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  1. #1
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    Regrease Hubs on children's Disney bikes

    Hi all - I searched the forums already, but all of the discussion topics I found were regarding "real" bike equipment, etc. I need to regrease the hubs in my daughter's Disney Princess bike - does anyone have the procedures for something like this?

    Are these Walmart type bikes as serviceable as the LBS type components, or am I just better off buying another Walmart bike for her?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Procedure should be no different. Should just be cones and lock nuts. Becareful with the grease seals as they are probably plastic and might not be stocked at a bike shop.
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  3. #3
    Nipples of Steel! AngelGendy's Avatar
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    They probably won't have seals, most likely they are the older loose bearing types. Easy to do.
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    the process depends on whether the bike has ball bearings or bushings (sleeve bearings). many sidewalk and childrens bikes don't use ball bearings. It's partly a cost saver, and partly because these don't see the loads and service life that adult bikes do.

    If the bike has bushings, a drop of oil wicked in from the edge once in a long while will do the trick. If the bike has ball bearings, odds are they'll outlast the bike, or at least until the child outgrows without needing service. Or if you wish you can let a drop of oil wick in at the edge.

    If you are super diligent, you can dis-assemble and regrease, and as the prior poster pointed out it'll be similar to any other bike.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member sonnetg's Avatar
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    Not sure about disney bikes, but greasing hubs is a fairly easy job. [you will need few tools specific for the job though]

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    Senior Member bikeman715's Avatar
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    What you have are bushings and a drop of oil is all you need .
    bikeman715

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeman715 View Post
    What you have are bushings and a drop of oil is all you need .
    No, they have ball bearings and a coaster brake in back.

    The headset MIGHT be a bushing.

  9. #9
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I used the Park Tool page listed above when regreasing the hubs on my son's craptastic Target bike. Works fine, and it's nice to know that it's been adjusted properly.
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  10. #10
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    I've worked on several children's bikes for my grandchildren from a 12" Huffy's up through a 20" Trek 6-speed MTB and a 24" Pacific 15-speed. All of these had nutted axles and ball bearing hubs and all of them arrived (new and used) with the bearings adjusted so badly you could barely turn the axle with your fingers.

    Disassembly and overhaul of all of them was very straightforward and very much like "good" hubs. Open them up. clean the cones and races, replace the balls if you are really fussy, grease and reassemble. They are actually a bit easier to adjust then qr hubs since you don't need to leave the small amount of play the qr takes out. Just turn the cone down until it makes very light contact with the balls and tighten the locknuts. The difference in rotational resistance is amazing.

  11. #11
    Senior Member vredstein's Avatar
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    Disney Princess and Cars bikes use caged bearings. You need a 13mm cone wrench and a 15mm open ended wrench for the front wheel, and a 15m cone and 15mm open ended wrench for the rear. Sometimes the steel axles that come on these are slightly bent, making perfect adjustment impossible. Most of the time, the crank bearings come adjusted way too tight. Adjusting these will make a bigger difference in how easy the bike is to ride.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Disassembly and overhaul of all of them was very straightforward and very much like "good" hubs. Open them up. clean the cones and races, replace the balls if you are really fussy, grease and reassemble. They are actually a bit easier to adjust then qr hubs since you don't need to leave the small amount of play the qr takes out. Just turn the cone down until it makes very light contact with the balls and tighten the locknuts. The difference in rotational resistance is amazing.
    The tension provided by the locknut will move the cone out of adjustment if using this procedure.

    There is axial slop (lengthwise along the axle) in the threads even if you don't feel the cone wobbling when it's loose, and the threads do flex a bit when tightened. So simply running the cones down onto the bearing balls and then holding them with a cone wrench while tightening the locknuts will result in too much preload, because the cone's gonna move inward more from the pressure of the locknut. It will move quite a bit, not the small amount that you might think.

    With my solid axle bikes, I found it was necessary to move the cone off the bearings about 5 degrees (easy to measure on a 36-spoke wheel) and hold it while tightening the locknut. That resulted in zero clearance with just enough preload that you could feel the bearings' imperfections as they roll, but still could easily twirl the axle in your fingertips.

    Then I found that Sheldon thought it was OK to lock the cone and locknut together, THEN adjust, provided you don't go crazy on the pressure while locking the locknut. That means you can lock the cone and locknut together with moderate pressure when it's off the bearings, then use the locknuts to turn the cones in until they touch the balls, then maybe add one or two degrees more preload.

    Steel hubs may require a more careful adjustment because they are less capable of compressing a bit as the axle is tightened.
    Last edited by garage sale GT; 04-10-11 at 11:57 AM.

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