Originally Posted by RC_spinner
Just wondering what kind of damage I might be doing to my bike by riding in this rain the last few days. Being a new bike, should everthing be sealed up nice and tight? Should I worry about water and dirt getting into my bottom bracket or hubs from road spray?
I have a Trek 5200 and I almost never ride in the rain. Last year I was caught in a rain shower during one of the organized rides and I was riding on wet roads for about 30 minutes getting back to the car. I wiped down the bike and when I got home cleaned up everything and thought I was fine.
A few days later I had the bike in the work stand and I had tilted the bike down about 30 degrees and went away for a few minutes. Upon returning there was a puddle of water on the floor. After looking around I found that the water was coming out of the frame at the head tube to fork interface. The only time I could have imagined water could have gotten into my frame had been the ride on the wet roads the week before. So, once the dripping stopped I thought all was well. I didn't access the frame tubes.
About a month later I started to get roughness/sticking in the front steering. After trying to adjust the front fork / head tube bearing pre-load for a week or so I finally pulled the fork out to find the bottom bearings in the head tube to be completed rusted up. I replaced the bearing and all was well.
Moral of the story, if you ride in the rain be sure to drain any water that might get into the frame. Depending upon the construction of your bike you might be OK pulling the seat tube out of the frame and inverting the bike. Or you can pull the fork out and tilt the bike. By the way, I am still not sure how the water from the wet roads found its way into the frame. Maybe down the seat post.
So bike have small holes drilled in the bottom of the bottom bracket shell to allow water to weep out. My Trek 5200 did not.