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single speed snow riding

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single speed snow riding

Old 08-25-14, 06:24 AM
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single speed snow riding

I just got hooked up with a single speed mountain bike 26". I haven't had a mountain bike in a few years, but I'd like to take it out this winter in Massachusetts. Have a couple questions stirring and would appreciate any advice on what to expect or plan for. I imagine I'll want to find packed in snowmobile trails, but is it going to be feasible to make my way through fresh snow?

1. Gear ratio is 34x17 right now. Any adjustments for snow riding?
2. Tire selection- studded? I'd probably want to go over some frozens lakes too.
3. Safety precautions- I know the obvious- bring plenty of food, water, warm clothing, cell phone, flat repair. Know the trails and be conservative. What else?
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Old 08-26-14, 03:30 PM
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I'll give this a shot since nobody else has responded. I ride in the snow on a 29" mtb SS. You'll want to find packed trails for sure as riding in fresh snow isn't much fun and on a single speed it makes it miserable. the gearing will always be wrong no matter what you pick but I would probably put a 19 cog out back as climbing with that big gear in the snow will be hard and you'll probably spin out when you have to stand up. The 19 might allow you to sit and spin more climbing. I just ride my regular tires as they are tubeless and I don't want to mess with them.
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Old 08-26-14, 06:02 PM
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Check out the winter cycling forum here, a lot of great info there.

I ride a single speed mtb in the winter and I love it, IMO single speed mtb is the best for snow/ice biking.

1. Your 52" gear ratio is fine, I run a 56" gear and works great and I ride in snow, ice, ruts, slush everything.
2. Invest in good studded tires, they are heavy but well worth the $, cheaper than broken bones. I use nokian w106_
3. Don't over dress,you will heat up quickly and keep your extremities warm, bring extra food, water etc., you are on the right track.

I love winter cycling, it is a great workout and come spring riding your regular bike you will be in incredible shape and your average mph ride will go up.

This is a good starting point:
Studded Bicycle Tires
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