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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 02-22-05, 07:47 AM   #1
Bolo Grubb
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Riding in the rain, what do I need to maintain the bike after a wet ride?

Recently my bottom bracket started to make a bad sound. When I took it in to the LBS, the first thing they asked was "do you ride in the rain?"

This lead me to believe that riding in the rain (only did it a few times) and maybe washing my bike with Simple Green (did that twice but with low pressure water) is what washed all the grease out of the bottom bracket and caused the grinding noise.

Because this happened right before the Tour de Palm Springs (the day before) and the shop was busy, I had them replace the old BB with a new sealed shimano unit.

They also said that they though the cassette body would need to be replaced sometime in the next 500 hundred miles or so, but they were able to make it quiet by added some lube to it.

Now I am afraid to ride in the rain because of the expensive damage it might cause.

So my question is how much damge can riding in the rain cause and how do I care for my bike when it happens

Thank you
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Old 02-22-05, 08:03 AM   #2
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I ride in the snow and rain a lot and yes you need to take precautions afterward. Starting with the drive train.....
I use a thicker lube such as Pedros synlube, prevents rust but does collect dirt.
Clean chain every to every other ride. With powerlink its so easy i might as well.
Take the pedros cog cleaner brush and quickly give your cassette a brushing.
Dont apply simple green near the bottom bracket area! Or WD40 or any solvent of the like.
Every so often other things can be done, but thats my regular thing. Some like to drill a drain hole in the bottom bracket chamber, shell, whatever its called.
And one more thing, cane creek suggested applying good grease to the outside of the ball bearings in your headset (im talking about cartridge bearings here), so that it adds a layer of protection to your bearings against the water.

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Old 02-22-05, 09:13 AM   #3
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For the Shimano BB unit, do absolutely nothing. I ride in the rain all the time. My UN72 has lasted 3 years so far, well over 10,000 miles. I do have a drainage hole in the bottom of the frame.
I lube my chain when the Finish Line lube washes off, and clean it every month or so.
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Old 02-22-05, 10:06 AM   #4
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I tend to ride hard and put away wet.

The BB unit you got should treat you very nicely. I've got a few of those that have been in truly disgusting conditions with no special treatment and they still spin smooth and quiet many thousands of miles later.

I do think it's worth drilling a hole in your BB shell. Looking at the foul puddle that comes out of mine, I hate to think of that festering in my frame. I do have one frame that had no hole until just recently and when I pulled the BB out of there, there was quite a bit of surface rust (hopefully no deeper, but I need to get in there with some rust reformer now) and other nastiness.

Apart from that, keep your chain nice and lubed unless it's corrosion resistant. I'm of the opinion that most wet lubes are the same, gross, sticky, and effective at what they're for. Personally, getting a nice nickel-plated or stainless steel chain is well worth the money not having to sweat lubrication as much. As a side-benefit they tend to stretch less. Many people love Wipperman chains.

Apart from that, it's nice to just sweep the crud out of the moving parts as much as you're comfortable with, especially the drivetrain interfaces where it will cause accelerated wear. You can use a chunk of mtb tube as a headset seal. Cut it so it's like a 2"-or-so wide rubber band, take the fork out so you can get it around head tube, put everything back together and then slide it down so that it covers from the top of the fork to the head tube. Basically the crown race/lower cup interface should be completely covered to keep the smut out. You may want to do likewise with the upper cup/race interface, but generally I find that it sheds water just fine and it's just sand and crap from down below that's a problem.
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Old 02-22-05, 10:35 AM   #5
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I ride pretty hard too and just stick it away wet when I get home. I wipe down the outside everyonce in a while and that's about it. Everything's treating me fine though the chain's probably wearing faster than I'd like it to.
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Old 02-23-05, 12:46 PM   #6
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My guess is that you got water down the seat tube while riding, and probably most of it when washing your bike. I pretty much just use Simple Green (diluted, obviously) and a rag to wipe the frame down, and then use chain cleaner (don't have masterlink) and brush for the cassette.
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