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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 08-04-17, 10:37 AM   #1
srestrepo
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derailleur snow guard

I've been mulling over how to best prepare myself for the wintertime.

my first concerns are to protect my derailleur from accumulating huge chunks of ice on it, and then secondly, to protect the cassette from also becoming ice logged.

i have fenders and will be adding a mud flap to the front wheel that extends pretty close to the ground to help mitigate snow/ice accumulation but i have to wonder, has anyone ever made something to protect their rear derailleur and/or cassette?

i know they have those crappy aluminum of pot metal things that vaguely resemble a u-shape on BSO's

but maybe something that articulates with the body of the derailleur that prevents the pivot points from gumming up?

or do should i just spray it with some kind of oil or something so that water and ice aren't so prone to stick?

what is anyone's thoughts?
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Old 08-06-17, 04:32 PM   #2
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Lock de-icer spray?

I use wd40 sometimes.

Normally I just stop shifting for the rest of the ride if it gets frozen. Only happened once or twice last year.

I will usually take my bike into the (heated) basement after a gooey commute.
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Old 08-06-17, 04:43 PM   #3
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Agree with post 2, you're likely overthinking this. The bike will get filthy but will survive better than you think and you will be able to clean it in the spring. I finally got around to taking apart the winter beater bike I built up 4 years ago. I reconditioned the chain every spring and replaced it once but other than that I've done remarkably little to the bike to keep it going. T

his year I've already stripped it down and I'll rebuild it from top to bottom but, as I said, it's in pretty good shape. The front derailleur died but the rear is still going strong. The cassettes are in fine working order but have some grime that will be difficult to clean up.
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Old 08-06-17, 10:39 PM   #4
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I ride every day no matter what the weather and I had the derailleur disabled by freezing only once in my memory over years, when the bike was standing out in freezing rain. In this it might have bee the shifter cable that froze over rather than the derailleur itself.
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Old 08-07-17, 03:31 PM   #5
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For me it's more of a problem with snow getting packed into the cassette, and there's nothing you can do about that. My derailleur never froze, and I'm in -30 degree territory here in MT.

There is no guard for the derailleur because it moves. The guard would have to be massive.
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Old 08-08-17, 08:38 AM   #6
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I have been winter commuting for about 7 or 8 years now, and I can only recall my rear derailleur freezing up two or three times. When it has happened, I could see it icing up before it froze solid, and i just put the bike in a 'middle' gear and didn't worry about it too much.

As suggested above, the best thing you can do to prevent icing and wear to your drive train is full wrap fenders. They are an absolute must on a winter commuter.
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Old 08-08-17, 12:09 PM   #7
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let us know if you figure something out. snow always finds a place to stick









interesting to see the rear derailer wasn't too bad in this pic. but like others said, in the thick of it, you slow down & don't shift as much



my recollection of a rear derailer freezing was many years ago, the cable is what froze actually cuz the night before I cleaned the bike with some water & left it out over night. had to disassemble the cable in the dark, on my way to work, clean out the ice & reassemble. fortunately it didn't need any adjustments

how long do you think your rides will be? an hour? two? will you store your bike inside?
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Old 08-08-17, 03:18 PM   #8
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My rides will likely be between 25 to 30 minutes I'm assuming because this will be my first winter commuting over snow.

I have a bike, a GT Grade and you're, right, I'm likely overanalyzing this but it's better to know what to be prepared for I guess. I'm going to end up keeping the bike outside but protected from direct elements like fauna dn snow at work and likely bring the bike inside at home to thaw out. I've read that this exacerbates rust and freezing problems because of the thaw and such but I'm house hinting now and maybe I won't have to do that if I buy something with a garage or shed.

Interesting that about having the snow stuck to places on the frame. I thought fenders would help mitigate that but even the stays seem to be collection points
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Old 08-08-17, 10:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by srestrepo View Post
Interesting that about having the snow stuck to places on the frame. I thought fenders would help mitigate that but even the stays seem to be collection points
It all depends on the type of snow. Abundant, relatively fresh snow right below freezing will stick. In other circumstances it is usually no bother.
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Old 08-09-17, 01:35 AM   #10
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BITD there was a neoprene bootie that could go over the parallellogram part of derailers. Never caught on.
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Old 08-11-17, 09:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
Normally I just stop shifting for the rest of the ride if it gets frozen. Only happened once or twice last year.
Yep. Also, when you park it after riding in, I've learned to drop it to a workable gear for the ride home in case everything freezes solid during the workday. Learned that lesson the hard way!

I don't think there is any practical way to keep slush out of the cassette and derailleurs...
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