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Snowspeeder Active (Ready for Winter)
#1
Not sure how much snow we're going to get here based on the weather so far, into mid-December now. Last year didn't really get snow until January. I had a couple runs with some caveats. i was running 38/16 with the same oval ring. This gear ratio on 26" enables better speed on bare ground, but becomes rough in the heavier snow. I've been doing snow riding for a few years now, and with my development it was accomplishable, but suffers in a few crucial areas. One is that it doesn't allow you to control the cadence as well between coasting and pedaling. In the snow, you have to do a considerable amount of very sudden stop and go coasting to stabilize across the pathway. To get over snow mounds that pile up at the beginning of sidewalks and intersections of the road, you need to be able to accelerate very suddenly with enough leverage to quickly power up and over them. This is where the 16T in the back really struggled. I had run 38/17 on a round ring the year before last, and it was excellent for this, but was incredibly lossy on bare ground, making long treks between snowfall grueling. Now I'm back on it with an oval ring, gaining only just a little power on bare ground, but still incredibly grueling.

I bought a Muqzi Single Speed kit and it worked perfectly. I had a lot of ping and major issues last year trying to run one of those standard single speed freehub body spacer kits with a regular ring. Getting the chainline straight was almost impossible. I replaced the 11T cog in the tensioner with a 13T sealed bearing cog, so it's buttery smooth. I had to replace the set screws though with some impact strength ones from the hardware store. The ones that come with it are M5 x 4 (I think) and are not ideal for how low they sink into the tensioner. The ones I replaced it with are M5 x 8, giving me much better leverage for tightening them down. I had almost stripped one of the original ones. The new cog in the tensioner has been presenting me with a little slipping, because the teeth are not really sufficient to run in a single speed setup. I'm going to have to look for one with bigger teeth before snowfall to get better chain retention. If this was on a classic derailleur, of course we wouldn't have this issue since it's stabilized by the other pulley and the hangar/guide. The single speed kit comes with a hangar for the tensioner to plug into, offering an incredible range of positioning and tension for the chain. If further issues persist, I will consider moving it back one notch from where it's at. It's pretty tight where it's at, and I'm sure the chain will be long enough if I do move it back, which was why I didn't in the first place. It clicked down very snug.

Still running Maxxis Crossmark in the front and CST Rock Hawk in the back. This is a bit of an oversized tire for this frame (which was a touring bike). I have just enough room on both sides to clear the frame. The tire though is amazing, and offers excellent grip against slippage even in the snow. The elevated nodes on the Crossmark want help the tire shed as much additional snow as possible. Such an excellent combination. Although, I have been thinking of going 27.5 for my winter bike, keeping a Rock Hawk in the back and moving on to test a Specialized Hard Rock'R in the front. Any little bit extra you can get is imperative when riding in the snow.

Hope you all enjoy the update and safe riding.


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#2
That looks like a lot of fun.

What's the deal with your saddle angle?
  Reply
#3
(12-18-2023, 06:57 AM)enkei Wrote:  That looks like a lot of fun.

What's the deal with your saddle angle?

I ride a lot. This is a professional active angle for me.

The body forms a triangle with the bike. This allows the weight distribution to even out against the angled saddle, instead of that weight bearing straight down on the pad.

Be kind to your sciatic nerve.
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#4
(12-16-2023, 08:22 PM)ReapThaWhirlwind Wrote:  Not sure how much snow we're going to get here based on the weather so far, into mid-December now. Last year didn't really get snow until January. I had a couple runs with some caveats. i was running 38/16 with the same oval ring. This gear ratio on 26" enables better speed on bare ground, but becomes rough in the heavier snow. I've been doing snow riding for a few years now, and with my development it was accomplishable, but suffers in a few crucial areas. One is that it doesn't allow you to control the cadence as well between coasting and pedaling. In the snow, you have to do a considerable amount of very sudden stop and go coasting to stabilize across the pathway. To get over snow mounds that pile up at the beginning of sidewalks and intersections of the road, you need to be able to accelerate very suddenly with enough leverage to quickly power up and over them. This is where the 16T in the back really struggled. I had run 38/17 on a round ring the year before last, and it was excellent for this, but was incredibly lossy on bare ground, making long treks between snowfall grueling. Now I'm back on it with an oval ring, gaining only just a little power on bare ground, but still incredibly grueling.

I bought a Muqzi Single Speed kit and it worked perfectly. I had a lot of ping and major issues last year trying to run one of those standard single speed freehub body spacer kits with a regular ring. Getting the chainline straight was almost impossible. I replaced the 11T cog in the tensioner with a 13T sealed bearing cog, so it's buttery smooth. I had to replace the set screws though with some impact strength ones from the hardware store. The ones that come with it are M5 x 4 (I think) and are not ideal for how low they sink into the tensioner. The ones I replaced it with are M5 x 8, giving me much better leverage for tightening them down. I had almost stripped one of the original ones. The new cog in the tensioner has been presenting me with a little slipping, because the teeth are not really sufficient to run in a single speed setup. I'm going to have to look for one with bigger teeth before snowfall to get better chain retention. If this was on a classic derailleur, of course we wouldn't have this issue since it's stabilized by the other pulley and the hangar/guide. The single speed kit comes with a hangar for the tensioner to plug into, offering an incredible range of positioning and tension for the chain. If further issues persist, I will consider moving it back one notch from where it's at. It's pretty tight where it's at, and I'm sure the chain will be long enough if I do move it back, which was why I didn't in the first place. It clicked down very snug.

Still running Maxxis Crossmark in the front and CST Rock Hawk in the back. This is a bit of an oversized tire for this frame (which was a touring bike). I have just enough room on both sides to clear the frame. The tire though is amazing, and offers excellent grip against slippage even in the snow. The elevated nodes on the Crossmark want help the tire shed as much additional snow as possible. Such an excellent combination. Although, I have been thinking of going 27.5 for my winter bike, keeping a Rock Hawk in the back and moving on to test a Specialized Hard Rock'R in the front. Any little bit extra you can get is imperative when riding in the snow.

Hope you all enjoy the update and safe riding.

I don't know how you can ride a single gear in the snow and trails. In my MTB days on my full suspension Giant NRS1 I had triple rings and almost had to use them all. Single track accents and incredible downhill bombs.
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#5
Like the colors on this! I also was curious about the saddle angle but if it works for you - that's great! Reminded me that I've been thinking about adjustments to my DH's saddle position too.

So how much winter / snow action have you had this winter with your GT bike?

   
"Uphill, downhill, I like that"
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#6
We had just one single day of snow so far.

I took it out of course, and it shredded pretty well. The gear ratio with the oval ring I was questioning, but it actually performed great in the actual snow; enabling me to power through well. If I would make any adjustments from here, it would be to increase the chainring and cog sizes instead to decrease the amount of friction. So that would be like 40t or 44t or something with a 20t cog.
  Reply
#7
Hello ReapThaWhirlwind, just curious about the dimensions of the tires? How much snow did you get? Not sure why but I always felt like I was on shaky ground until I started using a 4-inch fat bike to ride on fresh snow. Before that, for years I used a regular and a hydrid mountain bike in the snow but not with a lot of confidence.

So asking you about your bike. Thanks and enjoy winter rides.



(02-01-2024, 12:10 AM)ReapThaWhirlwind Wrote:  We had just one single day of snow so far.

I took it out of course, and it shredded pretty well. The gear ratio with the oval ring I was questioning, but it actually performed great in the actual snow; enabling me to power through well. If I would make any adjustments from here, it would be to increase the chainring and cog sizes instead to decrease the amount of friction. So that would be like 40t or 44t or something with a 20t cog.
  Reply


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