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Sub Zero Temperatures & a road bike

With this recent snap of ultra cold weather is leaving a road bike out in the shed going to cause a lot of issues with it? I want to bring it in the house to minimise problems but not much spare space for it to be honest.

We have had temperatures well below freezing for over 48 hours now - had a check of my bike there and the bars seem seized up a bit (i know there are lubricants in the stem etc) are they likely to be freezing up? Is a carbon frame going to have many negative effects out there? 

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7 comments

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matthewn5 | 1 year ago
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My winter bike lives inside at home and work, and it's notable how much melted ice drips off at both ends of the trip from the bottom bracket area... leaving salty dried areas on the floor too. And that's with guards and long mudflaps. I'd be tempted to bring your in to melt the ice off it, rather than letting that potentially build up and cause problems.

At the moment with the roads in London heavily gritted, the rim brakes are working brilliantly, but it must be reducing rim life!!

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IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
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As long as they are properly lubricated and put away dry then should be ok. Leaping off the bike and rushing to the shower and coming back a couple of days later is a no no.

Sheds are more killers in the summer than winter. They tend to get very hot, so cause tyres to decay prematurely and other potential damage like paintwork.

UK temps unlikely to get low enough to cause hydraulic problems, gears might get a little sticky.

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hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
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If you're cold, then they're cold - bring them in!

However, if you insist on treating them with cruelty, then cold shouldn't affect much. I'd be inclined to check that brakes are still working fine before setting off as you never know if you got a bit of ice trapped somewhere and maybe the gears too.

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ktache | 1 year ago
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If you bring it in then at least the handlebars start out warm.

I have found over the past week that my front disk brake gets a little more grabby when the temperature gets a few degrees below zero.

For me, Reading and Guildfordish, it's not yet worthwhile fitting my spiked tyres to the good bike yet. Xtr Vs on ceramic rims, Ali rim brakes can get a bit sketchy. Ultimate Commuter may never get a set, tubeless and expense.

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andystow | 1 year ago
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If you're going to be riding it in the cold, it's best to keep it covered but not inside. Every time the bike goes from warm to cold, it draws air into all the voids (bearings, frame) as the warm air inside contracts. That air contains moisture.

The only temperature related issue I've had started around -15 °C when my freewheel stopped freewheeling. The oil in there got thick enough that it would keep turning with the wheel when I stopped pedalling, feeding chain forward towards the crankset and causing the chain to drop. I disassembled, cleaned, and replaced with Dumonde Tech freehub oil rated down to -40 °C/°F.

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HoarseMann | 1 year ago
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The headset bearings are likely to be lubricated with white lithium grease, which is good down to -25 deg C, so that should be fine.

I think brake fluid is also ok down to those temperatures too.

What might be an issue, is if you get water trapped somewhere and it freezes, the ice expanding could cause something to break. So as long as it's dry, I don't think it will be a problem.

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Simon E replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago
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HoarseMann wrote:

The headset bearings are likely to be lubricated with white lithium grease, which is good down to -25 deg C, so that should be fine.

If you run a bike without mudguards in winter you will get water, mud and grit (and at the moment road salt, the most corrosive of them all) sprayed into the gap below the lower headset bearings. It's a killer.

If I have to ride in wet and cold conditions then I know that leaving my bike in the garage overnight will result in additional corrosion and probably seized components. In such conditions I have learnt that it is better to bring it into the kitchen to dry out overnight.

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