Welshman's Winter Bike

I like to ride in Turku with 26" spike tyres, full fenders and disc brakes. It is slow and heavy but I just hate the black ice so much. I have another fixed bike with knobbys for dryer snow days.

Like Kare said, it’s all about learning, until I moved here I’d seen maybe 10 days of snow in my entire 33 years. I’m sure it’s very easy if you’ve grown up with it but I literally couldn’t even walk around for a whole month last winter and I found it REALLY frustrating.

I need a bike that is going to get me to and from work reliably and I find it hard to believe that a bike without spiked tyres will work, I’ll just slip and slide all over the place, hit a patch of black ice, end up in the hospital unable to work and won’t be able to pay my rent.

I know there isn’t one solution that will work 100% of the time and people will have very different ideas from each other so keep them coming, it’s all helping!



spike on front could save you some peace of mind but

just ride your fairdale?

^nice G.

I bought some of those literally a week before all the ice melted, I only got to use them twice! I hear they are called ‘granny spikes’ :smiley:

Winterbike thread - REALLY?

Don’t forget to set your tires tubeless with lots of sealant. The gravel they use for streets kills your tubes. You may survive with some proper puncture protection. Depends on your commute and the winter.

pics are nice, but it totally depends on the winter. Last couple I’ve had cyclocross tires like kenda happy medium, more snow 35c:s with bigger knobs and normally a couple days each winter with spikes - I usually have a second front wheel with mara winter. Spikes won’t help you with the black ice though.




And steamroller is the best, UGH!
edit: And if it gets Mayhem, you’ll need a MTB

I could use my Fairdale but it was really horrible as a single speed and maintaining a derailleur setup if the winter is really bad (good) will be such a pain in the ass. I’m going to try and sell my 14R too, so there’ll be room for a new bike.

for maximum finnish winter cycling bliss

-26" fixed gear w/ front brake
-over yourself


and enjoy track bike winter 2015

Black ice is a bitch, that’s an undeniable fact. You just can’t beat it and it scares the shit out of me as well. Fell in front of a car last winter due to black ice, luckily the driver had left a proper safety distance and didn’t drive over me…

For thicker ice, studs are just perfect, but obviously won’t work for skidding. I have two bikes for winter: one cyclocross with knobbly tires, gears and disk brakes, and then I put spikes on my everyday singlespeed.

Last winter, I used the CX most of the time. I personally like having sveral gears during winter, due to that slush, which is heavy and wet as fuck at its worst. Or, more precisely, slush-tarmac-slush-tarmac-slush…, which you can’t avoid anywhere within 3-4km of the city centre. In such instances, I was quite grateful for being able to switch gear ratio ‘on the go’. But most people on this board will most probably disagree with me :slight_smile:

Oh yeah and proper snow is pure bliss to ride on!

33mm Racing Ralph, fixed, front brake for slowing down. Never let me down.

My winter has always gone like this: First ill go with just wide knobby tires. I ride carefully couple days and fall anyway. Then i install spikes on the front, and on the next day ill install spikes on the back too.

Next winter i plan to install spikes on both wheels right away. Good spikes on heavily knobbed tires will let me ride almost like it is summer. I can enjoy the speed and do jumps and stuff, only heavy banking is still a thing to be avoided.

I have had freewheel frozen couple times, most of the time it will unfroze with just sitting on your bike, holding the balance with the help of a wall or something and pedaling like an idiot for a minute. Once i had to heat it with the chemical finger heating device i carry with me in my tool bag. I carry it with me so i can melt my frozen fingers after changing a tire.
Properly lubricated freewheel will not freeze.

Good weather is below zero. Good weather is old snow packed tight and hard.
Bad weather is fresh snow above zero.
Death weather is water on top of smooth ice.

Edit: And ppl who say you can drive a track bike in the winter live in the city centre where you can drive on the road that is free of snow beacause of all the cars.

No matter how you set up a winter bike, there will be days when it sucks. Things I’ve found out:

-Studded tires are worth their weight in gold on ice. Have a set available or at least a front wheel with one.
-Brakeless fixed is just fine, if it’s your thing. You should know what you’re doing but that goes in the summer as well.
-Freewheels can be flushed with solvent and lubed with light gun oil. Probably wears faster but will positively not freeze.
-Full fenders are the shit, but try to figure out a way to remove them with reasonable effort, if necessary.
-CX knobbies are fast and fun on packed snow, but prone to flats.

kim - 23:35, 25.8.2015 » pics are nice, but it totally depends on the winter. Last couple I've had cyclocross tires like kenda happy medium, more snow 35c:s with bigger knobs and normally a couple days each winter with spikes - I usually have a second front wheel with mara winter. Spikes won't help you with the black ice though.

And steamroller is the best, UGH!
edit: And if it gets Mayhem, you’ll need a MTB

Pretty much this. I've survived last 4 winters with my Goldsprint with 32mm Kenda SB8 and few days/winter 35mm MarathonWinter in front.

I went and bought All City JYD for this winter.

  • It looked like a lot of fun
  • and I really had no idea how difficult it would eventually be to build up
  • 2-2,35" 700c tyres will fit with some type of fenders
  • 38mm Schwalbe Snow Studs, which just happens to be what I have in my closet, fits with full size fenders
  • I can ride 6 bolt ISO fixed when v-brakes are of no use
  • It turned out to be a lot of fun

My previous winter commuting experiences I’ve had with a geared 26" with hardcore Schwalbe studs (can’t remember which), 30mm CX Pro with coaster brake and brakeless Steamroller with 38mm Snow Studs and 35mm larsen MiMos.

The 26" studs were great, the coaster brake bike was suprisingly ok I suppose and Snow Studs worked better compared to the knobs IMO. Only thing I always found myself cursing I wish I had were the fenders and, in all honesty, disc brakes and gears.

I’ve since hardened up, so I’d say fenders and decent tyres will do, and fixed if the canti’s will not do the job.

Tompsukka - 22:35, 25.8.2015 » ^^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.
Oh not this goddamn bullshit again.

Fixed gear = no way to ride sideways on ice

Freewheel = cornering like a fucking bad ass

Now that you’re going to ride on ice, ask yourself do you want to be able to put your foot down and ride it out when your rear wheel loses traction or do you want to slow down like a fucking nanny until you eventually eat shit?

How about…

valttu - 8:28, 26.8.2015 » How about... http://www.vastavalo.fi/albums/userpics/10119/normal_rollattoriliukas.jpg
That's your brain on fixed gear. Shitting your pants trying to keep balance.


This is your brain on a freewheel.