In the winter, as soon as its gets a little bit below 0°C, after 10-15 minutes the body of my rear hub gets frozen. This means the pedals/chain do not have any grip anymore on the rear wheel, the pleasure is over, and the walking begins. Peeing over the cassette helps for another 15 minutes, seriously, but I only carry limited amounts.

I use my bike in summer and winter. And try to keep it clean with water and soap (no high-pressure). But it is stored in my garage, where temperature is just above freezing point.

Any tips from preventing it to freeze?

  • 4
    +1 for peeing on it! Clearly the answer then is to drink as much coffee as possible so you can pee every 15 minutes. Beer may be substituted for coffee if needed.
    – Mike Two
    Commented Dec 24, 2010 at 15:55

3 Answers 3


Winterize your freehub body. This kind of failure is common in colder temperatures and a hub acting like this should not be ridden. In addition to the safety issue, you can destroy your freehub with partial engagement. The freehub needs to be disassembled, the factory grease cleaned out of it and regreased with a winter weight grease.


Ice wax definitely helps. I switched to a bottle of Pedro's Ice Wax 2.0 this winter, and haven't had a freeze-up yet. I hadn't tried peeing on the cassette. My ride may be a little too public for that...

  • How do you apply the Ice wax, do you disassemble the rear-wheel?
    – GvS
    Commented Dec 24, 2010 at 20:08
  • Yes, please tell, as this winter seems much worse than last and I'd like to be able to ride. Commented Dec 25, 2010 at 21:34
  • hey. sorry for not responding sooner. I'm a bad stackexchanger. the ice wax goes on like regular chain lube - just clean the chain, apply liberally, and run the chain a bit to work it in. easy peasy. I reapply every few days. Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 18:53
  • So you do not apply it inside you hub. That's the part that gets frozen with me.
    – GvS
    Commented Jan 20, 2011 at 13:12
  • 1
    He is talking about the freehub body freezing. The answer is to dissasemble the freehub body and winterize it. Changing chain lubes will do nothing. Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 21:45

I don't know how to stop it freezing, but if I whack the right chain stay hard with my heel it is normally enough to get the pawls to engage and get me going again.

  • You risk seriously damaging and destroying the hub by doing this. Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 21:46

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