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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old June 29th, 2017, 02:50 PM   #1
Stroopwafel
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Default Rain questions

Next weekend there is a nice 80km tour. But the forecast is sadly a lot of rain. I would feel bad about not going because some volunteers have put a lot of effort in it. So I've been reading about driving in rain but still got some questions.

Should I opt for new or used (good quality) wheels? Will new heels have noticeable better grip in the rain? Or go for used because debris sticks to wet wheels easy and thus there is a large chance to damage wheels?

And I'm worried about my bearings. Last weekend I had my first rain ride, a 55km tour. I started with clean and oiled Bont abec7 bearings. At the end they squeaked but remained drive able. With cleaning they gave up a lot of dirt! Last night I used them again and they felt quite sluggish but did 30km well. It was again raining (into each life some rain must fall) and there was again some mud inside. For the 80km this weekend I have three bearing options in mind, what's your advice?
Use these old Bont abec7, will they hold out? Use new Bont abec7 and fill them with a lot of lithium grease. Will that be fast enough? There is a fixed speed of 22km/u but I'm not a terrific skater. Or use my oiled Dmb ceramic bearings with rubber shield? With these shields in can't see a gap / any light coming through. That might withstand the water and dirt better. But this review is not positive about that. http://www.online-skating.com/articl...-bearings.html

Thanks!
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Old June 29th, 2017, 03:57 PM   #2
gsloop
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IMO, any bearing you use in the rain is going to be toast at the end - where it's going to be at least marginally damaged, and should be shoved into the "rain bearings" group. Then any time you're going to be out in the rain or extra lousy conditions, grab that set of "rain bearings" and don't worry about abusing them.

Thus, being cheap, I'd use the old rain-scarred ABEC7's. If it's going to be very wet, then yes, grease is likely the ticket.

Immediately after you're done, using something like WD40 to spray out the bearings [or perhaps denatured alcohol] and dry them out is a must. [Unless you simply want to throw them away afterwards.] If you don't treat them very quickly [not more than a few hours, really as soon as you possibly can] they'll take a lot more damage.

Wheels: I doubt new or old makes much difference - use the grippiest wet wheel you have, or get a rain specific wheel like Storm Surges. [I'd recommend the latter frankly, unless spending the money seems lousy, or you'll never skate in the rain again...]

My solution is simply to not skate in the rain. But that obviously doesn't work for the situation you describe. Good luck!
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Old June 29th, 2017, 09:15 PM   #3
SkateMO
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Yeah, I agree with the above that almost any bearing you use, unless they are full ceramics, will probably be ruined if there is a lot of water on the roadway. While I wouldn't use super expensive bearings, I have found that cheaper bearings sometimes freeze up during bad conditions. In contrast, nicer bearings seem to do fine and spin as normal until you stop moving. So, there may be a slight risk to using "cheap" bearings in bad conditions.

In terms of wheels, I would go with something like MPC or Atom. I would probably steer clear of Matter. You don't necessarily have to use a rain wheel, but using regular wheels requires better technique and more confidence on the wet pavement. For instance, I've skated a lot of rain races and can typically shorten my stroke and push to accommodate the conditions. If you're someone that has never skated on wet pavement before and relies on long powerful pushes, then using a rain specific wheel like the Storm Surge may be the best option.

Skating in the rain is never preferred, but is sometimes the situation we're dealt. Like you said, you want to do the race and the forecast is calling for rain, so you can either skate in it or skip it altogether. I did a mountain bike race this past weekend and it literally rained for 7 or 8 hours. Much of my equipment (drivetrain and brakes) was ruined, including some of my apparel. So, it's never cheap to skate in bad conditions. In terms of safety, the biggest thing you have to watch out for is paint on the roadways, manhole covers, turns, etc. You don't have as much grip, so you really have to alter your technique and your awareness of what you're skating over.
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Old June 29th, 2017, 09:55 PM   #4
Stroopwafel
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Thank you both! I will use the old Bont's. And I will clean them right away. But probably they will be ready for the bin anyhow! I'm also a bit worried about a freeze up. After the 55km it struck me just how much dirt had collected and that they still functioned. The roads used will be similar this weekend so for my peace of mind I'm taking a spare set of bearings with me. It's not going to be a race but a tour with two stops. So there is room for maintenance. And my wheels are going to be Bont/Mpc Red Magic's. They will do :-)

@SkateMO. Bad about your bike And also impressive, few people have the power to wear out a drive train in a day!
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Old June 30th, 2017, 08:06 AM   #5
Stroopwafel
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Changed my mind. I guess it's bad economics to use the old and have fear for a freeze up. I'm going to use new bearings, they were not that expensive and just ordered Bont swiss to replace them. Happy skating :-)
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Old June 30th, 2017, 02:02 PM   #6
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Default waterproof bearings

Hey Stroop, you can waterproof your bearings by putting a dab of grease in them, and smearing grease on the outside of the bearing once you put it in the wheel. I actually seal the outside with grease every time on everything I use. Basically MPC wheels are mostly good in the rain. Basically shorter stroke non elite skaters are less affected by wet roads, if they are proficient skaters.
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Old June 30th, 2017, 03:36 PM   #7
gopherfan
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I've saved bearings after rain skates by spraying them down with WD-40 or submerging them in mineral oil immediately after the skate. This will prevent rusting until you have time to thoroughly clean them.
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Old June 30th, 2017, 05:17 PM   #8
bjvircks
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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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Old June 30th, 2017, 06:30 PM   #9
ese002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjvircks View Post
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.
At some point, it's worth considering whether this is a good use of your time. You can get a full set of respectable bearings for less then $30. If you are any kind of professional, then you probably make more than that in an hour. If saving your $30 bearings takes more than $30 worth of your time, it's probably not worth it.

Not to say I haven't done it anyway, just out of pure stubbornness.
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