PowerTap hub problem. Suggestions??

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:10 am
Location: South Florida

by dgasmd

I've had a PT for several years now. Wireless Ant+ SL unit. Over the years, I have sent the unit back 3 times to Saris for repairs, all of which they have done for free beyond my wildest expectations and satisfaction. Every time has been the same problem: The unit dies after being caught in the rain. Every time they replaced all the internal electronics and re-sealed the hub everywhere you could, but the next time it is the same issue. The last time it happened, they gave me the option of either replacing the internal and re-sealing for free or buying a new hub at a reduced cost. I opted for the free option and to never ride in the rain again if I could help it. I live in South FL where it could be clear and sunny one minute and 30 min later there is torrential rain out of nowhere, which is what happened today. Forecast is useless. Needless to say, 10 min into the rain, I look down and my PT is dead. When I got home, I took the cap off and took out the battery tray to see if there was visible water (nothing beyond a drop or two. Dried them with a paper towel and left the hub open in front of a fan for a while hoping it will dry out anything there is.

Does anyone have any suggestion as to what to do with this freaking thing to soak up any water there may be inside the hub?? I suspect I am left now with one expensive and heavy hub/wheel if I cannot get it to work somehow.

Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:42 am

by NovemberDave

The key is to remove the wheel from the bike ASAP and take the battery cover off. Let it air out. You can use dielectric grease (aka "bulb grease") which you can get in an auto parts store. It's non-conductive grease that they use in car headlights to prevent corrosion at the bulb contacts. Pretty much slather it on the threads on the battery cover and at the opening in the cover that the axle goes through. Don't be shy with it. There's a way lower chance you'll get water in with this, but if you do, I imagine it will be harder to get out.

My experience with this is solely based on an old wired Powertap, which I upgraded to a wireless on an offer they ran several years ago. Have owned a couple Powertaps since, never had a peep of trouble with one since. Disclaimer - my company sells wheels built with Powertaps.

Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA

by eric

My old PT SL+ has been on my rain bike each winter for the last four years. It's not failed yet. I'm in NorCal and sometimes it rains pretty good but mostly it's road spray that makes a mess of me and the bike.

I do grease the o-rings on the cover when I install it.

Are the o-rings on yours in good shape? How about the surfaces on the hub that they seal on? And is the cover true, or perhaps warped?

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post