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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-11-01, 11:41 AM   #1
mike
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On winter days when the weather is perfectly horrible, ice will build up on your brake pads. When you need your brakes (which is just about EVERY time you apply the brakes), they fail and you rocket right into danger.

On nasty, icy days, I fill a water bottle filled with household ammonia and put it in my bottle carriage (If you think you would be prone to accidently drinking it, put it somewhere else).

When my brakes start to get iced up, I squirt ammonia on them. The ammonia stays liquid at temperatures below 32 F (0 C) so it doesn't freeze. The ammonia disolves the ice.

I heard of a guy who tried this trick with alchohol, but alchohol is not good for your tires.

Naturally, you should test this method in your driveway before using it on the road just to make sure that your equipment and conditions are appropriate for this technique.
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Old 12-22-05, 09:29 PM   #2
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Ammonia, Really? Or a solution of ammonia like windex? Pure anhydrous ammonia is too bloody toxic to use like that. I rode thru four winters in Denver and didn't have that icing problem. A few times a year I would have my derailluers freeze, leaving me stuck in one gear. But then I rarely rode below 15-20 degrees. If I had your icing problem I might go to an internal drum brake like the one on my old Counterpoint tandem. The worst times for me were just around freezing with water on rutted ice and below 10 degrees.
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Old 12-22-05, 10:18 PM   #3
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Disc brakes...
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Old 12-23-05, 02:13 AM   #4
Michel Gagnon
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Brake often!
I have that "problem" if I ride in suburbia, but downtown, brakes don't even have the time to cool off, let alone ice.
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Old 12-23-05, 07:10 AM   #5
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I haven't really had any trouble with my rim brakes not working. But most of the time it's WELL below freezing, or above. That's just how the weather seems to work in Michigan.

From my experience driving, and living in different parts of Michigan, all travel is most treacherous when it's just a bit below freezing. That's where freezing rain and other ice conditions occur, and snow can get packed down into ice under wheel pressure. It's actually a lot safer travelling at 10*F than at 30*F. Ice doesn't really form.
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Old 12-23-05, 07:39 AM   #6
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Ok... I just realized someone resurrected a thread from 2001... cue raiyn.... now!
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Old 12-23-05, 07:56 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Disc brakes...
Brakeless fixed gear...
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Old 12-23-05, 09:39 AM   #8
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Skateboard.. gearless, brakeless...

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Brakeless fixed gear...
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Old 12-23-05, 10:41 AM   #9
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I have to ride through a creek on my commute. During our evil temperature spat earlier this year to sucked! So the bike I'm building is a fixed gear with a front disc brake.

Ha! I'm not fooling around this time!
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