Caring for your OW - Salt

  • Caring for your OW - Salt
    I thought I'd share some thoughts about those whom are riding near and in salt. This goes for oceans, and climates where salt is used to melt snow.

    Firstly, please allow me to explain the concern with Salt and the One Wheel. As we all know the OW frame is made from anodized aluminum. Anodizing is a alternative to zinc chromate priming, anodized aluminum looks better and its not painted. Normally this provides great protection from the elements, however our OW's are made to be abused.

    Once your OW has a nick or scrape in the frame the aluminum is exposed. And this is where the concern regarding salt comes in. Unlike Steel, Aluminum doesn't rust however it corrodes when in contact with salt. Corrosion eats away at the aluminum weakening the structure, and will continue to eat away unless the corrosion is removed. The process (depending on how extensive the corrosion) to repair can range from a little sand paper to complete replacement of the frame. Either way, the corrosion must be completely removed or further corrosion will continue.

    How to prevent corrosion.
    Ideally, the answer to this is not to ride where salt is. That answer however doesn't sit well with everyone. So if you happen to ride in salt water, near salt water, winters with salt on the roads, etc. then you'll eventually get corrosion on your OW. Washing your OW thoroughly with fresh water immediate after your ride is the best defense to protecting your board. Be sure to get the hub area, handle area, foot pads, under the foot pads, etc.. I recommend removing the foot pads and rinsing everything (including the wooden foot pads).

    Salt is aluminum's worse enemy, not cleaning your OW afterwards can cause serious pitting in the frame, weakening the structure. So, how fast can this occur? That depends on how much aluminum and salt is exposed. Consider this: Continuous salt exposure and lack of cleaning could weaken the structure significantly in little as 6 months.

    Unlike other boards, OW's have the ability to ride in water. Much like our vehicles, OW uses a grease bearing to keep water out of the hub. Over time water drys up the grease inside the bearing, and the bearing needs to be re-packed (with grease) or replaced. Salt water, speeds up that 'drying' process and without proper care can damage the bearings, causing decreased speed and battery performance, grinding noise, increased heat, etc. All of which can cause damage to the OW. Depending on how often you ride, I recommend everyone consider re-packing or replacing the bearings at-least annually.

  • @SkyPilot said in Caring for your OW - Salt:

    I recommend everyone consider re-packing or replacing the bearings at-least annually.

    How to do a thing like that? (Please bear with me) ;)

  • @Polle Well there's two options.

    1. Send it in to FM for 'tune up' maintenance.
    2. DIY - remove the tire, wheel, etc. Unfortunately there's no maintenance manual for care and feeding our OW's. Next time I disassemble my OW, i'll take pictures and notes.

    As I perform basic maintenance, i'll take notes and start a 'unofficial user's maintenance manual'.

  • @SkyPilot I've been told I was crazy by a lot of people for suggesting they rinse their footpads with water to clean them.

  • i appreciate the info
    i wonder what the TURNAROUND time is for FM if one sends in an OW for a "tuning up?"

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