How many kms on Powertap before bearing replacement?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by nojiri, May 24, 2010.

  1. nojiri

    nojiri New Member

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    How many kilometers are you getting on your Powertap before needing to replace the hub bearings? I have a Powertap SL 2.4 with about 10,000 km on it, and it's started to make a slight grrrrrring sound. No perceived increase in friction; they seem to spin OK, but I don't remember them making that sound when they were new. Is this about the expected lifespan of the hub bearings?

    Thanks - nojiri
     
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  2. NomadVW

    NomadVW New Member

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    Send it back while it's still under warranty with any issues. Day after warranty expires it's $300.

    Just had bearings replaced in a PT SL, no fun paying that.
     
  3. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I love the self adjusting bearings and the design that was thought up by a 2 year old just after he dropped a brown load in it's diaper...
     
  4. nojiri

    nojiri New Member

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    $300!!!:eek: Whoa, that's pretty steep. Is that for the new ceramic bearings that now come stock in the SLC+? I would hope so for $300.

    I have a feeling it's not a warranty-able claim since Saris excludes "normal wear expected in the use of the product," but I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask... and I've had them over a year.

    cheers - nojiri
     
  5. NomadVW

    NomadVW New Member

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    Over a year = no warranty.

    Their response on my bearing replacement (bearings cost ~$6 for the PTap) - "We do a complete internals replacement, no way around it. We don't replace just bearings, ever."

    I've read sites that have instructions on replacing the bearings, but didn't want to brick my Ptap. So, I paid the $300 begrudgingly. That puts you back into warranty on the hub. The reality is that if the test torque is outside acceptable range (~510ish), you can call them and have it serviced.

    My recommendation would be to do that about every 11 months, since I've yet to have either of my powertaps stay at that range for longer than a month after getting them back from Saris. In fact, the one I JUST got back from Saris reads 529 right now. The other one is 564.

    Saris was once covered with praise from consumers. I don't hear that nearly as much these days. Especially not from people that haven't bought the new wireless hubs (Which they said would cost me $1000 per wheel to "upgrade" to... *boggle* I can get new/built for that cost)

    As soon as I work out the details, I'll probably make the switch to a crank based PM.
     
  6. BikingBrian

    BikingBrian New Member

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    I changed the bearings on my Elite+ after about 12,000 kms. It was incredibly easy, the only tools I used were a cone wrench (it's a 17mm I seem to remember), one allen key, a hammer and a flatblade screwdriver.

    Just unscrew the non-drive side locknut (there's a washer underneath as well) with a cone wrench, then use the allen key and cone wrench to loosen the axle on the drive side - the axle and freehub will all slide out at once. Be sure that the pawls on the freehub stay put - in actual practice though I've never had them come out. There's also a spacer/thin washer there, remember where it goes. Next, gently push the hollow magnet tube sideways so that you can see part of the bearing (drive side or non-drive, doesn't matter) then you can use a flatblade screwdriver (if you're very careful!) or preferably, a long metal rod with a flat end (an 8 mm hex wrench works) and hammer out the bearing by tapping on the outer race - tap a little on one side then work your way around, so that you "walk" the bearing out. Repeat for opposite bearing. Do the reverse to seat new bearing being careful to only apply force on the OD, never on the bearings themselves. This is easier if you can find a flat round object that fits over the bearing - for example a thin flat washer or even a coin (I used a 10 yen coin and the cut-off portion of a carbon steerer). Make sure that the bearing is completely seated when done and level.

    The bearings I used for my Elite+ hub (they have the 12mm axle) were 6901 2RS. If you have an SL hub, then you probably have a 14 mm axle and need a bearing with the larger ID (can be found at the back of the user manual or on the Saris website).

    The bearings are cheap (assuming you use steel ones)...anywhere from $6 up to about $15 or so, and about $15 or so for ceramic hybrids.
    http://www.vxb.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=bearings&Category_Code=12mm

    Good luck!

    Here's a link to another set of directions at weightweenies, perhaps explained better than me;-)

    Weight Weenies • View topic - Powertap PRO+ bearings rough
     
  7. nojiri

    nojiri New Member

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    Hey BikingBrian,

    That doesn't sound too difficult; I might give that a try. Thanks!
    BTW, I sent you a PM.


    Cheers - nojiri
     
  8. angle222

    angle222 New Member

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    so what are the hidden costs for the powertap system, or rather the parts that it replaces in the bike (hub/freehub body) hubs wear out, and bearings especially and freehub bodies too.
    so when this stuff wears out is your powertap 'worn' out too, or is all that stuff replaceable
    and if so is it a whole lot more expensive than a 'normal' freehub body and bearings and so on?

    A major drawback for me with the Ergomo for example, was I reckoned that once your BB was shot, so was your days of power measuring with it! - a) was that the case (not important) and b) is there similar traps with the PT (more important!) . And if so what about earlier generation 2007 versions or earlier.
     
  9. BikingBrian

    BikingBrian New Member

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    Powertap (unlike Ergomo) measures torque with strain gauges, the same as SRM or Cinqo. I have neaver heard of a strain guage wearing out.

    Hub bearings and freehub bearings wear out, the same as in any other wheel and need to be replaced periodically. Bearings run anywhere from $6(steel) up to $30 (ceramic). PT replacement freehubs are about $60 or so.
     
  10. JohnWillson

    JohnWillson Banned

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    Hi,I am also like self adjusting bearing.
     
  11. sward

    sward New Member

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    Well I may have been unlucky but my SL+ bearings need replacing after only 1200km. They were fine until onevery wet day after which they seized and needed some lube to release them. Within a couple of months of light use afterwards they have developed significant play, so much so that the rim now rubs on the brake blocks when climbing out of the saddle.

    The UK distributer has offered to collect the wheel as it is still under warranty. Not impressed with Powetap quality to be honest. Had to send it back after 6 weeks for a new torque tube and now this. Not great for something that's only been used fairly lightly for the last 7 months.
     
  12. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I have a similar experience.
    If Quarq had been out on the market at the time I got my 2nd PT I would have gone with Quarq and used my Garmin 705 as the cpu. The last rep that I spoke with before sending my wheel back said I could expect this service every "x" amount of miles. At the moment they have but one service and it is $300 to do a full rebuild.

    The older PT hub/wheel I use on the trainer is pretty solid.

    I emailed a guy that reviewed the Quarq to ask his opinion and he not only likes it better, but said the customer service was a whole lot better than with the PT. At least I can wait a bit longer to see more concerning Quarq.
     
  13. gman0482

    gman0482 Member

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    Very interesting posting guys, as I am in huge need of a PM and the PT is what I was leaning towards, but of course a crank PM would be way nicer. The $ is the difference, cause if I will spend close to $2k, then I'd have to go for a new wheelset or groupset perhaps.
     
  14. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Take your time looking at the pros and cons.
    Even though I am still fresh with frustration with one of PT hubs I do like the fact that I can quickly switch wheels to my other bike. So the pro for me is the quick switch depending on which bike I take for the day.

    On the flip side it could be frustrating to some who have various race wheels and it would be more cost effective to have a PM based crank and various wheel sets.

    So you need to look at your needs. If you plan to race with different bikes or different wheel sets or whatever you think your future may hold.

    I did see a youtube video of a guy changing his Quarq equipped crank from one bike to another fairly fast. [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibycOXD-Mw0"]Link[/ame]
     
  15. gregf83

    gregf83 New Member

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    Are the spindle nuts (not sure if that is the correct term) tightened properly? I don't see how worn bearings would create that much play.
     
  16. BikingBrian

    BikingBrian New Member

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    +++ to what Greg said, the PT cone nuts can become loose very easily - it is possible to tighten them by hand, but you need to use a cone wrench to do it properly.
     
  17. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Cone spanner and allen key. A torque wrench that'll do the stated torque accurately would be even better.
     
    My 2.4 SL's bearings died at ~8500km. And I mean, "took significant effort to spin the axle" died - not just "oh this feels a little lumpy". They felt like they belonged in a sub-par Fisher Price toy from day 1. A couple of the ratchet pawls went too. I could feel it through the pedals and through it was my Phil Wood bottom bracket that's croaked. I know, such a thing will never happen with Phil spec'd bearings... :p It didn't help that it had that "clicking" sound associated most commonly with bottom bracket/pedal bearing issues.
     
  18. London knight

    London knight New Member

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    I have had my powertap SL over two years with 20,000 km logged, it is still running quite smooth. I replaced aspoke but that was about it
     
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