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Winter bike idea.

Old 12-28-12, 11:56 PM
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hybridbkrdr
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Winter bike idea.

I'm just floating this out there but thought it was a little funny. Has anyone ever heard of a single geared 26 inch wheeled bike with a suspension fork? A winter model could have studded tires, fenders, sealed bearings, dynamo lights...
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Old 12-29-12, 09:50 AM
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Suspension fork is probably unnecessary, but if it is what is already on the bike no reason to change it. 26" single speed with studs and fenders would make a fine winter bike as long as you don't have to deal with a lot of hills. Lights are also a good idea due to the short days.
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Old 12-29-12, 01:38 PM
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I find when people make "prints" in the snow and they harden, it's pretty bumpy so I prefer a suspension fork. It just seems to me all single speeds are 700c. Even at 700x45, I find it feels unstable.
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Old 12-29-12, 05:34 PM
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Just not getting the single speed thing, especially in winter. I might have to drop all the way down to climb a mushy hill. But then I hit a mile of bare pavement and don't want to be madly spinning at 7 mph. Why torture yourself by trying to manage all the possible conditions with one gear ratio? Why are "studded tires, fenders, sealed bearings, dynamo lights" ok but a derailleur is not cool?

Never mind. It's just me.

Last edited by jim hughes; 12-29-12 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 12-30-12, 10:36 AM
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It's not that derailleurs are not "cool" but maybe not needed. JH, you seem to like them, me, not so much. I live in a very flat city (Toronto) with few hills so I don't need gears. I have been riding single speed winter bikes for years and single speed 3 season bikes. I also have two bikes with gears but they rarely get used. I feel much more connected to the bike riding SS. I know it is not for everyone but I like it.

In the winter depending on where you live, the snow clogs the rear derailleur, it starts jumping all over the place or the cables freeze and it won't shift, single speed starts to make sense. Yes, a little harder to go up the hills and yes a little slower on the downhills or bare flats but I am in no hurry to get anywhere.

I am hopefully going to buy a new winter bike in about 30 minutes and if I do buy this one, the first thing I will do is turn it into a single speed.

As I said single speed is not for everyone but I couldn't imagine myself not riding one. Now if I lived in a hilly city things might change rather quickly.
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Old 12-30-12, 10:45 AM
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That's why i love my internal gear hub. It's the best of both worlds flexible like derailleurs and reliable like a single speed.
But like all multipurpose systems it's average at everything and best at nothing (polychromatic lenses, amphibian cars, human (vs guepard/gorilla/orca whale), swiss army knife, F15E etc..)

Last edited by erig007; 12-30-12 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 12-30-12, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
I'm just floating this out there but thought it was a little funny. Has anyone ever heard of a single geared 26 inch wheeled bike with a suspension fork? A winter model could have studded tires, fenders, sealed bearings, dynamo lights...
Yes, this can make a good winter bike and it has been done before. In my experience it's best to use an inexpensive oil/spring front fork. As the air springs do not hold up well in the cold. The seals get damaged and the shock fails.
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Old 12-30-12, 01:22 PM
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I ride a 26er in the winter. No suspension fork, and I would not want one. I'd be afraid a seal would freeze.
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Old 12-30-12, 06:56 PM
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Not too sure about dynamo lights in winter conditions. For the record, I've never used them (I do own one, but never installed it), however, I've ridden every day in winter for the past two years. And in Wisconsin, we have long winters.

Winter riding means lots of ice, slush, and road salt. With the simple mechanics of a dynamo light, I don't see those elements interacting well with something like that. The dynamo's internal/external parts could get wet on the ride somewhere, and then freeze solid before the ride back. The water inside could cause the electrical components trouble, because it's doubtful dynamo lights are waterproof, and the salt could lead to serious long term corrosion.
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Old 12-30-12, 07:27 PM
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Depending on conditions, RDs can have a nasty habit of collecting frozen slush until they freeze up. Single speeds avoid this but at a cost. It all depends on what your version of "winter" is.
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Old 01-03-13, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jim hughes View Post
Never mind. It's just me.
IMO your spot on. I fail to understand SS's.... mostly an idea floated back when... that means more $$ in sales nationally. Course the herd grabs on it.. wants another bike... nothing wrong with that.

Wind.. means over strained SS knees. Hills.. mean over strained SS knees. Add in winter conditions... LOL.

I've had some SS times... riding a trail in snow that clogged the de, chain et al. Back to hard surface.. a few lite clunks.. the snow drops off.. I'm ready to have a go at the HILL.

Each to their own.. knees.
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Old 01-03-13, 08:59 AM
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Any kind of hills you need the gears otherwise the SS is simpler and eliminates the freezing up issue. If your mostly on flat ground, build it up as a SS and you can use a standard suspension fork with no oil or air as thats only good for serious off roading. My spring suspension fork has never froze up yet and even if it did I guess I probably wouldn't even notice it on the road.
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Old 01-03-13, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Bat56 View Post
I ride a 26er in the winter. No suspension fork, and I would not want one. I'd be afraid a seal would freeze.
Running a full suspension Specialized XC FSR Pro for 4 years in the winter. No issues with the front RockShock Reba or the rear Fox Triad, and Ottawa likes to use salt like killing the environment was a race!

I don't know how anyone could possibly want to be thrown around by ruts in the snow/ice, the potholes that are created by winter and the recessed drain tiles. Plus I can jump on the unplowed MUP where pedestrians have been walking and just roll over the ruts easily, as well as handle hills, thick snow and much more with my 27 speeds. What people aren't doing is buying a good bike with decent quality parts. My sealed hubs are fine, my front and rear derailers shift all the time and my hydraulic brakes are the tits! I also use clipless, another reason not to want the bike to be jarring around on rough conditions and instead, being able to put the power to the pedals, and to the ground. Stud to ground contact is key!
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Old 01-03-13, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
I find when people make "prints" in the snow and they harden, it's pretty bumpy so I prefer a suspension fork. It just seems to me all single speeds are 700c. Even at 700x45, I find it feels unstable.
700c wheels will tend to give a more stable ride than 26"... the larger diameter will fall into the holes less and ride up onto bumps mnore gradually.
29" mountain bikes use the 700C wheel size (but with very fat tires) and a common complaint is that they do not have quick enough handling - they are too stable for many peoples' tastes!

However, I have used 26" single speeds as winter bikes in the past and they work fine. I wouldn't reccomend getting a new bike for winter, though... winter can trash a bike quite quickly. Find an older bike and convert it to SS. Bikes from the early - mid '80s are more likely to have horizontal dropouts and thus make great candidates for single-speed conversions.

THere are loads of 26" wheel single speed bikes on the market if you are determined to get a new bike. But if it were me I would probably go with a 29" wheeled bike. Or a fat-tires snow bike like the Surly Moonlander.
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Old 01-03-13, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by roby View Post
Running a full suspension Specialized XC FSR Pro for 4 years in the winter. No issues with the front RockShock Reba or the rear Fox Triad, and Ottawa likes to use salt like killing the environment was a race!

I don't know how anyone could possibly want to be thrown around by ruts in the snow/ice, the potholes that are created by winter and the recessed drain tiles. Plus I can jump on the unplowed MUP where pedestrians have been walking and just roll over the ruts easily, as well as handle hills, thick snow and much more with my 27 speeds. What people aren't doing is buying a good bike with decent quality parts. My sealed hubs are fine, my front and rear derailers shift all the time and my hydraulic brakes are the tits! I also use clipless, another reason not to want the bike to be jarring around on rough conditions and instead, being able to put the power to the pedals, and to the ground. Stud to ground contact is key!

Maybe on the MUP your derailleurs will keep working, but if you ride much on the streets at all the salty slush will build up and freeze moving parts... rear derailleurs and brakes being the most often and badly affected, although I bet hydraulic discs are pretty sweet in winter. I speak from experience riding through Eastern and Northwestern ontario winters for the past 18 years. I have built myself a derailleur-equipped winter commuter bike for the first time since the mid nineties (had to work with what was available and I didn't want to subject my 1976 steel IGH equipped bike to another winter) but have not ridden it enough to see if things will stop working. Although I went to the liquor store yesterday eve. and both derailleurs and the rear brakes were frozen solid after letting the bike sit outside for a few days then locking it in the icy cold garage for the wqeek we were out of town on Christmas vacation... I was able to get the front brakes to move enough to stop, but I had to manually push the lever out to get them to release. By the end of the ride I got the rear derailleur to shift between the three largest cogs.
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Old 01-03-13, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
Maybe on the MUP your derailleurs will keep working, but if you ride much on the streets at all the salty slush will build up and freeze moving parts... rear derailleurs and brakes being the most often and badly affected, although I bet hydraulic discs are pretty sweet in winter. I speak from experience riding through Eastern and Northwestern ontario winters for the past 18 years. I have built myself a derailleur-equipped winter commuter bike for the first time since the mid nineties (had to work with what was available and I didn't want to subject my 1976 steel IGH equipped bike to another winter) but have not ridden it enough to see if things will stop working. Although I went to the liquor store yesterday eve. and both derailleurs and the rear brakes were frozen solid after letting the bike sit outside for a few days then locking it in the icy cold garage for the wqeek we were out of town on Christmas vacation... I was able to get the front brakes to move enough to stop, but I had to manually push the lever out to get them to release. By the end of the ride I got the rear derailleur to shift between the three largest cogs.
The mups are for fun, my whole commute is on city street salt, slush and pavement. 4 years with the same bike, check out the pics I posted of its condition. I left my bike for 2 weeks in the garage as well just recently, it usually sleeps in my car every night(not garaged), shifting is never an issue with my Deore XT components. It was -28C this morning before windchill, used front and rear derailleurs, brakes and suspension to boot around town without problems.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post15001851

The worst parts on my bike are the bolts that hold the brake caliper, they've got a bit of surface corrosion on them.

2 hours to play time in the slush!

Roby!
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Old 01-03-13, 02:54 PM
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That's my rockhopper after riding though some slush, ice, and brown car snot at 30 F. An IGH would be a better winter option for most. There is an advantage for a front sus fork in the winter. Really helps the tracking on ice with nasty ruts. Disc too.
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Old 01-05-13, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jim hughes View Post
Just not getting the single speed thing, especially in winter. I might have to drop all the way down to climb a mushy hill. But then I hit a mile of bare pavement and don't want to be madly spinning at 7 mph. Why torture yourself by trying to manage all the possible conditions with one gear ratio? Why are "studded tires, fenders, sealed bearings, dynamo lights" ok but a derailleur is not cool?

Never mind. It's just me.
I'm with you...I like a gear spread just because not all the snow I'm riding in is the same. Hard pack stuff you can speed up a bit, but soft slushy stuff its nice to have some RPM's. Internal is a neat idea, but the ratio is a bit high for me. I like having lots of bikes, but I don't want a bike for each little variance in the season.
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Old 01-07-13, 05:40 AM
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ride a 26" bike and don't shift it unless you need to.

Problem solved.

yes, derailleurs are problematic in the winter as are cables, but it's not a dealbreaker. A winter rider simply gets accustomed to kicking their derailleur with their heel occasionally while riding and pouring lube down the housing a couple of times a winter.

whoever did this
letting the bike sit outside for a few days then locking it in the icy cold garage
and DIDN'T expect trouble is not much of a winter bike owner.

NEVER leave your bike uncovered outside, particularly in a condition of wet to freezing if you can at all avoid it.

Keeping bikes outside but covered is the best option if a rider lives in serious cold country. Riders in the slush belt are well advised to bring bikes back inside when the precip is solid.

Last edited by Bekologist; 01-07-13 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 01-07-13, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
whoever did this: "letting the bike sit outside for a few days then locking it in the icy cold garage"

and DIDN'T expect trouble is not much of a winter bike owner.

I never said I didn't expect it to freeze up... it was just too much trouble to get the thing inside... and I guess I was also subconsciously trying to remind myself how trouble-free my last few winters of riding with an Alfnie 8 sp. IGH have been... the bike only got thawed out when I had to do work on it, and then only for as long as it took to do the work as I had no place where I could safely let the salty ice drip off.
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Old 01-07-13, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MadCityCyclist View Post
Not too sure about dynamo lights in winter conditions. For the record, I've never used them (I do own one, but never installed it), however..
Give it a shot then and see for yourself. Works beautifully. The only gripe I have is the fact that in extreme conditions (snowbanks up to hub level) dynolight flickers a lot because I cannot keep the speed up. Other than that, far less problems than with my battery powered lights.

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