Monday, 28 January 2013

Of broken gear-hubs, snow and fixed-gears

We've had a spot of snow here in the UK over the last week or two. You could tell quite readily in the first day it fell. Not from the white stuff on the floor (though that was a give-away) but from the mile after mile of nose-to-tail traffic on the road.

I managed to get home well enough on day one but as I pulled into our street , my rear wheel started making a truly dreadful noise. It sounded like a handful of loose nuts and bolts in the gear hub. For the next day's snowy commute, I took my fixed gear MTB. I have to say that, although it's a bit of an old dog, it was brilliant in the snow. Excellent grip from the knobbly tyres and much more slow speed control than just coasting and using the brakes.

It took the bike shop just over a week to sort my Dahon under warranty (complete new rear wheel, thanks guys) and so I spent that time commuting by fixed gear.

I have always enjoyed pootling round on the fixie but have never done any serious mileage on it. I really enjoyed the simplicity of the experience though and it has spurred me on to get my old Raleigh 10-speed built up into a decent fixed-gear road bike. It's lovely spinning along in almost silence without a thought for what gear you should be in. Between spinning, standing and heaving and judicious use of the (front and back) brakes on the downhills, I managed with one gear admirably.

Today I have my Dahon back and I am glad to be back on it. I do miss the fixie but I've done so many miles on my folder it all feels very natural.

I also fitted it with a few bits of bling too. Of which, more to follow...


  1. Looking forward to reading about your bling. I blogged about the Klickfix frame I've added to mind and its very useful
    Brenda in the Boro

  2. Thanks Brenda. Struggling for blogging time ATM but a "bling" post is in the offing. Just need to clean a week's worth of road crud off it for the photos!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Reading your blog I feel identified with you and the weather. I am from Boston and Nemo the blizzard has just passed and all of street are buried with snow. I have to ride my bike more carefully!