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Went swimming with my bike

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Went swimming with my bike

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Old 06-10-02, 12:39 PM
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JohnBoston
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Went swimming with my bike

Hey,
This past friday was "bike to work" day, and a few co-workers and I braved the rain and cold to go for a ride through the woods before work. Following a buddy who's got a reputation of being a pretty good rider, we went through a pretty swampy area, and came across a "brook" that was more like a pond. I followed him into it, and it ended up being a good 4" deep. Needless to say, when our bikes began to float, we both fell in and got soaked. I dried it when I got home later on and cleaned it up a bit.
I know that water isn't the best thing to immerse you hubs and drivechain in, but how bad is it? I assume the bearings and all the inner workings are sealed pretty good, but can it do a good amount of damage if your entire wheel is underwater? I don't mind being wet so much, and wading through a river isn't a huge deal - I'll dry off eventually - I just don't want to do any unnecessary damage to my bike.
Any thoughts on this?


Thanks,

John
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Old 06-10-02, 12:59 PM
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Rotifer
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What type of bearings do you have? More expensive hubs, headsets, etc. use sealed cartridge bearings which require little maintenance - even when exposed to slop. If you don't have these and do quite a bit of riding, or plan to do this type of thing with any frequency, get them.
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Old 06-10-02, 01:07 PM
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Well, ten or so years ago, when I had little regard for my mountain bike, and would go pretty much anywhere, I rode down streams on the beach and out into Puget Sound a couple of times. I got as deep as the top tube, and had my water bottle pop out and float to the surface, so most everything but the shifters were immersed in salt water. The bottom bracket and lower headset bearings were the two parts which later died an horrible death. That was salt water, of course. Never had any trouble with the hubs, though. I have since abandoned the salt water immersions.
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Old 06-10-02, 01:28 PM
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JohnBoston
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Hi,
I'm not sure exactly what type of hubs I have, and I believe it's a bontranger headset. It's all came stock with my gary fisher tasajarra. Not top quality stuff, but i think it's decent.

I don't plan on taking that route often, and I'd avoid getting soaked and going swimming with my bike whenever possible...I just want to make sure I'm not gonna ruin any parts of my bike if i do from time to time.

John
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Old 06-10-02, 03:19 PM
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I'd repack the hubs if they were mine. 'Seals' on bicycles are not sufficent to be able to immerse them in water, they are really just there to keep most of the spray and splatter out. The bottom bracket may have been affected too but it will not really be serviceable. You may be able to pry the rubber boot off and inject some more grease into the bearings to replace the grease which may have been washed out.
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Old 06-10-02, 03:40 PM
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It is unlikely that your hubs and such are sealed if you paid less than $1500.00 for your bike. Of course, you can't repack cartridge bearings.
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