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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 09-26-06, 06:13 AM   #1
timmy!
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Funky Headset?

I've been riding the Jamis Sputnik for about 2000 miles so far. I don't know how I feel about it in the rain. The frame tubing that runs from the crank to the rear hub fills with water, and I think rain is messing with the head set as well. It gets sticky, when you try to turn. It's happened twice now that the handlebars are 'stiff' and difficult to move left to right.

I'm taking it back into service, but does anyone have any idea what's causing this. I need bike i can ride 365, not just on nice sunny days.
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Old 09-26-06, 07:29 AM   #2
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For those who don't know, the Jamis Sputnik is a steel-framed fixed-gear bike. You should have mentioned frame material in your post so those answering your question don't have to look it up - it's relevant for the rust issue if you have water sloshing around in the chainstays.
As far as the water in the bottom bracket and chainstays are concerned, some people will drill a hole in the bottom of the bottom bracket shell (lowest point in this system) so that water can drain. This is useful even in aluminum frames where internal rusting-out isn't a worry, because water can kill the bottom bracket.

My guess on the headset is that you've got dirt and water spraying up from the front wheel into the bottom headset race. The top bearings usually aren't affected by much. You could get a front fender (actually fenders are very generally useful for an all-weather bike). Besides keeping water and grit off of you, fenders also keep water and grit from spraying into the headset and fork's steerer tube and brakeset. Rear fender keeps water and grit from spraying into the crankset, too.
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Old 09-26-06, 10:39 AM   #3
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Are there head sets that are less likely to take on dirt? My last bike didnt have this problem and I didnt have a fender. Maybe something else was different but I'd prefer to keep my bike fender free if I can. Maybe I can find a wether resitant headset, or one that is recomend for winter and weather riding.
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Old 09-26-06, 11:28 AM   #4
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I assume an expensive, recently-on-the-market fixed-gear bike has a pretty good headset. So I don't know why it's gone south so soon. But if you're collecting enough water in your frame to slosh noticably, I'm assuming you ride a fair bit in fairly crappy weather. Did you do the same with your previous bike?

I almost always put a lizard skins neoprane headset cover on the bottom headset race of my bikes, especially the ones without fenders. Works well, adds next-to-zero drag. See http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...4&item=00-7332 for example.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:09 PM   #5
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Maybe it wasnt set up right. I ride in whatever. DC isnt that bad, but we've had some good downpours. My last bike Jamis coda Elite did fine in the weather. No issues.

This bike got wet once, and the headset froze copmletely. I took it in and they did something to fix it, saying something about a common setup up bug, and sent me on my way. I'ts been fine for months, and is now back.

I'm sure they'll fix it again for me. This time I'll try some lizard skin
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Old 09-26-06, 12:15 PM   #6
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+1 to everything Tim Cupery has suggested! A small hole drilled in the BB should hopefully take care of the drainage issues, and you may also want to search the forums for info on framesaver or linseed oil... substances you can apply to a steel frame to prevent rust.

As for the headset, the bearing cover is probably a good idea. You can make one yourself by cutting a section of an old inner tube and fitting it around the bottom race of the headset (which will require removal of the fork, but it sounds like you may need to overhaul the headset anyway). Also, when I repack a headset, I go crazy on the grease... I want grease to be oozing out of the bottom race for months afterwards! I figure that if there's a lot of grease in there and it slowly oozes out, the clean grease above will be replacing the dirty grease below and slowly pushing it out. It seems to work well, though I have no very scientific evidence for it

PS- I'm a DC area commuter too!
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Old 09-26-06, 04:37 PM   #7
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Hey Guys, I have a solution of sorts, I take an old MTB tube and cut about 3cm out of it. This should leave you with a rubber ring then all you have to do is pull your fork out and throw it over the headset cup. Once you install the fork again pull the tube down a little, so it is over the fork race. I do this to both the top and the bottom race, mainly to hide my mango Chris King headset, but also does wonders to keep out water and grit. If done with a nice tight tube, it gives a very finished look.
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Old 09-26-06, 04:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreasaway
Hey Guys, I have a solution of sorts, I take an old MTB tube and cut about 3cm out of it. This should leave you with a rubber ring then all you have to do is pull your fork out and throw it over the headset cup. Once you install the fork again pull the tube down a little, so it is over the fork race. I do this to both the top and the bottom race, mainly to hide my mango Chris King headset, but also does wonders to keep out water and grit. If done with a nice tight tube, it gives a very finished look.
Yep, that's just what I suggested Although if I had a Chris King headset, I wouldn't hide it, regardless of the color!!
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