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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 10-17-07, 11:18 AM   #1
rousseau
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Water in wheel?

I rode in the rain the other day. When I got back from my ride I wiped the bike down and sprayed WD-40 at key points, and in the midst of the maintenance work I discovered a sloshing sound in the back wheel as I spun it.

Huh?

There is a distinct sloshing sound in the rear wheel. I'm running a Mavic Open Pro with DT spokes on a Dura Ace hub with an Ultegra cassette. Is it really possible water somehow leaked into the rim from the spoke nipples? Or something?
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Old 10-17-07, 11:21 AM   #2
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Yep. Just take the tire off and leave the stem hole in the rim at the bottom. Don't spray wd-40 near any bearings.
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Old 10-17-07, 11:24 AM   #3
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dubya dee is good stuff, but it ain't a lubricant. It's a penetrating oil that will dissolve the grease.
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Old 10-17-07, 11:45 AM   #4
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I stole this from somewhere. Liked it. Worth posting again:

Quote:
POST-RAIN MAINTENANCE:

For my non-winter bikes, that still see some rainy days, I usually do the above more of a wash with soap, and I'll pop the chain off and clean it thoroughly in solvent and then lube/install (use a Wipperman). I will at a minimum pop the bolt out of the cable guide underneath the BB shell to let water drain, and possibly pull the seatpost to drain the seat tube. However, I use aluminum posts and I grease the seat tube liberally so I usually only do this after a few rainy rides. If I used a carbon post or carbon frame and could not use grease, I would pull the post every rainy ride. Trek OCLV frames are notorious for having seat tubes full of water after riding in the rain.

On your machine, the Bontrager wheels have sealed hubs. Not much to do but wait until the bearings fail, I mean, they can't be serviced. If you want to be thorough, clean the cassette by either "flossing it with a rag" or take it off and scrub it. When washing, don't spray water directly at the hubs or bottom bracket. Ditto with the King HS, but that sucker will withstand a lot of wet riding with no maintenance. I would definitely drain the BB shell as described above, drain the water from the rims, and also clean off your brake pads when you have the wheels out of the frame.

The water works its way into every crack and seam. At a minimum I pull the pedals, cranks, and BB to clean and re-grease. I also check my quick releases and hubs.
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Old 10-17-07, 11:52 AM   #5
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Wow, thanks for the great responses. But, darnit, I did spray WD-40 on my hubs. Will this shorten their lifespan? Should I drip some lube on them?

Don

Last edited by rousseau; 10-17-07 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 10-17-07, 12:34 PM   #6
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yes, and yes.
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Old 10-17-07, 12:35 PM   #7
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yeah it'll shorten the lifetime. dripping some other thin lube in there won't help much. you'd need to repack the bearings, which likely can't be done if they are sealed cartridge bearings. just wait for the bearings to die and replace them with more sealed bearings, then don't get near the bike with WD40.
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Old 10-17-07, 12:41 PM   #8
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Erm...how long does it take for bearings to die?
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Old 10-17-07, 01:17 PM   #9
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WD40 is a Water Displacing agent. It's not much of a lubricant but other than thinning the grease it's not going to harm your hubs and it's certainly better for hubs and other metal parts than water.
I'm not so sure that Bontrager hubs can't be serviced. The ones on my wife's bike were built by DT and I know that at least some of their hubs are serviceable even though the bearings are considered "sealed".
After riding in a big rain I developed some shifting problems with my D-A shifters. WD40 restored them to normal operation and I've had no more problems with them after 7 years.
I think you've done the right things so far. Remove the tires and tubes and dry out the rims. If you have cotton rim tape (Velox) it soaks up water which can cause some corrosion in the rim eyelets and possibly spoke nipples. It's good to dry Velox as soon as possible.

Al
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Old 10-17-07, 01:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
WD40 is a Water Displacing agent. It's not much of a lubricant but other than thinning the grease it's not going to harm your hubs and it's certainly better for hubs and other metal parts than water.
I'm not so sure that Bontrager hubs can't be serviced. The ones on my wife's bike were built by DT and I know that at least some of their hubs are serviceable even though the bearings are considered "sealed".
After riding in a big rain I developed some shifting problems with my D-A shifters. WD40 restored them to normal operation and I've had no more problems with them after 7 years.
I think you've done the right things so far. Remove the tires and tubes and dry out the rims. If you have cotton rim tape (Velox) it soaks up water which can cause some corrosion in the rim eyelets and possibly spoke nipples. It's good to dry Velox as soon as possible.

Al
WD-40 sprayed directly on hubs or bottom brackets or just running down from somewhere else can wash out the grease and ruin the bearings. It can easily ruin your hubs. And if you get a lot on a freewheel it can get inside and wash the grease out of that too. It dissolves grease and washes it away. Bike bearings use grease. Bike hubs are serviceable. Even with sealed wheel bearings. (they are not really sealed, covered is more like it). The grease can be washed right out.
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Old 10-17-07, 02:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
WD-40 sprayed directly on hubs or bottom brackets or just running down from somewhere else can wash out the grease and ruin the bearings. It can easily ruin your hubs. And if you get a lot on a freewheel it can get inside and wash the grease out of that too. It dissolves grease and washes it away. Bike bearings use grease. Bike hubs are serviceable. Even with sealed wheel bearings. (they are not really sealed, covered is more like it). The grease can be washed right out.
If it's that easy to wash the grease out it will be just as easy to fill the hub with water. Would it be better to leave the water in or disperse it with WD40?
And if the hub is serviceable, as you say, why not replace the grease with new grease?
I don't know about you but I'd rather have some WD40 in there than H2O.

Last edited by Al1943; 10-17-07 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 10-17-07, 04:23 PM   #12
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Alright, I'm a rank amateur here, and this is getting me into nervous territory. I've got these lovely Dura Ace hubs on Mavic Open Pros, the nicest wheels I've ever had on the nicest bike I've ever had, and I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't march down to my LBS this very minute and ask them to regrease the hubs forthwith.

Am I panicking? Or what?
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Old 10-17-07, 04:44 PM   #13
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Dude ... if your LBS is reasonable with the charge for the re-pack (or you can't do it yourself, comfortably), and ... if the $$$ you have to pay won't cost you grocery money ... you'll likely sleep better if you get it done.

I think you're going to be okay either way, but ... maybe for your peace of mind....
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Old 10-17-07, 07:29 PM   #14
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D-A hubs need an occasional cleaning and greasing anyway, and if your bottom bracket is a 7700 D-A it also needs an occasional cleaning and greasing.
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Old 10-17-07, 07:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
If it's that easy to wash the grease out it will be just as easy to fill the hub with water.
NO................not at all !
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And if the hub is serviceable, as you say, why not replace the grease with new grease?
If there really is water in there that's the answer. I do it in about 20 minutes. Who knows if water is really in there? But whatever is in ther don't make it worse buy getting or adding more wd-40 in there.

Dura ace (road) hubs are well sealed against the weather. Not the track hubs.

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I don't know about you but I'd rather have some WD40 in there than H2O.
Not related to the problem really. It's not either or. In either case you need to repack the bearings.
The point is, it's a bad idea to intentionally or accidentally spray wd-40 onto the bearings.

Water will not penetrate as well, and it can dry up, and there may not be any in there. Grease will repell water, it can even keep water out of bearings. wd-40 dissolves grease. Don't spray any bearings with wd-40, If you know there is water in there re pack the hubs with grease if they are cone and cup. If they are "sealed bearings" you ride them until they die and replace them (just the bearings). Not a big job either. It's not complicated. Spraying any greased ball bearings with WD-40 is absurd.

Posting or even implying that it is OK to spray bike hubs with WD-40 on the internet is going to reach lots of readers and potentialy ruin lots of hubs. Not OK. Not at all. My main concern is that readers will start spraying hubs with wd-40.

If you don't even know what's inside bike hubs please don't offer advice on how to take care of them. I've seen a few hubs and BB's ruined by well meaning people that thought it was a good idea to spray them with wd-40.
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Old 10-18-07, 10:12 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
I rode in the rain the other day. When I got back from my ride I wiped the bike down and sprayed WD-40 at key points, and in the midst of the maintenance work I discovered a sloshing sound in the back wheel as I spun it.

Huh?

There is a distinct sloshing sound in the rear wheel. I'm running a Mavic Open Pro with DT spokes on a Dura Ace hub with an Ultegra cassette. Is it really possible water somehow leaked into the rim from the spoke nipples? Or something?
This reminds me of the time we filled my buddy's tubes with water. HaH , he was sooooo tired after our ride, and couldn't figure out why.
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Old 10-18-07, 10:27 AM   #17
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Too many of us grew up with our dad using WD-40 to "lubricate" just about everything and we just naturally think it will work on bikes.

Not.

Too many people do way too much to try and service modern bikes when they'd be better off just leaving them alone. Even my mountain bike hubs, which I ride through creek crossings on a regular basis, do not require any service at all until the bearings start to make noise, which is like 3-5 years of use. I just wipe them off when I'm done riding and leave it alone. Same for pretty much the whole rest of the bike. My bikes outlast those of my riding buddies who take them to the shop for a "tune up" all the time by a large margin.

My advice is either repack the hub and then leave it the heck alone, or just start leaving it alone now. If you ride in the rain or get them really messy, wipe them off with a rag and then continue leaving them alone. Same for the whole rest of the bike except the chain.
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