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Mechanical Discs

Old 07-28-23, 06:29 PM
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Mechanical Discs

Anyone experienced problems braking in snowy conditions with mechanical disc brakes? I have a Salsa Fargo with TRP Spyre brakes and was thinking of putting some 2.6-3.0 studded tires for winter riding, but not sure how the brake (cables) will hold up if exposed to snow.
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Old 07-28-23, 06:49 PM
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I've never experienced any braking issues with TRP Spyres, or indeed any braking system with temperatures down into the low teens. The only real potential issue I can think of would arise from water in the cable housing freezing and seizing up the cable inside.
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Old 07-28-23, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by base2
The only real potential issue I can think of would arise from water in the cable housing freezing and seizing up the cable inside.
Thatís specifically what I was thinking about. I rented a fatbike last year and came across a guy with this issue with mechanical discs.
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Old 07-29-23, 12:08 PM
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I've been using Avid BB7s on two of my bikes for the past 16 years. Cables can get a little tight if moisture gets in and starts to freeze but I never actually lost braking power. I keep the cables well lubed make it a habit to just squeeze brake levers regularly to keep them loose. The brake calipers itself should be rinsed with clean water after the winter season to get all the road salt out or else they can start to seize up and get very tight. Other than that I love mechanical brakes, simple and easy to set up and maintain. Never have to worry about brake bleeding or replacing leaking piston seals like I had to do on my shimano hydraulic brakes.
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Old 07-30-23, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut
Thatís specifically what I was thinking about. I rented a fatbike last year and came across a guy with this issue with mechanical discs.
Getting water into the cable housing is far more difficult than it sounds. It can happen as evidenced by corroded cables but itís not highly likely. Even with corroded cables, the water is probably following some salt that gets past the ferrules and, being hygroscopic, the salt actually pulls small amounts of water out of the air. Flooding of enough water to freeze the cables is not all that likely.

Iíve used cable brakes of many different flavorsÖcantilever, linear, and discÖover more than 40 years of commuting and never had a brake of any kind freeze. Mechanical discs arenít any more (or less) delicate than those other brakes.
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Old 08-07-23, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Noonievut
Anyone experienced problems braking in snowy conditions with mechanical disc brakes? I have a Salsa Fargo with TRP Spyre brakes and was thinking of putting some 2.6-3.0 studded tires for winter riding, but not sure how the brake (cables) will hold up if exposed to snow.
you'll be fine

only winter cable issue I ever came across, was the rear derailer, on my commuter. I made the mistake of using a little water to clean the bike, after getting home, then left it outside overnight. by the next morning I couldn't shift. only discovered it, 1/2 mile from home, in the dark. PITA to disassemble it, clean out that little housing loop & put it all back together, roadside, in the dark, in very cold temps
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Old 10-09-23, 03:18 PM
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I think it depends on the cable routing on your particular bike.

I have used my Masi for winter riding, with mechanical disks (Avid BB7s). I never had a problem with the cables freezing. BUT, the derailleur cables for the same bike are routed, bare, directly under the bottom bracket. So there have been quite a few times when I lost shifting owing to ice buildup on those cables.
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