Help with the best cold weather mtn bike brakes?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help with the best cold weather mtn bike brakes?

    Hello cold weather cyclists, I realize it is not ALWAYS cold up there but you guys gotta be the experts with some cold weather riding questions!! I am going to be working in Antarctica this fall and bringing my mtn bike. I am looking to overhaul my Ti hardtail for this trip and also plan to hit New Zealand single track for a vacation afterwards. I am considering upgrading my brakes on this bike for this trip.
    Which is better for cold weather...
    Hydraulic disk brakes - do they get soft in 0 to -20below C...
    Mechanical disk brakes... simpler and easier to fix if there are issues...
    or standard V-brakes which the bike currently has.

    I have been there before many years ago and used V brakes which worked just fine but an upgrade to disk brakes is in order I believe and I would like to have feedback from yall on which version works best.

    Thanks for your input.
    Ride to Live... Live to Ride

  2. #2
    Mr.Secret
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    The least maintenance, not that hydros are maintenance intensive, Avid BB-7's. My favorite hydros are the Formula's or the Hope's summer or winter.
    ...think we'll ever get outta' this world alive ?...

  3. #3
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    Hummm, so hydraulics work just fine in really cold weather... still think I am leaning towards the bb7's though.
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  4. #4
    @adelorenzo
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    I have no problems running rim brakes in temperatures below -30 C. I run linear pulls on my 29er and cantis on my Pugsley.

  5. #5

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    you run cantis on your pugsly do you have pictures to post about that anthony?

    Iam leaning towards the mechanical bb7... I thought hydros would freeze?? I love my bb7s... but I think V or cantis would also do well.

  6. #6
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    yea, indeed, rim breaks will work ok... I used them in the antarctic quite a bit... but I need to upgrade the wheels on this bike and was thinking it would be a good time to upgrade the brakes too. My conclusion after using hydraulic disk brakes on another bike is that basically ALL brakes have pros and cons... none of them are perfect. Having said that I may put wheels on that can work with rim brakes as well as hydraulics. So I suppose again I am stuck with a somewhat simpler question. Do mechanicals work better than hydraulics in super cold weather? I know hydraulic fluid does not get hard in the temperatures I would use them in but I thought the seals may really not like it and that they may get really soft, or have no modulation, etc. Mechanicals I would think would not care about cold at all.
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  7. #7
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    There was a brake thread on here several months ago...it seemed like the majority preferred BB-7's for hassle free cold weather riding. But there are a lot of folks using hydro's as well.

    I don't like rim brakes on snow because I've had icing problems on long downhills.

    I've used Magura Marta's but there are some cold weather issues and the brakes have to be bled once a month once the temp gets below -10 or -20. Since the previous thread I've also seen a Marta fail completely due to cold temps.

    I'll probbaly put a Hayes on my FatBack next winter.

  8. #8
    nnn
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    Personally I've had great experience with BB7s in the snow and not so with Vs which squeal, stutter and in some cases don't work if the rim gets wet then freezes over.
    "Life begins at 140" Richard Burns
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  9. #9
    @adelorenzo
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgeneralsv
    you run cantis on your pugsly do you have pictures to post about that anthony?
    Check my Flickr pugsley photos for some pics. If you view the largest size photos you should be able to get a decent look. I am camera-less for a few weeks so I can't give you a close-up of the setup.

    They are Tektro Oryx brakes with some 15-year old Dia Compe levers.

    The rear brake is poor right now due to a horrible bend with that short cable hanger, but I have the longer replacement model coming in soon. The front cable hanger mounts on the fork.

    They're not super great. It takes a lot of hand power to get decent braking, but I manage OK and I weigh a hell of a lot. I'd say I get 70% of what I get with my V-brakes on my 29er.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by joatley
    There was a brake thread on here several months ago...it seemed like the majority preferred BB-7's for hassle free cold weather riding. But there are a lot of folks using hydro's as well.

    I don't like rim brakes on snow because I've had icing problems on long downhills.

    I've used Magura Marta's but there are some cold weather issues and the brakes have to be bled once a month once the temp gets below -10 or -20. Since the previous thread I've also seen a Marta fail completely due to cold temps.

    I'll probbaly put a Hayes on my FatBack next winter.
    Sup JOatley... slackdaddy here says you don't know squat about cold weather riding... when ya gonna come to the cruz for some real redwoods singletracking? If you didnt use your breaks so much going downhill they would not melt the ice and subsequently freeze up. why do we need brakes anyway they just slow us down!! hope you are wll.
    Ride to Live... Live to Ride

  11. #11
    ThisseatmakemyA$$lookfat?
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    V brakes??? N-O... Avid BB-7's yes. Thats what I use, and I <3 them... When people say they are the best mechanical disc brakes, they are not lieing... I've never used hydros in the winter...
    aka: akfreeridemtber; brian_404
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  12. #12
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    thanks for everyones comments... I am gonna go with the BB7's... Also this bike will be used for cross country endurance and long distance stuff in the states and BB7's seem to make the most sense there as well. Thanks much for everyones input. happy riding...
    Ride to Live... Live to Ride

  13. #13

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    many DOT based hydro systems work well in cold weather.

    however there are many systems out there that use mineral oil as fluid and these systems tend to have more issues. cable disks are a safe bet but i wouldn't hesitate to run a system that runs DOT fluid.

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