15. How to Overhaul Wheel Bearings
Overhaul a hub, replace and grease the wheel bearings, and adjust the cones.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The rim width of my 700c wheels is 25mm. I am therefore assuming these are hybrid wheels and require thicker tyres. Can anyone advise me whats the thinnest tyres I can fit onto my wheels?
Ibie... Read more >>
I currently got a 7 speed road and looking to replace the wheels for a new set. Although my bike is a 7 speed can I fit 8/9 wheel-sets?? And how do I go about doing this??... Read more >>
I have to replace the Shimano freehub body on my 2011 GT Aggressor XC2 hard tail mountain bike, which has a 9 speed casset. However, I can't workout from all the on-line shops such as ChainReaction which specific 9 speed Shimano model I need, as there seems to load of slightly diffrently models, or at least they have slighty diffrent reference numbers. If I purchase any Shimano 9 speed mountain bike specific freehub will this be interchangable with the one I currenty have on my GT, or do I have to purchase a very specific Shimano 9 speed freehub?... Read more >>
I posted earlier about wanting new 700c wheels and was suggested to build my own. After watching a few videos and reading up on wheel building from Sheldon Brown I decided I am up to the challenge .
I am basically trying to reproduce these wheels: http://www.amazon.com/Mavic-Tiagra-A319-Road-Wheel/dp/B0030KXEUA/
I have deci... Read more >>
I took apart the hub/axel/cones/bearings etc... on an old cheap mountain bike wheel , cleaned , re-greaced the bearings/cones with lithium greace and re-assembled ; It all worked ok on the bike however , the bike is making a small creaking noise when im riding ( more noticeable when going slowly and sounds like its comming from the back wheel ) It doesn't make the noise when spinning the wheel with no rider and i have checked for possible causes but can't see anything ( It's not the seat post ) . Please can anyone suggest a cause/help ? Im thinking the bearings need replacing ?... Read more >>
So, I own a 21 speed Northwoods Safari handed down from my uncle. I know very little about bikes, so it was very inconvenient to me when some tool threw it down a hill and screwed up both wheels.
Price is no object, as the aforementioned tool will be expelled from my college if he doesn't pay up. I've tried googling and browsing forums, but I can't seem to find a direct answer to my question:
What replacement wheels should I buy for my bike?
The only facts I know for sure about it for sure are that it's a 21 speed ... Read more >>
Hey guys I got a question I was pending up a hill and all of a sudden I heard a clunk and my back tire was rubbing on the bike frame I think the rim is bent Cruz when I spin it by hand the wheel wobbles so I fixed it and the same thing happened again but worse please help... Read more >>
I have been wandering why I was breaking spokes, left and right, everytime just about, I went riding. Thought it was my big butt, but I think I have figured out why I'm replacing the 7th broken spoke on the drive side of my back wheel.
I replaced the spoke after removing the cassette and then replaced the cassette and noticed that the cassette was grabbing when pedaling backwards and the chain going slack. Upon closer inspection I noticed that the wheel was grabbing at a certain point when spinning causing the spokes to break on the drive side. Thought it was the axle bea... Read more >>
I got a new rear wheel and fitted my freewheel to it after I cleaned it up. Everything spins beautifully. But before I fitted the wheel on to the bike frame I thought I should tighten a nut on each side to the hub. These nuts came with the wheel in addition to the chrome outside tighteners. (The wheel is not quick release) Then I put the new wheel on and started to align it. Suddenly the hub is almost frozen. Wheel barely turns. Ouch. I removed those nuts which must have been for the outside of the bolt not meant to be snug to the hub. I checked the ball bearings and they were well greased. B... Read more >>
I just changed the bearing balls in my front hub with 3/16" Grade 10 bearing balls that I located. I noticed a remarkable improvement (in my mind, at least!) from the existing balls. Do you think that this is just because the old bearings were remarkably dirty or do the Grade 10 balls make that much difference? Is this over kill? (Grade 100 or even grade 25 are less expensive and more readily available!) Thanks for your input!... Read more >>
Hello. I just purchased a used Schwinn 700c Women's Pathway Bike and was told the front wheel is slightly bent. I went to a bike shop that might fix the rim and do a once over all fix-up on the bike (just what is necessary fixing/cleaning up). I was told that the wheel cannot be fix, needs to be replaced. I am not looking to invest too much into a used bike that may be on the lower end of the Schwinn lines, but it seems as though I'll need to replace the front wheel. I have not been able to find an exact match of this Schwinn Pathway wheel, where might I be able to find this wheel?
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I have a Miyata American with original derailleur and shifters and brakes (not pads).
Currently they have 700c's, and the center-pulls had enough room to adjust and work.
However, in my ignorance, I listened to a wonky-volunteer at a local bike co-op who told me I needed to put a 7-speed cassette on my rearwheel, instead of keeping the old 5-speed. As you can imagine, that messed things up a bit. Rear wheel is all screwed, so rear brake has been disconnected.
This kind of brings me to my reason for posting.
I want to:... Read more >>
A while back, a bicycle repair man with 30 years experience was kind enough to give me some advice on truing my rear wheel. I'm trying to remember a detail of what he said. I cycle an "Escape 4" hybrid bicycle by Giant.
I believe he told me that you're not aiming for equal tension in the spokes of each side of the wheel. (Viewing a bike that is standing) the spokes need to be almost vertical on the side with the sprockets, while looser on the other side. When looking down on this wheel from above, this creates a half-diamond shape on the side without the spro... Read more >>
I have a new Surly Disk Trucker that I think may need an adjustment. When the front disk brake is engaged, the front wheel can still rock slightly (but noticeably) forward and backwards. I am sure the disk is not slipping and it seems to be movement in the hub. Does this require an adjustment? Any idea what the problem might be? Thanks for any ideas!
Sola... Read more >>
Hi there. I am rebuilding a Mk2 Raleigh Chopper. I bought a 28 spoke Sturmey Archer hub and have been struggling to find a 28 spoke rim to fit it. It seems as though most Choppers had 36 spokes. What is the correct hub size and are 28 spoke rims available ? Thanx... Read more >>