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Old 01-09-12, 09:49 PM   #1
MrEss
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Trashed hubs: bad luck or universal truth?

I don't think I have ever gotten a used wheel with good wheel bearings. The cones always look like the surface of the moon. Do I just have bad luck? Let's hear some good or bad used-hub stories.
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Old 01-09-12, 10:12 PM   #2
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true: most of the time they are never serviced and a typical ball-n-cone hub left to run dry and then run wet with dirty rainwater soon becomes...junk.
But I do have a wheelset I bought used with old Suzue hubs that had a primitive looking nylon seal. Even though the grease had (typically) become fossilized, once I repacked them those hubs were and are some of the silkiest ever. Unbelievable smooth.
Nice thing when that happens: one in a thousand.
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Old 01-09-12, 10:15 PM   #3
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Bad luck. I am going to hate saying this, I rarely get a bike with bad cones. Now the grease and bearings are a different story, almost always bad, with the grease hard and dried up. I consider that typical maintenance that every older used bike will require as a minimum.

Bikes I usually pick up have been sitting ignored for many years (decades). Had the prior owners ridden them much with the bearings and grease in that condition, the results would probably be different. Note, this is with road bikes. MTBs are a different story, they are often flogged and poorly maintained, and I often find bad hubs on them.
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Old 01-09-12, 10:45 PM   #4
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Just have to know which dumpsters to dive. Picked one set of fairly new hubs for beater wheels--the front cones were a little rough, but they got worse, and now I can't find cones that match the hub race. Oh well. On the other hand, I picked a set of Shimano 600s, 32-hole, that are perfect and waiting for rims and spokes this winter.
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Old 01-09-12, 10:57 PM   #5
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Bad luck. I am going to hate saying this, I rarely get a bike with bad cones.
Your liviní the life ma-man. I have to agree with the OP, I rarely see cones that arenít scarred in some way. The worst is when the cups are shot because Iím just not at the level to replace a hub cup. I donít think that there is anything worse than thinking youíve found an excellent wheelset only to find the cup scratched. Flippers will regrease them and throw them back on the road. But that seems a sin in my mind.
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Old 01-09-12, 11:40 PM   #6
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Most of the wheels I've purchased used have had bad cones, races, and bearings. Dura-Ace hubs that I've picked up just needed grease and new balls. One set of Miche Touring wheels were the strangest I have ever seen. The front was vary used with black grease that was way over due for a change and the cups were slightly pitted. The rear DS was black with no grease from WD-40 but the NDS would not turn as the grease had turned to clay. After putting in new balls and grease they turn just as well as my new Shimano R500 set. Now my DA 7700 those are puss............and boots.
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Old 01-09-12, 11:47 PM   #7
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So far so good however most wheels I can get new axles for cheaply so I don't really think about it I just get it for free or such a good price I don't worry knock on wood....
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Old 01-10-12, 07:43 PM   #8
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Been about half and half for me.
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Old 01-10-12, 07:52 PM   #9
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I must be living right, or maybe the Hub Bearing Gods just like me. In the last five years or so, I have picked up, either as parts of used wheels or alone: used Campy 10-speed hubs (silver, no less, and at a good price), Campy 10-speed Chorus hubs (also silver, also at a good price), Campy NR high-flange five-speed hubs, one or two sets of Shimano 105 8-speed hubs, plus a couple of Campy NR small flange front hubs. All were/are nice and smooth.
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Old 01-10-12, 08:14 PM   #10
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Bad luck. I am going to hate saying this, I rarely get a bike with bad cones.
I get a way more good hubs than I do bad. And most of the bad ones are Shimano high flange and Maillard or Normandy offerings. I have seen one Campy hub that was wear damaged and only one.

Rims? Now that's another story.
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Old 01-10-12, 08:21 PM   #11
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Is this the time to mention I just picked up a Normandy Luxe Comp gold-label hub for $5 because the shop wasn't aware that ANY Normandy cone would work? (Yes, the original cones look like Edward James Olmos' right cheek.)
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Old 01-10-12, 08:48 PM   #12
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I think those hubs just might have the unusual shallow cut cones and take a slightly smaller ball size. Or have you built them and proved me wrong already?
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Old 01-10-12, 08:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Bad luck. I am going to hate saying this, I rarely get a bike with bad cones. Now the grease and bearings are a different story, almost always bad, with the grease hard and dried up. I consider that typical maintenance that every older used bike will require as a minimum.

Bikes I usually pick up have been sitting ignored for many years (decades). Had the prior owners ridden them much with the bearings and grease in that condition, the results would probably be different. Note, this is with road bikes. MTBs are a different story, they are often flogged and poorly maintained, and I often find bad hubs on them.
My experience aligns pretty much with Thrifty Bill's here.

I have found even fewer bad spindle-type bottom brackets.
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Old 01-10-12, 08:56 PM   #14
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Is this the time to mention I just picked up a Normandy Luxe Comp gold-label hub for $5 because the shop wasn't aware that ANY Normandy cone would work?
I am going to check this out. I have a set of Comp hubs with one bad cone. I will see, first of all, if I can find the darn things, and second - will a normal cone work? I certainly hope so and hope not...

Hope so because then I will have a good set for my Peugeot Super Competition and hope not because it will destroy my belief that the Comps were something better.
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