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

Go Back   > >

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.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-10-10, 07:23 PM   #1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Aurora, CO
Bikes: CAAD9-1, Windsor Cliff 29er
Posts: 1,306
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).
cooleric1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-10, 07:30 PM   #2
storckm's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Columbus, OH
Bikes: Yuba Mundo; Early 70's Free Spirit (Reynolds 531) fixie; 80's Shogun 500; Mid 90's Iron Horse tandem; trailer and tag-a-long; Schwinn Range for commuting, with lights and front and rear racks.
Posts: 558
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.
storckm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-10, 09:52 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 2010 Kona Dr. Dew, Moose Bicycle XXL (fat bike), Yuba Mundo V3
Posts: 902
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.
Arcanum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-10, 09:55 PM   #4
all-weather commuter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: Graham Cycles Kilo-Graham all season fat bike, and a few others
Posts: 314
My winter bike is fixed and front disc. I would much rather switch to freewheel than to a rim brake.
RobertFrapples is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-10, 10:15 PM   #5
Ride for Life
wearyourtruth's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 2,729
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.
wearyourtruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-10, 10:53 PM   #6
Senior Member
AEO's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin
Posts: 12,258
I'd go for the discs.
unless it's a really cheap freewheel that's prone to freezing.
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
AEO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-10, 06:50 AM   #7
Senior Member
wolfchild's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes
Posts: 3,983
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.
wolfchild is offline   Reply With Quote

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 07:08 AM.