Thread: Rain questions
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Old June 30th, 2017, 05:17 PM   #8
bjvircks
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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The way I look at it... skating in wet conditions causes bearings to get wrecked as a result of 2 things going on. Of course, corrosion caused by water getting in is the first thing. But another thing going on is road grit being carried into the bearing by the water. This is especially a problem with "shielded" bearings that have a small gap between the metal shield and the inner race that lets in crap. For wet conditions (and dry spring conditions when farm field dust covers our trails) I prefer "sealed" bearings that have a rubberized outer cover that makes light contact with the inner race. These sealed bearings are not water-proof or dust-proof by any means... but do go a long way to keeping a lot of crap out, especially if light grease is used where the seal contacts the race.

I have found that just dumping wet bearings into oil or solvent is not as much good as you'd think. It is better to dunk each bearing and then spin it by hand a bit in each direction to work out any trapped water and to flush out the big grit. The hand spin gets out the trapped water that surface tension holds against the balls and races. After the dunk/spin... then let them soak in the solvent until you can give them a proper cleaning.

Getting the grit out before skating on the bearings again is very important because the grit will dig into the surfaces of the races, causing metallurgical disruptions in the steel's grain sturcture which opens the door to much more aggressive corrosion.
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