My Winter Bike

Custom Slingshot singlespeed

Custom Slingshot singlespeed

Between the snow, ice, and salt, winter can be pretty tough on a bike.  Rather than ride your best rig this time of year, many of us hobble together something a little more rugged, simple, and less expensive.

This year I built up an old Slingshot frame I had laying around.

I originally bought this bike as a demo bike.   It never really worked well for me as a mountain bike, so I rebuilt it as an urban cross bike.  That didn’t work, so I had Scott Quiring build a custom fork and replace the rear dropouts with horizontal ones.  We believe this was the second Slingshot with horizontal drops but the first to be built up.

I was a great singlespeed.  I raced it at the Iceman and won the MMBA CPS singlespeed series on it (back before the super fast guys started racing singlespeed.)

As a winter bike, it’s still a singlespeed with the following features:

  • 44mm extra wide SnowCats rims made in Fairbanks, Alaska
  • the front rim is custom drilled with half-inch holes (Thanks, Eric)
  • the rear rim is the SnowCat SL with one-inch drilled out holes
  • the front tire is a Nokian Extreme with steel carbide studs
  • the handlebar covers were made by Schroeder Sports
  • Cane Creek Direct Curve brakes which work well with wide rims
  • Softride suspension stem – the best suspension for winter riding

Many MTB front fenders attach to the downtube, which is really not an option on Slingshots.  I’m using a fender that uses a star nut in the bottom of the steerer tube.


  1. Comment by GenghisKhan on January 18, 2009 1:08 pm

    Sounds like a great project and haven’t seen a Slingshot for years. Question: with all the mods, would it have been less expensive to buy/build something closer to what you ended up with? Just wondering. Peace.

  2. Comment by Todd Scott on January 18, 2009 4:09 pm

    Yes, this bike did not take the inexpensive route! One reason for that is its sentimental value — a bike made in Michigan. I think that’s why I’ve dumped the money into it that I had. Does the Slingshot design make it a better winter bike? Probably not. If starting with a blank sheet, I’d probably go with a 29’r. The larger wheels and tire patch would be helpful.

  3. Comment by GenghisKhan on January 19, 2009 12:33 am

    Yeah, I didn’t even think of the 260-inch wheels–I’m so used to expecting 29-inch whenever single speed is mentioned. And, I hear you on sentimentality. I’ve got a ’97 Schwinn Homegrown FSR (Bassboat blue!) frame hanging in my garage that I only retired the year before last.


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