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Old 01-04-06, 11:02 AM   #1
TallRider
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overhauling bearing cartridges in a modern headset?

For a threaded 1" headset with cartridge bearings (so, this should apply to other sizes, and threadless as well), is it worth cleaning out excess grease inside the cups and the stuff hanging around the cartridges, then adding new grease? Also, is there any good to be accomplished in dunking the cartridges in degreaser, and then regreasing them somehow? I don't think that this second step would help much, as it might remove grease but really wouldn't get any dirt out of the bearings if any dirt had gotten in. Plus, regreasing the cartridges isn't an easy or nice thing to do.
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Old 01-04-06, 11:53 AM   #2
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I think that they were designed to be chucked when done. Grease the cups to keep water out.
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Old 01-04-06, 11:57 AM   #3
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Cartridge bearings generally are disposable, and in theory come pre-greased. I do always clean out the cups and apply a thin film of grease to prevent moisture from settling as the previous poster suggested.
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Old 01-04-06, 12:03 PM   #4
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Okay, yeah, that's what I've done in the past. I suppose you can get new cartridges pretty cheap if necessary, too. Which I've not needed to do (on road bike with lizard skins external seal on lower race).
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Old 01-04-06, 12:35 PM   #5
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To answer your original question, it's not a bad idea to carefully pop the seals off of an old cartridge and smoosh some new grease in there. If it's just dirty (and the races aren't pitted), clean grease can add a lot of life to the bearing. New cartridges tend to be cheap, but they can also be hard to find, since most shops can't stock every size.

Once the seals are off, cartridge bearings are fairly easy to clean out. Make sure you blast them with compressed air when you're done to make sure all of the solvent is gone before you put grease back in.
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Old 01-04-06, 03:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by white lobster
To answer your original question, it's not a bad idea to carefully pop the seals off of an old cartridge and smoosh some new grease in there. If it's just dirty (and the races aren't pitted), clean grease can add a lot of life to the bearing. New cartridges tend to be cheap, but they can also be hard to find, since most shops can't stock every size.

Once the seals are off, cartridge bearings are fairly easy to clean out. Make sure you blast them with compressed air when you're done to make sure all of the solvent is gone before you put grease back in.
This guy knows what he is talking about.

I service cartridge bearings all the time, Chris Kings seals appear to be designed to be removable.In fact, the service interval for cartridge bearings is the same as for cup and cone bearings, 3,000 miles in dry conditions, 1,500 miles in wet conditions. I like to use White Lightning Clean Streak to degrease the bearings becuase it dries very quick and doesn't leave a residue. Just be careful that you don't distort the seal when removing them.
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