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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 09-04-07, 11:30 AM   #1
Videre non videri
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Bikes: 1 road bike (simple, light), 1 TT bike (could be more aero, could be lighter), 1 all-weather commuter and winter bike, 1 Monark 828E ergometer indoor bike
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Gearing down for the winter...

Couldn't resist when I read that other thread title...

But it is a serious question. I put together a singlespeed earlier this year, and it's now replaced my LHT as my commuter/errand bike. Since it started out as a 26" MTB, it will readily accept my 2.1" Nokian 294 studded tyres. So, my SS will also be my winter commuter as well as the exercise bike for days when the roads aren't dry. (For dry days with dry roads, in above-freezing temps, I'll use my skinny-tyred road bike.)

Now, my SS has 48/14 (86 gear inches), which is fine for warmer days (less bulky clothing, less dense air, predictable road conditions), but during colder times, speeds drop, making 48/14 a bit tall.

I'm not sure how low I should go. 48/16 would make the gearing "perfect", meaning that I theoretically wouldn't need my chain tensioner (I'd still keep it on there, though). But 48/20 (~60 gear inches) would probably be better, as I could then climb seated even up the hill at the end of my commute. A definite plus when ice and snow make traction less predictable...

It's a bit of a gamble too. If we get another warm, almost snow-free winter, the gearing will probably feel too low if I go with 48/20...

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