Change wheel bearings?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Bob Newman, Apr 24, 2003.

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  1. Bob Newman

    Bob Newman Guest

    A competent friend of mine told me that my wife's front wheel bearings needed replacement. I am new
    to maintenance but am willing to try. Is this much of a job? Suggestions? (It is a 10 year old
    Diamondback road bike).

    Thanks in advance... Bob
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, Bob Newman
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >A competent friend of mine told me that my wife's front wheel bearings needed replacement. I am new
    >to maintenance but am willing to try. Is this much of a job? Suggestions? (It is a 10 year old
    >Diamondback road bike).

    With a few cone wrenches, a crescent wrench, grease, and a handful of bearings, you can probably
    overhaul it without much trouble. The basic idea is to take it apart, discard the bearings,
    clean the cones and races, apply grease liberally and install the same size & number of
    bearings, then adjust.

    It probably has 10 3/16" bearings per side but the real test is to take the bearings out, count
    them, take one to a bike shop and have them sell you the proper size replacement. Maybe your
    competent friend has a cone wrench to loan you?
     
  3. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "Bob Newman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > A competent friend of mine told me that my wife's front wheel bearings needed replacement. I am
    > new to maintenance but am willing to try. Is
    this
    > much of a job? Suggestions? (It is a 10 year old Diamondback road bike).

    That may well be but what is the symptom?

    Many mid to low price bicycles are delivered to the customer with no dealer prep and so the wheel
    bearing asembly will be devoid of grease and as tight as the assmebly robot screwed the cone home.
    You might begin by unlocking the cone and locknut on one side, unscrewing the cone far enough to
    inject some bearing grease, press the axle in so you can do the same on the other side and then
    properly adjust the hub. Oil or grease the axle threads, turn the cone in until it touches the
    bearings and then lock the locknut against the cone. Evaluate the adjustment and try for one which
    allows free movement of the axle but not side play when the wheel is installed and the skewer
    closed. Repeat until bored.

    If you cannot get a reasonable adjustment, disassemble and inspect the bearing surfaces for pits,
    gouges or any unevenness of the bearing track. If this is evident, replace the worn parts
    (usually best done as a complete axle set). If you do open the hub, plan on replacing the 11x11
    3/16" balls and ensure the hub is thoroughly clean before reassembling. Use grease to the depth
    of the bearing (3/16").

    To rebuild a front hub you'll need a 13mm cone wrench, a 17mm or adjustable wrench for the locknut,
    new balls, degreaser and grease. Perhaps new axle set or cones.
    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  4. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "Bob Newman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > A competent friend of mine told me that my wife's front wheel bearings needed replacement. I am
    > new to maintenance but am willing to try. Is
    this
    > much of a job? Suggestions? (It is a 10 year old Diamondback road bike).

    Oops. My poor typing skills read eleven balls per side but it is really ten.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  5. Bob Newman

    Bob Newman Guest

    Thanks everyone, your help is much appreciated.

    Bob

    "Bob Newman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > A competent friend of mine told me that my wife's front wheel bearings needed replacement. I am
    > new to maintenance but am willing to try. Is
    this
    > much of a job? Suggestions? (It is a 10 year old Diamondback road bike).
    >
    > Thanks in advance... Bob
     
  6. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

    On Fri, 25 Apr 2003 01:54:11 GMT, [email protected] (Paul Southworth) wrote:

    >With a few cone wrenches, a crescent wrench, grease, and a handful of bearings, you can probably
    >overhaul it without much trouble. The basic idea is to take it apart, discard the bearings,
    >clean the cones and races, apply grease liberally and install the same size & number of
    >bearings, then adjust.
    >
    >It probably has 10 3/16" bearings per side but the real test is to take the bearings out, count
    >them, take one to a bike shop and have them sell you the proper size replacement.

    My only addition would be to check the yellow pages for a bearing specialty shop. Call and ask if
    they have "Mini-Packs" of Grade 25 Chrome Steel balls. I last purchased 175 3/16" balls for a price
    probably comparable to what your LBS would charge for 20. The supply will last a long, long time; or
    you could share them with your competent friend. :)

    jeverett3<AT>earthlink<DOT>net http://home.earthlink.net/~jeverett3
     
  7. "Bob Newman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Thanks everyone, your help is much appreciated.
    >
    > Bob
    >
    > "Bob Newman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > A competent friend of mine told me that my wife's front wheel bearings needed replacement. I am
    > > new to maintenance but am willing to try. Is
    > this
    > > much of a job? Suggestions? (It is a 10 year old Diamondback road
    bike).
    > >
    > > Thanks in advance... Bob
    > >

    Bob: Read the instructions from Park Tools: http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/howfix_hub.shtml on
    how to overhaul your hubs. It will help you a lot!
     
  8. On Thu, 24 Apr 2003 21:45:13 +0000, A Muzi wrote:

    > If you cannot get a reasonable adjustment, disassemble and inspect the bearing surfaces for pits,
    > gouges or any unevenness of the bearing track. If this is evident, replace the worn parts (usually
    > best done as a complete axle set).

    I don't know about this. If you are suggesting replacing the cups and cones as well (what do you
    mean by a "complete axle set"?) then that is too far gone. Many hubs don't really have replacable
    cups, anyway, but if you replace the bearings (at $.05/per, typically) sooner you can avoid
    replacing the cups and cones at a considerable savings.

    Typically, if you have to replace the cups and cones, it is usually cheaper to replace the
    whole hub.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all _`\(,_ | mysteries, and all
    knowledge; and though I have all faith, so (_)/ (_) | that I could remove mountains, and have not
    charity, I am nothing. [1 Corinth. 13:2]
     
  9. Andrew Muzi wrote:

    "Many mid to low price bicycles are delivered to the customer with no dealer prep and so the wheel
    bearing asembly will be devoid of grease and as tight as the assmebly robot screwed the cone home."

    Oh, yes they do. It looks like badly made Jell-O when it's new, and the stuff you wipe from your
    eyes when you get up in the morning when it's old.

    I've worked on enough of these bikes to know to replace it with real grease when they come out of
    the box, if I can.

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  10. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    > On Thu, 24 Apr 2003 21:45:13 +0000, A Muzi wrote:
    > > If you cannot get a reasonable adjustment, disassemble and inspect the bearing surfaces for
    > > pits, gouges or any unevenness of the bearing
    track.
    > > If this is evident, replace the worn parts (usually best done as a
    complete
    > > axle set).

    "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I don't know about this. If you are suggesting replacing the cups and cones as well (what do you
    > mean by a "complete axle set"?) then that is too far gone. Many hubs don't really have replacable
    > cups, anyway, but if you replace the bearings (at $.05/per, typically) sooner you can avoid
    > replacing the cups and cones at a considerable savings.
    >
    > Typically, if you have to replace the cups and cones, it is usually cheaper to replace the
    > whole hub.

    I agree. Cups are rarely available and often wouldn't be reasonable if they were. Usually I find the
    cones worn and less often the cups. Cups seem harder maybe. So I stand by my advice to change the
    worn parts if they are cones/axle set but you're right that dead cups would indicate a new wheel or
    at least a rebuild with another hub.

    (my reply was a pretty terse version of hub maintenance overall)
    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  11. In article <[email protected]>, "A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...

    > > Typically, if you have to replace the cups and cones, it is usually cheaper to replace the
    > > whole hub.
    >
    > I agree. Cups are rarely available and often wouldn't be reasonable if they were. Usually I find
    > the cones worn and less often the cups. Cups seem harder maybe.

    I think wheelman Jobst has explained this previously, but it should be obvious: cones have a smaller
    bearing area (being the inside race) and thus wear faster. I assume they are made out of a material
    very similar if not identical in hardness to the cups.

    > So I stand by my advice to change the worn parts if they are cones/axle set but you're right that
    > dead cups would indicate a new wheel or at least a rebuild with another hub.

    Is this an argument for cartridge bearings? Bluto will be pleased...

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  12. Andy Dingley

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Sat, 26 Apr 2003 00:33:43 -0500, "A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Usually I find the cones worn and less often the cups. Cups seem harder maybe.

    Cups go round with the wheel, cones are fixed to the frame. All your kerb hopping will beat the
    cones up in just one spot. The surface fails here first, then works its way around. It's yet another
    reason to occasionally take the wheel off when cleaning, and don't worry about putting it back in
    the same place. Take a look at an old and unmaintained hub sometime.

    In a recent posting, I described my trouble with a front hub (coincidentally, another 10 year old
    Diamondback). After a week in Ireland I flew back to Bristol, which involves passing the LBS
    (Palmers Cyclelife). I grabbed another bag of '3/16" front hub bearings' from them, stressing that
    they'd sold me the wrong size last time.

    You guessed it - this lot are 0.2" diameter ! 8-(
     
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