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Giant 2021 road bike - hub rusted away

Old 07-10-21, 08:50 AM
  #1  
Kri
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Giant 2021 road bike - hub rusted away

Hello everybody, first post here apart from my previous introductionary one.

The wheelset is called Giant S-R3.

November 2020 - bought myself a brand new Giant Contend 1 (I cannot post an URL yet, google it if you're interested in the exact model) , my first road bike. I read plenty of bike maintenance tips and watched a handful of videos as well.

July 2021 - The bike has done just shy of 1000km, tried placing new pedals and bang, the cassete is able to rotate in forwards and backwards motion and the rear wheel doesn’t move, the chain gets stuck when pedaling backwards, pedaling did nothing whatsoever. After thorough inspection, I realised the cassete is completely separated from the wheel, internally the hub is absolutely rusted away, my only solution for a quick fix is to buy a new wheel (which worked surprisingly well ).

Now to get to the point.
I went to the dealer, they said that it is due to excessive washing of the bike, to which I replied that it is a design fault and water should not ever get inside the hub if I don't ever use a power jet to clean my bicycle. I explicitly remembered a tip from Park Tool where Calvin Jones used a bidon to rinse the degreaser off the components, its pressure is equivalent to rainfall and water cannot ever enter the hub.
I am asking this here because the bike market is not very large in my country and the dealer told me that only 1 more person had this exact issue with a new Giant 2021 road bike purchased in January of 2021 (with a different wheelset).
Has anybody here witnessed a similar issue on such a new Giant road bike (or even different models and manufacturers)

The mechanic has the photos of the hub, I will edit and attach the images when I receive them.

Any helpful reply will be appreciated.

Last edited by Kri; 07-10-21 at 08:59 AM. Reason: Elaboration
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Old 07-10-21, 10:07 AM
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What are you doing to the bike that is causing that level of damage? It cannot be just some washing (but maybe you wash too often?), my guess is you leave it outside in a humid environment for it to get damaged that fast. The bike certainly has lower end components but they shouldn't have completely rusted away that quickly without some abuse. However tough to tell without photos.
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Old 07-10-21, 11:35 AM
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Is it possible that a production run of hubs got out the door without lubrication?
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Old 07-10-21, 11:47 AM
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Hi veganbikes and thanks for the reply. However, allow me to get couple of points added that I did not list earlier.
- I know people that wash their bikes almost after every ride (could be 4-5 times a week at least) and nothing similar has occurred although they do not own the model I am referring to in the post above.
- If water can enter the hub even once, damage is going to be done anyway. So I doubt the issue is washing it way too often.
- I did plenty of rides on salted roads this winter, therefore I had to do really thorough cleaning up until March, after that I was cleaning it occasionally because the roads were dry.
- I store my bike in an A/C environment, humidity is no issue here.
- I mentioned above that a customer bought a giant bike in January of 2021 and his hub rusted even quicker, the dealership told me that his wheel was of a much higher quality compared to mine.
- I have shared the problem with peers of mine, our common idea is that the hub is badly designed and it is prone to storing water.
- I have never ever used a power jet to clean my bike.

Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Is it possible that a production run of hubs got out the door without lubrication?
I should perhaps ask this, I don't know the info.

Last edited by Kri; 07-10-21 at 11:49 AM. Reason: quote
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Old 07-10-21, 12:12 PM
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Well, if it was not well sealed, washing off salt deposits could have certainly allowed salty water to enter the mechanism.
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Old 07-10-21, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Kri View Post
Hi veganbikes and thanks for the reply. However, allow me to get couple of points added that I did not list earlier.
- I know people that wash their bikes almost after every ride (could be 4-5 times a week at least) and nothing similar has occurred although they do not own the model I am referring to in the post above.
- If water can enter the hub even once, damage is going to be done anyway. So I doubt the issue is washing it way too often.
- I did plenty of rides on salted roads this winter, therefore I had to do really thorough cleaning up until March, after that I was cleaning it occasionally because the roads were dry.
- I store my bike in an A/C environment, humidity is no issue here.
- I mentioned above that a customer bought a giant bike in January of 2021 and his hub rusted even quicker, the dealership told me that his wheel was of a much higher quality compared to mine.
- I have shared the problem with peers of mine, our common idea is that the hub is badly designed and it is prone to storing water.
- I have never ever used a power jet to clean my bike.


I should perhaps ask this, I don't know the info.
Use the @ (at symbol) and then name to let someone know you are mentioning them.

Pushing salt water into the hub could cause issues but the hub probably should have been sealed better but it is Giant and is a low cost bike. Hopefully though they will replace it if it is found to be a warranty issue. A hub does need grease and if loose ball may need more adjustment and re-greasing.
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Old 07-12-21, 02:17 AM
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veganbikes here are the photos

imgur!com/a/EY2BZaE just replace the " ! " with a " . "

I have to post it like so because I am not able to attach photos nor URLs (10 posts minimum requirement)
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Old 07-12-21, 03:16 AM
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Old 07-12-21, 05:21 AM
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Looks to have been immersed for awhile. If the NDS isn't toast and they can get parts, maybe the shop can replace the freehub, salvage the wheel. Better check the front wheel as well. Be more careful next time.
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Old 07-12-21, 05:40 AM
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Thanks for uploading them alo.

The front wheel is fine, it is less likely to become faulty because it's a simple system.

I'd like to know whether someone else has had a similar issue with a Giant bike bought recently.
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Old 07-12-21, 06:47 AM
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The freehub cannot be removed and everything just cleaned, relubed, and reassembled? I’m surprised that any hub, in normal use, could rust to a total loss in 9 months. I feel like a crucial piece of the story is missing, because what’s being claimed does not match up to my decades of bicycle maintenance experience.
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Old 07-12-21, 07:00 AM
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JRA....
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Old 07-12-21, 07:07 AM
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^ I'm supposed to go to the dealer tomorrow and get the wheel back (supposedly repaired). I'll update you as soon as I get my hands on it.

chaadster I have never opened the hub during my ownership, perhaps I would've noticed the issue before it got serious.
As I mentioned above, there is one more case like this in my city where the market is relatively small. So it's difficult to estimate the number of new bikes with this issue.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Kri View Post
^ I'm supposed to go to the dealer tomorrow and get the wheel back (supposedly repaired). I'll update you as soon as I get my hands on it.

chaadster I have never opened the hub during my ownership, perhaps I would've noticed the issue before it got serious.
As I mentioned above, there is one more case like this in my city where the market is relatively small. So it's difficult to estimate the number of new bikes with this issue.
I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about how in the OP you said the hub was “absolutely rusted away” and the only solution for a quick fix was wheel replacement. Now you’re saying that the shop has repaired it; how? If they just cleaned and repacked it with grease, that’s what I’d have expected, not for it to be rusted beyond repair.

In any case, I understand your frustration, and it is unusual for such a new bike to be in that kind of condition. You are right to ask questions about how it happened— it could have been missing a sealing gasket, for example— but as I said, it’s so unusual that it makes me wonder if you’re being forthcoming with all the facts. Now I’m not saying you’re being deliberately deceitful; it could be that maybe the hub locknuts where improperly adjusted, came loose, let water in, and you just didn’t notice.

Hopefully the shop can give you some helpful feedback and resolve the issue so that it does not happen again. An unrideable bike is not cool. Keep us posted.
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Old 07-12-21, 09:11 AM
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That looks like pretty standard water ingress. Kri contrary to your design philosophy, the type of seal in the axle ( which is what we're looking at) is not 100% watertight, at least not on it's own. Those kind of seals rely on a layer of grease to seal the hub internals sufficient for most use, while also prolonging the life of the seal surface.
Every time you ride in the rain or wash the bike, you potentially remove some of that grease. A lot of the more environmentally friendly, lower friction lubricants that get selected for consumer-grade recreational products (like your bike) also tend not to hold up as well under extended wet weather use, or excessive washing.

Part of cleaning the bike is lubricating it; possibly the most important step, especially if you ride in a lot of wet or dirty conditions. Think about it this way: most bikes are intended for 'summer' use, and should give several seasons of typical use before needing major servicing. 'Winter' use means your service interval is now 'a couple of times a season' rather than 'every couple of seasons.'
There's things you can do to make a bike more resistant to extend use in bad conditions: there are a couple threads dedicated to 'Rain Bikes' or preparing for winter riding in the Commuters forum, but it doesn't seem like there was much of that done in this case.

The hub shown in that picture has been run wet until the majority of the grease was washed out of it. Once you get more water than lube inside the hub, you get corrosion on the mild steel pawls and springs that make up the hub internals, leading to a loss of function like you experienced. If nothing is broken, I wouldn't be surprised that a competent mechanic could return that hub to function with much more than a good cleaning and sufficient lubrication.

Last edited by Ironfish653; 07-12-21 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about how in the OP you said the hub was “absolutely rusted away” and the only solution for a quick fix was wheel replacement. Now you’re saying that the shop has repaired it; how? If they just cleaned and repacked it with grease, that’s what I’d have expected, not for it to be rusted beyond repair.

In any case, I understand your frustration, and it is unusual for such a new bike to be in that kind of condition. You are right to ask questions about how it happened— it could have been missing a sealing gasket, for example— but as I said, it’s so unusual that it makes me wonder if you’re being forthcoming with all the facts. Now I’m not saying you’re being deliberately deceitful; it could be that maybe the hub locknuts where improperly adjusted, came loose, let water in, and you just didn’t notice.

Hopefully the shop can give you some helpful feedback and resolve the issue so that it does not happen again. An unrideable bike is not cool. Keep us posted.
A number of years ago, I bought my Nikon to a local Nikon repair shop as it was malfunctioning. He takes it back and returns and asks when I dropped it into the ocean. Never. I carried it on many backpacking trips and hikes but only with the part of the case that had the strap attachments - no front case. I said I must have dripped sweat on it over the years. He would not accept that explanation - it WAS DROPPED IN THE OCEAN! In fact I have sweated to death a number of items including a custom road bike. After a day of backpacking in the Sierra, my t-shirt would dry and stand on its own - Salt Starch. I have since moved to point/shoots and they are carried in a full case. Next bike was a carbon fiber and then a custom titanium - no rust on those!

But that part really is quite rusted and does not look normal.

Last edited by kahn; 07-12-21 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:37 AM
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Thanks for the replies

I said "supposedly repaired" because the mechanic told me he'll have a go at fixing it although it's going to be difficult. A possibility lies that it is damaged beyond repair.

I'll gave deeper look into better servicing and maintenance during the winter season, I'll be checking out the threads.
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Old 07-12-21, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by kahn View Post
After a day of backpacking in the Sierra, my t-shirt would dry and stand on its own - Salt Starch. I have since moved to point/shoots and they are carried in a full case. Next bike was a carbon fiber and then a custom titanium - no rust on those!
Even though sweat won't damage carbon fiber, it will damage the paint. My sweaty ride buddy ruined the top tube paint job on his Trek. Twice.

Nowadays, I wipe down my frame with some dilute ammonia in water after every hot ride.
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Old 07-12-21, 12:26 PM
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Salted winter roads, cheap hubs and lots of washing. It's gonna happen. No fault of the bike.
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Old 07-14-21, 04:11 AM
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UPDATE

The hub is fixed. Much of the rust was cleaned off with diesel and new balls were installed. Click on spoiler for image.
The mechanic applied a top quality shimano grease, which is much better than the stock grease.
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Old 07-14-21, 06:21 AM
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Your picture and comments have me confused. Pretty much all new hubs, especially those that come with on full bike builds, used cartridge bearings. Something is off if you can see those bearings in there.
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Old 07-14-21, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Your picture and comments have me confused. Pretty much all new hubs, especially those that come with on full bike builds, used cartridge bearings. Something is off if you can see those bearings in there.
The hubs that come with Giant SR3 (and SR2) are cup and cone, not cartridge.
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Old 07-14-21, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Your picture and comments have me confused. Pretty much all new hubs, especially those that come with on full bike builds, used cartridge bearings. Something is off if you can see those bearings in there.
This is incorrect.
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Old 07-14-21, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Your picture and comments have me confused. Pretty much all new hubs, especially those that come with on full bike builds, used cartridge bearings. Something is off if you can see those bearings in there.
There are bikes that still come with freewheels
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Old 07-14-21, 07:13 PM
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One can argue until one is blue in in the face about who is at fault.

One option would be to get a "winter bike" and a "summer bike". Salt is a harsh environment for riding a bike (as it is for cars).

I started using stainless ball bearings on my bike. I think I read arguments earlier that chrome-steel bearings are slightly stronger than the stainless. But, hopefully with stainless I can avoid bearings packed with rust and losing chunks out of the balls.

I used a company called BCPrecision and did a semi-bulk order. But there are other vendors too. I like lots of grease.

For Shimano, their higher end products have better labyrinth seals.

Wippermann sells stainless chains, although I think not all of the chain parts are equally rustproof.
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