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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 11-15-04, 04:59 AM   #1
Tom_The_Bikeman
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Snowballing your Freewheel

Hi all,

Had a snowy ride last Saturday, and ended up "Snowballing" my freewheel. "Huh? What'sat?" Well...when the perfect storm of wet, rainy snow and cold hits you, and your freewheel is fairly tight, then you end up losing all of your lower gearing, and can ride only with the largest cog.

Anyone out there have any suggestions (baring a new Rolloff rear hubbie) for me?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 11-30-04, 10:00 AM   #2
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singlespeed, or even better, fixed gear.
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Old 11-30-04, 02:24 PM   #3
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Wax
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Old 11-30-04, 03:37 PM   #4
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Shimano Nexus or SRAM is less expensive than Rohloff. I have Nexus, and it is perfectly happy in snow and ice, trouble-free for three years and 13,000 km.

Paul
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Old 12-01-04, 02:52 AM   #5
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Singlespeed, honestly, no problems, no sounds, no freezing gears, very nice.
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Old 12-01-04, 09:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSSwede
Singlespeed, honestly, no problems, no sounds, no freezing gears, very nice.
I second that. A nice winter SS or fixed gear bike will not only eliminate this problem, but your regular bike won't get wrecked by the salt and road derbris.
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Old 12-03-04, 01:50 PM   #7
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The main reason why I'm loathe go fixie is that I've got some biggish hills on my commute...and I'd hate to have to go REALLY REALLY slow in order to keep my legs from spinning off. Mind you, I used to race (nothing wonderous, but I *can* spin) and I've ridden my fixie down the smaller hill, and just way over spun my poor leg units.

It *WOULD* be very cool, but it's not (yet) something I'm considering for winter riding...

Fixie guys & guyettes...do you ride fixies when there are hills to climb/descend?

thanks for the responses, btw, I thought that noone ever had experienced this before...

Cheers,
Tom
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Old 12-04-04, 01:13 PM   #8
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Hills? Sure, though I don't know how hills here compare with there... If not fixed, SS will save you a lot of hassle. The rest of the bike turns into a snowball, but you can still move.

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Old 12-06-04, 02:36 AM   #9
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I have a SS mtb geared at 32/14 which is fine for me, but gear choice is always individual, I prefer SS because then I can use a gear comfortable in the snow and uphill and just coast downhill. But thatīs me, others prefer fixed.
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Old 12-06-04, 04:48 AM   #10
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cool picture! Is your SS not a fixie?

thanks,
Tom
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Old 12-06-04, 06:57 AM   #11
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For the people who advocate switching to a single speed, remember, the worst thing that happens when our derailleurs freeze is that we end up with a single speed. The horror!

My derailleur froze once or twice all last winter. I got to where I was going, wiped it down, and let it thaw.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 12-06-04 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 12-06-04, 01:43 PM   #12
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Tom, my mountainbike is a SS.

Daily Commute, true, but not always a gear of your choice. When it's single-speed it's by design, when you're frozen over, it's just broken.
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Old 12-06-04, 01:54 PM   #13
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The nice thing about fixed gear is the backup for when your brakes become iced over. I would say go for a singlespeed, you won't be disappointed. If the hills are really rough, use a lower gearing, such as a 32x18 or even 20, and that'll get you up the hills easily. You will have next to nothing for speed on flats, but the gearing is a compromise between flat speed compared to climbing ability.
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Old 12-06-04, 02:20 PM   #14
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I run a two speed in the winter. I just lock a crappy rear derailleur in place with a short cable, then run a single shimano cog from a worn out cassette with tons of spacers. Then I still use my front derailleur as normal. Not as slick looking, or simple as a SS, but it is very reliable in the snow. I get a low gear for taking off from stoplights, hills, strong winds or deep snow, and a high gear for cruising. Simple enough so that there is very little maintenance required, although sometimes I do have to kick the Front D with my heel to get it to shift. When summer comes, I put it back to 16 speed, and I save $$$ on parts that would have gotten trashed by salt.
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Old 12-06-04, 03:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostontrevor
Daily Commute, true, but not always a gear of your choice. When it's single-speed it's by design, when you're frozen over, it's just broken.
So basically, a SS is just an intentionally broken geared bike?
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Old 12-06-04, 04:17 PM   #16
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Exactly.
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