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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 01-14-08, 12:47 PM   #1
Cosmoline
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Constantly Shifting To Keep Gears Working

I've been trying a new method to keep my gears alive this winter. I make a point of shifting them every few minutes whether I need to or not, just to get the chain moving around. It seems to be working and keeps them from getting locked in one track
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Old 01-15-08, 11:46 AM   #2
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I had to repeated kick my front derailleur with the heel of my boot this morning because it "froze" on the middle chainring just before one of my mini-epic climbs on the way to school. I'm not sure I like the idea of constantly shifting to get around the problem, though.
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Old 01-15-08, 05:01 PM   #3
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That's what I do, when it looks all covered up I run the deraillers up and down once. Though you can't really escape first gear in 10 inches of snow.
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Old 01-15-08, 05:34 PM   #4
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I was having problems with my rear derailleur "freezing up" when temps were below 25f. I would add a few drops of cycling oil at the top of the cable housing periodically, and it solved the problem. As far as the front, perhaps if you could grease the cable thru the housing, this may solve that problem
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Old 01-15-08, 08:15 PM   #5
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The BB cable guide likes to freeze and rust since that's where all the dirt from the front wheel goes.
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Old 01-16-08, 09:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline View Post
I've been trying a new method to keep my gears alive this winter. I make a point of shifting them every few minutes whether I need to or not, just to get the chain moving around. It seems to be working and keeps them from getting locked in one track
Constantly shifting?? You're making a good argument for using a Single Speed for winter riding.
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Old 01-16-08, 01:02 PM   #7
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Constantly shifting?? You're making a good argument for using a Single Speed for winter riding.

I'd say the opposite. You've got a single speed and apparently you NEED a multi speed.
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Old 01-16-08, 02:33 PM   #8
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I've never witnessed any of these problems.
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Old 01-16-08, 04:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
The BB cable guide likes to freeze and rust since that's where all the dirt from the front wheel goes.


most likely problem.
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Old 01-16-08, 04:37 PM   #10
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I've never witnessed any of these problems.
Lucky!

I should have taken some pictures of my really bad commutes (I couldn't believe how nasty my bike was when I got home).

I used to love when I'd have a 3 inch shell of frozen sand/salt/dirt/snow surrounding my crank/bb/front derailleur. (kinda like "road snot" in a car's wheel well) I eventually moved to a fixed wheel in back because my derailleurs and brakes rarely worked properly in the winter.... Although I do miss having my granny gear from time to time.

My best solution (besides ditching my gears) was to just leave my commuter outside and not allow it to freeze/thaw/freeze.
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Old 01-16-08, 07:03 PM   #11
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Why not build a winter rear wheel with a 3 speed internal gear coaster brake hub? That's what I'm doing.
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Old 01-17-08, 09:28 AM   #12
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Different people ride in different environments.

I ride in a very icy environment, and for years tried to solve my brake and gear isssues.

I bought the best cables and derailleurs, maintained them meticulously, and yet every winter I would find myself stuck in a gear not of my choosing.
And, at times, my brakes would get marginal to non-existent.

I considered disk brakes and an internally geared hub, and these solutions have a lot of merit.

However, for my situation, I decided on a fixed gear bike and cantilever brakes, and this combination works perfectly for me, in my environment.

I don't ride through very much deep snow, but I ride through a lot of ice and icing conditions.

If I moved somewhere that consistently had fresh, deep snow, I would consider disk brakes and an internally geared hub.
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Old 01-17-08, 10:47 AM   #13
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The BB cable guide likes to freeze and rust since that's where all the dirt from the front wheel goes.
Yup, that's exactly what happened to me. Now I know why those Treks and Gary Fishers run their cables along the top tubes...
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Old 01-17-08, 11:07 AM   #14
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Now I know why those Treks and Gary Fishers run their cables along the top
My former ice bike has top tube cables; and I went to progressively more and more expensive sealed winter cable housings with special lubricants; and, in the end, the derailleurs themselves would simply pack up with ice and stop working.

For people who have derailleurs freezing solid with impacted slush, snow and ice, I think internal hubs represent the way to go.
I haven't done it yet, so I can't say, but I have talked to people who have gone that way, and it worked for them, once they got on the road and the internal lubricants warmed up from friction.

Shimano makes excellent seven speed and eight speed geared hubs.

I would pick a frame with horizontal track dropouts for this, though, in order to avoid the necessity of a chain tensioner.

However, on could get the chain tension right, even with conventional dropouts, if one carefully chose his chain ring and cog combination, and used a half-link for fine tuning.
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Old 01-18-08, 05:48 PM   #15
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I would pick a frame with horizontal track dropouts for this, though, in order to avoid the necessity of a chain tensioner.
"Track ends" are a pain will a full coverage fender, you need to move, bend or hinge the rear fender to get the wheel out straight backwards.
Not a huge problem, but I like knowing that first and then putting the fender on.
Instead of finding out after you put the fender on.
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Old 01-18-08, 11:07 PM   #16
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I "constantly shift" three-sixty-five.

Even in my freezing rain events I always have at least three or four functional gears, so I'll never get the point of a single-speed from a gear functionality standpoint.

I'll get an internal hub whenever I can rationalize $1000 for a (Rohloff) hub. Which I am working on, slowly.
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Old 02-07-08, 12:50 AM   #17
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I found that swapping the sheathing for the derailleur cables with a one piece(don't use the braze ons)one.I find that most of the time it's the cable freezing from crap getting in there.With the one piece sheathing there's nowhere for the mopisture to get in.I do the same for the rear brake as well.
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Old 02-07-08, 09:42 AM   #18
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I had to lube my cables with grease inside the housing. That solved that part of the problem. I will re-grease those in the spring overhaul. My front derailleur does not want to go to the small ring. I don't use the small ring unless I am hauling in a heavy load, so I just push it down with my hand before the hill if I need to.

If it is slushy/snowy, my freewheel gets alot of stuff in it, so I run through the gears (which I do anyway due to terrain) to keep it clear. This has worked well for me all winter. Then make sure to spray lube on it when I get to work or home. I park my bike inside at work, so it always melts off during the day.
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