If they are sealed units there's not much you can do.Other than replace them as a unit.Easy to do though.Cup and cone are very simple to strip,clean regrease and re assemble.Plenty on youtube to help you.Being newish to cycling and at a pretty basic level of mechanical competance, how easy is it to strip down wheels to check and replace bearings?
Excellent instructions. The only thing I'd add would be to keep the bearings from each side separate, as they can wear at different rates. If you aren't going to put new bearings in as per Erbiste's excellent advice, then mixing up bearings from either side can make the newly greased and replenished bearings run lumpy, especially to the well tuned ear.I've just replaced the ball bearings in the cup and cone hub in my Boardman's rear wheel. It's a Mavic wheel with a 9 speed cassette.
Once the wheel is off, start by thoroughly cleaning every part of the wheel. Unscrew the skewer nut making sure not to lose the spring and slide the skewer out. Put the spring back on the skewer, right way round and lightly screw the nut back on so it doesn't get lost.
If you can, remove the cassette using the chain whip and socket adaptor. This will improve access and also allow you to properly clean the sprockets while you've got it off the hub. It is possible to do the bearings without taking the cassette off however.
Using the correct size spanners, undo the cone and nut on the none drive side. Note the order of assembly (mobile phone photo might be an idea)
Slide the axle down a little way so that you can extract the balls with a magnet on a stick, or needle nose pliers. There are 9 in my hubs each side. Put them in an old cup or other suitable solvent resistant vessel.
Leaving the drive side cone and nut assembled, slide the axle out, over a shallow tray if you're wise, to catch any balls that may fall out from the drive side. Winkle out the balls from this second side of the hub.
Very thoroughly clean all the components and inspect. The balls should be clean and shiny, as should the races, particularly in the hub.
If everything is in apple pie order, the used balls can go back in, but a new set is only £4 or thereabouts so we're going to put new ones in aren't we.
Put plenty of new grease into the hub race on the drive side. carefully install each ball in turn, using the grease as an "adhesive" to hold them in place. Reinstall the axle.
Turn the wheel over and pack the other hub race with new grease. Install the balls in this race. Screw the cone back onto the axle so that it makes light contact with the balls give the axle a good few twiddles to ensure the balls are seating nicely.
Put the locknut back on. Retighten the cone and locknut, but do not over tighten the cone into the bearings. The axle must spin freely but with no perceptible end float. It's a delicate adjustment, and may take some time to get just right, but must be done correctly.
Back in with the skewer, wheel back on the bike, and check that the wheel rotates freely without any grumbles or rocking at the rim.
As my fellow cyclists will tell you, plenty of youtube vids to watch before doing the job for real.
If you can take a dryer apart to do the spindle, then wheel bearings on a bike will be a diddle for you. Eribiste write up is really good. I try to use a lithium grease as it is a little more water resistantthanks Eribiste, the use of a mobile phone to take photos of how things are arranged is good advice above all else! Having taken apart my tumble dryer to change the drum spindle I would have been lost without taking photos of where certain wires were placed.
re ball bearings, any particular make to go for or are they fairly standard wherever you get them?
If you take the balls out of the cages you won't have enough, as the cages space the balls out...... They came assembled in steel cages and had to be removed from the cages before I could use them, .......
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