E 13 BB - Cold Weather Performance and Maintenance- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. E 13 BB - Cold Weather Performance and Maintenance

    Hey all,
    I normally hang out in the single speed forum but I've been lurking around here for some time. A fat bike is in the works for a next summer build but I recently ran into a interesting mechanical issue and I think this is the right place to ask since you guys regularly deal with cold temps.

    I've been riding my E13 cranks all summer and fall, and they were buttery smooth and mostly hassle free until yesterday. I went out for a ride and felt like I had thrown a boat anchor off the back. When I got back to the car I noticed that that they were hard to spin. I did some diagnostics as follows:

    -Discovered issue (hard to turn) in near freezing conditions (34 F ?) after a 18 mile ride.

    - First re-assessment at home after a nice warm car ride --> smooth and little resistance

    - Second re-assessment after leaving the bike in 18 F overnight. The cranks were again stiff and hard to turn.

    For those of you that run the E13 snow bike cranks, do you run into similar issues? I think it's either a drastically increased viscosity of the bearing grease at cold temps (unlikely) or water in the bearings that is causing the issue (probably more likely )

    I have pulled the cranks and looked at the bearings, but I couldn't identify anything that looked like contaminated grease. The bearings looked pretty much like they did when I bought the cranks.
    It's not about being better than others, it's about getting the best out of myself.

  2. #2
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    A cold weather grease like viperlube works great. LBS recommended!!!

  3. #3
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    JordyB - Is the cold weather grease a preventative measure or something learned from experience?
    It's not about being better than others, it's about getting the best out of myself.

  4. #4
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    If you repack the bearings with cold weather grease it should spin freely at most temperatures. I have used my E13 at temperatures approaching -50f and while lots of other parts on the bike (or me for that matter) didn't want to move all that well, the cranks spun fine. If you don't plan to use the bike in colder temperatures (say colder than 0f) then just repack the bearings with whatever grease you normally use, as its probably just water contamination making the grease thicker than normal.

  5. #5
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    I read on here E13 might have started using a better grease that plays well with cold but can't confirm, but in the past, we have needed to use a better cold temp grease due to bearing drag in cold temps.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the responses. I'm certainly not cold weather averse since I've spent time training dog teams for the Iditarod, but this is my first season riding in the winter. I sent an email to E-13 and they mentioned they hadn't heard of any issues regarding cold weather and the stock grease.

    I'll plan on re-packing/servicing the bearings with the grease I have at the moment and see if it makes a difference. It will be a little while before I get a chance to test it out though since I'm in the middle of final exams the weather near Detroit isn't really cold at all.
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  7. #7
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    Cold Grease

    Can anyone provide a description that explains how to service the E13? I would like to remove the OEM grease and re-pack with a cold weather grease, but I have never done any crank maintenance before.

    Thanks for any help,

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lennyzen View Post
    Can anyone provide a description that explains how to service the E13? I would like to remove the OEM grease and re-pack with a cold weather grease, but I have never done any crank maintenance before.

    Thanks for any help,
    This is similar to the process I use, but I am not a certified mechanic by any means. Maybe someone with more practical experience can chime in. Workshop: Servicing Your Bearings - BikeRadar


    That being said, it sounds like unless I'm going to be riding in really cold weather, it's probably not worth changing the grease except for general maintenance reasons.
    It's not about being better than others, it's about getting the best out of myself.

  9. #9
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    What material is your frame?

  10. #10
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    It's an aluminum frame with an eccentric BB , but how does that have anything to do with the bearings?
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  11. #11
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    Thermal expansion.
    I'm currently doing tests to examine the interactions between different materials vs standard bicycle interfaces. Steel, aluminum, and Ti spindles in steel, aluminum, Ti, and carbon frames with various bearings (ferrous and composite). I have a theory that low temp grease has less effect than adjustment variance due to system temp.
    Headset, hubs, and bottom brackets.

    I'll post some simulation data and preliminary data soon. I'd also like to hear others thoughts on bearing adjustment with regard to temp.

  12. #12
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    Wow, I feel dumb....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev-Bot View Post
    Thermal expansion.
    D-oh! As an engineer I should have thought of that! Granted my expertise is in municipal water systems... I do know that that on my SS thermal expansion plays a big part in chain tension. If I tension the chain in the warm house it's gets loose in the cold.

    I'll be interested to see what you find out, particularly how it relates to cold weather grease and overall bearing friction.
    It's not about being better than others, it's about getting the best out of myself.

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