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Old 02-24-06, 02:41 PM   #1
TCR
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Bearings - are there different kinds? Where to buy?

I had this annoying sqeaking/creaking sound coming from the front end of my bike for the past couple weeks. I completely tore apart the headset, bars, stem, shifters, etc and regreased everything. Creaking still there! I finally figured out it was coming from the front hub. I've taken it apart and now have two rusty sealed bearings, end caps, and an axle sitting in front of me. Oh, by the way, the front wheel is a Velomax Tempest. The only thing the bearings have written on them is "china" and "R6RS".

Are there different types of bearings? Some better than others? I remember a conversation once about ceramic bearings, I think. Can I order these bearings online? I was trying not to go to my LBS but will if I have to.
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Old 02-24-06, 02:59 PM   #2
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I am not sure about the specific wheels you have and whether or not they have loose ball bearings/cup & cone or cartridge type of bearings. If they are the loose type I have had good experience ordering the balls from McMaster-Carr http://www.mcmaster.com/. If you search for steel ball and select chrome steel balls from the list it will bring up a wide range of sizes in Grade 25 E52100 steel balls. They are priced less than other sources I have seen. Delivery is great. Hope this applies to your situation.
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Old 02-24-06, 03:54 PM   #3
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Even if they're sealed cartridge bearings McMaster-Carr is still a good source if you have a caliper to take really good measurements. If not go to the LBS or maybe a local bearing company. We have a couple of bearing companies here that will sell to anyone even though they're really geared toward commercial customers. I would think any city would have the same. If you can find the right size in different grades get the highest number. Cart. bearings are graded ABEC-1 to ABEC-7. The higher the number the better the bearing.

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Old 02-25-06, 09:18 AM   #4
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Not sure exactly what kind you'd need, but just a couple more suggestions: www.loosescrews.com or www.philwood.com.
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Old 02-25-06, 09:53 AM   #5
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You've now discovered there is no such thing as a "sealed bearing".

Your best bet is to find a replacement by matching up something from a supplier like Mcmaster or MSC. Local shops can probably help you find replacements, but you'll pay more.
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Old 02-25-06, 11:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by soonerschwinn
... or maybe a local bearing company. We have a couple of bearing companies here that will sell to anyone even though they're really geared toward commercial customers. I would think any city would have the same. If you can find the right size in different grades get the highest number. Cart. bearings are graded ABEC-1 to ABEC-7. The higher the number the better the bearing.
Careful here, unless you have very high net worth or just won the lottery!
Many years ago I was going to race a downhill event on my rollerskates. I would be going up against some REALLY fast skateboarders. I went to the local bearing company and asked for their BEST 608 bearing. Thats the size of standard skate bearings. The gentleman went way and returned with a nice looking 608. Me; How much? Him;How many did you want? Me;Rollerskates require 16, so 16. Him; Let's see, normally $107.00, for that many, $79.00. That didn't seem so bad, skate shops were charging around $40-$50 for a set. Him; I'm sorry, that's EACH. EACH?!?!!! EACH??!!! That comes to over $1,200!!
Me; Why the **** do these cost $107.00 EACH??? Oh, they're made to withstand 20,000 lbs pressure at 20,000 rpm. Let's see that would be 4 Chevy Suburbans spinning at lightspeed.
OK, next question; What do you have that carries about 10 lbs and spins at say 5,000 rpm?
Whole set, about $90. Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it!
Thought I'd share that bearing experience w/y'all!!
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Old 02-25-06, 12:13 PM   #7
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Oh, they're made to withstand 20,000 lbs pressure at 20,000 rpm....
He forgot to mention that they are doing that at 600F too.

I find it very amusing when people talk about the "high demands" on bicycle bearings and try to justify ultra quality bearings and super premium lubricants. Now you know what high demands really are and bikes aren't it.
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Old 02-25-06, 12:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TCR
I had this annoying sqeaking/creaking sound coming from the front end of my bike for the past couple weeks. I completely tore apart the headset, bars, stem, shifters, etc and regreased everything. Creaking still there! I finally figured out it was coming from the front hub. I've taken it apart and now have two rusty sealed bearings, end caps, and an axle sitting in front of me. Oh, by the way, the front wheel is a Velomax Tempest. The only thing the bearings have written on them is "china" and "R6RS".

Are there different types of bearings? Some better than others? I remember a conversation once about ceramic bearings, I think. Can I order these bearings online? I was trying not to go to my LBS but will if I have to.
The bearing is from the english sized R family used in such other things as in line skates aparently and the steel types are available on ebay, just search for 'R6'. Small bearings come in a variety of seal/shield options also ...ZZ means 2 metal shields so is not waterproof but then neither is a 2RS, lets say the rubber sealed units are 'water resistant'.

Last edited by ccdisce; 02-25-06 at 12:51 PM. Reason: sp error
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Old 02-25-06, 09:06 PM   #9
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The bearing is from the english sized R family used in such other things as in line skates aparently ...
Sorry, NOT in-line skates. REAL ROLLERSKATES! (granted my downhill skates have skateboard width axles, needed for 50+ mph speeds. (personal best; 62 mph!)
I know, I know...this is a BIKE forum. Sorry, I just HAD to add another $.02!
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