My Portland rose grew up in Detroit and had seen some cold... now that she lives here she has learned that snow squeaks at -18 F and we have seen colder than this during this rather balmy winter we have had.
Originally Posted by gregjones
At a certain point the pawls in freewheels and cassettes will stick and this seems to happen at around -25C and then your bike becomes a poorly running fixed gear if they freeze in a semi closed position or gets stuck in neutral if the pawls freeze in an open position.
She did not get to see -40C / -40F where it seems that most human motion stops... :)
When it gets really cold I skip the whole shifting thing and ride a fixed gear that has nothing to freeze up or ride a bike with an internal gear hub that has been filled with synthetic oil... the trigger shifter can also get a little fussy unless it has got a few drops of synthetic oil to keep it moving properly.
I find that shooting a little WD40 into the shifters improves cold weather shifting with many indexed systems and if you really want to do it right, you can replace all the lubricants with synthetics that do not have issues with cold until it gets to -50... :)
My BRC hybrid has some very nice LX STI shifters that are about as crisp as it gets but when it is -18 / 0 F the shifting gets a little draggy... I should have used the Deore thumbies I had when I replaced the stock units as those are another good cold weather indexed system but was built for warmer and slushier winter days where the shifters do not complain.
The higher end stuff tends to use more plastics and warm weather lubricants and they are not designed to work in sub zero temperatures because only lunatics would ride a bike in the winter.
You'd be the one to ask. Hypothetically speaking if the problem isn't the OP's cables, and is in the shifters would repacking the usually thick grease in the shifters with a marine grade light grease (the type used in fishing reels) be a better option since it is less likely to gum up and harden at lower temps?
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver