Join Date: May 2007
Location: Buffalo NY
Bikes: Gerry Fisher Nirvana, LeMond Buenos Aires
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Depending on the road conditions various things can happen. On bad days I've had either the front or rear brakes freeze on me. I've also had the rear derailler freeze on me a few times. When it snows here in Buffalo we get plenty of it, but throughout an entire winter I'd say that I probably ride 90 + % on dry roads. The last two weeks have been very snowy, but otherwise we've had none that affected me for commuting till mid December. I deal with the problems as they happen. One Friday going home was wet. Over the weekend the temps dropped by 20 degrees. That following Monday I had no working rear derailler. I just used the front one to give me 3 gears. Not ideal, but I got to work OK. During the day my bike defrosted and on the way home everything worked fine. Usually when the brakes freeze the roads are covered with snow so slowing down is no problem. Just stop pedaling and the hugh resistance slows me down quickly. I also generaly have at least one remain partly functional so that is enough to get me home in one piece.
Some things that have helped are:
- Good cables with a very light coating of grease. Yes dirt will stick to it a bit, but it also keep the water out, and during winter riding that is more important.
- Pogies on the front. The prevents moisture from getting into the Brake and Shifter cables from the top. My 1st winter I had my shifters and brakes freeze up a lot more often. Now I still have problem if things freeze due to moisture entry at the end of the cable, but this is less of an issue
- Good brakes. I had problems with the bushings on my lower end Shimano V brakes (no model name) rusting. I replaced them with Shimano XT brakes. The area with the bushing has more protection to keep moisture out, also the little rubber ballows that goes on the end of the brake line to the "J" bracket attaches much more firmly and is also doing a much better job of keeping moisture out. So far this year no frozen brakes yet. Disk brakes would be nice, but since I already have custom wheels (generator hub up front and XT hub in the rear w/ 36 spokes) I don't want to get rid of them to get disk brakes. I can live with the V brakes, but my next commuter will have either disks or drum brakes.