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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 11-13-08, 02:37 PM   #1
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Hydraulic Disc in Winter?

If you had to choose between some Avid mechanical disc brakes or their hydraulic counterparts which would you go for? Any reason not to use the hydraulic discs?

I'm talking Canadian winters here so +5 deg to -30 deg C [+ wind chill] and lots of snow [wet & dry powder].
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Old 11-13-08, 08:16 PM   #2
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I rode my Enduro two winters ago with Shimano hydraulics without any problem but I only go as cold as -15C or so. I think that hydraulics, being a closed system, will give you less problems than mechanical disk brakes. Cables, with the salt and road grime may oxidize or gunk up.

That being said, I will be riding a winter beater with cantelever brakes whne the roads get really bad.
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Old 11-13-08, 11:06 PM   #3
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Hydraulics are my preference, although avids should work fine as well. At least to -25C; Doesn't get colder than that here.
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Old 11-14-08, 09:56 AM   #4
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I've got Avid BB7's on my hardtail. Very happy with them and the new adjustment mechanisms are very easy. Three winters killed my BB5's. No experience or beef with hydro's, but no winter concerns come to mind.
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Old 11-15-08, 05:38 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I'll ponder this a bit before deciding. Sounds like I can go either way.
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Old 11-15-08, 07:11 PM   #6
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Hydraulics have always worked for me. Currently I'm using some 6 year old Heyes brakes. Six winters (and summers) and they've never failed me, but I'm actually going to bleed them for the first time ever this weekend. I've never tried mechs, but I'd be afraid of any cable with the potential to ice up and freeze.
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Old 11-15-08, 07:43 PM   #7
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Hydraulics are better. In all conditions. Period. That doesn't change in winter, it's not like the fluid is going to freeze. No reason to not choose them, except for price.

Avid mechanicals are pretty damn good. A fine plan B.
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Old 11-15-08, 07:46 PM   #8
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Never say never. Reason to choose mechanicals -- compatability with brake levers. I'm using Avid BB7 road mechanicals on my drop bar commuter, since there wasn't a hydraulic brake for drops that I could find.
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Old 11-16-08, 09:34 AM   #9
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^^^ Word. The lack of hydraulic STI levers is a marketplace void I have previously commented on.
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