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Preventing Corrosion of Bearings

PaulHumphPaulHumph Posts: 8
edited January 2014 in MTB general
Is corrosion of bearings in your bike suspension or headset a big issue for people? How are you dealing with it? Which other bearing areas are prone to corrosion?

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  • mudsuckermudsucker Posts: 704
    Never had an issue with it.

    probably going to get shot at for saying this but aren't all bearings on bikes stainless steel? :-)
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  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Learn about servicing your bike.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
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  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    mudsucker wrote:

    probably going to get shot at for saying this but aren't all bearings on bikes stainless steel? :-)
    Nope.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • CqcCqc Posts: 951
    nicklouse wrote:
    Learn about servicing your bike.
    thats kind of the point of this post...
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Don't jetwash it. Replace them when they're fubared.
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  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Just using higher quality parts helps too- the only headsets I've had premature rust issues with have been poor quality, poorly sealed ones. By and large, most cartridge bearings in bikes are intended to be maintenance-free (though you can pop off a seal and mash in more grease... But that gets into more complicated territory as if you don't do it right, you'll end up causing more problems)
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  • mmacavitymmacavity Posts: 781
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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    edited January 2014
    I see now.
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  • duskdusk Posts: 583
    nicklouse wrote:
    mudsucker wrote:

    probably going to get shot at for saying this but aren't all bearings on bikes stainless steel? :-)
    Nope.
    I believe stainless steel isn't as hard as non stainless so although stainless bearings wouldn't rust they would wear faster. So you're better off with a well greased non stainless steel bearing for longevity
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  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    A lot of cheap bearings are chrome plated steel as the chrome plating initially makes them smoother. But as the chrome rusts and chips they disintegrate pretty quickly as the broken/chipped chrome residue chews up the remaining bearing.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    A sealed bearing won't rust inside (where it matters) unless water gets in, which will thin the grease out and kill them anyway, some surface rust on the outside is irrelevant.

    Get decent sealed bearings and rust is a non issue, of course once a bearing starts to fail, the seal integrity is lost due to the movement so water can get in and rust it, in that case rust had nothing to do with the failure.

    I think the OP's question misses the point.
  • nicklouse wrote:
    mudsucker wrote:

    probably going to get shot at for saying this but aren't all bearings on bikes stainless steel? :-)
    Nope.
    Mudsucker, Nicklouse is correct. Bearings on bikes are not all stainless steel. They can also be plastic, aluminum or composite.
  • cooldad wrote:
    Don't jetwash it. Replace them when they're fubared.
    Cooldad, have you had negative results when you jet washed them? And how can you tell the bearings are in need of being replaced?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Jetwashing forces water into the bearings, with obvious, negative results. I've never done it, no.
    If there are horrible grinding noises, or the bearings don't spin, they are probably dead.
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  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Pivot bearings aren't the ideal environment for a cartridge bearing either, as they often only rotate through 10 degrees or so.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    PaulHumph wrote:
    Is corrosion of bearings in your bike suspension or headset a big issue for people? How are you dealing with it? Which other bearing areas are prone to corrosion?
    read the manuals that should have come with the bike.

    if you did not get any download from the makers webby or ask the shop.

    many bike use dry (or self lubing) bearings (bushes) which should never be lubed.

    but all this info is normally in the manual.

    likewise for hubs and headsets.

    reading the info in the links in my sig is a good start.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • chrisrobschrisrobs Posts: 135
    I paid £38 this week to have my rear hub bearings replaced (4 sets) by my lbs.

    Seems to be quite a lot just to replace the cartridge bearings???
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Or you could have bought them and done it yourself. Otherwise seems reasonable.
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  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Is that £38 including the bearings? Always hard to compare, with this, you can buy cheap bearings for a couple of quid or you can buy top end ones for several times that. Call it an hour's labour for a typical one, plus a wee bit of consumables.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • chrisrobschrisrobs Posts: 135
    Yes that included 4 sets of bearing for the wheel.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Seems very reasonable to me then.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Yep, unless they're absolute cheap rubbish, that's a good deal. And a decent shop isn't going to fit rubbish because it'll come back to them in no time (the £2 a pop bearings a mate got me to fit into his Pro 2s lasted about a month, except for the one that didn't survive fitting!)
    Uncompromising extremist
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