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  1. #1
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    Bearings overhaul

    I have an old 10 speed Raleigh road bike.Sure I don't expect it to ride
    like new but this bike is really h-a-r-d to ride.
    when I ride on a flat road or when I climb a flatish hill I feel the same resistance. I don't intend to ride centuries with this bike but after 3 miles my heart-rate jumps to 170 bpm which is irrational.
    So I thought what could be the problem, chain-lube - done that
    wheels- almost true, sprockets look good not worn not bent, crank is
    also ok though there is a little tick at a certain point in every revolution
    but the crank arms are not loose or anything and spinning freely.
    So my conclusion was that the problem is with the bearings.
    So for the first time Im trying to deal with this part of the bike.
    I took apart both wheels and then I unscrewed the nuts until the bearings opened. (I didn't remove the free wheel bc I don't have the freewheel remover but I managed to take the balls out of there).
    then I took all the balls out - 9 small balls of each side of the front wheel and 8 bigger balls each side in the back. The bearing were all
    full of blackish yellow sticky old grease.I wiped with a dry cloth all the parts of the bearings and the balls too.the balls looks ok, no rust, still equally round and the inside of the bearings look ok too after I wiped all the old grease.Now I have everything taken apart and I wonder what should I do before reassembling back everything.
    I have kerosene and I have a plastic box full of new grease which I just got from the garage.(this grease color is purplish black)

    Any help from the mechanics here is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    My personal preference is for Finish Line or some other teflon based grease. It is fairly water resistant and is white, which helps you determine when it is dirty. Just wipe everything clean with kerosene or other solvent, put in enough grease to hold the balls nicely in place, and re-set the cones. The trick here is to get them tight enough, but not too tight, so it may be a bit of trial and error. Then you need to get at the bottom bracket and do the same thing there.

    Good luck!
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  3. #3
    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    If the grease you want to use is aimed for Cars, etc., be very careful. Many greases used in cars and trucks have abrasive additives that are for keeping the larger surface areas and larger bearings of cars and trucks clean. Some of those greases can do more damage than good over time. Use a grease specifically meant for bikes. That way you are sure that no additives are in it. Other than that a good all purpose lube is the basic Lubriplate. Comes in a yellow can. Most hardware stores can fix you up.
    Keep it 'tween the ditches

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    1. The first thing that I would do would be to examine all of the parts. What you are looking for is pitting on the cones or hub cups. If your cones are pitted, which is likely, try to get your local LBS to find you some new ones.

    2. On a bike this old, especially one that has been hard to ride, I'd get all new ball bearings. Old ones, when they wear, wear into a kind of elleptical shape and make it necessary to readjust the bearings after you ride the bike for a while. New balls are cheap. Just be sure that you get the exact same size.

    3. Imbed your new balls in fresh grease and thread the cones, washers and locknuts back onto the axle.

    4. Adjusting the bearing preload is kind of an art. What you are looking for is the axle to rurn easily with no noticeable axle slop. If your cones are pitted you won't be able to get that but the bike will still be rideable. If you have quick releases, leave the tiniest bit of slop in the axle because it will tighten itself when you clamp down on the QR. Getting the bearing preload right usually takes at least a couple of tries.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the input really, I will follow all your advices and get new iron balls and grease.
    Honestly do you think that this could really help the bike to ride much better ?

  6. #6
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronyex
    Thanks for all the input really, I will follow all your advices and get new iron balls and grease.
    Honestly do you think that this could really help the bike to ride much better ?
    I'll ask the stupid questions first, before going on to provide something useful.

    1) When you spin the wheels by hand (still in frame) do they spin for awhile or come to an abrupt halt?

    2) Did you look at things like tire pressure and if your brakes are rubbing?

    For the amount of effort your describing, those bearings would have to have a butt-load of preloading on them

    And now for something useful and my own opinion on greases

    Service Instructions:

    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/howfix_hub.shtml

    http://www.bikeforums.net/barnettes/barnetts_ch12.pdf

    As for grease, I'm rather ambivalent about the botique greases. Its kind of like the chain lube holy wars. I use motor oil on the chain. And a good ol tub of automotive lithium grease on the bearings. Of late, its been a Pennsoil product, nice and red. That Suzue hub I repacked the other night spun for a good 4-5 minutes....not that I timed it, I just happened to notice it was still spinning after I went to fetch a brew to reward myself.

  7. #7
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    Dobber, I did check the wheels spin in the air and they both spinned good, no problem with the brakes either which so I think that maybe the whole bearings overhaul is worthless.about the air presure the tires were almost rock solid so I don't think that this was the problem. anyways I have done half job already so I oughta finish it.Maybe this is just how the bike is you know a hard rider just take it or leave it .it's a heavy bike anyway I guess it's 28lbs (steel frame of course).

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