Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bike Shop Horrors: (B)Rain Damage!

Recently we had that "ride" thing they call RAGBRAI go across the state of Iowa. Well, it rained pretty hard one day, and many folks just decided to ride in the rain anyway. They continued on the ride, went home, rode some more, and, well......whatta ya know? Problems ensued.

We've had a rash of, "I've got a funny noise in my bottom bracket." complaints lately. This is the story of one of those.

The bike was put in the stand, turned on its nose so I could work on removing the crankset, and then noticed the floor getting wet under the head tube. (See that drop of water coming out of the head set?) I estimate I saw about 6 ounces come out of the head tube. Nice!

The outboard bearing crank was removed from the carbon frame and this was what I found. Looks like a sewer pipe in there!

It used to be that drain holes were a common feature of road bike frames. You know, water is going to get inside of your frame if you ride in the rain. A drain hole lets the rain out. Brilliant, huh? Well, somewhere along the way, this practical, cheap solution to a common problem has been eliminated by manufacturers. Dumb. 

Then there was this sludgy mess. I don't know what causes grease to coagulate into clumps like this. Certainly, there is more than just water and grease here. I don't want to know what though!

Maybe this guy rode without his seat post in the rain, but I doubt that seriously. Still, the amount of solids here is amazing. A drain hole may not have even helped in this situation.

Anyway, I cleaned everything up, re-greased, re-installed, and everything quieted down as it should be. I suppose I could have stuck a hair dryer in there to dry out the inside of the tubing! Ha! This bike should be taken apart and overhauled, but he was in a hurry to get it back, so....

Finally, I got this repair ticket yesterday. You can judge for yourself what it says, but all I gotta say is, I ain't no plumber! I am a bicycle mechanic!

The guy who wrote this up and I had a good belly laugh from this one!

Sometimes when it is busy, and you are in a hurry, know? 


George said...

After the VT 50 last year, I dumped a gallon of water out of the down tube of my RIP. Every bearing was toast, as were my gear cables and drivetrain.

paxtoncoyote said...

i hate fixin' shitters!

Jeff Kerkove said...

Love it!