15. How to Overhaul Wheel Bearings

Overhaul a hub, replace and grease the wheel bearings, and adjust the cones.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Overhaul Wheel Bearings
DVD Vol. 1 DVD Volume 1
This video is available on DVD

This tutorial will demonstrate how to grease your wheel bearings. For this job you'll need some rags, waterproof grease, and a 17mm open-end wrench. You'll also need a 13mm cone wrench for a front hub, and a 15mm cone wrench for a rear hub. When overhauling a hub, you should always replace the ball bearings. Most front hubs need 10 3/16" bearings per side, while rear hubs usually need 9 1/4" bearings.

Dis-Assemble Hub

If you're overhauling the rear hub, you'll need to remove the cassette or freewheel before you begin. Carefully remove any seals that may be protecting the cone and locknut.

Place the wheel on its side and slide a cone wrench onto the cone flats, and then loosen the left, or non-drive side locknut by turning it counter-clockwise against the cone wrench. Completely un-thread and remove the cone and locknut, and then slide the axle out from the right side of the hub.

Clean Hub Parts

Clean all of the old grease off of the axle and cones and remove all of the bearings from both sides, making sure to count how many you take out. Then clean the inside of the hub and carefully inspect both the cones and the inner bearing races. If there is any damage such as pitting then the cone and/or hub should be replaced.

Grease Hub and Bearings

Apply a generous layer of grease to both of the hub's bearing races. Then carefully insert all of the new bearings by pushing them down in the grease. When all of the bearings are installed, there should be about half a bearing space left. Cover all of the bearings with a layer of grease and lightly grease the axle threads.

Re-Assemble Hub

Once the bearings are installed on both sides, carefully slide the axle into hub, making sure the bearings stay in place. Thread the left side cone, washer (if any) and locknut all the way on finger tight.

Adjust Cone and Locknut

Now lay the wheel back on its side and place the cone wrench on the cone. Tighten the locknut against the cone and check to make sure there is no play in the hub, and that the wheel spins freely. You may have to loosen the locknut and repeat the procedure many times before it is correct. Quick release mechanisms tighten the cones slightly, so if you have a quick release axle, you'll have to leave a slight bit of play in the hub.

Re-install any seals and then put the wheel back on your bike. Finally, check the adjustment again by moving the wheel side to side at the rim. Again, there shouldn't be play in the wheel, and it should spin smoothly.

Tags

Related Links

Discuss this topic in the Wheel Forums

06/30 How to choose the correct rim tape for my wheel?

Hi guys

Can anyone tell me how to choose the correct rim tape width for my wheel/rim? My wheel has an inside rim width of approx. 19mm. Would an 18mm wide rim tape thus be the ideal size for my wheel?

Thank you... Read more >>

06/20 Will this work on 20" rim?



Untitled

I want to buy a electric conversion kit for my bike but the smallest rear wheel that they supply is a 26"
rim. I asked if they can supply a 20" rim with spokes and the fella said he just sells them he dose not know if that is possible. If I do buy the 26" rear wheel can I change the rim and spokes for a 20" one?
and what size spokes would I need?
... Read more >>

04/14 Replacement axle for Ritchey V4 or V5 hub

I need to replace the axle on Ritchey hub that is part of a set of Pro DS wheels. Based on the hub ID document http://ritcheylogic.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Ritchey-HUB-ID-Sheet-20140121.pdf, I believe that it is V4 or V5 hub. It doesn't precisely match any of the pictures. It has a Shimano-compatible freehub.

Would this axle kit work? http://www.amazon.com/Ritchey-WCS-Roa... Read more >>

04/14 40 hole hub into a 36 hole rim?

G'day all,
Probably a dumb question but here goes anyway
I have a rear wheel from a 1940's bike I'm rebuilding that has a 40 hole coaster brake hub, but the rim is rusted out. I want to know if it is possible to re-fit this hub into a 36 hole rim (I guess leaving 2 holes empty on each side). I would like to re-use this hub if possible but have no 40 hole rims. Any advice/opinions would be great! (I'll probably try it anyway just to see what happens...!!)

Cheers!... Read more >>

03/30 Is it possible to fit a hybrid wheel on a racking bike frame?

Hi guys

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to fit a hybrid rear wheel on a racing bike frame seeing that both hybrid and racing bike wheels have the same bead seat diameter?

Thank you... Read more >>

03/27 29er tyre on 700c wheel?

Hey guys

What size 29er tyre can I run on a 700c wheel with an inside rim width of 19mm? Would a 29" x 2.3 tyre be too wide or would it just about work ok?

Thank you

Ibie... Read more >>

03/23 Corrosion on rims... Repair?

Hey guys,
Have a set of MTB wheels that the rims(aluminum) have some corrosion around where the spokes fasten(nipples). It has a chalky white residue that seems to creep under the existing paint and makes the paint peel off.
What is the best way to clean them up and get them ready for a couple coats of paint?
Thanks !!! ... Read more >>

03/04 This question again?

so my new bike will be here soon and I want to swap out my 15mm nuts up front for a quick release. not sure which yet..... might go for XT as I hear good things about them. i'll be getting a redline monocog, 29er SS. i'm an able tinkerer but just getting a bike tool kit together to take on more of my own repairs. pictures are encouraged as i'm new to all this. thanks all.


also, how do I change things in my .... uuummmmmm........ I don't know what you call it. I want to put up a picture of myself and stuff....

ok, figured out the second half. now, back to the first hal... Read more >>

02/28 Old Normandy Hubs

I don't believe I've posted this before....
By dating parts, I know the approximate age of Peugeot... 
Front Normandy Hub made in 50th week of 1979, and rear Hub made in first week of 1980.

Trying same on Gitane Mixte that we believe is 1970-ish, with same Normandy Hubs and I hit a brick wall...
Stamped Normady, but that's it...

Searching on Internet for Normandy hubs I see only date code info as what I find on Peugeot.

Anybody hear of any other Date Codes on  Normady hubs?

Every now and then I try (again) to date code th... Read more >>

02/28 Replace rims?

Hi
have just watched the video on replacing rims.  Just wondering what the indicators would be that you needed new rims.  The video gave no info on this.  Just curious.
Thanks
Colleen... Read more >>

02/27 Hub question from complete novice

I'll preface this by saying I know very little about bike maintenance.

I recently bought a new bike, Vilano's generic, entry level 21 speed. I'd hoped to find a good deal on a used bike on Craigslist, but quickly realized I didn't have the bike knowledge to do that. The Vilano had good reviews for my price range, but I realize that, to an extent, you get what you pay for, too.

I got the bike yesterday and started to do some prep maintenance. I know I could've had a bike shop do everything for a reasonable price, but I like figuring stuff out and doing my own maintenan... Read more >>

01/22 Wheel Dishing

Is the rear wheel on a bike properly dished if the rim is equally distant from the frame? I trued my rear wheel a little today, and I'm wondering if I need to go any further to check if it's centered than measuring the distance between the rim and the frame on either side of the wheel.... Read more >>

01/21 Wheel not turning when I pedal

Hi. Riding in sub zero temps here and my rear brake has seized for the last three days heading to work but today I started off pedalling but after about 100m my pedals no longer moved the rear wheel. I had a major service a few months back where all cranks, chains etc were replaced. Could it just be the cold that is preventing me moving and if so what can I do to cure it.

Sitting sadly on the bus commute as I type.... Read more >>

01/19 Spoke protectors?

I need a couple spoke protectors for a 70+ mm hub. I see some listed on e-bay, but they are the smaller hub spoke protectors.
Can anyone tell me where to find the bigger hub spoke protectors ??... and how do they measure for them ??
Thanks... Read more >>

01/18 Help overhauling hub

Hi I need help. I'm rebuilding my bike ready for spring and noticed my rear wheel bearings needed changing so took cones off removed. Axel and the non driver side bearing and cassette and I'm struggling to get the other side bearing out I have tried Everything possible they are sealed bearings any help would be great I can post pictures if needed.... Read more >>

New Thread
How to Overhaul Wheel Bearings
Repair Guide / Help Forums

Free Email Updates: