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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone seen/used the pipe wrap cables that prevent their water pipes from freezing?

What if something was designed specifically for the moving parts on a MTB that typically freeze up, causing shifting problems?

I know that I have a problem shifting at least once per week, which causes me to carry a small can of Remington gun-oil in my chest pocket, so that I can spray warm oil on the front/rear derailleurs. Doing so gets me to my final destination problem free, but it would be nice if I didn't have to do that at all.

What if a low voltage system was designed, using a water bottle shaped battery pack for a headlight, that kept the drivetrain components warm enough to prevent freezing over the course of a two/three-hour period; with an on/off switch on the handlebars?
 

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Heating anything electricly requires serious wattage, The kind of battery you'd have to carry will quickly have you looking elsewhere for a solution.

What you want to do is keep water out of the moving parts, especially light action stuff like deraillurs. There are a number of very effective water displacers, which will do a decent job. LPS-1 is one that comes to mind at the moment.

You might also visit the ski shop and see what they use on release bindings. These are exposed to water and freezing conditions, but obviously can't be allowed to freeze up.

Another approach if it's well below 32, is to put your bike outside to cool for a few minutes before riding, This way snow won't melt and run in as it hits warm parts.

When all else fails, consider moving south.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've considered putting my bike outside, but I don't have a garage and it's an expensive bike.

The other issue I see is that any water that is accumulated on the drive-train during the ride to work tends to freeze, so a quick lube-job is necessary to free everything up.

I know that there is a 12-volt system that is designed for "off-grid" homes, that has a built-in thermostat which works to keep the pipes warm. The work load for that system is 3-watts/50-degrees, with a 50' line that would have to be shortened to meet the length desired.

IF anything, the system would probably work best if the heat was directed into the metal components versus them being wrapped with a heated line?
 

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I think you need to look for simple solutions to what is, in reality, a pretty simple problem. You already recognise that a lube mid-ride will free things up, so just look for a chain lube that won't allow any build-up in the first place. Finish Line Wet springs to mind. Then take a look at some fenders - home-made if necessary - to keep water and ice from being lifted from the tyres into the drivetrain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will always agree that "simple" is the way to keep things; although a heated drive-train would be nice to have, at this point only if it was designed that way from the factory.

Various lubes are definitely a permanent to short-term response to the freezing drivetrain problem that everyone faces from time-to-time.

Do away with the high viscosity in favor of a lighter oil (less mess), and heater components for winter rides.

The point I'm making with this discussion is to spark motivation in someone to create a product using existing technology that will affect cycling in the winter season for the better.
 

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"The point I'm making with this discussion is to spark motivation in someone to create a product using existing technology..."

What makes you think that I didn't understand your point? Check this video out, but in your mind replace the term, or reference to the idea of, "Bulletball" with "heated drivetrain".

 

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gmcttr said:
Geez....that poor guy has spent 26 years trying to sell an air hockey table without the air.
It is sad!!! Before someone added air and speeded up the game it was called "knock hockey", and it was a staple of after school centers. (Crap, I think I might have given away my age). His version might be called table soccer.

Back to the OP,

I've ridden in cold weather for years, all the way down to -8F, though my experience was on road bikes. I've only ever encountered problems in temps just slightly below 32, when splashed water would freeze and build up in layers, and even that was very rare.

There are other practical solutions, based on choice of chain lube, and using water displacers(repellers) on the front and rear derailleurs. If possible, use full fenders to reduce what's splashed up. A basic tenet of good design is that the most elegant solution is the simplest, so don't overthink this.
 

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How about, say, carry a small spray bottle (like Visine or something) of auto windshield de-icer ??? Just a very low tech thought ;) Would be "point and shoot" whilst still riding....... have never had a parts-freezing-problem in all my years, honestly. I think a previous post about bringing your bike down to outside ambient temp may help (dunno, honestly, but it makes some sense) ........ oooooh, ooooooh....another low tech spurious thought might include carrying a salt shaker with you, and sprinkling the offending components occasionally..... j/k....mostly ;)
 

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I think you are getting into something that is too complicated for it's own good (if it is going to involve a heating element)

The proper lubricant for the situation would be your best bet. Purple Extreme or something engineered specifically for cold weather (do not limit your search to just 'bike' lubricants) should go a long way towards solving the problem.

To quote 'circusubet' from another post...

"The Guru, Sheldon Brown

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since EVERYONE has a opinion on this subject, I thought I would let others speak:

Some reading on Chains and lube:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html#lube

http://www.erikv.com/blog/index.cfm/2008/3/3/Chain-Lube

http://www.velonews.com/article/73002

http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Lube/product_22266.shtml

http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Lube/product_22251.shtml

And anyone that thinks WD-40 is the bomb, It REALLLLY is.....

http://bicycletutor.com/no-wd40-bike-chain/

Sorry about so many links, but among these opinions you should find YOUR Holy Grail

Thanks, John"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The temperature was -11(F) during this morning's ride to work. I was trying something different this morning. A cheap experiment. I zip-tied chemical hand warmers to the cables leading to the front/rear derailleurs, and to the side of the rear derailleurs "body."

I didn't have any problem shifting!

Tomorrow morning's weather is suppose to be around -10(F) degrees, since it's the weekend I'm going to see how the ride goes without the hand warmers zip-tied to the drivetrain.

If my experiment goes according to plan then this proves that an electronically heated drivetrain idea is feasible!
 
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