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Torben Putkonen

There is no hack to prevent water from entering the brake cable housing. Water will always get in and then it will freeze. This is a fundamental design failure in rear brakes located inside the rear triangle, which inconveniences mechanical disc brake using winter cyclists.

Regular lubing works, but that doesn't constitute as a hack. Hydraulic brakes are good too. They aren't that much more difficult to maintain than freezing mechanical brakes.

BTW, I seem to have moisture in my front brake cable housing which is practically vertical and it freezes a bit every time I take my bike from warm storage into the freezing weather. :)


It's actually a design failure for any cable housing that has an end pointing upward. There are a lot of juvenile bmx bikes and old female stepthrough frames that have the same problem. My solutions on these: reroute the cables or completely fill with tri-flow.


I was able to free up my sticky derailleur and brake cables (the v-brakes brakes were mostly fine, the ders much less so) quickly last winter with one of those small aerosol lock de-icer canisters. The little snorkel tip fit into the cable housing end and it was small enough to carry in my tool kit in case I needed to treat it in the field. I added a BB7 to the front of my cargo bike this past year. No problems with that one so far this winter.

Kevin Collings

Not so much of a hack, but I'll be building up my Salsa Vaya (similar brake mount in the rear triangle) with Gore's Ride On sealed cables. A little pricey, but if it keeps the water out of the cable housings on long rides it'll be worth it.

Steve Cropley

The sealed Gore Ride On cables solved my problem. I ride every winter and have just accepted that cables freeze. Even down to single digits, I had no problem this past winter with the sealed cables.

This is not a design flaw of brake mounting. This is just a fact of cable life. On some of the heavy equipment we use, the cables are prone to the same problems.

Disc brakes, cable or hydraulic, beat all other brakes hands down. There were a couple of times this winter, I came home riding a two speed as the cassette had frozen solid. But the cables didn't freeze.

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