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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 12-08-10, 11:25 AM   #1
peach-picker
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ball bearing question for 1985 schwinn madison

i just bought a 85 schwinn madison track bike and i want to overhaul the bottom bracket, headset, and wheels. my question is do i have to replace the bearings? i have rebuilt many 1 piece crank schwinns (older stingrays) and never had a problem, but this is my 1st rebuild of something more precision than the rays. the bike looks like it was barely used so i would imagine it has very little wear. the headset is tange, hubs are suntour sprint, and im pretty sure the bottom bracket is sugino (the bike has not got here yet), thanks!
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Old 12-08-10, 11:44 AM   #2
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Unless the bearings are rusty or obviously damaged, you should be able to reuse them. For all practical purposes bearing balls don't wear out and, despite inaccurate claims to the contrary, don't go out-of-round with use. However, if you suspect the OEM bearing quality wasn't very good, then replacing them with new Grade 25 balls is a cheap upgrade. Also, discarding any retainers and replacing them with loose balls will allow more balls to fit and improve bearing life.

For a bike that old and hasn't been ridden in a long time, I would disassemble, clean and relube every bearing in it before riding it one inch. It's highly likely the grease has dried out completely and any riding prior to an overhaul will cause real damage.
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Old 12-08-10, 11:48 AM   #3
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Inspect the BB axle races for Pits, if found replace the axle, Balls are Cheap.

The Cups are another place where wear and tear shows up ,
once clean , get out the magnifying glass.
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