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  1. #1
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    Want your bearing to last forever? Check this!

    i don't think it is scam/bs, what do you guys think? (please read the whole thing, there is a lot of sensical stuff in it)

    http://www.oasisdesign.net/transport...sefittings.htm
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  2. #2
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    It's kinda a scam, in the sense that they want 5 bucks to tell you how to drill a hole and screw in a zerk fitting.

    Here's the deal with grease fittings. They let you squirt in new grease. Ta da! Give me 5 bucks please.

    EXCEPT, you have to do it regularly if you want it to extend the life of the bearings at all. If you look at old cars they have grease fittings (zerk fittings) on everything. Nowadays they don't. It's because the seals on sealed bushings, bearings, ball joints, etc. are better than they used to be, and the greases they use nowadays last longer than they used to.

    A ball joint on an old car used to have a grease fitting that was greased every time you changed the oil. Remember "oil & lube"? That's the lube part. So, every 3-5000 miles. Nowadays they use a sealed non-greasable (just because there's no fitting, the design isn't significantly different) ball joint that will probably last easily 100,000 miles before needing replacement. Yeah, the old style might outlast it IF you lube it every 3-5000... so you're comparing like 20-30 lubings vs. 1 replacement.
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  3. #3
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    (Hardware stores sell zerk fittings. You can get one and compare to drillbits until you find one a little smaller than the threads on the fitting.. probably 1/4 inch or so.)
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for that, makes sense.

    But you are not saying that all bearings on a bike will easily last 100.000 miles are you?

    In this sense -unless you buy the highest grade/intense quality/hyper expensive headset, pedas, BB and hubs it does seem to make a lot of sense to add a real cheap fitting and then be able to extend the life of cheap but servicable components 5 tot 30 times, especially as the greasing seems to be a very small job.

    What do you think?
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  5. #5
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    OK looked at it again, here's what they want to tell you:
    * Shortcomings of standard bike bearing and frame design
    All tubes drain down to the BB which has no way to let water out. Well-discussed on here.

    * Complete instructions for locating and installing grease fittings for hubs, pedals, headset, and crank bearings
    Locate: Go to hardware store and ask for "zerk" or grease fittings. Get the small ones not the huge ones which won't fit anyway.
    Install: Drill hole, screw in.

    * How to seal your bike frame tubes against dirt, water, and corrosion
    uh, the example is "epoxy and a piece of beer can". Not exactly what *I*'d do for an expensive bike.

    * Types of grease
    Go to an auto parts store, buy ANY tube of grease, it doesn't matter. Nowadays any tube of grease for anything on a car is going to so far exceed what is needed on a bike (in terms of temperature resistance, ability to handle RPMs, water resistance, etc. etc.) that it really won't matter. If you want to really go for overkill, get synthetic wheel bearing grease.

    * Needed tools and materials
    Drill, zerk fittings, grease ***, grease.

    * All known issues and pitfalls and how to get around them
    Wow. ALL known issues and pitfalls. Would this be things like "Don't install a zerk fitting on your pedal where it'll interfere with your foot"?

    * Types of bearings; sealed mechanism, cup and cone, cartridge
    It doesn't matter much for purposes of adding grease fittings and if you really want to know, ask google.
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  6. #6
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce
    Thanks for that, makes sense.

    But you are not saying that all bearings on a bike will easily last 100.000 miles are you?
    Nah, they aren't car parts. Car parts last 100K miles which is what, 10-15 years? On a bike VERY VERY few people put that many miles on a year. Age matters too, because grease breaks down over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce
    In this sense -unless you buy the highest grade/intense quality/hyper expensive headset, pedas, BB and hubs it does seem to make a lot of sense to add a real cheap fitting and then be able to extend the life of cheap but servicable components 5 tot 30 times, especially as the greasing seems to be a very small job.

    What do you think?
    Well, it depends. If you do NOT ride your bike through/in water a lot, it's probably a waste of time. Even if you do, probably the bottom bearing would be the only one really in need of a frequent re-greasing. I REALLY can't see bothering to install them on the pedals. That seems like massive overkill.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce
    Thanks for that, makes sense.

    But you are not saying that all bearings on a bike will easily last 100.000 miles are you?

    In this sense -unless you buy the highest grade/intense quality/hyper expensive headset, pedas, BB and hubs it does seem to make a lot of sense to add a real cheap fitting and then be able to extend the life of cheap but servicable components 5 tot 30 times, especially as the greasing seems to be a very small job.

    What do you think?
    What I think? Instead of fixing a problem caused by buying cheapass bearings, why not just buy the good ones to begin with. It's a whopping $3 for a bag of 25 highest quality grade 25 bearings. It costs more for the solution than to outright get the good stuff to begin with.

    And seriously if you can't afford like $4 for bearings when they start to go, you shouldn't be riding a bike that costs more than $4. Or you can just get sealed cartridge bearings and be down with it.

    This is a solution in search of a problem.

  8. #8
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Simply maintaining the greasing of your bearings does not mean they will last forever. Longer yes, but not forever. Bearings still only have a limited life (L10 rating), and they can also be overloaded.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  9. #9
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    Hey Eggplant, thanks a lot for that! You saved me 5 bucks! If you are in town i'll buy you a bear, for real.

    @ Operator, nah i don't mean buying cheap as bearings. But i mean my pedals for example. They are real nice and cheap, they cost me 25 dollars. But they will last about 10.000 miles at best. Now i could buy pedals that cost twice that and that offer very little in terms of increased functionality. However, they may last 20.000 or even 30.000 miles. So what if i just add the zerk fittings (small job i think) and then can ride my pedals for 30.000 ormore miles for the outlay of like 1 to 5 dollars.

    Sounds like a pretty good deal to me/sensible. What is also a factor to me is that i am a durability freak/live in a very wet country and have aspirations of becoming a world tourer. I like to buy things for life (well, or for very long anyway) whenever possible.

    Also in quite some bearing assemblies it is pointless to replace the balls if the races/cups/cones are shot...
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce
    Thanks for that, makes sense.

    But you are not saying that all bearings on a bike will easily last 100.000 miles are you?

    In this sense -unless you buy the highest grade/intense quality/hyper expensive headset, pedas, BB and hubs it does seem to make a lot of sense to add a real cheap fitting and then be able to extend the life of cheap but servicable components 5 tot 30 times, especially as the greasing seems to be a very small job.

    What do you think?
    Making up completely arbitrary numbers here, let's say that low-end components will need major greasing every 5k miles or so. Let's say that it takes ~2 hours to order, drill, and learn how to service the low-end components once the 'zerk fitting' is added. Let's then say that a high-end component lasts 30k miles (which less than 1% of BF members will ever ride on the same set of components, but that doesn't matter). Let's say it takes 15 minutes to lube a centaur or 105 BB which wouldn't have to be touched it it were a record or a phil. Let's arbirtrarily say that you'll have to do this 6 times for every one time you **** with something nice.

    Nice components cost ~ 2-3 times more than run of the mill ones, but have to be worked on probably 6x less than MODIFIED versions of the latter. Most adults earn at least approx. $20 an hour ($35k a year), so your time makes up for the difference to begin with... and not to say that repacking old-school fittings isn't part of the 'fun' part of maintenance (because it certainly is), but something tells me (and i honestly have no idea) that major component companies don't really sell a lot of cup-and-cone fittings anymore.

    Regardless, I'm poor as **** and I don't base my component decisions on irrelevant **** like this... I'm like everyone else: I buy something expensive if I can pull it off at the moment and I think it looks cool and I can make some arbitrary excuse about how it will be at least marginally better than something cheaper. And I'm always happy with my decisions. So just buy what makes you happy and stop pretending like it matters outside of any context where you don't make a living by riding.

    I could proably shave ~15 seconds off my 15 minute commute by switching to fancier parts for over $500. And that would be as stupid as slamming my head into a telephone pole as hard as I could to see how strong it is.

    It's really all about buiilding a pretty bike, and there is nothing wrong with that at all as long as you're willing to admit it.

    If only campy would not put ugly-ass big logos on all of their parts these days...

    Zach

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    Interesting perspective. But i am piss poor by US standards, i don't care much at all about how my bike looks, but do care about it's performance and durability. And yeah, i enjoy maintenance if it is simple and not too frequent. So in those terms i think the Zerk fitting might well make me happy, much happier than spending double the loot (that i don't have) for "nice components".
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  12. #12
    jur
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    Well whoop-de-doo. In this corner we have a guy that did 20 years of research (let's just say that boils down to repeated tests and experience over such a stretch of time) AND he offers your money back in case you think the files are dud.

    In the other corner we have a bunch of arm-chair theorists trying to shoot him down.

    Give a guy a break. No offense meant Jeff but it's not a scam by any stretch of the imagination going by all the other stuff on his site. There is this other case I remember from a few months ago, I bought 2 sets of this other chap's (very inexpensive) products, next thing I see his product questioned on these forums and a bunch of guys bleating "scam!"

    With scams you have guys trying to make serious dough with dodgy looking stuff. Like a guy telling you he will tell you how to make bucketloads of money, just send me 10 bucks. Then he tells you to do the same thing he's doing.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    Well whoop-de-doo. In this corner we have a guy that did 20 years of research (let's just say that boils down to repeated tests and experience over such a stretch of time) AND he offers your money back in case you think the files are dud.

    In the other corner we have a bunch of arm-chair theorists trying to shoot him down.

    Give a guy a break. No offense meant Jeff but it's not a scam by any stretch of the imagination going by all the other stuff on his site. There is this other case I remember from a few months ago, I bought 2 sets of this other chap's (very inexpensive) products, next thing I see his product questioned on these forums and a bunch of guys bleating "scam!"

    With scams you have guys trying to make serious dough with dodgy looking stuff. Like a guy telling you he will tell you how to make bucketloads of money, just send me 10 bucks. Then he tells you to do the same thing he's doing.
    I agree that 10 bucks for a book on how to make bucketloads of money is a scam. But 5 bucks for a PDF file download of how to drill a hole and screw in a fitting is about the same thing.

    SB

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    Well, it all depends. I haven't read that PDF, we are all just guessing at the contents more or less as well as the value. Plus we need to realize not everyone has the benefit of these forums.

    I don't know, some eco dude making 5 bucks of me for sharing some potentially valuable knowledge seems much less evil and questionable (if at all) than Trek making millions by marking up all their bikes a 100% to 300 % from the actual total production cost. But for some reason, just because their product is tangible and they are a huge faceless corporation nobody ever seems to mind or scream 'scam' at any of that...
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

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    Just how much trouble are people having with their bearings anyway? I mean, maybe the hardcore MTB crowd is haveng problems with premature failure, but they expect it. Those of us who don't abuse the equipment, rarely have any problems. So why bother?

  16. #16
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    Give a guy a break. No offense meant Jeff but it's not a scam
    I guess I shoulda been clearer when I said "kinda a scam". It's not a SCAM in the sense of trying to rip people off. You pay 5 bucks, you get a bunch of knowledge. Like buying a book.

    I think it's probably a poor value for the money, since I doubt there's much in his document that the normal person would need that isn't available for free (internet, library, etc).

    However if you don't feel like doing the research yourself, 5 bucks isn't too much to pay. Like buying a reference book. Except I prefer real books to computer files because you can get greasy fingerprints all over them while trying to compare a picture to the part in your hand .

    One thing I don't like is the tone of his ad though. Greasing your parts all the time isn't some holy grail of technological magic that will make your bike last forever. I agree that it could greatly extend the life of the parts by at least an order of magnitude, but like everyone was pointing out above, you have to compare to the time you spend installing the fitting, regreasing, the money you spend on the grease, etc.

    I mean, it's not a LOT of time. You can probably install the first zerk fitting in half an hour and the ones after that in 5 minutes apiece (yes I've installed zerk fittings before). Greasing is a matter of squirt squirt squirt wipe off excess, maybe 1 minute for one fitting, if you've got a bunch it might take 15 minutes all told. Zerk fittings are probably 10 for a buck and a tube of the fanciest grease you can get is gonna be like 20 bucks and last you forever in the quantities you'll use on a bike.

    It's up to you. If you're low on funds for repairs and/or replacement parts are not available easily (say, if you don't live in a country with overnight shipping from bike warehouse stores), it makes sense to do more preventative maintenance, and zerk fittings make regreasing way easier. If you're like most bikeforums members and upgrade parts before the shine is even worn off.... .
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  17. #17
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    This subject is pretty well covered, but I would like to add a few points.

    1. Buy a tap because Zerks break off easily.

    2. Do not pump grease until you blow the seals or you will need to grease more often. This happened quite often with the old style automotive ends mentioned earlier.

    3. Wipe your Zerk off after greasing and before adding new greasing. You do not want to push dirt into the bearing with the new grease.
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    Hey thanks a lot guys, most helpfull!

    @ Ed, so you are saying Zerk's have threading and hence you need a tap to install or maybe replace them with bigger ones if they go...? Or..?

    Kinda like that word 'Zerk', 'Zerk!!', reminds me of 'Zerg', ah,.. the StarCraft pc game, fond memories.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  19. #19
    d_D
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce
    especially as the greasing seems to be a very small job.
    It seems like a small job but gets to be a pain. You need to do it nearly every ride. If the grease gets contaminated it takes several injections to clean the old stuff out. It's also a bit messy as the old grease oozes out onto the bike and will attract dirt if not cleaned off properly. Also with bearings not designed to have grease injected the grease can make it past the bearing and fill up whatever is behind it, you could end up with a bb, headtube or hub packed solid with grease.
    After all that you still have to overhall them periodically. Bearings wear even with a constant supply of clean grease.

    I've used several componants with grease ports, they where available off the shelf years ago and always found decent seals and occasional overhalls to be much better. Unless large parts of your bike a fequently operating underwater modern seals can keep the crap out for a decent length of time.

    I think this quote from the page sums it up.
    I rode a bike equipped with grease fittings a foot deep in sandy salt water every day for a year as part of my research on corrosion and bearing durability.
    Sustained underwater use like that is going to contaminate even the best sealed bike bearings. It's really a choice of overhalling, injecting grease or just replacing bearings fequently. Most bikes just don't have to fend of those conditions. My commuting bike that is used all year round and sits outside all day is likley to have less bearing contamination after a whole year of riding than his bike does after a single day.

    Don't fall for the myth that you have to spend a lot of money to get decent componants. There are loads of well sealed good quality componants out there you just need to find them. Finding them is the hard part, forums like this tend to have a lot of fair weather cyclists that have boarderline obsessive maintence scedules and are drawn to flashy componants. Finding people who ride componants until they wear out and have actually worn out enough different componants to know what works is hard.
    Last edited by d_D; 03-25-06 at 10:43 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by edp773
    This subject is pretty well covered, but I would like to add a few points.

    1. Buy a tap because Zerks break off easily.

    2. Do not pump grease until you blow the seals or you will need to grease more often. This happened quite often with the old style automotive ends mentioned earlier.

    3. Wipe your Zerk off after greasing and before adding new greasing. You do not want to push dirt into the bearing with the new grease.
    Exactly, pump till you feel a slight bit of pressure/resistance. DO NOT go further, plain jane grease guns will do 1000PSI without breaking a sweat.

  21. #21
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    Also usefull stuff, thx.

    Having reflected on it, i ride nowhere near enough for the type of stuff mentioned to become a problem. I have made a study of getting real good yet cheap components. So untill i am a world tourer or decide to ride in the rain forest at length i will probably dispense with the zerk fittings. Unless of course my trusty components appear to be a lot less trusty than i hope. As it is i have the following, which is suppossed to be all bomb proof:

    Pedals with industrial bearing that allow you to replace the bearings quite easily.
    Tange Levin headset (supposedly the longest lasting in it's price range)
    Hub gears (should last for a bit, they are new).
    Simple but good *** totally sealed bottom bracket that is cheapo and sinch to replace. When i need a new one in 5 to 12 years it will set me back 20 and take 30 minutes to replace.

    A cheap thing that i always do which i think really helps is smearing a thin and neat ring of Vaseline (or a a specialized bike grease) at the "edges" -> Where Headset meats steering tube, where BB cup meets with frame etc. This seems to really help to keep the water out.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

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