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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 10-31-06, 09:59 AM   #1
dgabriels
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How to prevent failed parts in below zero

Any tried and true techniques to prevent freehubs from failing in extreme cold, say well below zero f?

What kinds of lubes work best in those temps?

How about hub bearings, any stories there?

How about hydraulics in forks and rear shocks, any winterizing needed?

Thanks!
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Old 10-31-06, 10:43 AM   #2
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http://www.icebike.org/Equipment/freehub.htm
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Old 10-31-06, 11:31 AM   #3
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Freehub winterizing

Yep, read that one, thanks--

What are the votes on having to carry a spare freehub in a multi-day event even if you winterize the one on-bike with that procedure?? Necessary, prudent or highly unlikely to be needed???
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Old 10-31-06, 11:53 AM   #4
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The whole hub? You mean you are going to disassemble the wheel, and relace it with a new hub? During a winter biking event? Maybe I'm missing something here. Almost ANY hub can get you through the winter and you certianly won't need to replace it mid ride (nor could you)
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Old 10-31-06, 12:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgabriels
Yep, read that one, thanks--

What are the votes on having to carry a spare freehub in a multi-day event even if you winterize the one on-bike with that procedure?? Necessary, prudent or highly unlikely to be needed???

Specifically what multi-day event are you thinking of participating in? The Iditabike?


I've ridden through the winter for many years and have not yet had to rebuild my hub on the bicycle I use for that purpose.
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Old 10-31-06, 11:28 PM   #6
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I think it depends on how cold you are talking about. Down to about 10 degrees F you shouldn't have to do much of anything. It's only in really extreme conditions that bike parts stop working. The metal contracts a bit. I could be wrong but I don't think that a freehub will be a problem unless you had prolonged periods at around 30 - 40 F degrees below zero.

If you are preparing for something like Iditabike, one thing I have seen done is to use a rear hub on both the front and rear wheels so that they are interchangable and can be swapped if one hub has a problem.
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Old 11-03-06, 02:27 PM   #7
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The event is Arrowhead 135, and it can be -30 or much colder up in northern MN (grew up there)-- changing a freehub isn't that hard and can be done if you're in the middle of nowhere and have no other choice but to walk or DNF... have seen multiple instances of failed freehubs in these events so I'm wondering whether it's a gear prep or environment problem... my experience in other ultras says it tends to be prep more often than anything else... anyone else have their thoughts on this??
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Old 11-03-06, 02:32 PM   #8
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I don't have the option of buying a new bike so I can run double rear hubs... did buy double-wide wheels from Tri-All though... Deore disc hubs... if they're brand new do they need cold weather treatment or will they be OK - happy to hear thoughts-- leaning toward winterizing them with Lubriplate-- if I can find it--
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Old 11-03-06, 03:39 PM   #9
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I've had problems with both very old hubs (worn pawls) and very new rear hubs (lots of fresh grease) failing to engage in cold weather. Most hubs with a few months on them have worked fine. But my experience stops at about -25C
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Old 11-17-06, 10:08 AM   #10
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Below Zero This Morning

This morning was my first below zero ride of the year. I rode about 15 miles on road/trail system. It was about 5 below and the only mechanical issue I encountered was some cable sticking which slowed my shifting down a bit. I've never had hub problems, but I have broken chains at cold temperatures under load.

I need to start wearing my cold weather gear though. Toes and fingers were a bit cold after about 1 hour. Glove liners and lobster claw mits are good to about 0 degrees F for me. Anything colder requires additional gear. Also, may have to go to platform pedals if the temps remain below zero. I try to hold off changing as long as possible.

By the way, there is a new race forming this year in to be held in January. It's a city version of the Denali 100. 50 miler with your choice of ski, run or bike. Guess what my choice is going to be!
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Old 11-17-06, 01:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgabriels
The event is Arrowhead 135, and it can be -30 or much colder up in northern MN (grew up there)-- changing a freehub isn't that hard and can be done if you're in the middle of nowhere and have no other choice but to walk or DNF... have seen multiple instances of failed freehubs in these events so I'm wondering whether it's a gear prep or environment problem... my experience in other ultras says it tends to be prep more often than anything else... anyone else have their thoughts on this??
Changing a hub requires re-lacing, re-tensioning, and re-truing the whole freaking wheel. On the side of the road, in 0*F, I would like to see you do that properly.

for $60 from my LBS, I bought a new freehub wheel and cassette (Shimano hub, Shimano 11-34 (!!!) cassette). A very nice wheel. and I put it on my Diamondback Outlook which originally had a freewheel. I've had no problems at all, I put about 10 miles on it yesterday commuting and it works like a champ.

If I were as concerned as you seem to be, I'd go buy a freehub wheel and cluster to go with it. Run it on your bike before the event to make sure it works properly (you might need to dial the RD cable a bit). Then, put it on the front of your bike as a backup. If you ever need to swap wheels, loosen up the front brake, or disconnect it entirely if the freewheel gets too wobbly on front, to keep front wheel rolling resistance as subtle as possible.

re-lacing a wheel in any condition aside from a nice warm shop just seems like unnecessary torture to me.
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Old 11-17-06, 02:53 PM   #12
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He means replace the Freehub, not the entire hub. Just the part of the hub that the cassette rides on. That can be done with the correct tools on the side of the road. In negative zero temps might be a little difficult, but then again I'm a thin blooded texan and my hands fail to work in temps below 40 degrees.
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Old 11-17-06, 03:28 PM   #13
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Oh... I thought he meant he had a freehub wheel like you see on low-low-end bikes. My bad. By the way, $60 seems like a small price to pay for being able to quick-swap a set of QR wheels without the hassle of tools, at least to get you to a warm place to do the wrenching.
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Old 11-17-06, 06:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgabriels
Any tried and true techniques to prevent freehubs from failing in extreme cold, say well below zero f?

What kinds of lubes work best in those temps?

How about hub bearings, any stories there?

How about hydraulics in forks and rear shocks, any winterizing needed?

Thanks!
What do you mean by "well below zero"? Usually, the rider suffers much worse than the bike. I have commuted on my bikes at temps below -20 F. In my opinion, when you approach -10 mercury, it is so miserable and so dangerous, that most riders park their wheel and wait it out. I remember riding to work when it was about -25 F. After about ten miles and one mile short of my destination, I almost fell off my bike in pain from the cold. Seriously. I didn't think I would make it and I have lived in the cold all my life.

Even in those extremes, the bike was stiff, but functional.
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Old 11-17-06, 07:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgabriels
I don't have the option of buying a new bike so I can run double rear hubs...
you could probably buy a custom fork that is wide enough to hold a rear hub...just an idea
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Old 11-17-06, 10:15 PM   #16
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I commuted through the past two winters (12km each way), starting my third, without any freehub problems. I've never bothered to change the grease out for thinner stuff.

It's quite common for me to ride in temps lower than -20c(-4f) & have had plenty of rides around -30c(-22f), coldest was -39c. Maybe I'm just lucky & my bikes have already had thinner grease.

The cold-related problems I've had with the bike have all been due to ice build-up (so mostly in temps closer to, or just above, freezing). I've never had my bike become disabled to the point of not being ridable, and never any permanent mechanical failures. The worst has been derailluers or brakes freezing up (before I got discs).

As for comfort... the correct clothing makes all the difference. On the -39c day, I remained comfortable until the last 10 minutes of my ride when my toes started to feel a bit cold... not enough to hurt, but I probably wouldn't have wanted to go more than another 20 minutes without stopping to warm them up a bit. The rest of me could have gone another hour.
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Old 11-17-06, 11:20 PM   #17
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For the record, this is what Clevernamehere would have commuted in last winter



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Old 11-19-06, 12:27 AM   #18
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Nice weatherstation Viperz!
And I love the pic of the Bez. Did you take that from your bike?
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Old 11-19-06, 08:36 AM   #19
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Nice weatherstation Viperz!
And I love the pic of the Bez. Did you take that from your bike?
Thanks, its a Davis Wireless/Solar Powered (Sensor Unit) Weather Station.


No, the picture was taken as I was walking along on Sask Cres. Here is another one from that set

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Old 11-19-06, 10:37 AM   #20
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If the pawls stop working a SMALL(light weight hammer) whack on the end of your skewer will engage them or just bang the rear wheel off the ground a few times. If it gets that bad a small hand held propane torch could be used to heat the hub. Just becareful not to over heat it.
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Old 11-19-06, 10:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgabriels
Any tried and true techniques to prevent freehubs from failing in extreme cold, say well below zero f?



How about hydraulics in forks and rear shocks, any winterizing needed?

Thanks!
Get rid of the shocks. go with a hardtail and steel fork.
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Old 11-19-06, 11:17 AM   #22
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^^^^ As long as the damping on the shocks are adjustable, no issues. Most modern coil-spring forks and rear shocks can be adjusted to work normally to at least -25C, which is as cold as I've ridden here.

Air shocks seem more temperature-sensitive; I can't get my SID to do much below -12C or so. Other brands might work better.
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