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Barrettscv 06-21-09 02:01 PM

The annual "I rode my road bike through deep water" thread
I rode through a 50 yard section of standing water about 18 inches deep today. Obviously I'll wipe down and re oil the chain and derailleur, but what about the bottom bracket, wheel and pedal bearings? All of these parts were totally submerged for about a minute in clean standing water. Can these parts handle an occasional submerging without any problems? I know my Felt hubs have sealed bearings and the Sram GXP bottom bracket might too, but I doubt they can keep all the water out. I rode the bike another 50 miles after the misjudge puddle.

Should I, A) ride it until it starts to make noise, B) Ride it for another 100 miles than have the LBS do their thing, or C) Take it to the LBS ASAP.


bikinfool 06-21-09 02:16 PM

Sort of a crap shoot. Might be fine, might not, but I'd bet on the not side. Personally, learned long ago it isn't worth riding through deep water for long hub/freehub/bb bearing life (without servicing more often, that is). Sooner can be better than later on addressing water intrusion past bearing seals. Me, I do the work myself, but if you're not comfortable with that, take it in...but a minute of pedaling under water is a lot.

mzeffex 06-21-09 07:32 PM

yeah that doesn't sound good. Why did you do that, anyways?

Barrettscv 06-21-09 07:57 PM

Originally Posted by mzeffex (Post 9142271)
yeah that doesn't sound good. Why did you do that, anyways?


I use an MUP that runs along the Chicago River in a forest preserve. An entire section was flooded, my only alternative would have involved a 5 mile back-track & detour. That would have been ok, however I thought the water would be just 6 inched deep... I was wrong.

I'll let my LBS take care of the bike. The bike has 2500 miles on it, so a repack of the wheels & BB is useful at this point, especially since the bike has seen a lot of rain since March. They will turn it around quickly for a nominal fee.


woodway 06-21-09 07:57 PM

Here in the Seattle area, we ride in wet conditions all winter long - my road bike has been through many deep puddles and my mountain bikes through numerous deep, dirty hub-suckin puddles. In the winter, I service my chain weekly, and the freehub every few months. But after one dunking, I would not be taking everything apart. Just store the bike where it can dry out, and it should be fine. Of course this is highly dependent on the quality and design of the components on your bike.

Mr Danw 06-21-09 08:16 PM

Grease is not generally water soluble. Your bike should be alright.

Drwecki 06-21-09 08:21 PM

I agree, don't be a bike hypochondriac. Give it the once over and squirt some grease in where you can. I personally wash my parts in solvent..then water..the I add grease. Sounds like your parts are likely aluminium too, so you're probably all good. I would give it a little oil and grease here and there and listen for funny noises. Hell the LBS I go to would probably say, so? What do you want me to do about it... :)

Metzinger 06-22-09 02:27 AM

When I was younger, and poorer, I'd have had those hubs and BB apart and repacked before the next ride. I had less money for replacement parts and a higher tolerance for tinkering with my bike for hours on end...

Nowadays, I'd probably hope for the best. I still do all my own wrenching.
But I'd want to make sure there was no water remaining in the frame.
Leave that seatpost out for a while and the bike in a position to drain.
Take the wheels off the bike and turn the axles with your fingers to detect any hint of grit in the bearings. If any is detected, repack. Or your hubs could be toast.

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