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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 09-09-04, 10:28 AM   #1
steve212
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BEARINGS: Replace or Clean ?

I have an old DAWES SUPER GALAXY which I would like to refurbish.

I would like to remove all of the bearings (crank, wheel hub, head) and clean thoroughly and relubricate.

Since I am going to go that far, would it make sense to just replace ALL of the bearings anyway? I'm assuming they are inexpensive, but I don't even know where to purchase them.

The bike is probably somewhere around 25-30 years old.
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Old 09-09-04, 10:49 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by steve212
I have an old DAWES SUPER GALAXY which I would like to refurbish.

I would like to remove all of the bearings (crank, wheel hub, head) and clean thoroughly and relubricate.

Since I am going to go that far, would it make sense to just replace ALL of the bearings anyway? I'm assuming they are inexpensive, but I don't even know where to purchase them.

The bike is probably somewhere around 25-30 years old.
www.loosescrews.com has loose bearings. You need to know the sizes,and buy the best grade. LBS should have or be able to get too.
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Old 09-09-04, 10:51 AM   #3
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I would inspect the bearings for wear (discoloration or pitting) and replace them if neccessary. Most bike shops can supply loose bearings if they are a common size. Otherwise you'll need to check with an industrial bearing supply.
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Old 09-09-04, 11:24 AM   #4
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I'd replace them, loose bearings are cheap. Make sure that you get the right sizes.

Another issue that comes up once in awhile on a bike this old is that the bearings wear into kind of a football shape. It's not pronounced enough to see with a naked eye, but you'll never get the old bearings oriented right when you put them back. The result is that it takes the bearings a few miles to reorient themselves. When they do, it causes the hub or whatever to loosen up and you have to readjust the preload again.
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Old 09-09-04, 11:31 AM   #5
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Ok. I think the best route is to buy quality bearings from mailorder. I would suspect that although a LBS might have them, they might not buy the best quality. If I'm going to do this, I'd rather do this right!
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Old 09-09-04, 11:53 AM   #6
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WOW. I took a glance at www.loosescrews.com ! WONDERFUL !
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Old 09-09-04, 12:02 PM   #7
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Also, inspect the races and cones for pitting. If they are excessively worn or damaged replacing the bearings will be a waste of money. Depending on the type of hubs they may be replaceable.
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Old 09-09-04, 04:15 PM   #8
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WOW. I took a glance at www.loosescrews.com ! WONDERFUL !
Try http://www.biketoolsetc.com as well.
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Old 09-09-04, 05:20 PM   #9
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Is grade 200 sufficient, or should I use grade 25 ?

Also, I'm assuming I will need 3 bags (3 different sizes):

1 bag for the crank bearings.
1 bag for both front and rear hubs
1 bag for the headset

Does that sound right?

I'm assuming all of those are different sizes.
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Old 09-09-04, 06:23 PM   #10
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Ball bearings are cheap. Use new ones with each overhaul, and buy the best.
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Old 09-09-04, 06:43 PM   #11
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What is "the best". What quality/brand ?
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Old 09-09-04, 08:17 PM   #12
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Grade 25 chromium steel bearings.

Generally:

Bottom bracket and rear hub: 1/4 inch bearings

Front hub: 3/16 (Campy sometimes uses 7/32)

headset: 5/32 (if you're planning on doing regular overhauls, buy a couple extra bags of these; you go thru them fast, between 50-60 each overhaul).

Note your bearings may vary, check first.
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Old 09-10-04, 03:55 AM   #13
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Wait a sec...This bike was made in England. Is it possible the bearings are metric (i.e. millimeters) ?
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Old 09-10-04, 03:56 AM   #14
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What is the type of grease that I should use?

In one of the repair demos I saw on the internet the grease he used was white in color.

Is it the same grease for the headset as for the bottom bracket and hubs ? Can I put TOO MUCH, or is there no such thing? I don't want to overdo it.

When I disassemble everything, is it okay to clean it first with something like WD-40 ?
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Old 09-10-04, 08:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve212
What is the type of grease that I should use?
I like the high-end teflon-based stuff my LBS sells (Finish Line?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve212
In one of the repair demos I saw on the internet the grease he used was white in color.

Is it the same grease for the headset as for the bottom bracket and hubs ? Can I put TOO MUCH, or is there no such thing? I don't want to overdo it.
Use grease liberally. I use the same type of grease for every bearing on the bike, and cables as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve212
When I disassemble everything, is it okay to clean it first with something like WD-40 ?
Yes, use a good solvent, but be sure to remove it completely before adding new grease, which it will otherwise rapidly degrade. WD-40 is essentially kerosene plus vanilla extract. I have used it for cleaning metal parts and for killing ants. (The last is NOT a joke; ant extermination may be the best use I have found for WD-40. It also works on termites.)
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Old 09-10-04, 08:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by steve212
What is the type of grease that I should use?

In one of the repair demos I saw on the internet the grease he used was white in color.

Is it the same grease for the headset as for the bottom bracket and hubs ? Can I put TOO MUCH, or is there no such thing? I don't want to overdo it.

When I disassemble everything, is it okay to clean it first with something like WD-40 ?
Everything from white lithium to auto bearing to synthetic waterproof marine works.Wally mart has them all cheap.wd-40 or paint thinner works for cleaning.
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Old 09-10-04, 08:40 AM   #17
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Best thing I've got around the house for cleaning old bearings up is mineral spirits.
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Old 09-10-04, 06:33 PM   #18
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Replace the bearings, they are cheap.

I have a twenty+ year old bike and repack bearings every spring. I've only had to replace the bottom bracket once, due to broken bearings. I always use new bearings since it's only a couple of bucks. This thing still runs a smooth as new. Use grease from the LBS. The idea is to pack it full of grease and keep the dirt and grit out. I'm a strong recreational rider, and it's rare that the guys (in my age group) with brand new bikes can hang with me. Just like the skiers with all the new stuff.
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Old 09-10-04, 06:39 PM   #19
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I'm a strong recreational rider, and it's rare that the guys (in my age group) with brand new bikes can hang with me.
Is it because you are AHEAD/FASTER than them, or BEHIND/SLOWER ?
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Old 09-10-04, 06:48 PM   #20
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You're a funny guy. We're talking about beers, right? Really, I've been riding for a while and every one makes fun of my 22 year old Cro Moly Schwinn that I bought new-but I don't have trouble hanging with them.
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Old 09-10-04, 09:46 PM   #21
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replace-quick, easy (if you know what you're doing) and no worries getting clean enough or checking for damage
get at any bike shop
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