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Old 04-28-12, 08:24 AM   #1
erileykc
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Raleigh front hub worn

Not sure why a search of forums thread won't accept "front hub" as a term and wants to instead give me every separate instance of front and hub. My internets skillz are deficient. That aside, my 1981 Raleigh Tourist front hub bearings are worn rather badly yielding a noticeable wobble in the front wheel. Some googling around on the subject seems to be equally divided on disassembling the hub and replacing the bearings plus repacking them against simply replacing the whole thing with a modern alloy wheel. I'd rather keep the original wheel if possible but I'd like a working bike even more. What does the collected wisdom think on the matter?

( I am reposting this from having buried it in the " for love of english three speeds" thread in hopes of getting a response )
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Old 04-28-12, 08:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by erileykc View Post
Not sure why a search of forums thread won't accept "front hub" as a term and wants to instead give me every separate instance of front and hub. My internets skillz are deficient. That aside, my 1981 Raleigh Tourist front hub bearings are worn rather badly yielding a noticeable wobble in the front wheel. Some googling around on the subject seems to be equally divided on disassembling the hub and replacing the bearings plus repacking them against simply replacing the whole thing with a modern alloy wheel. I'd rather keep the original wheel if possible but I'd like a working bike even more. What does the collected wisdom think on the matter?

( I am reposting this from having buried it in the " for love of english three speeds" thread in hopes of getting a response )
Have you repacked and adjusted the front hub? Check for the correct number of balls in the hub too, I routinely find hubs that are missing one or more balls.

I would try replacing the ball bearings unless the cones are noticeably worn. If that is the case look for replacement cones/hub. You can lace a modern hub onto the original rim, but then you have to do some minor fork modifications.

Aaron
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Old 04-28-12, 08:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by erileykc View Post
Not sure why a search of forums thread won't accept "front hub" as a term and wants to instead give me every separate instance of front and hub. My internets skillz are deficient. That aside, my 1981 Raleigh Tourist front hub bearings are worn rather badly yielding a noticeable wobble in the front wheel. Some googling around on the subject seems to be equally divided on disassembling the hub and replacing the bearings plus repacking them against simply replacing the whole thing with a modern alloy wheel. I'd rather keep the original wheel if possible but I'd like a working bike even more. What does the collected wisdom think on the matter?

( I am reposting this from having buried it in the " for love of english three speeds" thread in hopes of getting a response )
Have you repacked and adjusted the front hub? Check for the correct number of balls in the hub too, I routinely find hubs that are missing one or more balls.

I would try replacing the ball bearings unless the cones are noticeably worn. If that is the case look for replacement cones/hub. You can lace a modern hub onto the original rim, but then you have to do some minor fork modifications.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 04-28-12, 01:29 PM   #4
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If it's a Raleigh Tourist with true 28" tires and rod brakes, I'm not sure much is available in the way of alloy rims.

Also, you speak of "wobble," and surmise the bearings are "worn." That might not be the case at all. It might be the cones

Last edited by Mercian Rider; 04-28-12 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 04-28-12, 06:01 PM   #5
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+ 1 for the cones, but why not take it apart and regrease, and adjust cones properly.
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Old 04-28-12, 06:03 PM   #6
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Open the hub up and look at the bearing races. If they aren't pitted then repack and adjust. It seems that the cones wear out faster than the cups so you might just be able to buy new cones. If the cups are shot, too, then look for a whole hub on Ebay. An old English one will have the right size axle and shouldn't cost too much
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Old 04-28-12, 11:52 PM   #7
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+1

Definitely remove one side locknut and cone and pull out the axle.

Inspect the rolling surfaces on both cones, and clean and inspect the balls, making sure each side has a full row of bearings (too many wouldn't even start to fit). Grease it up and use the necessary thin wrench to adjust and hold the cone and another wrench to tighten the locknut against the cone, thus securing the adjustment.
Send us pictures if you can, for good evaluation and full description of needed parts.
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Old 04-29-12, 12:59 AM   #8
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Also when you disassemble it check the hub races for wear.just saying.
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Old 04-29-12, 02:07 AM   #9
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+1

Definitely remove one side locknut and cone and pull out the axle.

Inspect the rolling surfaces on both cones, and clean and inspect the balls, making sure each side has a full row of bearings (too many wouldn't even start to fit). Grease it up and use the necessary thin wrench to adjust and hold the cone and another wrench to tighten the locknut against the cone, thus securing the adjustment.
Send us pictures if you can, for good evaluation and full description of needed parts.
Many Raleigh 3 speeds don't have locknuts--the cone has a spigot that holds it into the fork. One cone tightens all the way down onto a shoulder on the axle, and the other cone has wrench flats and can be adjusted. The adjustable cone has to be on the left side of the bike.
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Old 05-10-12, 10:47 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. It will be a couple of weeks before I can get back to the bike to try them out but I will report my results. One suggestion from elsewhere was to use marine grease. Is that in fact a good choice?
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Old 05-10-12, 10:52 AM   #11
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It really doesn't matter, unless you ride a lot in the rain, or leave the bike in the rain.
Marine grease or trailer grease is sort of waterproof.
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Old 05-12-12, 05:05 AM   #12
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These are not high speed high performance hubs. I typically use "grease" in my hubs, the current can sitting on the bench is basic brown bearing grease and it is probably old, the can is steel and the price tag is for 99 cents. I also use Phil Wood grease and Park Tool grease.

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 06-07-12, 02:44 PM   #13
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Thanks very much for the pointers. I was lost in a bewildering set of conflicting suggestions and images from various net searches and the advice here was pretty much spot on. The hub was much simpler than most versions described on the web.


The front wheel is solid once again and the Tourist is one step closer to full restoration.
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Old 06-07-12, 02:47 PM   #14
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Well done!
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