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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-02-10, 06:47 PM   #1
TL179
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What ACTUALLY happens when you use D/A Hubs in bad weather.

I'll spoil it for you, they get f***ed up. I'm not looking for sympathy, but I think my experience goes against some 'expert' wisdom on using these hubs in winter.

So I decided to build my first real track bike this fall. I've been working as a messenger for about two years, and have been using conversions and decent 80s' road bikes, for most of that time. Given that my road bike got smashed up last spring I decided to stay on the fixed all summer, or at least until I made enough to rebuild the thing. Anyway I ended up fixing the roadie only to get hit again the first week I was back on it. At this point I decided to permanently make my main work bike a fixed, more specifically a track bike.

Long story short, I set a budget that included a set of D/A-Open pro wheels off of Ebay. I'm part time right now, so I baseline at 3 days a week and usually work more, but never less. So at 50 or so miles a day these hubs saw 3 weeks, or just shy of 500 miles of riding including non-work riding. After this point I retired the trackie and got on my winter conversion. Of the days I rode the D/As one rained hard, and one was kind of slushy, the rest were clear and dry. I removed the wheels every couple of days to check the bearings, and eventually found that both the front and rear hubs had gotten a little rough.

I repacked the front just before putting the bike away, there was no pitting or rust. I just opened up the rear and, well, check the pictures.





Only the non-drive side or the rear had this damage, but it wasn't limited to the cones, the races are pitted too. I'll see in a minute how this effects the smoothness of the hub. I know about maintaining loose-hubs having run shimano stuff on all types of bikes since before I was a messenger, I've just never seen one go to hell so quickly.

These are great hubs, laced to open pros, these are the fastest and most responsive wheels I've ever owned. Paired with a decent drivetrain and frame I found the performance increase over Formulas more than noticeable, it was extreme. That said I wouldn't recommend anyone use them in the winter, even with the seals installed. Keep e'm dry, the bi-weekly maintenance is really a pain otherwise.
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Old 01-02-10, 07:11 PM   #2
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That's a shame about your hubs, man. I often find myself dejected over the destruction of a loose-ball bottom bracket had. Will you be sending them into Shimano? Please let us know how this turns out.
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Old 01-02-10, 07:41 PM   #3
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Just as I thought, the hub is smooth on the drive side, rough on the non. I guess this is what I get for using these things on the street. An interesting thing to note is that the seal rings that come with the hubs (there are NONE installed from the factory) don't fit well within the dustcaps and make adjusting the hubs after a re-pack very difficult. Will probably just re-lace to WI or phils and sell these.
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Old 01-02-10, 08:01 PM   #4
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that's weird. maybe you got a bum set? were they new from eBay or used? did you check them first thing when you got them?

you said yourself that you've used shimano stuff, and i know it's not a DA or a track hub, but my Ultegra road hubs (from the late 90's) have gone through slush, snow, rain, hell i even have used them for some cyclocross races through the mud, and i've only repacked them twice in the 5+ years i've had 'em. still work great.

perhaps constantly dismantling and rebuilding them all the time has been a problem? especially if you say repacking them is very difficult. also, maybe your axle has a slight bend in it? that can definitely cause one-sided wear.
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Old 01-02-10, 08:10 PM   #5
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Damn that sucks..... especially if they are high flange... I totally love those

I don't think Shimano is going to do anything about it unless they're super nice.... they're going to give you the typical manufacturers "the damage is wear and tear, not covered" or "you used them improperly, you voided your warranty"...

But anyway arent dura ace track hubs meant for indoor (which is dry) conditions?
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Old 01-02-10, 09:27 PM   #6
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Good points. I'm sure the hubs were new, when I received them this November. Apart from having to adjust the rear hub out of the box, this overhaul is the first time I have taken them apart in some 500 miles of use. The hubs are made for track racing and compared to road hubs are laughably sealed, but considering some of the experience people claimed to have with them I thought the odd moist day would be alright. I expected somewhat high maintenance, and I was prepared to re-pack every 15th of the month, but I guess even that is a bit optimistic. I doubt shimano will do anything, and I'm not even going to try. I put this up mostly as an "expect this to happen if you" thread
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Old 01-02-10, 10:24 PM   #7
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All open bearing hubs are vulnerable in this way, not just track hubs. The "trick" is to pack them heavily with water-resistant synthetic grease (I use Schwinn) such that it literally oozes out of the dust cap, creating a barrier against the entry of dirt and grime during wet or dusty weather. I have 30 year old Campy road hubs that still run smooth even after having been through hundreds of rainy days. I typically overhaul them every 3000 miles.
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Old 01-02-10, 11:18 PM   #8
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So are you going to build a set of sealed bearing wheels next?
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Old 01-02-10, 11:57 PM   #9
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How tight/loose were the cones?
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Old 01-03-10, 02:13 PM   #10
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Ahh, just fill 'em up with toothpaste and reinstall. Spin the wheel for a couple of minutes. Take everything apart and clean the hell out of it. I've seen people salvage worse.
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Old 01-03-10, 06:21 PM   #11
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Ahh, just fill 'em up with toothpaste and reinstall. Spin the wheel for a couple of minutes. Take everything apart and clean the hell out of it. I've seen people salvage worse.
for real?
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Old 01-03-10, 06:53 PM   #12
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Get a new set of cones and bearings and start fresh.
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Old 01-03-10, 09:23 PM   #13
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it could work.. though I've never heard of it for bike parts before. Toothpaste is a minor abrasive, you can use it to resurface cd's when they are too scratched to play correctly. So i guess i can see this working on your cones. Give it a try, if not maybe some other polishing compound will work.
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Old 01-04-10, 05:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinosaur88 View Post
it could work.. though I've never heard of it for bike parts before. Toothpaste is a minor abrasive, you can use it to resurface cd's when they are too scratched to play correctly. So i guess i can see this working on your cones. Give it a try, if not maybe some other polishing compound will work.
The problem is that pits are areas where the hardened bearing surface has been fretted away, exposing the softer metal underneath. Polishing the pits away will leave an unhardened surface for the balls, and will wear quickly.
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