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Old 11-08-08, 01:34 PM   #1
John W Foster
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Formula Cartridge Bearings

A few weeks ago I test drove a new bike that had Formula cartridge bearings. During the test ride I was aware of a very subtle dry rubbing sound in the front end. I kept getting off and lifting the bike up to spin the front tire to try see what was rubbing. Once back at the dealer he told me this was common, and that as the bike was broken in the sound would disappear. Has anyone else ever heard of this? Was the dealer truthful or just trying to make a sale? Thanks John
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Old 11-08-08, 02:16 PM   #2
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what kind of 'dry rubbing' sound did you hear? was there a clicking at all?

in any case, it sounds like he was trying to make a sale. bikes don't get 'broken in.' shoes get broken in. brooks saddles get broken in. hubs don't. if there was a clicking at all, the bearings in that hub are probably shot. or it could be that the bike's been sitting around the shop for a while and the cartridge has dried out. this is somewhat unlikely because the cartridge is designed to stay greasy/sealed. however, lots of manufacturers don't pack their bearing cartridges with enough grease so it MIGHT need a repacking.

i'd steer clear of this bike. the hub should spin almost silently if it's brand new.

could it have been the rim rubbing the brake? did the bike have caliper-style brakes or disk?
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Old 11-08-08, 04:28 PM   #3
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The bike had disc brakes, also there was no clicking at all, just a very faint hiss like sound.
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Old 11-08-08, 06:25 PM   #4
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Disc brake pads often rub slightly during normal riding so there was probably nothing wrong with the bike.

The dealer, on the other hand, should have known this instead of feeding you that crap about the bike breaking in.
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Old 11-08-08, 07:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by yahnming View Post
what kind of 'dry rubbing' sound did you hear? was there a clicking at all?

in any case, it sounds like he was trying to make a sale.
bikes don't get 'broken in.' shoes get broken in. brooks saddles get broken in. hubs don't. if there was a clicking at all, the bearings in that hub are probably shot. or it could be that the bike's been sitting around the shop for a while and the cartridge has dried out. this is somewhat unlikely because the cartridge is designed to stay greasy/sealed. however, lots of manufacturers don't pack their bearing cartridges with enough grease so it MIGHT need a repacking.

i'd steer clear of this bike. the hub should spin almost silently if it's brand new.

could it have been the rim rubbing the brake? did the bike have caliper-style brakes or disk?
I wish I had known that 40 years ago. I would have saved a lot of time and money not doing 30-day check ups. All that time wasted checking wheel true, bearing adjustment, cable tension, brake adjustment, shifting . . .
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