greasing rear wheel hubs

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Aussie Steve, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve New Member

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    is there any special trick to this ? I have done it several times but each time it still tedious and time-consuming. Shimano 105 hub with free bearings (not cartridge) and I had to do it last weekend because after I took the wheel off and spun it on the axle, it rumbled badly....I replaced bearings with Dura-Ace ones, checked the cones- they appeared fine, so put in heaps of grease and voila !! what a difference !!:D
    It is one bloody job I hate with a passion...
    anyone have any special shortcuts?
     
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  2. Insaneclimber

    Insaneclimber New Member

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    Buy a hub with sealed bearings lol

    No theres no short cut. iv been doin it 20 years and although i am quite fast at it, it still annoys me too. Oh a work mate just pointed out that if you hang the wheel up in the shed and dont use it you'll never have to repair it again??
     
  3. hd reynolds

    hd reynolds New Member

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    Unless it's retro you want I don't see any reason sticking with a non-cartridge hub. They're a bane. 105 hubs are cheap anyways and even a lower group cartridge hub will be better than what you have.
     
  4. Fat Hack

    Fat Hack New Member

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    yes, it's a complete pain in the ass. I did one the other day, I know of no short cuts :(
     
  5. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=105
    if you aren't already following a good set of instructions.
    I don't know of any special tricks.
    Having all the tools, lube, solvent, rags, spare parts (new bearings), etc. at hand sure makes the tedious job go as easy as possible.
    I still like Shimano loose ball hubs. After the completion of Campagnolo's transition to cartridge bearings, Shimano will be the last major bicycle hub manufacturer still using them. 105 hubs are a great value.
     
  6. Paulie-AU

    Paulie-AU New Member

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    I wouldn't rate it any harder than changing cartridge bearings (especially when they wont play the game as such) and there isn't a press readily available. A little more messy though.

    I own bikes with both shimano hubs and sealed bearing hubs (the sealed bearing hubs being significantly more expensive) and have actually found the sealed bearing hubs to be more of a pain than the shimano hubs.

    My next set of road wheels will be Ultegra or Dura-ace hubs laced into rims of my choosing. I will be using these hubs due to the free ball use. Might even upgrade the bearings straight away for even better performance.
     
  7. p38lightning

    p38lightning New Member

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    Get yourself a bicycle grease gun, the kind that the grease tube attaches to. This makes it much more convenient to get the grease in the hub race.
     
  8. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your info, much appreciated...
    - Cartridge bearings:
    they apparently don't need fine tuning with the old cone spanners because the preload is set at the factory, and you can't stuff them up...
    But I'm a bit worried about the cost, and I'm old-school and like the larger loose bearings, and believe that if they are greased properly the loose ones can be just as good as cartridge type.
    - before I touch the wheel, I ensure everything that I will need, is within arm's reach...thanks daveornee :cool:
    also thanx for the instructions, I will read them studiously to see if there's any shortcuts contained within
     
  9. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve New Member

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    Ok... I just noticed a small amount of sideways movement in the rear hub, e.g. maybe the bearings have seated themselves now in the cups. Only about
    1-2 mm...and there is a bit of grease coming out. So I tightened up the cones a little, and wouldn't you know it...this morning, the rear feels like it's too damned tight :mad: :eek:
    Bugger
     
  10. Phill P

    Phill P New Member

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    If campy is migrating to sealed bearing hubs then why are the record class hubs and zonda wheels upwards still all cup and cone? They put sealed bearings in thier cheaper hubs because, well, its cheaper. They then only make one high grade cup and cone bearing set for the other hubs.
    Both campy and shimano say they believe cup and cone bearings are better as they can be adjusted to reduce play as the bearings wear, and the angu;ar contact takes the side loads better than low/no preload deep groove beaarings.

    I'm surprised you put DA balls into a 105 hub. The most recent DA hubs use different size/number of balls to ultegra and 105. I hope you just meant high grade steel balls instead of cheaper 105 spec balls.
     
  11. Akadat

    Akadat New Member

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    You may have a problem re-using the old cones. If the cones are not perfectly concentric when made, or if your axle is slightly bent, the path that the balls imprint on the cone will change position if you rotate the cone to a new position. In effect, the amount of rotation for making adjustments has an added factor - an eccentric micro ball groove.

    The best solution (if keeping the old cones) is to put up with a little play in the bearing to allow a new groove to form slightly different to the old groove, and accepting that the bearing cannot be set to the tolerances you expect from a new cone.
     
  12. bobbyOCR

    bobbyOCR New Member

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    First step, learn how to tighten cones on a cheap wheel first.

    Next, the quickest shortcut is taking your time. Seriously. If you take it slowly and carefully you wont need to adjust it as much. Do the general disassembly, degrease, regrease (in my fixie hubs I use oil a bit and it runs fasssttttt but needs weekly re-oiling. Just put grease back in) and thread the cones back on. Tighten the free cone down onto the bearings so it is hard to move. After you tighten the locknut, while loosening the cones (creating massive friction, hence lock-nut) check that the hubs spin freely and have no play (unwanted lateral and vertical movement). If there is play, or they are too tight, undo and redo loosening or tightening the locknut to eliminate tightness/play. Keep going until they are just tight enough to not play. Your quick release will tighten it a little, bringing it to optimal.

    Cartridgre bearings are overrated. Well adjust cup-and-cones can be awesome. I do like cartridge hubs though.
     
  13. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Jobst Brandt seemed to think that play in a cup and cone bearing was a good way to destroy it because all the weight is borne by one or at most two balls at a time, causing much higher pressure and stress than normal. He said to have slight preload. BTW, why can't a used cone be set to correct tolerance?
     
  14. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    Correct:
    "Bicycle wheel bearings, as most, require a slight preload so that more than one ball under the cone (inner race) will support its load. With proper preload, slight drag should be perceptible. Preload drag is small compared to drag caused by wheel loads, neither of which are significant regardless of adjustment. In contrast bearing life is
    affected by proper adjustment. Adjusting ball bearings to spin freely unloaded does not reduce operating friction because a bearing with proper preload has lower drag when loaded than one with clearance.
    For high quality bearings, preload should be just enough to cause light drag when rotating the axle between thumb and forefinger. Low grade bearings will feel slightly lumpy with proper preload.

    Wheels with quick release (QR) axles present an additional problem in that closing the QR alters bearing clearance. Closing the lever requires increasing manual force with a slight over-center feel near the end of the stroke. This lever force arises from compressing the hollow axle and stretching the skewer. The ratio of elastic length change between axle and skewer is that of their cross sectional area and active lengths.

    Although small, axle compression on QR hubs is large enough to alter bearing clearance and should be onsidered when adjusting bearings.
    Bearings should be adjusted just loose enough so that closing the QR leaves the bearing with a slight preload. Excessive preload from QR closure is the cause of most wheel bearing failures not caused by water intrusion. Clearance, in contrast can be felt as disconcerting
    rattle when encountering road roughness.

    To test for proper adjustment, install the wheel and wiggle the rim side-to-side to determine that there is no clearance (rattle), then let the wheel rotate freely to a stop. If the wheel halts with a short (indexed) oscillation, bearing preload is too high.

    Although adjusting QR force is a safety consideration, it is also one of bearing life. It should be kept at a constant level once the desired closure force has been determined. Rear vertical dropouts require a lower and more predictable closure force than was formerly required with axles that could move forward from chain tension.
    Because vertical dropouts do not rely on friction to resist chain load, many hubs now have smooth faced jam nuts that do not damage dropout faces as older knurl faced ones did."
    from
    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8c.7.html
     
  15. Akadat

    Akadat New Member

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    garage sale GT: I found that cones with eccentric ball grooves are very frustrating to adjust; when they are almost adjusted and need a little more tightness, move the cone 1/8th turn and tighten the lock nut, too tight! Back off 1/8th turn and tighten lock nut - too loose. I settled for a little looseness believing that pre-stressing the bearing will cause rapid failure. Using old or cheap cones does not help at all.

    Yours and daveornee's replies about pre-stressing are food for thought. I thought that pre-stressing simply added more load on top of the wheel loads, but after reading your replies I see that the elastic nature of steel cannot be ignored. With bike bearings though, it is a matter of feel, and it is too easy to introduce massive loads by over tightening. Based on what you describe about the feel required, I may now move from 'almost no play' at the rim, to 'no play' at the rim with more confidence.
    Cheers.
     
  16. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    If the ball groove is eccentric you probabaly have bent your axle, though it is also possible the cone was ground wrong, I guess.

    It's funny this should come up now; I just had a Joytech freehub which I was saving maybe for an old 27" bike; those have crappy stock hubs. I decided to take the axle out and sure enough it was bent.

    Take your axle out, strip the cones off, and roll it across the flattest surface you can find, preferably a glass table top. If it doesn't roll smoothly, it's bent.

    BTW the amount of preload should be just enough to cause a bit of drag. Most QR users use zero clearance because the skewers actually compress the axle a bit and increase tension. Too much is definitely bad.
     
  17. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Solid (non-QR) 10mmX1 axles are available from niagaracycle.com and maybe in Australia too. They would not only be stronger against bending two different ways, but would also be somewhat easier to adjust because the cone preload would not depend on skewer tension.
     
  18. Paulie-AU

    Paulie-AU New Member

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    Only bother with this if they are acually high quality steel. No cheapo rubbish ;)
     
  19. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    I concur; those cheap axles are apparently out there.

    An LBS in my area tried to sell me cheapo rubbish. I bought a black oxided, cro-moly axle online, then compared it to a plated one I got at an LBS by smacking the two together like a drummer at the start of a song. The one I got online brinelled the LBS one, indicating it was of far inferior material. Maybe they don't want you fixing your own stuff.
     
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