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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 05-14-03, 12:37 PM   #1
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Frozen cables

What a great idea, a winter cycling forum... So many people think I'm nuts riding in the winter... Anyway, I live in Toronto, and I have a question: last march, I went to a concert one sunday afternoon, the temperature was around -5C, and by the time I get out it was down to -20C! My problem: the lock was frozen (it wasn't fun to de-freeze with a lighter, but I can handle that), but more importantly, my derailleur cables wouldn't move at all! I'm just wondering if anyone has a solution when this kind of problem happens far from home! It might be helpful for next winter...
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Old 05-14-03, 12:48 PM   #2
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they have stuff to spray into locks to de-ice them, may work on cables too?
you could probably find it in hardware stores. other than that im not sure what you could do.
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Old 05-15-03, 03:48 AM   #3
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Welcome, Claire, and good question! I had trouble all winter with my rear brake cable freezing up. I sprayed lots of WD-40 in and around it, left the bike inside by the furnace room for a week at a time, parked it inside all day at work and it just didn't seem to make any difference! As soon as the temp got to about -10 C, my rear brake cable would freeze. There must have been one spot in the cable housing where water would collect and stay. Maybe I'll take the cable off in the fall and have a look at it. I never had trouble with the derailleur cables, though - Are you sure it was the cables? Sometimes the derailleurs themselves get packed up with ice and snow and freeze up, or it could be the control levers freezing up.
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Old 05-15-03, 08:24 AM   #4
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I never had that problem with derailleur cables, but once had a frozen brake or brake cable. Solutions:

- Install fenders and mudflaps on your bike. My front mudflap is within 6 cm of the ground. Fenders and mudflaps prevent roadspray from attacking bottom bracket and cables.

- Lubricate your cables before installing them.

- If you have a short section of cable housing at the bottom, make sure it doesn't sag and that the low point of the housing is actually one of the extremities.
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Old 05-17-03, 06:24 AM   #5
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Your cables froze most likely because moisture got into the lines.

Your cables will be prone to corrosion. As part of your spring maintanance, take the cables out of the housings and clean them. Squirt some WD-40 into the housings to clean them out and to help prevent corrosion to the cables.

ASSUMING that you have simple two piece cables (cable and housing without sleeves), then coat your cable with all season grease and rethread into the housing.
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Old 05-17-03, 06:54 AM   #6
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I'm thinking more along the lines of preventing the problem then fixing it, get rid of all that extraneous fluff i.e. derailleurs, shifters, cables, housings etc..., it just weighs you down and causes grief.

Keep it simple and you'll have more time and money to spend on concert going instead of bike repair.
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