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Old 08-05-09, 12:43 PM   #1
PedallingATX
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Sticky Hubs...

Hello everyone-

I recently bought a new (to me) road bike off of fleabay. It is a Jamis Quest w/ a lot of swapped out parts. The bike is definitely well worn but appears to be in good condition except for one thing: the wheels.

I was changing out my tires last night when I noticed something troublesome. The hubs (on both wheels but moreso on the front) aren't spinning smoothly. I picked up the wheel by the QR skewer and spun it, then I grabbed the small little bit of hollow axle that sticks out on each end. You know, the part that actually attaches to the fork where the QR goes through. So I grabbed that small bit of threaded hollow axle and it REALLY wanted to rotate with the rest of the wheel. It was really hard to hold it with my fingers and keep it from rotating with the rest of the wheel. I was able to do it, but I had to use A LOT more resistance than I usually do w/ other wheelsets.

I have already taken this bike on a few long rides, so obviously it is rolling. But my question is whether or not this is going to slow me down a lot. Is there anything I can do aside from getting new hubs/wheelset? Can I service these hubs (they are cartridge bearing, I assume)? Let me know what you guys think.

The hubs are Ritchey and the rims are Mavic CXP21

This is cross posted from the roadie forum b/c I didn't get any responses there and I figure y'all are the better people to ask about this. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 08-05-09, 12:52 PM   #2
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Someone else may be able to advise you about the exact type these hubs are. It's not uncommon to find tight wheel bearings like this. The bike will roll, because of the forces involved, but it won't roll as well as it should, and there's a danger that, if the bearings are not already damaged, they soon will be. The wheel should turn on its spindle completely smoothly, without any "click stops," and with no discernible play. That is, it shouldn't be possible to move the spindle up and down (in the plane of the wheel) in relation to the hub. It should be tightened to the point where this free play is taken up, but without stopping the ball bearings rolling freely. I'm unfamiliar with these hubs, but they may be nothing too difficult to service. Whether you do it or the LBS does, it would be unwise to ride until it's done.
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Old 08-05-09, 12:54 PM   #3
PedallingATX
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yeah there's definitely not any play in the axle, but it may be too tight like you suggest. I can just imagine that this problem is adding A LOT of rolling resistance to my wheel, too, which is bothersome. I am reluctant to try and fix it myself b/c I have heard that it's really hard to service cartridge bearing hubs.

Also, just to give a more visual image to everyone, imagine this: You have a bicycle w/ the wheels attached and everything just like you're about to ride it. You pick up the front of the bicycle so that the front wheel is off the ground. You spin the front wheel with your hand, and instead of rotating for the usual amount of time, it is stopping prematurely due to resistance in the hub.

Last edited by PedallingATX; 08-05-09 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 08-05-09, 01:00 PM   #4
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I've no experience of cartridge bearing hubs (having strayed here from Classic and Vintage!), but I can't see why they should be difficult to service. Like a cartridge bottom bracket, one would have imagined they'd be easier. Just junk the old ones and fit new ones. If they are the type you describe, I assume the actual internals are not serviceable, so they may have reached the end of their useful life if they're so tight. I'm not the chap for this modern stuff, unfortunately, but others will be.
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