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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 11-18-05, 09:41 AM   #1
s-creek-rider
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Will my crank and axles,etc freeze up on me?

I'm about to commence winter riding (hopefully commuting too) and wondered if anyone out there finds that the cold weather means that their cranks, gearsets, deralieurs, or axles freeze up to the point where performance is affected? If so, is there an antifreeze lubricant out there I can use to combat freeze-up?

Also, would you ride a new Trek 7000FX through the winter? I love it so much, and hate the thought of getting an old beater and trudging to and from work every day on a bike I hate.


Thanks all.


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Old 11-18-05, 10:17 AM   #2
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I've ridden down into -40c and at that temperature the entire bike moves slowly. nothing you can do because it has to do with the viscosity of the grease in the bearing cups. Derailleurs dont work so hot because the cable/hinges become so stiff it generally takes a few minutes for it to move. Breaks don't work so hot because rims get a layer of frost on them. Depending on how cold it gets where you are, if you have suspension, you might want to change out the oil for a colder weather oil. If its really cold ditch the suspension or you'll be replacing seals in the spring.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:52 AM   #3
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Yes things will freeze. I use to commute daily and put my bike into a 4*4*8 hut that I built with a heater in it for 2 hours with heat on. I live in ontario where there is salt and the salt will quickly ruin a bike.
But
When having fun and seeing if you can get thru the drifts then you wish you had a good bike.
This year I am going to modify my cheap Iron Horse Full Suspension ($300 Canadian)
with lower gears.
For me that is what winter riding needs. Low gears for deep snow. Studs of course.
And a place to dry the bike in the heat.
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Old 11-18-05, 01:33 PM   #4
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Kepp your bike clean. Use low temp grease to keep water and crap out of suspension joints cables anything that might plug up with ice.
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Old 11-18-05, 02:45 PM   #5
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Just keep the salt off of it, rinse it after a ride. Five years of daily commuting in the salt capital of the world, and I've never had anything corrode much.

Beater bikes are cheaper to replace, but they also have more low-grade steel, which corrodes easily. I use my normal summer mtb's with winter tires.
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Old 11-23-05, 07:31 PM   #6
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If you rinse it after a ride, how do you make sure it's dry by the next day? You can rub the frame with a towel, but you can't get in all the joints and stuff. Is that where the low temp grease comes in (so to speak)?

In my case, the poor thing was out in the rain all day yesterday, partially sitting and partially being ridden, so it was wet when I put it in the shed last night. In retrospect, I should have brought it inside. It didn't seem to freeze in the shed, because it was okay when I started this morning, but by 1/2 mile into the ride, things started freezing. I stubbornly kept going, but by the halfway mark, my brakes were unusable and I only had the use of half my gears. I managed to make it to work safely, and put it in the entryway of the building, rather than outside as normal. I took a ride over lunch (to get warmer gloves, see other thread) and again, it was okay at first, but then froze again. So I was forced (out of some misguided concern for my safety? ) to call my wife to bring the bike & me home this evening, rather than chance it again, in the dark, colder, and still snowing.

So now it's sitting in the basement, where it can probably stay until Monday morning, due to having tomorrow and Friday off for Thanksgiving. It's warm there, but a bit humid, so I'm not sure it will be the best place to dry out. Is it better to be less warm (but still above freezing) but more dry, such as on the (unheated) front porch? I'd bring it all the way in the house, except we have relatives here for the holiday so it would be a little in the way. Should I take a hair dryer to it? I'm not sure. Any advice is appreciated.

I should state that I don't usually have this problem, so I'm pretty sure it's mainly due to being out in the rain all day yesterday.
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Old 11-29-05, 03:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
If you rinse it after a ride, how do you make sure it's dry by the next day? You can rub the frame with a towel, but you can't get in all the joints and stuff. Is that where the low temp grease comes in (so to speak)?

In my case, the poor thing was out in the rain all day yesterday, partially sitting and partially being ridden, so it was wet when I put it in the shed last night. In retrospect, I should have brought it inside. It didn't seem to freeze in the shed, because it was okay when I started this morning, but by 1/2 mile into the ride, things started freezing. I stubbornly kept going, but by the halfway mark, my brakes were unusable and I only had the use of half my gears. I managed to make it to work safely, and put it in the entryway of the building, rather than outside as normal. I took a ride over lunch (to get warmer gloves, see other thread) and again, it was okay at first, but then froze again. So I was forced (out of some misguided concern for my safety? ) to call my wife to bring the bike & me home this evening, rather than chance it again, in the dark, colder, and still snowing.

So now it's sitting in the basement, where it can probably stay until Monday morning, due to having tomorrow and Friday off for Thanksgiving. It's warm there, but a bit humid, so I'm not sure it will be the best place to dry out. Is it better to be less warm (but still above freezing) but more dry, such as on the (unheated) front porch? I'd bring it all the way in the house, except we have relatives here for the holiday so it would be a little in the way. Should I take a hair dryer to it? I'm not sure. Any advice is appreciated.

I should state that I don't usually have this problem, so I'm pretty sure it's mainly due to being out in the rain all day yesterday.
If the bike gets rained on and it may be below freezing, you really need to bring the bike into the house until it is totally dry. Overnight will probably work 99% of the time. I think in the basement is better than the porch. I'm assuming the basement has some heat.

If you are taking the bike out into below freezing snow from the house.....

Leave the bike outside in a dry place where the whole bike can get below freezing before riding. If the bike is warm and it melts some snow into water, then the water will eventually freeze.

If the bike has been out and it is below freezing and you need to go into the house and out again soon, leave the bike in the cold. As soon as you bring it in, if the bike is cold enough the whole bike will get condensation on it. Then when you go back out the condensation will turn to ice.

In other word once you bring the bike in from very cold temps, you may need to keep it in until it dries off
(overnight)?

This is not fool proof, but it stacks the odds in your favor. That's about the best you can do.

The worst control problems are usually due to cables being frozen in place. Keep a little lube in the cables. If you have a place where the water could go directly down into a cable from above, put a small dab of grease there and fill the gap so that it is "somewhat" sealed.
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Old 11-29-05, 03:38 PM   #8
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I'd ride a decent but durable bike through the winter. I think a Trek 7500 qualifies.
Grease does get stiffer but will still work reasonably well in cold temps. However water on derailer piviots and in cable housing will freeze preventing derailers and brakes from working. If you can keep them dry then you should have no problem.
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