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  1. #1
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    BB7's vs Elixir 1's in the winter?

    My wife recently replaced her summer bike (hardtail 26er) with a Bucksaw. I decided to take all of the good parts off of her 26er and hang the frame up for now.

    She rides a Pugsley in the winter and has always complained about the BB7 brakes. Even when adjusted perfectly, she didn't really like them. So... I took the Elixir 1 brakes off of her 26er, and put them on the Pugsley. There is no comparison - the hydros are worlds better when riding that bike today. Maybe that won't be the case when it is winter?

    Do the Elixirs typically perform OK in the cold? If they do, I'd like to replace the BB7's on my Mukluk with another set...

  2. #2
    Thingamejigger
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    Poor cables is usually the cause for BB7's not performing. Good Jagwire cables worked well for me, I swapped bikes and the next came with Shimano cables and my BB7's sucked.

    Elixir's have DOT brake fluid in them so that should perform well enough, it's down to how the seals will hold out for your given temp low's.

  3. #3
    MaxTheCyclist.com
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    Seconded, I got the good Jagwire compressionless cable housing and my BB7's went from "mush" to hydro-feeling hard-stops. I use Yokozuna housing on my road bike, which also has BB7's, and that works too.

    Not to contradict Flying_Scotsman, but a cable is a cable, you can use any brand you want. The HOUSING is what matters. Compressionless housing, as the name suggests, won't compress (similar to derailleur housing) so that your brake caliper gets 100% of your lever's energy, with no loss to mushy housing.

    Get the real "Mountain Pro" kit. Jagwire makes regular cable housing too, and some of it is not compressionless.
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  4. #4
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    IMO she will like the hydros better. And she won't miss worrying about freezing cables.

  5. #5
    MaxTheCyclist.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by rentalrider View Post
    IMO she will like the hydros better. And she won't miss worrying about freezing cables.
    Five winters in Massachusetts, Maine, VT, and New Hampshire on BB7's. When am I supposed to start worrying about freezing cables? It wasn't an issue at -18F!

    I think there are lots of reasons to go hydraulic over cable-actuated. I don't think this is one of them.
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  6. #6
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    Well it was for me. Any overnight trip my son and I did in winter had at least one of us trying to thaw out cables before departing "camp". I will admit it wasn't with BB7's, my wife runs them and she refuses to accompany us on those overnighters Michigan upper peninsula and northern lower FWIW.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rentalrider View Post
    Well it was for me. Any overnight trip my son and I did in winter had at least one of us trying to thaw out cables before departing "camp". I will admit it wasn't with BB7's, my wife runs them and she refuses to accompany us on those overnighters Michigan upper peninsula and northern lower FWIW.
    Yeah, I mean, if you get your calipers coated in slush and you leave the bike overnight, you can end up with a thick layer of ice on the caliper. That'll stop any type of brake. I usually give my brakes and crankset a quick wipe with my mitten before making camp, the thin layer left over from moisture doesn't stop me at all in the morning.

    If you have water inside the housing, freezing your cables, that's a whole other issue. The Jagwire kit comes with ferrules that have a long, thin section designed to seal the housing from water infiltration, which would keep anything from getting in there. It works pretty well, my cables are clean on their 6-month refresh.

    I had my bike out in freezing rain once, for about 5 hours. I was in class. When I got out, I had ~1-2mm of glass ice on every surface, even the tires. I bounced the bike a few times on the ground and (carefully) rode home, no brake issues. I didn't even think about the possibility of the cables freezing. If that didn't do it, nothing will!
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