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Thread: Frozen brake

  1. #11
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    There is one solution, and one solution only. Hydraulic disc brakes. It will be the best money you ever spend.

  2. #12
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    FWIW, I've never found lubing housing to do much good. It can help short term to free corroded cables, but beyond that it just gums up and causes future problems. Modern lined housings work great without lube. If things are getting sticky its almost always the steel cable corroding.

    Best solution I've found is a bulk box of housing (available online all over the place), a container of ferrules, and just replace the housing and cables at the first sign of trouble. It helps a lot if you drill out the stops (if necessary) to run full length housing, which helps keep water out. I've never found the fancy housing packages to work any better than generic jagwire.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subby View Post
    There is one solution, and one solution only. Hydraulic disc brakes. It will be the best money you ever spend.
    Yeah, this.

    Hydro brakes are a wonderful upgrade. For MTB (or flat bar) there is no excuse as they are so cheap. I picked up some entry-level Shimano for my son for $30 on eBay.

    They're still pretty pricey for road, but Shimano 105 is great value if you're cool with Shimano shifting. Otherwise SRAM Apex 1.

  4. #14
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    If unhandy or short on tools to disasemble. with the bike warm. Take a vacuum cleaner and put the hose on the ends of the brake housing. You don't need to take things apart just pull the housing out of the fitting a bit and make a seal around the end and vac hose with your hands. Hold for 20 seconds or so and repeat at any other housing ends you can. As said any drop down loop should be changed so the ends of the housing are below the cable housing. Use a dry cable lube after if you have some on hand.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFHokie View Post
    Wanted to confirm, the brakes are mechanical disc and not hydraulic or mechanical pull/hydraulic piston hybrid?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930AZ using Tapatalk
    Yea, I recently installed TRP Hy/Rd hybrids and noticed in the serious cold I get a ton of play in my rear brake about 2 minutes into my ride. Good as new after a few minutes of letting the bike warm up. I'm thinking some combination of the hydraulics cooling and the length of cable involved - again, only happens in the rear. The good news is it still works, just gotta squeeze extra hard. Would be strange in a full mechanical though.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subby View Post
    There is one solution, and one solution only. Hydraulic disc brakes. It will be the best money you ever spend.
    Of course those brakes using mineral oil (like most Shimano units) can have problems with the mineral oil getting too stiff below about 0 F.

    I have noticed it, but just dealt with differnt feel, no locking open


    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymo853 View Post
    Of course those brakes using mineral oil (like most Shimano units) can have problems with the mineral oil getting too stiff below about 0 F.

    I have noticed it, but just dealt with differnt feel, no locking open


    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Is that the downside to mineral oil (vs. dot-5.1)? I've never ridden below 0 and don't plan to, so it's not a big deal, but I was wondering if the mineral oil would suffer a bit in the cold. I still vastly prefer working with it -- and prefer Shimano brakes. I want Shimano brakes and SRAM shifting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    Is that the downside to mineral oil (vs. dot-5.1)? I've never ridden below 0 and don't plan to, so it's not a big deal, but I was wondering if the mineral oil would suffer a bit in the cold. I still vastly prefer working with it -- and prefer Shimano brakes. I want Shimano brakes and SRAM shifting.
    One or two times this week in the morning I noticed my Shimano hydraulic discs (with mineral oil) to be a little stiff when I hadn't used them in bit. But one or two pumps of the brake lever got them working again. So you're probably right about them suffering performance below 0 but it was easily remedied. If I left my bike outside overnight I suppose it could be worse. But in an unheated/semi-insulated workshop it hasn't been too bad.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by excimer34 View Post
    In the cold, by my estimation in temps below freezing, my rear brake seizes up (it's a disc brake). The brake is frozen "open" and the wheel can turn freely. The first time it happened, I remember trying with all my might to squeeze the hand brake but it would not budge. Later that day, when the temp reached the 50's, the brake worked fine. I mentioned this to my mechanic and proffered my possible explanation--water in the brake cable housing--but he seemed skeptical. I trust him as he has been working on bikes for a long time and has seen pretty much everything. He didn't replace the cable or housing, but he sprayed lubricant on the brake. I hoped that would be sufficient. This morning I took my bike out of the house, breaks working fine. Within 2 minutes of my ride in 15 degree weather, the rear brake froze tight again. Has this happened to anybody? Your speculation is welcomed!
    My caliper brakes freeze all the time but work again if I squeeze body-temp water on them to thaw out; I keep a small water bottle inside my jacket excitedly for this purpose. If you are getting water in your your brake housing, it might be freezing up the pads. If so, my trick might work for you, too.

    Sent from my VS501 using Tapatalk

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomer2U View Post
    My caliper brakes freeze all the time but work again if I squeeze body-temp water on them to thaw out; I keep a small water bottle inside my jacket excitedly for this purpose.
    Vodka works better than water because it doesn't freeze as easily. My only problem is that the flask I keep inside my jacket is always empty when I need to use it on my brake!



    (Also, disk brakes FTW.)

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