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Old 09-16-05, 08:51 PM   #1
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Possible to put caged bearings in Shimano Hubs?

Shimano seems to like loose bearings in their hubs. Loose bearings are inherently less efficient than caged bearings because the bearings tend to crash into each other and that's why you hear that clicking noise. Has anybody tried replacing the loose balls with caged bearings with any success? Just wondering because that clicking makes me squirm when I think about the ground and plated races and cones and the fancy #25 balls grinding each other.
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Old 09-16-05, 09:08 PM   #2
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Duno where you heard that,but the smart money seems to be on loose balls in HS and BB,so it should apply to hubs. Maybe you ought to offer your services as a design engineer to Shimano and Campy.

Last edited by sydney; 09-16-05 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 09-16-05, 09:29 PM   #3
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Campy is what you feel when you want to go camping.
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Old 09-16-05, 09:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abm1213
Shimano seems to like loose bearings in their hubs. Loose bearings are inherently less efficient than caged bearings because the bearings tend to crash into each other and that's why you hear that clicking noise. Has anybody tried replacing the loose balls with caged bearings with any success? Just wondering because that clicking makes me squirm when I think about the ground and plated races and cones and the fancy #25 balls grinding each other.
I hate that noise too, but not for the same reason...I just hate the noise.

My understanding is that there is nothing that can be done. Ball seperator cages won't fit inside the hubs either.

Try some heavier grease such as waterproof maring grease. It's thick enough to reduce the racket which was my reason for trying it.

Good luck.

Ed
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Old 09-17-05, 12:02 AM   #5
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Instead of touching each other at one small point like with loose bearings, what do you think the balls in a cage are rubbing up against? The contact area with a cage is much, much larger... more friction... Also with caged bearings, you have fewer bearings, so each one will have higher pressure at their contact point for the same load (compared to a higher number of loose bearings). This will result in increased wear.

If you hear clicking in the bearings, maybe it's time to grease them... The blue boat-trailer bearing grease works really well to quiet any bearing noises.
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Old 09-17-05, 07:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abm1213
Loose bearings are inherently less efficient than caged bearings because the bearings tend to crash into each other and that's why you hear that clicking noise.
Clicking noise from hub bearings? I don't think so.
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Old 09-17-05, 07:35 AM   #7
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^^^^....You just aren't smoking enough carpet.
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Old 09-17-05, 07:45 AM   #8
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^^^^....You just aren't smoking enough carpet.
That ain't it. I just think that some guys have wasted too much time reading books and going to school that would have been better spent riding their bikes.
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Old 09-17-05, 08:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Clicking noise from hub bearings? I don't think so.
I agree - I don't think I've ever heard clicking noise from loose hub (or any) bearings.
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Old 09-17-05, 08:16 AM   #10
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^^^... had your ear down by the hub at 30mph? Disclaimer: this could result in serious injury or death.

Last edited by sydney; 09-17-05 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 09-17-05, 08:24 AM   #11
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Tough crowd. Pay attention to those who suggest bearing grease. You want to overhaul your hubs and, perhaps, replace the ball bearings prior to greasing.
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Old 09-17-05, 08:36 AM   #12
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Actually, I was led to believe that caged bearings are inferior to loose ball in every respect. Apparently, they are only used because they make assembly, esp. robotic assembly easier. Some guys replace the cage for this reason with loose balls in new headsets etc.
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Old 09-17-05, 09:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
That ain't it. I just think that some guys have wasted too much time reading books and going to school that would have been better spent riding their bikes.
With all due respect, you are wrong my friend. The loose balls "fall over the top" when the axle is turned thus leading to the click noise. This noise is fairly faint but is clearly audible if you tune your hearing for it.

I've spent quite a bit of time working on a particularly noisy Dura Ace 7700 rear hub. Fresh marine grease quiets that bad boy right down...for a while. I also have a brand new in the box 7700 rear hub that will make the same noise when turning the axle by hand.


No hemp smoking going on here. Maybe you are the one...
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Old 09-17-05, 09:27 AM   #14
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I would rather have more bearings per race any day than big heavy bearing cages which are nothing but dead weight. (like a kick stand.) I've always used white lithium grease but i'll have to try that marine stuff they keep talking about. Bearing cages are like spoke guards, a waste.
Just think how smooth the hubs will be with free bearings and great grease!! Best place for free bearings, in the bottom bracket.
Keep on Biking!
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Old 09-17-05, 09:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nessism
With all due respect, you are wrong my friend. The loose balls "fall over the top" when the axle is turned thus leading to the click noise. This noise is fairly faint but is clearly audible if you tune your hearing for it.

I've spent quite a bit of time working on a particularly noisy Dura Ace 7700 rear hub. Fresh marine grease quiets that bad boy right down...for a while. I also have a brand new in the box 7700 rear hub that will make the same noise when turning the axle by hand.


No hemp smoking going on here. Maybe you are the one...
You sure you aren't short a bearing? I've heard of shimano front hub that seemed to be lacking one.
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Old 09-17-05, 12:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydney
You sure you aren't short a bearing? I've heard of shimano front hub that seemed to be lacking one.
Nope, I've heard it on brand new wheels, popped 'em open and counted. There's sometimes a little space between the bearings, just enough to faintly hear the click when properly adjusted but not enough to come anywhere near fitting another ball in there. Drove me crazy the first time I went to adjust a brand new hub and I hear this clicking as it rotates, even though there's no play in the axle.
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Old 09-17-05, 01:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nessism
With all due respect, you are wrong my friend. The loose balls "fall over the top" when the axle is turned thus leading to the click noise. This noise is fairly faint but is clearly audible if you tune your hearing for it.

I've spent quite a bit of time working on a particularly noisy Dura Ace 7700 rear hub. Fresh marine grease quiets that bad boy right down...for a while. I also have a brand new in the box 7700 rear hub that will make the same noise when turning the axle by hand.


No hemp smoking going on here. Maybe you are the one...
Well, lets think about what's happening here. You've got some number of balls that are as close to the same size as modern manufacturing methods will allow separating a cup on the hub shell from a cone on the axle. For the balls to run into each other, some of them are going to have to be rolling faster than others. "Splain to me how that happens.
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Old 09-17-05, 01:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Well, lets think about what's happening here. You've got some number of balls that are as close to the same size as modern manufacturing methods will allow separating a cup on the hub shell from a cone on the axle. For the balls to run into each other, some of them are going to have to be rolling faster than others. "Splain to me how that happens.
Because modern manufacturing is never as perfect as a pure mathematical idea, especially when shortcuts are taken for cost/benefit reasons. And also because perfectly machined bearings in perfectly machined races that fit perfectly together leave no room for grease, another necessary ingredient for perfectly smooth rolling hubs. There's ALWAYS at least the tiniest bit of space.
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Old 09-17-05, 03:24 PM   #19
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Dura Ace front hubs use 11 3/16" bearing balls, not the 10 used in most other front hubs. If you are hearing clicking, maybe you put in 10.

Caged bearings have NO advantage over loose balls except for ease of assembly.

I've rebuilt dozens of loose bearing hubs from the cheap Sun Tour and Maillard up to Dura Ace. None of them have ever clicked when spun.
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Old 09-17-05, 07:53 PM   #20
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Maybe he's putting in like 7 balls per side.
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