I lent my bike to a friend of mine who washed it with a pressure washer. I already replaced the bowden case, which prevented me from using the brakes due to the washed out lubrication. I lubricated the chain as well.

I haven't experienced any other problems yet, but I'm worried about damaging the bike if I ride it without further repairs.

Is it necessary to repair or lubricate something else?

  • 2
    Its hard to say - water could have gotten in in a million places and water is bad news for bearings (e.g. water in your bottom bracket does shorten its life). I probably would live with it and replace things as necessary (which may be sooner depending on how he power washed it).
    – Batman
    Jun 21 '14 at 16:02
  • 1
    I don't know how much it removed either. I never hurts to repack bearings. Why not just service the bike?
    – paparazzo
    Jun 21 '14 at 21:20
  • 3
    Or shame your buddy into full service. Pads, chain ....
    – paparazzo
    Jun 21 '14 at 22:29
  • 2
    The main danger, of course, is that water was blown into the bearings and lubricant blown out. Likely all the bearings need to be repacked. The chain should be fine after oiling. Another danger is that water was forced into the bottom bracket housing and the BB cartridge (if not damaged by the spray already) is soaking in water. At the very least remove the seatpost, turn the bike upside down, and drain it well. Jun 21 '14 at 22:34
  • 6
    (I'd say your buddy owes you a full service at a bike shop.) Jun 21 '14 at 22:37

You've basically got three sets of bearings on your bike: hubs, bottom bracket, and headset. It's pretty easy to check if the grease has been blown out of any of them by listening to them spin or by checking for play in the part. If anything sound gravelly when you spin it the bearing definitely needs some love.

The wiggle check is a little more drastic, but also worth trying. If your dropouts are tight and you can still wiggle the wheel by grabbing the rim, you need to repack your hubs. If you can wiggle one crank arm and the other wiggles, you need to repack your BB.

Play in the headset is probably the biggest risk, because a sloppy headset is one of the few maintenance issues that, left unchecked, can actually ruin a frame. If there's slop in your headset and you ride the bike, the impact of the steer tube rocking back and forth can ovalize your head tube, and then you're kinda hosed. So be really careful to check that your headset seems solid. Turn the bars so the wheel is at 90 degrees to the frame and rock the bike forwards and backwards. Put your fingers on the interface between the headset and the frame, headset and the fork crown, and headset and spacers, and feel for any play. If it feels solid, you're good.

  • Also pivot bearings on full suspension mountain bikes.
    – DWGKNZ
    Jun 27 '14 at 5:18
  • This is probably a really good answer but it's written for an audience of bike mechanics. If you wrote it assuming your audience rarely does much more than fixing flats, it would be a +2 answer. Jun 27 '14 at 5:28
  • Generally, your pedals also have bearings of some sort and/or grease. In addition to your hubs themselves, there is also the freehub or freewheel to consider. Jul 1 '16 at 19:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.