rebuilding a hub

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Ricitius, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. Ricitius

    Ricitius New Member

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    i just got an old motobecane bicycle called the super mirage. it's in a sweet condition. about the only thing that i have to do is get a new headset and new wheels. the wheels have a bit of rust on the spokes. so i'm thinking about taking apart the hub and clean it and regrease it. i'm wondering if one can swap out the bearings with sealed bearings?
     
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  2. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    Most times the answer is no.
    "sealed bearings" are not really sealed anyway.
    You should look at the cones and cups to make sure they are not pitted.
    It is a good practice to install new ball bearings and pack with fresh grease... as long as the cups & cones are OK. Otherwise you can shop for replacement parts with the eye on your finances as parts can often add up to more than a new modern well sealed hub.
     
  3. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Roll the axle across something flat. See if it's bent. It may well be.
     
  4. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    You've had a lot of bad luck with axles, haven't you garage sale GT? I am around the 200 lb mark, riding for 40 years, and have yet to bend or break an axle.
     
  5. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    Me too. A well aligned frameset will do more to keep axles straight than anything else.
     
  6. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Thing is, I rarely ride a new(used) bike until I've had it apart. The axle is almost invariably already bent, and the cones are pitted.

    Maybe my theory that those axles depend on correct assembly to prevent bending is correct. You certainly can't assume correct assembly. (well, maybe you can on a Motobecane. I don't know their quality.)

    If you have been riding for forty years, then you learned to ride in the day of carefully unweighting your axle. My last fw bike, a low-end carbolite 103 Peugeot, held up fine (on its new axle) for about a hundred miles until I decided to give it away due to small size and lack of storage space. Should you automatically assume a used component has been used with the same respect?
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Is there a chance that you/(Ricitius) are actually wondering if you can replace the current loose bearings with some cartridge bearings since "sealed" hubs which have loose bearings often refers to the labyrinth and/or mud guard that shrouds the hub?

    If so, the answer is 'yes' and 'no' ...

    'Yes' -- you CAN cannibalize the seals from a Shimano hub and substitute them for the "flat" plate/("seals") that currently shroud the bearings ... that's a lot of effort if you are not handy ... PLUS, it means sacrificing a Shimano hub at which point you may as well use the Shimano axle, etc.

    With enough effort & wherewithal (and, deep enough pockets) you can tap out the existing cups & insert cartridge bearings (size to be determined on a case-by-case basis) & use another axle + retainers ...

    But, realistically, 'no' for putting cartridge bearings (in case THAT was what you were inquiring about) in the old hub UNLESS you are in love with the hub because it will be easier-and-probably-cheaper to relace the rims onto another hub.
     
  8. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    GT, I like the way your astute advice comes couched in positive attitude.

    OP, try this. Take apart your hubs, clean everything with solvent, examine for parts that might need replacement, reassemble with fresh grease, exude pride in a job well done and money saved, and enjoy your ride.
     
  9. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    I have given the concept of "going cartridge" some thought. The bore in the hub which holds the cup is rarely the right size and it might not be safe to have a shop bore it out to a larger diameter. Look at mcmaster.com for some readily available cartridge bearings.

    They used to sell books on how to seal up a bike with felt washers but I have never seen one. Maybe at an older library they would have an old copy.
     
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