I have a Trek 5200 purchased this summer that I have about 1,200 miles on. Repeated clicking in the BB after the first month...always in the same pedal position, despite gear position, more pronounced when hammering. After having the LBS tinker around with it thinking it was a loose crankarm or pedal, they opened it up and, oila, water! And rust. In a sealed BB. Now I've ridden 4 times in the rain and am anal about my bike care, so I don't think it is that. More than likely I'm getting water in when I clean my chain and chainring. I'm guessing this is the problem since my last bike suffered the same thing after 2 years.
So my questions and comments while I wait for Trek to send the LBS a new BB under the warranty (they've cleaned it out and lubed it for me so I don't miss any days of riding):
1) how can you clean your chain and chainring without getting water near the BB (besides very carefully)? I use Pedros degreaser on the chain every two weeks (about 250 miles), and use a cleaner brush box (you know, the machines you clamp on to your chain) to clean the chain, and a brush to clean the chainring and rear wheel cogs. I carefully use water to clean off the chain and chainring of degreaser residue and dirt, as well as the rear wheel cogs, but I am guessing that is where water is getting in the BB (as well as maybe in the rear hub). After the cleaning, I used Race Line teflon dry spray on the chain.
On the rear hub, after a light spray, I spin extra water out of the cogs and angle it down to let any water run away from the hub. After about 10 minutes, I finish off 'flossing' in between the cogrings with a cloth.
2) I don't have the tools to pull a crankarm, or the expertise to take apart the rear hub.
3) The LBS owner told me, in the first month after I bought the bike when I specifically asked him about riding in the rain and what I need to do vis-a-vis the BB, that all I needed to do was to wipe the bike down.....the BB was sealed. Now his knowledgeable lead mechanic has told me that I should remove the cable housing screw at the bottom of the BB in order to let any water inside drain out. Any info on sealed BBs? How much care and maintenance is required?
4) Regarding the rear derailleur pulleys - the Shimano Ultegras say they have sealed bearings. I still spray dry teflon lube into them once a month. Useless? Useful? Again, just how 'sealed' is a sealed bearing?
Please help me from ruining yet another BB!! Thanks!!!