Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Water trapped in wheels after washing bike

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Water trapped in wheels after washing bike

Old 07-27-20, 02:17 PM
  #1  
msu2001la
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 62 Posts
Water trapped in wheels after washing bike

New bike - washed it the other day after a dirt/gravel ride and then parked it in the basement for a few days without touching it.

I took the wheels off last night to swap out different tires and noticed the front wheel made a slight sloshing noise in my hand. After I deflated and removed the tire, the rim bed was wet. I turned the wheel so that the valve hole was down (6 o'clock) and a small amount of water spilled out... maybe a tablespoon or two. Same story with the rear wheel.

These are stock Cannondale "CX 1.0" aluminum wheels that are tubeless ready, with rim tape installed. How/where is water getting in and is this something I should be concerned about? The bike hasn't been ridden in the rain, so it definitely got in when I washed it. I just used a garden hose & sponge, not a pressure washer or anything. Is it getting in through the valve stem somehow?

Any thoughts on this?
msu2001la is offline  
Old 07-27-20, 02:18 PM
  #2  
GlennR
Passing on your left
 
GlennR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Posts: 6,728

Bikes: Trek Emonda SLR, Sram eTap, Zipp 303

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1908 Post(s)
Liked 877 Times in 463 Posts
Must be getting in past the spoke nipples.
GlennR is offline  
Old 07-27-20, 03:18 PM
  #3  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 30,517

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 337 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13493 Post(s)
Liked 2,780 Times in 1,492 Posts
Yeah, I would guess spoke nipples, too.

I *think* that I've had similar water infiltration but with tubeless tires. I say "think" because what should have been sealant with a half & half like texture was instead thin, watery and slightly foul-smelling. I assume that water got in and diluted whatever sealant was left, because I don't think that even old sealant would separate in to liquids and solids like a past-due milk. Ick.

Anyway, my experience was only with riding in foul weather - not with washing with a hose, or anything.
WhyFi is online now  
Old 07-27-20, 08:18 PM
  #4  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 14,298
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1440 Post(s)
Liked 906 Times in 557 Posts
It's normal to happen and you need to dry it out. Don't wash your bike, just clean it with Pledge or some other cleaner.
big john is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 01:05 AM
  #5  
Dean V
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,623
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 931 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 119 Times in 79 Posts
There is usually a small drain hole in the rim.
It obviously won't work if you park the bike without it being at the bottom.
Also the water will drain out of it if you take it for a ride.
Dean V is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 02:50 AM
  #6  
smashndash
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 993

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Allez Sprint Comp

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 598 Post(s)
Liked 170 Times in 125 Posts
I’d actually say valve stem hole before spoke nipples. The seal between the nipples and rim is almost airtight in some cases. Some people have exploded rims on TL setups when their tape fails and air doesn’t escape the rim.

Try sealing the valve hole with a rubber ring of some sort - after drying out the rim.
smashndash is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 08:35 AM
  #7  
msu2001la
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 62 Posts
I had a lot of dirt/mud stuck in the treads after my last ride, so I sprayed a lot of water at the tires to blast it out. I'll probably be a little more mindful of that next time, and also pay attention to see if the water comes on it's own when riding.

Maybe I just need to take the bike for a quick spin around the block after washing?
msu2001la is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 08:46 AM
  #8  
Wooderson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 16 Posts
I get this after rain rides. It sloshes inside the double-wall cavity for weeks, but it doesn't bother me, and it's not going to cause any issues.
Wooderson is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 08:59 AM
  #9  
msu2001la
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 62 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Yeah, I would guess spoke nipples, too.

I *think* that I've had similar water infiltration but with tubeless tires. I say "think" because what should have been sealant with a half & half like texture was instead thin, watery and slightly foul-smelling. I assume that water got in and diluted whatever sealant was left, because I don't think that even old sealant would separate in to liquids and solids like a past-due milk. Ick.

Anyway, my experience was only with riding in foul weather - not with washing with a hose, or anything.
These are tubeless ready wheels, and I have tubeless tires on them. I'm planning on setting them up as tubeless so I'm a little worried about this possibility as well. The tubeless valves that I have include little rubber seals to seal up the removable valve stem.
It doesn't make sense to me that water is getting into the area where the inner tube is currently, but the system can somehow be air-tight when sealant is added. I guess the sealant will seal up whatever holes are allowing water in? Or maybe the rim tape is not 100% sealed on or something?

Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
There is usually a small drain hole in the rim.
It obviously won't work if you park the bike without it being at the bottom.
Also the water will drain out of it if you take it for a ride.
I saw a suggestion on another forum about drilling a drain hole in the rim. I don't see any drain holes and I'm not wild about the idea of drilling holes into my new wheels. I'll pay more attention next time I wash it and see if water gets in, and then comes out after riding it.

This is a stock wheelset on a new CX race bike and I intend to ride it in wet/muddy conditions. I am planning on running these wheels with tubeless tires for training and racing, so taking the tires off to let the rims dry out after every wet ride isn't going to be practical (and is also a huge pain in the butt, even with tubes). I also don't love the thought of my wheels filling up with water whenever it's wet out. I've never noticed this problem with other wheels and I've been racing CX in rain/mud for years.
msu2001la is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 09:27 AM
  #10  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 27,375
Mentioned: 193 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11642 Post(s)
Liked 3,453 Times in 1,849 Posts
When I crossed Middleburry Gap in VT they were doing roadwork. Had to ride through a stretch of what I think was water mixed with some limestone. Our bikes got coated. The stuff our our frames dried during the descent, leaving white residue. After we got home from the trip we could hear noise inside our rims. Removed the tires and tube to find that water had gotten inside the rims and left tiny grains of limestone inside once the water dried.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 07-28-20, 10:50 AM
  #11  
bonsai171
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,201
Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 616 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 38 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I had a lot of dirt/mud stuck in the treads after my last ride, so I sprayed a lot of water at the tires to blast it out. I'll probably be a little more mindful of that next time, and also pay attention to see if the water comes on it's own when riding.

Maybe I just need to take the bike for a quick spin around the block after washing?
Sounds like a good reason to go for a ride to me 😁

Dave
bonsai171 is online now  
Likes For bonsai171:
Old 07-31-20, 11:23 AM
  #12  
Steamer
Zircon Encrusted Tweezers
 
Steamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: high ground
Posts: 1,182
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 31 Posts
I try to wash my bikes on a sunny day when possible. After washing, I put the bike out in the full sun for an hour or two. That seems to dry up all of the nooks and crannies. If any water got in the frame, I like to think that helps bake the water out of there too.
Steamer is offline  
Old 08-02-20, 08:04 PM
  #13  
Wooderson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 16 Posts
Are you absolutely sure sure it's in the tire area, and not just in the hollow 'double wall' area?
Wooderson is offline  
Old 08-03-20, 08:44 AM
  #14  
msu2001la
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 62 Posts
Originally Posted by Wooderson View Post
Are you absolutely sure sure it's in the tire area, and not just in the hollow 'double wall' area?
There was moisture on the inner tube when I pulled it out. I'm not absolutely sure how it got there, it may have been from water dripping out of the spoke holes and onto the tube as I was removing the tire, but the rim bed and the inside of the tire casing had some moisture in it. That's when I spun the wheel (after removing the tire) and heard a little sloshing.

I'm concerned that the rim tape job (supposedly tubeless ready) may not be totally sealed up, so water is getting from the "double wall" area of the wheel into the tire area. I'm planning to try setting up the tires as tubeless in the next few weeks, so I guess I'll find out?
msu2001la is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.