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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 04-07-06, 05:50 PM   #1
starship
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Wheel and Crank bearings, How to Maintain.

I am riding a 2003 Cannondale R800. Do I need to disassemble the wheel bearings (and crank) for cleaning and re-greasing? My prior bike was a very old bike with loose bearings, so I broke down to clean and re grease each year. That was old tech. Do I need to do anything for the new type bearings on my bike?
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Old 04-07-06, 07:50 PM   #2
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Most likely there is nothing to be done with the bottom bracket, it is a sealed unit and when it gets loose you replace it. The hubs and headset could be either loose or sealed bearings. For both sealed cartridge hubs and headsets it is usually possible to carefully remove the seals with a pick or thin blade and service the bearings but, they certainly don't need it as often as older stuff. The wrench at my lbs always opens and lubes all bearing, sealed or not, when new and when servicing. You would be amazed how little grease there is in most sealed bearings.
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Old 04-07-06, 08:20 PM   #3
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If they're sealed, I'd leave the bearings alone unless they need replacing, although if you want to be OBC, go ahead and do what PP suggested, but I wouldn't bother. It's probably not a bad idea to remove the cranks, pedals and BB, clean the threads thoroughly and apply fresh anti-seize compond. Electrolysis can occur between steel and aluminum, and this service can help prevent that. Just look through this forum and notice all the horror stories related to BB removal. If your seat post is aluminum, remove, clean and grease it, too. If you have a quill stem, do the same. There you go! Now go ride.... OHB
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Old 04-08-06, 06:49 AM   #4
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Are your new hubs cartridge bearing types? All Shimano and Campy hubs have loose balls like you are familiar with. These have some structural and functional advantages but require routine maintainance. Many aftermarket hubs have cartridge bearings which are pretty much maintainance free so be sure what you have.

Headsets are also available with both bearing types with higer cost headsets more likely to have cartridges. OEM headsets are often loose ball types since they are cheaper and the manufacturer can save cost where it isn't obvious.

Just about all current bottom brackets are sealed, maintainance free units.
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Old 04-08-06, 10:58 AM   #5
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What conditions do you ride in? Dirt and moisture are the enemy. Avoid them and your sealed bearings will provide many miles of trouble free service.
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Old 04-08-06, 05:27 PM   #6
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Thanks

I know know that these are sealed bearings, and for now they run real smooth. I think I will run them untill the wheel no longer runs smooth and free, and then replace. Good advice on the bottom bracket. I want to do a real good job of cleaning, so off come the cranks, gear ring, and BB.

After a good cleaning, back on the road. OBTW, I have paved trails and bike lanes for as many miles as i need. (and that was a gloat!)
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