Welshman's Winter Bike

Last winter I missed a lot of riding time because my bike was not up to the job, I know to you Finnish people it was a pathetic winter in Helsinki but for me I struggled to even walk to the bus stop because of the ice for the whole of January.

I want to build up a good winter bike that will take on any conditions but need some advice…

  1. Fixed, single speed or internal geared hub? And WHY?
  2. How big spiked tyres?
  3. I used to have an ESB but I sold it (worst decision ever), it seems to me that it would be the perfect frame for the long winter here, Ted will hook it up with canti bosses for me. Do you think this is a good idea or is there some other frame that I could be looking at that’s just as badass?

I need to commute from Vuosaari to Töölö and back every day, I know the city centre is easy to get around but out east it was pretty wild, for me at least because I’m really not used to these conditions.

fixed for bulletproof delivery while freewheels and cables freeze - front brake maybe , no rimeaters allowed

+40mm knobby no spikes

wide riser for torque

no full fenders cause slush is dragging itself everywhere, beavertail for maintaining dry ass


^^What he said. Fixed is not only fun as shit in winter but you also have so good connection to the road that you know the second you start losing grip.

What I was about to say was almost completely different compared to Nprtj’s contribution.
So maybe the winter here halfway north is easier because it is colder and therefore drier.

How would you store your bike? Can you get it inside daily? Even derailers work nice if stored in dry and even in some plus degrees.

Yep, gotta agree with jasmin on this one, the man has got a point.

Fixie is bulletproof, everything else might freeze, including the rims, so the cantis are a nogo.
Go for knobbies, the bigger the better, spikes are expensive, heavy and generally useless, and riding fixed, youl’ll start losing studs in no time.

I would go for karate monkey or inbred, but a soup’d up ESB would also do the trick, and prolly end up being sexier ride.

The main problem with fixed is that I have an unbreakable rule, and that is no brakes on a fixed gear. But riding brakeless in the middle of an icy winter is just stupid, surely.

Ride a freewheel then, it might end up freezing and you can do a skid or two.
I’ll leave my thoughts on your rule to myself.

Here’s Kimis ESB for ya.

I personally would say that going without fenders is not a bright idea.

Well not as stupid as as that rule so…

Will a freewheel genuinely freeze up? Under what conditions would that happen? If I rode then locked the bike up outside?

During my 30 years of being a I have suffered a frozen freewheel once. It froze open. Freewheeled both ways. Annoying fuckerance. Other than that I’ve heard of one frozen freewheel.

Most winterbikers bike with their plain normal cheapo bikes with no problems.

95 % of the time:

  • full fenders are the way to go
  • cross tires with no spikes are enough
  • brakeless or any brake is fine
  • gearing works

Then there are times when:

  • you need wide rubber, spikes or both
  • fenders stop you
  • rim brakes or skids do not
  • only fixed works

There are no perfect winter bikes for Helsinki. Just get on the bike and learn. That’s what we have been doing since we were kids, with plain normal bikes.

Would it be better if people just posted here their winter(bikes that they ride in Helsinki during winter time) bikes like I did and let Ty decide what he wants for himself?

thefootdown - 22:48, 25.8.2015 » Will a freewheel genuinely freeze up?
its just the fear, if you lube it right or not at all it could work flawlessly
lnstj - 22:49, 25.8.2015 » most [s]winter[/s]bikers bike with their plain normal cheapo bikes with no problems.
[b]we[/b] just can`t do that





Posting a picture doesn’t give the ‘why’ he asked for. But pics are always nice.