to go with disc brakes I prefer mechanical discs. I don't like hydraulics because I had them acting up on me in very cold temps. Singlespeed freewheels can freeze if too much water gets inside but I have been oiling mine a lot and so far so good. If you are looking for utter simplicity and buletproof realibility then a fixed gear is the way to go, with a fixed gear even if your brakes freeze you can still stop your bike. Cheap freewheels need to be oiled regularly in winter time ,which is not a big deal for me it's easy to do. The best freewheel out there is WI ENO but the price is outrageous, I can get 5 dictas or a few shimanos for the price of one ENO and as long as I keep oiling them they keep working. Also fixed gears are much more fun to ride then anythong else.
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