After 20+ years of year-around, full-time commuting, including thru real winters (snow, cold, etc.), I thought I had reached nirvana when I moved to hydro disc brakes. No more frozen cables or calipers, or iced over rims. Full brakes, all the time, no matter the condition. And low maintenance too.
Well, after 3 years, including 2 winters, I have had to replace the calipers twice due to salt corrosion of the cylinder after the seals gradually failed.
I love the performance and reliability of hydro discs, but obviously I can't justify this replacement cost schedule. So, what I am wondering: are these seal failures just bad luck, or do these units require mid-winter maintenance to stay operational, or is hydraulic just a bad idea for regular winter cycling? The bike stoh is suggesting cable-actuated discs would be better since there aren't any seals to fail...but then, of course, the cables could freeze up (but they will melt out unlike rusted out cylinders which cost $100+ to replace). Does that make sense, or are they selling me a line?
- Avid Juicy 3 brakes on a hybrid commuter bike
- I live in Ottawa where we get real winter ("World's coldest national capital"): -15C is a normal daytime high, with 2-3 cold-snaps of -20 to -30C; a **** ton of snow is also normal...20cm in a storm is not unusual, and a week or two rarely passes without at least a small storm that drops 5-10cm; winter is long here too, from late November to early April; the city uses a ton of salt...it isn't unusual to ride over small mounds of salt where the truck has waited at a light
- I bike in all conditions, 5 days a week.
- I get the bike fully overhauled every spring. Between these overhauls, besides lubing the chain, I don't spend much time on maintenance or cleaning.
Be great to hear your thoughts to help me decide to stick with the hydros, or move to cable-pull discs.