Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-12-09, 10:22 PM   #1
Tell a thousand lies...
Thread Starter
BurnMyEyes's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: In Philly for the time being
Bikes: Cheap-o MTB, 1980 Fuji Gran Tourer SE
Posts: 183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Brakes seizing up

I've been having brake issues ever since it's been cold. I'll be riding along, and I brake, but the lever stays depressed, and the brakes themselves stay closed. It's more of a problem with the front brakes. The problem starts occurring after 10 to 15 minutes of riding.

It's hard to tell if it's directly related to the cold, because it's winter and there is nowhere warm to ride. Plus, my living arrangement requires me to store my bike outside. I do have a cover for it, and everything stays pretty protected from the elements when I'm not riding.

From what I can tell, it's not a problem with the brake itself. It seems like the cable is getting stuck somewhere. The reason I think that is because if I disconnect the noodle, I can work the brake arms with my hands without any extra resistance, so I'm pretty sure it's not that joint that's freezing.

What is causing this problem and what do I need to do to avoid it? I was thinking maybe I just need to clean out my cable housings and put some oil in there, but I don't know of an easy way of cleaning it.

EDIT: I wasn't sure if this should go in mechanics or not, but it seems like a direct consequence of winter riding. Mods, feel free to move the thread.
BurnMyEyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-09, 04:11 AM   #2
Senior Member
AEO's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin
Posts: 12,258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
you probably have water in the brake housings. use WD-40, preferably in a warm place, in the brake housing.

substitute lube with WD-40, which displaces water and shifter with brake

if they're really rusted, then it's probably better to just replace the cables all together.
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
AEO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-09, 12:13 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Buffalo NY
Bikes: Gerry Fisher Nirvana, LeMond Buenos Aires
Posts: 1,035
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've had some issues with my v-brakes this winter. Some of it can be attributed to the need to get new cables (this is my 2nd Winter and about 3500 miles). The problems started after some rainy weather and then followed by a cold snap. First I found that I had to re-lube my cables. I found that it works best if you release the tension on the cables and "un-hook" the cable sheet from the holders. This way you can slide the cable housing out of the way and lube everything properly. Tri-flow is very good stuff. WD-40 will displace water, but it a lousy lubricant (mostly because it was never designed to be a lubricant... it is a water displacing fluid... therefore the name "WD"). The Tri-flow will lubricate and leave a nice slippery coat behind once the liquid part evaporates. I found that I had the move the sheeths near the brake handles a bit as there was some crud/frozen issues in there. Once I lubes the cables well, the cables move freely. A few weeks later I started to have problems with my v-brakes not returning to "neutral" after applying the brakes. I took the v-brakes appart and found that I was getting some corrosion within the bushings on the v-brake housing. I liberally applied lubricant and moved the bushing around a lot. After a little work they all stated to work freely again. I used a rag to keep wiping the extra lube up as it was "washing-away" the crud that was stuck in them. After this round of work my brakes and shifter cables work fine. The cables still need replacing, but that will be done on February 21st... they just have to hold on till then.

Happy riding,
andrelam is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:46 PM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.