Fixed Gear for Winter Riding

active travel, fixed gear, winter cycling -

Fixed Gear for Winter Riding

Fixed gear bikes were one of those fads that blow up in cycling. The trend was so big that many people developed a bit of a derogatory attitude to fixed gears bikes. It was one of those divides that humanity loves, you either loved fixed gear or hated it, and you stayed in your camp. Like most irrational hatreds it wasn't really based on logic, so we're going to show you why logically a fixed gear bike is great for winter riding. On a side note, we're not going to call a fixed gear bike a fixie as we have an irrational hatred of that term.

To salt or not to salt

Winter tens to bring ice. Ice tends to be pretty slippy, and we then try and treat surfaces with salt or sand to stop the formation of ice. Both salt and sand hate your bike, and your bike hates them.

Salt wants to eat your bike and will start corroding on your parts. Sand will work its way into bearings and moving parts and start to wear down your bike. If you're running rim brakes, you'll spend time rubbing salt or sand on to your wheel rim, and this will work as a grinding paste killing your wheels. You'll want to keep an eye on your wheel rims to make sure they are not getting worn down.

A fixed gear bike by eschewing gears means you'll have fewer parts to wear down. Fewer parts to have to replace, and a lot less maintenance you'll have to do if you want to keep your bike running during the winter.

We all want to spend less time working on our bikes.

To slow down

 If you've dealt with proper winter conditions when driving, you'll know that the correct way to slow down if using engine braking and downshifting through your gears. Using your brakes tends to leave your car inescapably sliding towards doom. Braking on a bike will have similar issues.

However, a fixed gear bike (with or without brakes, we won't get into that argument here) can be slowed down in a similar way to engine braking your car. You slow down your pedalling. You'll not get any locking by slowing down this way, and you'll find that you come to a safe stop by slowing your pedalling down.

Many people not using brakes seem counter-intuitive but trust us its the safest way during proper winter conditions. By not accidentally locking your brakes you'll be in more control of your bike and have a load more traction.

That is just 2 simple points but we're sure you can now see why we like fixed gear bikes for winter riding.


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