I'm looking for the bike for winter riding and found this one.

It's all good, except for the fork: some people say that aluminum rigid forks can not absorb vibration and therefore are bad for the winter 'cause there's firm snow and ice, which is not smooth at all.

So, are they right and I have to look for steel or carbon fork? (I'd really like to use rigid one for the winter)

  • 1
    You should probably decide what winter means where you are. How much snow/ice? But to be honest you can ride pretty rough roads on a hybrid with rigid forks (I have been known to take mine on fire roads, then onto trails bouncing over tree roots etc.), so it would have to be very bad; the forks wouldn't be the worry then
    – Chris H
    Feb 9, 2018 at 14:55
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    @ChrisH Saint-Petersbourg in Russia. This winter is really snowy - i'ts already a knee deep. Thanks for the comment!
    – k102
    Feb 9, 2018 at 15:01

4 Answers 4


Presumably you are looking for a cheap bike to ride in harsh winter conditions. The advertised price of 35,960₽ is about US $615 (at the time the question was asked) which would be considered a quite inexpensive bike here.

Your choice or tires is going to make a much bigger difference than a carbon fiber vs aluminum fork. An aluminium fork will be fine, but look for a bike with clearance for bigger tires.

  • Thanks! You're right, I'm looking for an inexpensive bike with less maintenance needed than my gt avalanche - this is why I'm looking for a bike without the rear derailleur.
    – k102
    Feb 13, 2018 at 9:21
  • @k102 I'm a year-round commuter in Canada and I'll give you an alternate view: winter riding destroys bikes, especially drive trains. I ride a fully-rigid steel single-speed bike with fenders and remove one brake. I replace the chain every spring and the rest of the drive-train every 2-3 years. Save your good bike for the summer and treat winter bikes as consumables!
    – markd
    Feb 13, 2018 at 23:00
  • @markd - that's why I'm looking for this one. Used one is not an option since I can refund some from company I work for, but only for the new one. So - I'd like to have a single speed chain
    – k102
    Feb 14, 2018 at 7:52

I assume you would use the bicycle in the city. In this case, a suspension fork does not make much comfort difference compared to a rigid one — there are no roots or rock gardens in St Petersburg. It will make even less difference in a deep snow when all terrain features are smoothed by it, and you cycle slower than usual because the ground is more slippery and treacherous. I would definitely go with a rigid fork (no matter what material). In terms of comfort, I would also go with the widest tires possible.

  • 1
    This is one time I'd avoid steel. That bike will be wet for months, except when it's frozen.
    – Chris H
    Feb 9, 2018 at 16:03
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    @ChrisH fair point. However, I used a full steel bike in very similar winter conditions for several years. Given that the bike spent half of the every working day in an outside bike parking but was stored in a dry apartment and cleaned thoroughly on a regular bases, I cannot see any rust damage outside/inside, especially at the fork which is easier to inspect inside than a frame. Feb 9, 2018 at 16:06
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    The propensity of steel to rust is vastly exaggerated. Feb 9, 2018 at 19:28
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    Is steel rusted so badly, why are all the bridges in the world still standing and why are all the ships int he world still floating on the high seas?
    – mattnz
    Feb 9, 2018 at 22:55
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    Both of them are regularly repainted and are designed to lose some material to rust. Ships also have sacrificial anodes to reduce corrosion in hull. But yes, steel bikes don't really rust that badly.
    – ojs
    Feb 10, 2018 at 8:51

Just in case some one will see this question: I've bought an aluminum rigid fork (some no-name brand) and to test how it feels went on an xc race on that bike. There was quite a lot of snow and bumps.

As I've expected I was quite fast on the uphills, but slow on descends - I was feeling that there's limit (for bumpy xc trail) somewhere around 30 km/h - if I try to go faster, I immediately loose control over the front wheel.

But for the city riding purposes this fork is a great thing, I have no regrets and like the look. enter image description here


Aluminum has about 1/3 the modulus of steel , so will elastically strain 3 X more with the same load. I don't know if that makes a difference for absorbing shock on a bicycle. And aluminum also has 1/3 the strength of steel ( depending on heat treatments) so will plastically deform ( fail ) at 1/3 the load of steel. Proper painting the steel will essentially eliminate rust in these mild conditions. Wiping with an oily rag will also greatly reduce rust on bare steel. Bare steel bridges, etc , are normally "weathering "steels ;containing small amounts of P , Cu, Cr , etc .

  • 1
    Aluminum also has 1/3 the density of steel, so aluminum parts are typically designed with larger dimensions and thicker walls. The result is often an equally strong and stiffer structure at slightly lower weight.
    – ojs
    Feb 10, 2018 at 22:26
  • Al must be 3 times thicker to be the same stiffness. Feb 11, 2018 at 18:30
  • This is why aluminum parts are designed with larger dimensions too. Check out the math under en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bending_stiffness and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_moment_of_area.
    – ojs
    Feb 11, 2018 at 19:07

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