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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 06-16-12, 06:14 PM   #1
stevekk
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any links for Newbie packing front wheel bearings ?

Working on my 1970's Schwinn 26 inch Breeze.
Cleaned the front wheel bearings and need to add new grease.
Any words of wisdom, or links showing me how to do this? Thanks
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Old 06-16-12, 06:34 PM   #2
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Google "overhaul front hub." The first three links are exellent. As noted in "New posters READ THIS," you can't go wrong with Sheldon or Park Tool, which are two of those links.

In general if one is looking for a specific procedure it's much more productive to just use Google than to come here first, or even to the home page of the site you prefer. For example, enter either Sheldon or Park and "overhaul hub" and the first link will lead you to that site's page on the procedure. In fact, if Google Instant is active, once you type the word overhaul Google will offer that as a guess and you can hover on it and click I Feel Lucky to go directly to the page! Same thing works from Address Bar searches.

p.s. Thanks to Google even your less technical "repack" terminology works.

Last edited by cny-bikeman; 06-17-12 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 06-16-12, 08:15 PM   #3
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check out the park tools website they are a great place to learn how to fix stuff.
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Old 06-16-12, 08:49 PM   #4
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Www.sheldonbrown.com
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Old 06-17-12, 08:25 AM   #5
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Thanks... that Park Tool site was really neat.
Sorry, but on the rest, I couldn't find anything on my front hub.
Probably just need to get more familiar with this site.
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Old 06-17-12, 08:32 AM   #6
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If you do the search I suggested the results lead you directly to the page for hub overhaul.
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Old 06-17-12, 08:32 AM   #7
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1. Examine the cones real carefully. If you see even the tiniest sign of pitting, try to find a new replacement. It doesn't take much of a pit to make getting the cones adjusted properly impossible.

2. Don't be surprised if it takes more than one try to get the cones adjusted to your satisfaction.
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Old 06-18-12, 05:35 AM   #8
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thanks. Cones look OK. I even got out a magnifying glass.
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Old 06-18-12, 08:21 AM   #9
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Here's my question - how much grease do you put in the hub? Just enough to cover the races and have the balls not fall out as you insert the axle? Or stuff the entire hub shell full of grease, so that it gooshes out when you insert the axle? I confess to doing the latter because, well, axle grease is cheap and more is always better - or is it?
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Old 06-18-12, 09:04 AM   #10
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The minimum is to put in enough so that when you rotate the cone a few turns (before final assembly) you see a continuous ring of grease on both the outer and inner radius of the circle of bearings. You can add a bit for insurance and then watch for any working its way out as you ride, but do not stuff it full.
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Old 06-18-12, 11:35 AM   #11
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Make sure you have the proper cone wrenches.
Set the cone and locknut up on one side of the axel first.
Put enough grease in both sides of the hub before you put the bearings in.
Put in enough grease to hold the bearings in, no need to over fill.
When you turn the wheel over, hold the axel in place.
To adjust the second cone, tighten it a bit too tight, bring the lock nut to the cone, then back off the cone.
Clean away any excess grease that comes out of the bearing.
It will take a few tries to get everything centered, and adjusted, be patient.
You have to get the cone tight but not to tight, and not too loose, judge by feel.
After you a finished put the wheel on the bike, secure it in the fork or drop out, then grab the top of the wheel and move it side to side. If there is any play you'll feel it.
Use water proof grease.
Work over a clean(ish) surface covered witha rag or old towel. If(when) you drop a bearing, it won't bounch, roll, fall, go under the bench.
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Old 06-18-12, 12:05 PM   #12
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Sticky grease helps keep things in place for reassembly... I like to use enough so that it oozes out when I tap the dustcaps back on.
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Old 06-18-12, 05:51 PM   #13
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Whats the best grease to use?
I did a little research and came up with that Park Tool PPL-2 Polylube 1000.
Amazon has a 1 pound tub for a little under $14 shipped.
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Old 06-18-12, 06:15 PM   #14
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Whats the best grease to use?
I did a little research and came up with that Park Tool PPL-2 Polylube 1000.
Amazon has a 1 pound tub for a little under $14 shipped.
Any good cheap automotive grease.
If your hub has a hollow quick-release axle the adjustment has to have a little play that goes away when the QR is closed and compresses the axle. If it is a solid axle then the adjustment should have a little preload that feels like a little drag when you spin it with your fingers.
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Old 06-19-12, 07:53 AM   #15
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Thanks.
My axle is a solid axle.
So, when you said a little "preload", you mean snug it up until it is just barley tight?

I adjusted it tight, and then backed it off just a little where I could feel just the slightest play.
So I should HAVE NO PLAY?

Thats what I used, grease out of my automotive grease gun.
Just was thinking of buying something more fancy? Like the Park Tool stuff.
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Old 06-19-12, 07:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Thanks.
My axle is a solid axle.
So, when you said a little "preload", you mean snug it up until it is just barley tight?

I adjusted it tight, and then backed it off just a little where I could feel just the slightest play.
So I should HAVE NO PLAY?

Thats what I used, grease out of my automotive grease gun.
Just was thinking of buying something more fancy? Like the Park Tool stuff.
No play is good with a solid axle, but a tiny bit of play is better than too tight. Some lower level hubs are hard to get perfect.

Your grease gun grease is fine. Fancier stuff won't make any difference.
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Old 06-19-12, 08:02 AM   #17
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While I am definitely not an expert bike mechanic, I have always adjusted my cones so that there is just a very tiny bit of play; so little that you don't notice it when the tire is mounted.

As for the grease, just stick with what you're using. I use either white lithium grease or automotive bearing grease. There's no need to go with overpriced "bike-specific" grease when it comes to bearings (in my opinion).
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Old 06-19-12, 09:34 AM   #18
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As noted in the Park, Sheldon and other sites it's much easier to adjust hub bearings if you have an axle vise, which holds the axle in place while you adjust. With a bolt-on hub you can also just mount the hub on the outside of one dropout (cone wrench on the locknut as you tighten the axle nut). That will allow easy adjustment. There is a slightly more involved way to do the same with Q/R.

Again, preload is a slight "draggy" feeling. Bearings will last longer with correct preload, but as noted a lower quality hub may not tolerate that without some catching, and in that case it's best just to go for no play. If play is required on any decent bolt-on hub then likely there is some uneven wear, pitting, or a bent axle.

One minor item that is often overlooked is that you should clean the hub tunnel before reassembly to avoid the axle picking it up and transferring it to your fresh grease. I use an old spoke with the head bent around so that it catches the mid-section of the spoke to form a handle, with a nipple mounted on the other end. Just right for poking the corner of a rag through the tunnel. Good for cleaning out fixed cups also.

Last edited by cny-bikeman; 06-19-12 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 06-25-12, 07:43 AM   #19
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thanks for good info.
So everybody fine with just using grease out of my grease gun?
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Old 06-25-12, 08:11 AM   #20
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We don't know what's in your grease gun You should use waterproof grease thick enough to hold the bearings in place during assembly. Bicycle bearings are not subject to high load or high speed (comparatively) so that is really the only criteria necessary
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