Sealed Cartridge Bearings

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by [email protected], Dec 23, 2005.

  1. I am a fan of hubs, headsets and BB that use sealed cartridge bearings.
    They are not that common most of the top range hubs etc use loose
    balls. I find the minimum maintainence and easy adjustablity of sealed
    cartridge bearings much easier to use and longer lasting.

    I had some bombproof Specialised hubs over 20 years ago that had the
    best seal in any hubs I have ever used and they say the cartridge
    bearings in my Schmidt dynamo hub will last 40 -50,000km before
    replacement.

    Up until recently Shimano Ultegra 1" headset had replaceable cartidge
    bearings, cheaper and easier to just replace them than the whole
    headset when worn out.

    I recently changed the front hub bearings in my mtn bike, pop the worn
    ones out, $20 for two new ones at the bearing shop and pop them in.

    Some high quality hubs such as Hope use such bearings.

    Why is it not more common?

    CC
     
    Tags:


  2. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > I am a fan of hubs, headsets and BB that use sealed cartridge bearings.
    > They are not that common most of the top range hubs etc use loose
    > balls.
    >
    > Why is it not more common?


    A few guesses:

    It's probably less profitable to buy in cartridge bearings than to
    stamp out cup & cone bearings that sell for as much or more.

    It's certainly less profitable to sell expensive parts that are
    indefinitely rebuildable than to sell similarly expensive parts that
    deteriorate irreparably over time and require more frequent
    replacement.

    Many bike shops and end users are mystified and/or intimidated by
    cartridge bearings and the procedures required to replace them.
    "Adjusting" cartridges like cup & cone bearings often results in their
    quick self-destruction, which deters further use.

    Using decent quality cartridge bearings throughout a product line would
    result in the cheap parts feeling exactly like the most expensive
    parts, and also displaying equal longevity. A cheap cup & cone hub
    (for example) feels noticeably different and deteriorates more quickly
    than an expensive one, and this helps encourage buyers to discriminate
    among different price levels and to "upgrade".

    Chalo Colina
     
  3. rs

    rs Guest

    Chalo's comments are well said. Sealed replaceable cartridge bearings make a
    lot of sense, which is why they are not more common.


    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    >
    >[email protected] wrote:
    >>
    >> I am a fan of hubs, headsets and BB that use sealed cartridge bearings.
    >> They are not that common most of the top range hubs etc use loose
    >> balls.
    >>
    >> Why is it not more common?

    >
    >A few guesses:
    >
    >It's probably less profitable to buy in cartridge bearings than to
    >stamp out cup & cone bearings that sell for as much or more.
    >
    >It's certainly less profitable to sell expensive parts that are
    >indefinitely rebuildable than to sell similarly expensive parts that
    >deteriorate irreparably over time and require more frequent
    >replacement.
    >
    >Many bike shops and end users are mystified and/or intimidated by
    >cartridge bearings and the procedures required to replace them.
    >"Adjusting" cartridges like cup & cone bearings often results in their
    >quick self-destruction, which deters further use.
    >
    >Using decent quality cartridge bearings throughout a product line would
    >result in the cheap parts feeling exactly like the most expensive
    >parts, and also displaying equal longevity. A cheap cup & cone hub
    >(for example) feels noticeably different and deteriorates more quickly
    >than an expensive one, and this helps encourage buyers to discriminate
    >among different price levels and to "upgrade".
    >
    >Chalo Colina
    >
     
  4. [email protected] wrote:
    > I am a fan of hubs, headsets and BB that use sealed cartridge bearings.
    > They are not that common most of the top range hubs etc use loose
    > balls. I find the minimum maintainence and easy adjustablity of sealed
    > cartridge bearings much easier to use and longer lasting.
    >
    > I had some bombproof Specialised hubs over 20 years ago that had the
    > best seal in any hubs I have ever used and they say the cartridge
    > bearings in my Schmidt dynamo hub will last 40 -50,000km before
    > replacement.
    >
    > Up until recently Shimano Ultegra 1" headset had replaceable cartidge
    > bearings, cheaper and easier to just replace them than the whole
    > headset when worn out.
    >
    > I recently changed the front hub bearings in my mtn bike, pop the worn
    > ones out, $20 for two new ones at the bearing shop and pop them in.
    >
    > Some high quality hubs such as Hope use such bearings.
    >
    > Why is it not more common?


    Cup and cone bearings can take axial loads a bit better. They're also
    more easily serviceable with basic tools, whereas with cartridge
    bearings you need to obtain the correct type and the tools to fit them,
    which is tricky in the wilds of Nepal.

    Small-scale manufacturers don't normally have the machines to grind
    cup-and-cone bearing surfaces; this is restricted to high volume
    manufacturers, either quality like Shimano and Campag, or crapola like
    the stuff you get on kids' bikes and department store specials.

    I don't believe that cartridge/cup and cone is any indicator of quality,
    though. Crap bikes have both types, and so do good bikes.
     
  5. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    Zog The Undeniable wrote:
    >
    > Cup and cone bearings can take axial loads a bit better. They're also
    > more easily serviceable with basic tools, whereas with cartridge
    > bearings you need to obtain the correct type and the tools to fit them,
    > which is tricky in the wilds of Nepal.


    See my earlier comment about many people being mystified by cartridge
    bearings. To service and adjust a cup & cone hub, you'll at least need
    cone wrenches, but for many cartridge bearing hubs you can get away
    with just a couple of adjustable wrenches and a mallet (sometimes
    skipping the mallet). Phil Wood hubs can be serviced with just a pair
    of 5mm hex keys.

    If you're trekking Nepal (and don't we all?) then it's probably a good
    idea to tote a spare set of bearings with you. But they will take up
    less space in your panniers than the cone wrenches you'd need to adjust
    the bearings in cup & cone hubs-- which need occasional adjusting,
    while cartridge hubs generally don't. It's also worth noting that
    you'll have an easier time finding 6001 bearing cartridges in Kathmandu
    than you will XTR drive side rear cones, for example. Precision
    bearing cartridges are used in electric motors, which are used in lots
    of things.

    > I don't believe that cartridge/cup and cone is any indicator of quality,
    > though. Crap bikes have both types, and so do good bikes.


    I've never seen a cartridge bearing in a department store BSO. And
    I've never seen a set of cartridge bearing hubs in an OEM bike arrive
    from the manufacturer grossly overtightened like practically all cheap
    cup & cone hubs. It's true that some cartridge bearing components are
    inexpensive, but most of them work as well as, or better than, their
    expensive cup & cone counterparts.

    To be fair, I have seen some pretty crummy-looking non-precision
    bearings fitted to trailers and adult trikes. But even those seem to
    last for the lifespans of their machines without replacement,
    adjustment, or even supplementary lubrication.

    Chalo Colina
     
  6. Chalo wrote:
    > Zog The Undeniable wrote:
    >>
    >> Cup and cone bearings can take axial loads a bit better. They're
    >> also more easily serviceable with basic tools, whereas with cartridge
    >> bearings you need to obtain the correct type and the tools to fit
    >> them, which is tricky in the wilds of Nepal.

    >
    > See my earlier comment about many people being mystified by cartridge
    > bearings. To service and adjust a cup & cone hub, you'll at least
    > need cone wrenches, but for many cartridge bearing hubs you can get
    > away with just a couple of adjustable wrenches and a mallet (sometimes
    > skipping the mallet).


    Could you explain the procedure to this one? How can you push the bearing
    out without a fluted-end shaft like on the Park headset cup remover, or a
    bearing puller?

    --
    Phil, Squid-in-Training
     
  7. Dave Mayer

    Dave Mayer Guest

    CC: truth below:

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I am a fan of hubs, headsets and BB that use sealed cartridge bearings.
    > They are not that common most of the top range hubs etc use loose
    > balls. I find the minimum maintainence and easy adjustablity of sealed
    > cartridge bearings much easier to use and longer lasting.


    The top-end hubs like Campagnolo Record, Shimano Dura-Ace and XTR used
    sealed cup and cone bearings. These manufacterers do this because it is a
    superior design that handles lateral loads well (as in the force of the
    quick release). The small fry hub makers depend on cartridge bearings
    because they cannot afford the tooling to mass-produce custom-made forged
    parts, such as cones and cups. As far as sealing, the mid-range + Shimano
    hubs are sealed very well indeed, and will outlast the high-priced bouthique
    junk. Most cartridge bearing hubs are poorly sealed, as a single rubber
    gasket exposed to the environment is guaranteed to let water in.

    >
    > I had some bombproof Specialised hubs over 20 years ago that had the
    > best seal in any hubs I have ever used and they say the cartridge
    > bearings in my Schmidt dynamo hub will last 40 -50,000km before
    > replacement.
    >

    These were made by Sanshin, and were the same as the Suntour hubs of the
    same era. This was one of the best implementations of a cartridge bearing
    hub, but I have destroyed two of them. One due to an ovalized hub shell in
    which the cartridge bearing would no longer seat correctly, and another in
    which the cartridge bearing corroded into the shell, and would not come when
    it needed replacement. As far as longevity, I recently sold my old wheels
    that used 1972 Campagnolo Tipo hubs. These hubs were on their 4th set of
    rims - no impacts, the rims just wore out from '000's of miles of braking.
    Original cones, cups and bearings.

    > Up until recently Shimano Ultegra 1" headset had replaceable cartidge
    > bearings, cheaper and easier to just replace them than the whole
    > headset when worn out.


    The current generation of Shimano headsets uses angular contact cartridges
    not for ease of replacement, but to allow a design that avoids brinelling,
    which kills most headsets. And to allow the bearings to float within the
    cups - which allows this headset to accomodate poorly faced headtubes. A
    brilliant design. Best headset ever.
    >
    > I recently changed the front hub bearings in my mtn bike, pop the worn
    > ones out, $20 for two new ones at the bearing shop and pop them in.


    Sure, if you can find these. I spent several hours and 5 bike shops the
    last time I tried to find standard-issue 6001 cartridge replacments. And
    the shop wanted $25 for a pair of cartridge bearings that you should be able
    to source wholesale for $3. If you were willing to order 1000....

    In contrast, when you have a problem with a Shimano hub your options are
    open with respect to replacement parts. Generally bearings and cones are
    the things to need replacment. If I need parts, I scavenge from other hubs
    left behind by folks who destroyed their rims, and left everything behind at
    the shop. Most shops will have buckets of replacement parts. And as a last
    resort, stuff can be catalogue ordered. I inherited a thrashed set of
    Campagnolo wheels last year. The owner must have been using these for
    underwater bicycle polo. Without rebuilding the wheel, I was able to
    replace the cones, the balls and even the cups. Knocking out the cups was
    as difficult as removing cartridge bearings - same tool. I used replacement
    cups from a cheap set of Shimano hubs - almost all old-style hubs have the
    same cup dimensions.
    >
    > Some high quality hubs such as Hope use such bearings.


    I've got some Hope hubs. And SRAM, Specialized, Suntour, Sanshin, Ringle,
    Syncros, Hugi, WTB and a bunch of others. They sit in boxes because $25
    Shimano hubs are better made, and will last longer.
    >
    > Why is it not more common?
    >
    > CC
    >

    Because they are a poor design and flogged by hand-to-mouth manufacturers.
    These hubs are inexplicably supported by elitists that think that uncommon
    or expensive stuff is always better, or are running some vindictive crusade
    against Shimano. Sometimes big manufacturers with market power just make
    good stuff.
     
  8. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    >>Zog The Undeniable wrote:
    >>>Cup and cone bearings can take axial loads a bit better. They're
    >>>also more easily serviceable with basic tools, whereas with cartridge
    >>>bearings you need to obtain the correct type and the tools to fit
    >>>them, which is tricky in the wilds of Nepal.


    > Chalo wrote:
    >>See my earlier comment about many people being mystified by cartridge
    >>bearings. To service and adjust a cup & cone hub, you'll at least
    >>need cone wrenches, but for many cartridge bearing hubs you can get
    >>away with just a couple of adjustable wrenches and a mallet (sometimes
    >>skipping the mallet).


    Phil, Squid-in-Training wrote:
    > Could you explain the procedure to this one? How can you push the bearing
    > out without a fluted-end shaft like on the Park headset cup remover, or a
    > bearing puller?


    Chalo's right on. Remove an end nut and whack the axle.

    --
    Andrew Muzi
    www.yellowjersey.org
    Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
  9. JeffWills

    JeffWills Guest

    Dave Mayer wrote:
    <snip>
    >
    > Sure, if you can find these. I spent several hours and 5 bike shops the
    > last time I tried to find standard-issue 6001 cartridge replacments. And
    > the shop wanted $25 for a pair of cartridge bearings that you should be able
    > to source wholesale for $3. If you were willing to order 1000....
    >


    Next time, look in the Yellow Pages under "bearings". Most medium-size
    cities have an industrial bearing supplier. If that's too tough, take
    your 6001 bearing to the nearest auto parts store- many automotive
    alternators use standard-size sealed cartridge bearings. I'd bet
    there's 5 auto parts stores for each bike shop.

    Jeff
     
  10. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    Dave Mayer wrote:
    >
    > I spent several hours and 5 bike shops the
    > last time I tried to find standard-issue 6001 cartridge replacments. And
    > the shop wanted $25 for a pair of cartridge bearings that you should be able
    > to source wholesale for $3. If you were willing to order 1000....


    How 'bout ten for a buck apiece?

    http://www.vxb.com/page/bearings/PROD/MBB/Kit682

    Cartridge bearings are easier to find, and cheaper to buy, than hub
    cones. Replace them, and a hub runs like new-- unlike some warmed-over
    piece of Shimano junk with pitted cups and replacement cones that cost
    $50 per set.

    http://harriscyclery.net/site/page.cfm?PageID=49&SKU=HU3561
    http://harriscyclery.net/site/page.cfm?PageID=49&SKU=HU3562

    Chalo Colina
     
  11. Chalo wrote:

    > It's certainly less profitable to sell expensive parts that are
    > indefinitely rebuildable than to sell similarly expensive parts that
    > deteriorate irreparably over time and require more frequent
    > replacement.


    Bearings of both types will last as long as you care to use them
    with sufficient maintenance.

    I own cup and cone Campagnolo hubs from the '70's that still
    work perfectly with the original cups and cones and I have
    cartridge bearing hubs (Bullseye) from the '80's that still spin
    smoothly on their original cartridges.

    I overhaul them when necessary. I clean and regrease the cup
    and cone bearnings the typical way; to overhaul the cartridges
    I carefully pry the seal off with the tip of a knife, clean with
    solvent, then repack with grease and press the seal back on.
    I suppose I could be lazy and replace the cartridges rather than
    overhaul them. I have some old SunTour sealed bearing hubs
    and while better sealed than the Bullseyes they are a PITA to
    overhaul so I never rode them much; also the SunTour axles
    seem to be a rather odd threading so it always takes a lot of
    searching for the right one whenever I need a new axle. The
    axles in Bullseye hubs are indestructable so they never need
    replacement.
     
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