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Should you be able to ride a bike in the rain?

Last post 05-09-2019 11:08 AM by armcomdes. 15 replies.
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  • 04-06-2019 10:28 PM

    • armcomdes
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 06-11-2009
    • Northern New Jersey, USA
    • Posts 31

    Should you be able to ride a bike in the rain?

    The original bottom bracket on my 2014 R3 lasted almost 3.5 years (approx 3500 mile/year) through snow, rain, and many washings. The BB was paired with an FSA Gossamer Crank. When the BB finally went bad, I had my LBO replaced it. It rusted out in less than 2 months with riding in some light rain. They replaced it again with a SRAM BB after much negotiating. 6 months later my bike see light rain for the first time. I wash the bike down with a gentle spray, dry it off, and a week later, the non-drive side bearing is rusted solid!?

    Am I doing something wrong?! I mean what the hell?

    Is there a specific BB for this bike? The mechanic said I should hand bathe my bike. This is pure nonsense!

     Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • 04-07-2019 3:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Should you be able to ride a bike in the rain?

    My favorite for 25k mls .. https://www.tokenproducts.com/bottom-brackets/press-fit/fusion-bottom-bracket .. well made .. affordable .. the sealing is bomb proof ..
    ___/\___/\___/\___ the surfboard of the Kurpfalz is the road bike .. oSo >> Older, and faster, on my S5 ..
  • 04-08-2019 12:35 AM In reply to

    • kervelo
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-25-2007
    • 60° 24', 25° 06'
    • Posts 87

    Re: Should you be able to ride a bike in the rain?

    It sounds like the BB bearings are destroyed by washing the bike with a pressure washer. If so, the mechanic is right.
  • 04-08-2019 10:30 AM In reply to

    • armcomdes
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 06-11-2009
    • Northern New Jersey, USA
    • Posts 31

    Re: Should you be able to ride a bike in the rain?

    Please read my entire post: "I wash the bike down with a gentle spray". I NEVER use a powerwasher. Again, my first and original BB lasted 3-1/2 years! I know how to care for a bike! The BB froze up after riding in the rain, which would mean the 15 other cyclist that day would have to replace their BBs! The mechanic said NO hose, but bathe the bike and rinse it off with soft gentle strokes and a wet sponge. This make no sense whatsoever!

  • 04-08-2019 11:29 AM In reply to

    • Butch
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-07-2016
    • Southern Maine Foothills
    • Posts 59

    Re: Should you be able to ride a bike in the rain?

    I don't like riding in the rain, but it unexpectedly happens once in a while. That shouldn't bother any bike, even a Walmart Special. What I do watch out for here in Maine is salt. Fall, Winter and Spring- the road crews spread it like crazy. So if you bike on a wet day after they have salted, you could get some of that in your BB. Salt kills components. You guys don't get that much snow anymore in New Jersey, and I'm not sure if you ride in the Winter. I don't take my bikes out on the roads unless we've had plenty of rain to wash off any salt that's been on the road. If you store your bike in a moist basement or garage, that might be a problem as well. Other than that or splashing through ocean water, I can't imagine what would be rusting up your BB.
    2015 R2 fun (climbing and all around) bike, upgraded some to become just a hair lighter in 2016 (it was an orphan leftover at the LBS). Glad I picked it up.
    Step 1: Lighter wheels... done! 1342g, down from 2000g
    Step 2: Fabric Line 142mm saddle w/titanium rails
    Step 3: Ultegra R8000 Groupset
  • 04-12-2019 8:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Should you be able to ride a bike in the rain?

    The pressure from the hose is pushing the cleaner your using into the bearings. Therefore washing the grease off the bearings making them dry. I never used a hose and never changed bb bearings
  • 04-14-2019 7:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Should you be able to ride a bike in the rain?

    Yep!
  • 04-22-2019 10:06 AM In reply to

    Re: Should you be able to ride a bike in the rain?

    +1 on what most everyone here has said. Pressure washers are only used by pro teams because they have the components on hand to swap out bearings etc. A simple garden hose that has a "shower" head setting where its multiple gentle streams is what you should be using, not direct hose, finger in the hose to create a spray or pouring water on the bike. Road salt isn't even an issue as Butch states. I'm from Maine as well and have ridden all my bikes outside in the winter & spring with zero component damage. The key is to add a few extra minutes to drivetrain cleaning and wash the bike off rather than just wipe the grim off the chain and cassette. There is also a big difference between the older threaded style BB to the newer PF ones, but that being said, Wheels Mfg shows how on their site to grease the bearings in the BB. All this being said one needs to always remember that with mass manufacturing, there is bound to be a lemon or two or 3, etc now & again. Regardless of cost, brand or quality - you and your neighbor can buy the same model year car, same options, everything the same. They could never have it in the shop and you could be in the shop every other week.
    Jens Voigt doesn't complain about what suffering does to him, but suffering constantly complains about getting picked on by Jens Voigt.
  • 04-22-2019 10:34 AM In reply to

    • armcomdes
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 06-11-2009
    • Northern New Jersey, USA
    • Posts 31

    Re: Should you be able to ride a bike in the rain?

    After much research and information directly from the manufacturers, I've determined that if my crank is FSA, the bottom bracket should be FSA (and NOT SRAM, which includes adapters to 30mm so each side of the BB has an extra seam for water to seep in). Also, there are many greases out there, and some are more "waterproof" than others (i.e. Phil's). That being said, I looked into "Marine Wheel Bearing Grease" (used for extreme water/boating purposes). These greases are not Lithium-based, but are calcium sulfonate-based, which is better for water environments. I then found that some of these type greases may not be compatible with Carbon fiber. I searched the Park Tool line of products and found their "High Performance" grease HPG-I which claims:

    • Highly water resistant
    • Perfect for high end applications including precision ground and ceramic bearings, pivots and suspension components
    • Will not harm carbon fiber
     
    I will assemble everything shortly, and report back my results.

    PS. I use a shower nozzle when washing my bike. Alway have. Always will. The common thread to this issue is riding in the rain.

  • 04-24-2019 3:30 PM In reply to

    • armcomdes
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 06-11-2009
    • Northern New Jersey, USA
    • Posts 31

    Re: Should you be able to ride a bike in the rain?

    I am wondering if there is a grommet or rubber cover for the front derailleur cable hole missing from my 2014 R3 Frame. I would think this hole is the source for lots of water entering the bottom bracket area.

    https://flic.kr/p/2fEbXBi