ss/reeally cold - freewheel or cassette?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
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    ss/reeally cold - freewheel or cassette?

    building up a new wheelset with wide rims for winter riding/susitna 100. in really cold temps, do alaskan/true north singlespeeders prefer cassette hubs or freewheels? i'm leaning toward freewheel for the fact that it will probably be easier to change the lube to something more cold weather friendly, or spray something in it if it freezes open on the trail. a cassette hub would allow me to adjust my chainline though, which could be nice, or to run multiple cogs if i ever feel the need to have a bike with a derailluer. opinions? thanks!

  2. #2
    let's ride...
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    As long as the grease can be replaced, I don't think it will really matter. Last winter, my stock cassette grease gave out completely around -10. Chris at the bike shop packed a new cassette with a more suitable grease and I never had any other problems. I think the coldest I saw on the new grease was -15 or so for a couple of hours but it worked like a champ. If all things are equal, I would go with whichever setup I had that first provided the best gear choice and then the straightest chainline.. There have been multiple threads that have talked about uber oils and custom blends on this site if your itchin' to experiment..

  3. #3

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    SS Hubs

    IMAO the simplest hub, with quality bearings and appropriate grease is going to be the fastest and most reliable. Beyond any doubt...the bestest wheel I have in my quiver is an old track hub - fixed gear - upgraded with two Phil Spec'd bearings - and loaded with Paul Morningstar's 'Soup'.

    Simple is Fast...Simple is Reliable...Simple is Good

    I think you will find many of the expedition-style SSers here in Alaska (there's only a handfull that I know of) are SS because of the speed and reliability on the remote trail. Personally, I go for Reliability first. SS'ing on winter trails and beach - you really have to know ur gearing, what you and your bike can do and match it to specific trail conditions. Best to have some sort of bail'out and bail'in gears for changing conditions. Pugs frameset is nice cause you can load up both front and rear wheel with the cogs of ur choice - throw in a second ring and you have a great derailleurless multispeed DMS bike with all the benefits of SS.

    Having said that...my Cassette hubs (mostly older generation WTB GreaseGuard - trying some Phil Cassette hubs now) give the most versatility when setting up for SS or DMS. Morningstar Tools' FreeHub Buddy might be in order for you! Don't forget the Dust Shields.

  4. #4
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
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    good stuff, thanks! chainline and gearing choices are a major plus to a cassette design. the freehub buddy would make it easy to flush it out as well. the main advantage i saw with a freewheel would be the ability to spray something(a de-icer of some sort) into it in a pinch during a relatively short(100 miles/ <1 day) race. cost is also a consideration... i would consider doing it fixed, but i really don't think i have that kind of fitness right now.

  5. #5
    Caveman
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    Like Martin Said, singlespeeding a snow bike can be pretty tricky, you'd be suprised at how low of a gear you need to do a long ride and not be wasted after hours or days, since the terrain is so flat usually you are either pushing to hard constantly or spinning. On a loaded 29er you're looking at like a 30-22 or lower. SS snow gearing has been covered before on here, same for degreasing, so try a search for those threads.

    Also fixed in the snow would be a total pain in the butt when you have to push your bike for miles, your shins would be cursing you. never tried it though.
    Last edited by Bearbait; 01-04-2008 at 08:19 PM.

  6. #6

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    More...SnowBike SS DriveTrain

    Sean,

    Best FreeWheel for SS'ing that I've used is from Doug White / White Industries. Aside from being 'USA' quality made, they use a sealed cassette style / bearing (it's custom) which you can remove, pop the seals, clean and re-grease.

    http://whiteind.com/freewheels.html

    For SS'ing, especially in Expedition-style SnowBiking, I like to run larger cogs...close to ChainRing size (less stress more efficient SS drivetrain). In order to get the gear-inches needed, I'm using 21 - 25t cogs...only quality larger cogs I've found are Kick Ass Cogs from Endless Bikes.

    http://www.endlessbikes.com/products...ents/cogs.html

    The Freehub Buddy does make it easy to lube a cassette hub..you still have to be using a winter grease that actually works at the really low temps. Its also nice to have a cassette body that can be removed easily for cleaning and rebuilding and one that allows easy access to all sealed bearings.

    BE CAREFUL spraying de-icers and/or solvents where sealed casette-style bearing reside...most solvents KILL the seals.

    link to previous thread on SS SnowBike Gearing
    _____________

    I agree with BBait...pushing a fixed wheel bike in the snow is troublesome at best. But a fixed wheel can be so efficient...and riding fixed is sooo much damn fun...;-)


    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    good stuff, thanks! chainline and gearing choices are a major plus to a cassette design. the freehub buddy would make it easy to flush it out as well. the main advantage i saw with a freewheel would be the ability to spray something(a de-icer of some sort) into it in a pinch during a relatively short(100 miles/ <1 day) race. cost is also a consideration... i would consider doing it fixed, but i really don't think i have that kind of fitness right now.
    Last edited by qayaq_alaska; 01-04-2008 at 08:26 PM.

  7. #7
    is buachail foighneach me
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    thanks again for all the info guys. it looks like i'm leaning toward a freewheel. i'll probably run a 22t out back on a paul hub, or show up with a 20 and a 22t, unnatatched to the hub. i'll decide on which to use based on weather/snow conditions.

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