Spikes and low gear

Vitus & Nakamura

There’s not much need for a car in our life today – and no car for that matter, as it was pretty severely damaged some time ago after someone not being too happy with his drunkenness.. So it’s winter cycling as you can’t walk everywhere.

Just the right sized box for out cat Miiru

My road bike is not very useful in snow or on ice with it’s 23 mm slick tires and as Sanna got a new bike, I decided to get one for winter, too. She got hers from the local sports shop after some very complicated phases, I got mine from Northern Ireland. As Jyväskylä only has hills anywhere you go, one needs a low gear here to get up those. And for the winter part, one needs spikes – though neither of us never had them before.



But you should have spikes in the winter. Really. They’re good.

We got our’s from a German online shop. Yes, we did enquire about those from local shops, but saved close to 50% by ordering those from bike-components.de.

The low gear

She’s got gears, I don’t even know how many. Lots of them anyway. I’ve got one (which, of course, was part of the plan). But like I said, we’ve got hills. We’ve also got a lot of other people biking and walking, usually towards the university, so no speeding here. That’s why I reasoned that I wouldn’t need gears, just the one low one.

The Vitus came with a 39 x 18 gear setup and 29 inch tires. That leads to the bike advancing approximately 4.8 meters on one rotation of the pedals. Too much for my use.

The original 18 tooth freewheel

The gear ratio can be altered from two locations. Either the chainring in the front or the freewheel in the rear can be changed. As my bike had the smallest chainring that can be fitted with those cranks, the rear it was.

After some online research, I ordered some parts from a Finnish online shop this time and got a 22 tooth freewheel to replace the 18 tooth one original. That should give me a 3.9 meters development, a healthy 20% easier gear.

22 vs 18

The installation was not too difficult, just get the right tools. And a big wrench.

Get a bigger wrench


The new one

And also get a sufficiently long chain (the linked calculator gives chain link pairs, btw, thus 51 should be read as 102 links) – I did not pay attention to chain length and got a new one that was just a little too short and thus had to combine the two I had..

Me fighting the chain

Also, get a chain tools that really fits your chain. Mine works with a thick chain too, but not that well.

Joining the chains

But it’s there now, waiting for the first ride. Let’s just hope the chain doesn’t break in the first uphill 😀

The chain

Got it there!

Sanna, thanks for the pictures and help 🙂


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