How Many Times Does It Take You To Get The Hub Bearings Just Right?

Lovacott

Über Member
I've just put new bearings in my rear hub and I counted how many times I went through the process of pinching up the locknut before I got the bearing tension just right.

27 times in total (I was getting really pissed off by attempt number ten and I was contemplating becoming a serial killer by attempt number twenty).

I was nearly there on the second attempt but there was a very tiny rattle in the spindle which made me unhappy so I started again.

The best I've ever managed on any bike is three attempts.

Maybe my bearing replacement technique is not that great?
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Once. Sorry. Got it to a tea. Set cup and cone with a very slight amount of play, then they nip up tight when the QR is done up
 
OP
Lovacott

Lovacott

Über Member
Once. Sorry. Got it to a tea. Set cup and cone with a very slight amount of play, then they nip up tight when the QR is done up
I don't understand?

When you do up the QR, you are applying pressure on the spindle lock nuts rather than the bearings themselves.
 

Ming the Merciless

There is no mercy
Location
Inside my skull
As above, once is enough.
I don't understand?

When you do up the QR, you are applying pressure on the spindle lock nuts rather than the bearings themselves.
Quick-release hubs have hollow axles that flex slightly when the quick-release is closed. Hub bearing adjustments must account for this extra pressure. When a quick-release hub is not clamped tight in the frame, there should be a slight amount of play in the axle. This play disappears when the hub and wheel are clamped in the frame.
 
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Lovacott

Lovacott

Über Member
Quick-release hubs have hollow axles that flex slightly when the quick-release is closed. Hub bearing adjustments must account for this extra pressure. When a quick-release hub is not clamped tight in the frame, there should be a slight amount of play in the axle. This play disappears when the hub and wheel are clamped in the frame.
OK. Got it.

My MTB spindle is not QR so I have to get it bang on before I re-seat the wheel.

The bearings are only a problem for me because I reckon my rear wheel cone faces are not exactly true.
 
Hollow QR axles are under compression, solid axles are under tension, just enough to make a difference. As you apply the qr skewer the cones get closer together so you leave a tiny amount of slack in the bearings.

How many times? It depends on the grade of bearings and any deformations in the cups and cones and on the cone fairy.
 

Ming the Merciless

There is no mercy
Location
Inside my skull
Ham fisted strikes again 😉
 
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Lovacott

Lovacott

Über Member
probably around 5 on average, sometimes a bit more.
Very satisfying when it's done though and I would rather do it than use cartridge bearings.
Sometimes the old ways are the best.
I wonder if my issues with the Apollo are borne of the fact that it runs a freewheel rather than a cassette?

Because it has 7 cogs, the drive side bearing is sat further away from the dropout on a section of the spindle which must flex under load. Surely this must increase the wear rate on the drive side bearings?

7 speed is about the limit for a freewheel with everything wider seeming to be a cassette.
 
Location
London
I wonder if my issues with the Apollo are borne of the fact that it runs a freewheel rather than a cassette?

Because it has 7 cogs, the drive side bearing is sat further away from the dropout on a section of the spindle which must flex under load. Surely this must increase the wear rate on the drive side bearings?

7 speed is about the limit for a freewheel with everything wider seeming to be a cassette.
I personally have no idea - over to others - I know nothing about freewheels.
 
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Lovacott

Lovacott

Über Member
I personally have no idea - over to others - I know nothing about freewheels.
The Boardman I've just bought has a cassette (11 cogs) and it's the first cassette drive I've ever owned.

The bearings on the drive side are pretty close to the dropout because the hub itself is the freewheel with the cassette simply sliding over it.

The MTB is a freewheel.

The picture below shows the difference in bearing location between freehub and freewheel.

1615103271373.png
 
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