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Old 09-20-11, 08:46 AM   #1
himespau 
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Just got some NOS(?) hubs, do I need to service them?

So due to an apparent difference of opinion between me and an ebay seller about what the term "Brand New" means (and me not looking closely at the picture), which has been explored in another thread, instead of a recently manufactured shimano 105 hubset, I have a set of hubs from the mid 90's that may or may not be NOS (kinda scuffed/scratched decals, need to talk with the seller about what condition they really are, ie does "Brand New" to him mean he never built them up and they've been sitting in a drawer for 15 years?). But that's really not the point of this question.

I now have a set of hubs FH-1056 (rear) and HB-1055 which according to that german database of shimano parts were manufactured sometime between 1992 and 1998. If they truly are NOS and have just been bouncing around in this guy's drawer for the last 15-20 years, am I going to have to take them apart and service them before building them up as the grease may have dried out/gotten contaminated by drawer dust, or should they be good to go because they've never been used?

I've never built a wheel or serviced a hub before, so I lack the tools associated with servicing the hub (cone wrenches, right?) or any of the necessary, experience.

Aargh, wishing I hadn't been tantilized by what seemed like a screaming deal and had just bought the recently manufactured tiagra hubs I saw available from a source trusted for $10-15 cheaper when shipping is considered that while a lower level in name being 3-4 generations newer are probably at least comparable in quality and wouldn't have needed servicing right off the bat.
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Old 09-20-11, 09:04 AM   #2
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For hubs that old that heve never been maintained, I would certainly disassemble them and check the condition of the grease and plan on replacing it. Sounds like E-bay strikes again.
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Old 09-20-11, 09:20 AM   #3
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Hmm, I wonder if I should just sell them, take a loss and get those brand new Tiagras. Might be cheaper than buying cone wrenches, but I'll probably need them eventually anyways.
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Old 09-20-11, 09:24 AM   #4
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I would service even a brand new cup and cone hub, they are not always adjusted properly. On the old grease, yeah you want to pack them with fresh grease, and cone wrenches are cheap.
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Old 09-20-11, 09:33 AM   #5
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Unless you normally take such jobs to a bike shop to be done then as a rider of bicycles you're going to have to do this sort of job at some point. I'd say that this is an excellent time to learn. Especially since they are still bare hubs and will be so easy to manipulate compared to having spokes and a rim on them.

Besides, you've obviously taken on the challenge of building your own wheels. You may as well learn how to clean and adjust the hubs.


And it's super easy to tell if they are NOS from a drawer or not. Look at the holes in the flanges. If the holes are smooth then they have never been built into a wheel. If they have small pressure marks in the holes and facing at alternating angles on each hole those are pressure marks from spokes. If you have such marks on the holes then they are NOT new
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Old 09-20-11, 09:49 AM   #6
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...cone wrenches are cheap.
Right, even good ones. You don't need a complete set either. I still have a set of those hubs and you need a 13 mm for the front hub and a 15 mm for the rear and any regular 17 mm open end or box wrench for the locknuts. Get Park's SCW-XX where XX is 13 or 15 cone wrenches and you will have what you need at reasonable cost.
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Old 09-20-11, 09:52 AM   #7
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If you don't take the hubs apart how do you know that machinings have not been left inside the hubs. A few loose pieces of metal that didn't get cleaned out might be more of a problem than old grease.
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Old 09-20-11, 09:57 AM   #8
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Unless you normally take such jobs to a bike shop to be done then as a rider of bicycles you're going to have to do this sort of job at some point. I'd say that this is an excellent time to learn. Especially since they are still bare hubs and will be so easy to manipulate compared to having spokes and a rim on them.

Besides, you've obviously taken on the challenge of building your own wheels. You may as well learn how to clean and adjust the hubs.


And it's super easy to tell if they are NOS from a drawer or not. Look at the holes in the flanges. If the holes are smooth then they have never been built into a wheel. If they have small pressure marks in the holes and facing at alternating angles on each hole those are pressure marks from spokes. If you have such marks on the holes then they are NOT new
thanks for the advice. if they're NOS, they'd just need taking apart, cleaning out the old grease and then repacking, right? I've got Park's Big Blue Book around here somewhere, so that should give good pictures (as does their website since I just looked at it), once I find what sized cone wrenches I'll need. Is there a way for me to tell from the part number on shimano's site what size wrenches I'll need?

Edit: Hillrider answered my last question about wrench sizes.
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Old 09-20-11, 10:10 AM   #9
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Right, even good ones. You don't need a complete set either. I still have a set of those hubs and you need a 13 mm for the front hub and a 15 mm for the rear and any regular 17 mm open end or box wrench for the locknuts. Get Park's SCW-XX where XX is 13 or 15 cone wrenches and you will have what you need at reasonable cost.
Sheldon said people should have two of each type of cone wrench. Is the second one he's referring to the 17 mm box wrench you're mentioning?
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Old 09-20-11, 10:14 AM   #10
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If you don't take the hubs apart how do you know that machinings have not been left inside the hubs. A few loose pieces of metal that didn't get cleaned out might be more of a problem than old grease.
I've worked on a ton of Shimano hubs from Dura Ace down to 2200 and never found one with any foreign matter or fragments inside. Also, they seem to come with adequate if not a generous amount of lube. What they do often need is having the bearing clearance tweaked as most are a bit too snug right out of the box.

In the OP's case, these hubs are the better part of 20 years old and the grease may well have dried out to the point of being useless. I found that was the case on a pair of Sansin hubs that sat unused for 15 years. The grease was like dried rubber cement and riding those hubs that way would have ruined them in short order. Well worth the effort to find out.

Last edited by HillRider; 09-20-11 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 09-20-11, 10:28 AM   #11
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Sheldon said people should have two of each type of cone wrench. Is the second one he's referring to the 17 mm box wrench you're mentioning?
Remember, Sheldon is expecting to work on a wide variety of hubs and, therefore, needs a complete set of cone wrenches.

Cone wrenches are very thin to fit the narrow flats between the cone and the locknut and some hubs need two of the same size since the locknut also has very thin wrench flats. I have a set of 7700-series Dura Ace hubs and they need two cone wrenches since the locknuts are thin and flanged so a regular box wrench won't work. The rear hub requires two 14 mm cone wrenches as both the cone and the locknut have the same size flats.

You have one specific hub set to deal with and the locknuts on them are very ordinary looking hex nuts and easily accesable to any regular open end or box 17 mm wrench.
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Old 09-20-11, 10:53 AM   #12
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thanks for the advice. if they're NOS, they'd just need taking apart, cleaning out the old grease and then repacking, right? I've got Park's Big Blue Book around here somewhere, so that should give good pictures (as does their website since I just looked at it), once I find what sized cone wrenches I'll need. Is there a way for me to tell from the part number on shimano's site what size wrenches I'll need?

Edit: Hillrider answered my last question about wrench sizes.
himespau, I've NOS parts in my bin and some just aren't cosmetically perfect from simply rummaging around for something. I'd at least check that the grease hasn't dried into something akin to bee's wax.

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Old 09-20-11, 11:02 AM   #13
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For some reason cleaning, re-lubing and adjusting hubs is my favorite cycling task. If I had a loose ball hub out of a wheel sitting with me there is no way I wouldn't be taking it apart. Can you mail them to me?
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Old 09-20-11, 11:07 AM   #14
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If you have a grease gun, needle tip, or grease in a tube,
it's easy to loosen one cone and squirt in more fresh grease.
then re adjust the hub.

I do this with new stuff as there is a economic rationle to use minimal grease,
at the factory, so they do.
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Old 09-20-11, 11:33 AM   #15
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If you have a grease gun, needle tip, or grease in a tube,
it's easy to loosen one cone and squirt in more fresh grease.
then re adjust the hub.

I do this with new stuff as there is a economic rationle to use minimal grease,
at the factory, so they do.
The grease I do have is Park Polylube in a tube, but I'd want to clean out any old potentially dried out stuff, right?
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Old 09-20-11, 12:24 PM   #16
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For some reason cleaning, re-lubing and adjusting hubs is my favorite cycling task. If I had a loose ball hub out of a wheel sitting with me there is no way I wouldn't be taking it apart. Can you mail them to me?
+1 My older son bought a new single speed to take to college with him this year. I assembled it for him and had to tear down the hubs, clean, repack the bearings and reassemble them before I was satisfied it was ready for the road.
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Old 09-20-11, 03:52 PM   #17
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I'd clean out the old stuff, unless you open them up and find that the grease is fine. Mineral spirits or even just dish soap and a brush will do it.
Oh, one other thing if you've never done this before....it's easier to leave the cone/nut intact on one side. You only need to remove one side to remove the axle so there is no need to unscrew both ends.
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Old 09-20-11, 04:00 PM   #18
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Oh, one other thing if you've never done this before....it's easier to leave the cone/nut intact on one side. You only need to remove one side to remove the axle so there is no need to unscrew both ends.
Excellent advice. For the rear hub undo the non-drive side locknut and cone. For the front hub it doesn't matter which side you loosen.
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Old 09-20-11, 04:07 PM   #19
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I'd clean out the old stuff, unless you open them up and find that the grease is fine. Mineral spirits or even just dish soap and a brush will do it.
Oh, one other thing if you've never done this before....it's easier to leave the cone/nut intact on one side. You only need to remove one side to remove the axle so there is no need to unscrew both ends.
Excellent advice. For the rear hub undo the non-drive side locknut and cone. For the front hub it doesn't matter which side you loosen.
Thanks will keep this in mind. Looks like the next step is to inspect the holes to get the "whole" story on whether they've ever been laced up and then get myself some cone wrenches. Add them to the list of tools I need to get: crank puller, pin spanner, lockring spanner, chain tool, better spoke wrench (when I decide what nipples to get as all I have right now is very cheapo set of all 3). Looks like at the end of my drive train replacement winter project I'm going to have a pretty good set of bike tools going with what I already have.
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Old 09-20-11, 05:00 PM   #20
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Oh, one other thing if you've never done this before....it's easier to leave the cone/nut intact on one side. You only need to remove one side to remove the axle so there is no need to unscrew both ends.
The first time I work on a hub I at least loosen the remaining lock nut and retighten it. I've had some that seemed to be installed with an impact wrench and it was almost impossible to get them loosened even with the axle out. Doing it when it is apart will save you if you find you need to make a small adjustment on the axle placement once you get ready to install. And if it is a used hub, I'll clean and lube the threads under the lock nut and cone while I'm at it.
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