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  1. #1
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    Are my hubs shot?

    After my ride the other day, I noticed that there was a big blob of grease on the axel of my hub. I had noticed this before on more than one occasion, thinking that it had come from the road. Well, I'm stumped, because I dont see where its coming from, but it keeps reappearing. Is my hub shot?

    I was thinking that if it is, I would replace the whole wheelset with 700c wheels. (I have an older bike w/ 27" wheels) that means, however, that I need a new hub that is compatible with a freewheel (five speed, 120mm DO) Where can I get this?

  2. #2
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    Originally posted by Phatman
    After my ride the other day, I noticed that there was a big blob of grease on the axel of my hub. I had noticed this before on more than one occasion, thinking that it had come from the road. Well, I'm stumped, because I dont see where its coming from, but it keeps reappearing. Is my hub shot?

    I was thinking that if it is, I would replace the whole wheelset with 700c wheels. (I have an older bike w/ 27" wheels) that means, however, that I need a new hub that is compatible with a freewheel (five speed, 120mm DO) Where can I get this?
    If grease is leaking out,it may mean that crud is not getting in.May mean seals if any are shot.Take off wheels and turn axel by hand. IF smooth ok, if not they may just need serviced.700c wheels may create issues with brake reach and 120 hubs are likely history,but a shop may be able to respace a 126 hub or spread your dropouts.

  3. #3
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Your grease may simply be breaking down and getting runny; in this case, a simple repack will take care of the problem.

    Your grease seals may be shot, and this may have been caused by leaving too much play in the bearing adjustment.

    You can replace 27" wheels with 700Cs only if your brake calipers will permit you to lower your pads by 4 mm.

    If you are replacing your wheelset and have a steel frame, simply spread the rear triangle to accommodate 126-128mm, and convert to a 7-speed freewheel. My 1959 Reynolds 531 frame easily tolerated this conversion.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  4. #4
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    thanks for the replies. I was going to do the wheelset swap when I first got the bike, (I saw shimano R535s on sale) but then I learned that some bikes have cassettes and others have freewheels ( I was young and stupid then--these were pre-bikeforums days). In checking though, I found that the brakes did have enough reach. If I decided to go to a new brake, where could I get 105 (or about equivilent quality) long-drop calipers?

    Is there any reason in particular to get a 7-speed? I like the ratios on my 5 speed. Also, will i need a new derailler if I go to a seven speed? I have this nagging feeling that I will. My only reason for wanting to convert to 700c is so I can lighten up rotaional mass a tad and have increased tire options.

    Lastly, the grease wasn't runny, it was the consistency of peanut butter. Aside from its prescence on the outside of the hub, the thing that had me concerned was that it was black, and grease should be yellow to ear-wax color, which means that its dirty.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Phatman
    If I decided to go to a new brake, where could I get 105 (or about equivilent quality) long-drop calipers?

    Is there any reason in particular to get a 7-speed? I like the ratios on my 5 speed. Also, will i need a new derailler if I go to a seven speed? I have this nagging feeling that I will. My only reason for wanting to convert to 700c is so I can lighten up rotaional mass a tad and have increased tire options.

    Lastly, the grease wasn't runny, it was the consistency of peanut butter. Aside from its prescence on the outside of the hub, the thing that had me concerned was that it was black, and grease should be yellow to ear-wax color, which means that its dirty.
    Nashbar sells inexpensive 27" wheels that use freewheel hubs. Try www.branfordbike.com for 5 speed freewheels, and long reach brakes.You may have a problem finding built wheels for 7 speed cassettes. You could use a 8/9 speed wheel with a 7 speed cassette and 4.5mm spacer,but then you would need 130mm dropout spacing.You would not need a new derailer unless you ended up with a big cog that your current derailer could not handle.Nashbar is another source of inexpensive 700c wheels.

  6. #6
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    I'd say that switching from 27" to 700c is risky, especially if your bike is a touring bike, rather than a road bike. Most touring bikes already came with long-reach calipers, and the distance would be too far to reach with 700c rims.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  7. #7
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    D*Alex, I thought of that, but its not a problem. The pads are at the top of the adjustment range. There is probably a centimeter to go to the bottom of the adjustment range. All I have to go is 4 mm!

    As for the 7 speed freewheel, I really didn't know that I could use the old derailler, but I guess you learn something new everyday! I love friction shifting...

    I checked Branford bike, They didnt seem to have any older parts. Only Shimano and Campy, not Suntour

  8. #8
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    Phatman; Two choices that may possibly have merit for you:

    1. A SunTour 5-cog Freewheel is an extremely common vintage part, not a problem in find in “Thrift Shops” my favorite vintage parts supply source. (You’ll need a Park FR-2, or possibly an FR-3 tool to swap). Best news is at a Thrift Shop you’ll get the complete bicycle (hubs, rims and all) for as low as ten to twenty dollars!

    2. Since you're located in Columbia, MD you're quite fortunate to have access to Mt. Airy Bicycles, a pleasant cycling ride through Howard County to your West. The owner, Larry Black is one of the greatest bicycle advocates to grace the Washington Metro area. He has enough vintage parts on hand to equip nearly anything you could drag into his shop!

    Meeting Larry is worth your time and effort to travel west the dozen or so miles to get there. Mr. Black just a month ago completed a metric century on a turn of the century "High Wheeler" no less! So even if you have 2000mm rims he may have just the hub you need....

    Need directions? Not a problem, here’s the URL to Larry’s shop

    http://www.bike123.com/

    Cheers; and God Bless…
    First, do no harm

  9. #9
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    thanks faith! I've never been to that particular shop, but i have seem it advertised. I'll check it out!

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