Question: Polishing hubs bearing surface

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Mike, Apr 7, 2003.

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  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Has anyone tried polishing the surface in a hub where the bearings roll?

    I just wonder if this could reduce the friction?
     
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  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in news:89nka.2573$kd1.2578127 @newssrv26.news.prodigy.com:

    > Has anyone tried polishing the surface in a hub where the bearings roll? I just wonder if this
    > could reduce the friction?

    Everyone was doing that 30 years ago. Today, bearings are a lot better and many hubs have sealed
    bearing cartridges that you can't easily polish yourself.
     
  3. On Mon, 07 Apr 2003 21:50:00 +0000, Ken wrote:

    > "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in news:89nka.2573$kd1.2578127 @newssrv26.news.prodigy.com:
    >
    >> Has anyone tried polishing the surface in a hub where the bearings roll? I just wonder if this
    >> could reduce the friction?
    >
    > Everyone was doing that 30 years ago. Today, bearings are a lot better and many hubs have sealed
    > bearing cartridges that you can't easily polish yourself.

    Huh? No one I knew was doing anything of the sort 30 years ago. Maybe using oil rather than grease
    to reduce the insignificant friction of the bearings, but mostly they were too busy drilling holes
    in components to bother with the bearings.

    If you think you can improve a bearing race by polishing it by hand, you are mistaken.

    Bearings are not better than what was available 30 years ago. Find an old Campy hub from that era,
    and you will feel what smooth bearings can be. Granted, a lot of junk was on the market 30 years
    ago, and bearings on cheap bikes now are better than what was on next-to-top quality bikes then. But
    the bearings themselves are essentially the same, and the races of a good hub from that era were
    excellent.

    But the amount of friction, even from a not-so-great bearing, is far less than the rolling
    resistance from your tires, which in turn is far less than the resistance of your jacket flopping
    around in the breeze.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | And what if you track down these men and kill them, what if you _`\(,_ | killed all of us?
    From every corner of Europe, hundreds, (_)/ (_) | thousands would rise up to take our places.
    Even Nazis can't kill that fast. -- Paul Henreid (Casablanca).
     
  4. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Mike who? writes:

    > Has anyone tried polishing the surface in a hub where the bearings roll?

    Manually polishing ball bearing races does not make their significant irregularities smother
    although it may polish these features. To make a uniform surface a smoother one is required. The
    thumb and rag method does not do that. If you wanted to improve the surface finish you would need
    machinery adequate for making bearing races.

    > I just wonder if this could reduce the friction?

    What friction? Have you got some values? I think you'll find that ball bearing drag is in the range
    of whether your socks reach over or below your ankle, when riding.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  5. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Has anyone tried polishing the surface in a hub where the bearings roll?
    >
    > I just wonder if this could reduce the friction?

    Yes lots of riders did that in the sixties and seventies. Yes and no. You might "reduce friction"
    but the range from the worst hub to the best is infintesimally small compared to the significant
    resistance of wind against your body. If it makes you feel better and you have nothing better to do
    it is at least harmless but you will never notice the difference.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  6. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    >
    >On Mon, 07 Apr 2003 21:50:00 +0000, Ken wrote:
    >
    >> "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in news:89nka.2573$kd1.2578127 @newssrv26.news.prodigy.com:
    >>
    >>> Has anyone tried polishing the surface in a hub where the bearings roll? I just wonder if this
    >>> could reduce the friction?
    >>
    >> Everyone was doing that 30 years ago. Today, bearings are a lot better and many hubs have sealed
    >> bearing cartridges that you can't easily polish yourself.
    >
    >Huh? No one I knew was doing anything of the sort 30 years ago. Maybe using oil rather than grease
    >to reduce the insignificant friction of the bearings, but mostly they were too busy drilling holes
    >in components to bother with the bearings.

    I've heard from some old timers of using simichrome instead of grease in their bearings and then
    riding around for a while. That supposedly would polish both the bearings and races. They would then
    clean everything up and replace with fresh grease, campy of course.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
  7. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > Huh? No one I knew was doing anything of the sort 30 years ago. Maybe using oil rather than grease
    > to reduce the insignificant friction of the bearings, but mostly they were too busy drilling holes
    > in components to bother with the bearings.

    Well, maybe my friend couldn't afford as nice hubs as your friends. We would buy mid-range French
    aluminum hubs, pack the bearings with polish, and run them for a while to polish the hub races.
    Replace the polish with grease before hitting the road, of course. All the bike shops were selling
    Simichrome polish just for this purpose and the popular bike maintenance books of the time discussed
    it. Of course, if you could afford Campy hubs, this was unnecessary.
     
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