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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 03-23-11, 08:38 AM   #1
tristen
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Anyone swear by a particular type of bearings for their commute?

i recently completely collapsed my rear bearings on my fg. cos i wanted to get back up on that horse, i just purchased an el-cheapo new rear wheel with a mind to replace the bearings in my old wheel at my leisure.

i'm new to fg and this is the first time i've had to consider replacing bearings. has anyone tried out various bearings for the purposes of commuting and settled on a firm favourite brand/model?

cheers
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Old 03-23-11, 09:25 AM   #2
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Pic of a 'completely collapsed' rear bearing?
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Old 03-23-11, 10:10 AM   #3
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Any sealed cartridge bearing hub would do the trick.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:46 AM   #4
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Here is my answer:
whatevertheLBSgivesmeadntellsmetoputonmybike
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Old 03-23-11, 11:55 AM   #5
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i recently completely collapsed my rear bearings on my fg
Huh?
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Old 03-23-11, 11:59 AM   #6
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Like, you pedaled so hard your bearings were ground into dust?

To get to your question, we need more info. What hubs do you have? Do they take cartridge bearings or loose ball?
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Old 03-23-11, 12:37 PM   #7
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I think he refers to "bearings" but means "hub", I think.
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Old 03-23-11, 12:43 PM   #8
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Ceramics; anything less and I'm taking the bus.
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Old 03-23-11, 12:49 PM   #9
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Ceramics; anything less and I'm taking the bus.
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Old 03-23-11, 01:51 PM   #10
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Formula hubs with stock bearings have always been nice to me and I am 6'2" 240lbs. I always think I am going to try Phil's but I never do.
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Old 03-23-11, 08:57 PM   #11
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Phil buys his sealed bearings from someone else.

I've ridden through many nasty winters with my original Phil spec'd bearings, and they perform as new.

That said, local friends who ride in same weather as I do, ride with loose ball bearings.

They tell me they service their hubs and bottom bracket twice a year out of habit, and their bearing races remain as good as new.

They also tell me they have less rolling resistance and generally smoother bearings than I do.

Who has ridden both sealed and loose in all kinds of weather for long enough to make a comparison?
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Old 03-23-11, 10:47 PM   #12
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They may create drag... But at our level, and dare I say anyone elses, nowhere near even a considerable amount. Spinning a wheel alone will have much less inertia than spinning the wheel via going down the road, thus the friction due to bearing seals being negligible in comparison to say air resistance of a moving body (which squares up as you increase speed).

However, some people say that loose-balls (when set correctly) roll smoother. Myself personally, can not tell the difference, and I ride on both, all the time. The only thing I do know, is that it can be a pain if the cones loosen and every bit of grit will just be swallowed into the hubs. But this is on a Formula hub, my 105 hubs don't have issues with the cones coming loose. This may also be in part to my 3 dollar cone wrenches, but who knows. IMHO, it's really personal preference. If you like looseballs (because they spin for more time while off the road or roll smoother) then go with looseballs, if you like sealed cartridge bearings (because they stay grit free for longer, and don't require cone adjustments ever or what have you) then go with sealed bearings.

Really, the only absolute advantage that cartridge bearings have over loose-balls, is that when that cartridge goes out, you simply throw in another. The press fit will stay, and if not, is easily re-obtainable. Whereas with loose-balls, assuming you keep your hubs/wheelset long enough, if those races go too long without maintenance, the hubs are screwed (to my understanding, replacement cups are pretty rare or expensive).
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Old 03-23-11, 11:06 PM   #13
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i didn't actually witness the opening of the hub to see what state the ball bearings were in, but judging by the pitting on the inner ring i don't think it was a pretty sight. my bike started making one hell of a racket. i limped to the lbs and got a phone call an hour or so later with the verdict. the bearings were shot. btw: the hubs fine and dandy: it's a surly.

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Old 03-23-11, 11:17 PM   #14
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*shudders

Well that's a good demonstration of the benefits of running cartridge hubs.
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Old 03-23-11, 11:23 PM   #15
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Ceramics; anything less and I'm taking the bus.
i was wondering about those. smooth?
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Old 03-23-11, 11:28 PM   #16
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There ye go sir ^^^

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Pic of a 'completely collapsed' rear bearing?
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Old 03-23-11, 11:29 PM   #17
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it's a surly.

FFFF Surly hubs. I had one and it did the same thing. Who the **** designs a cartridge bearing hub to be adjustable like a loose ball hub? After replacing the first set of shot bearings I over tightened the cones(I guess you can call them that) by hand on re-installation and that put some play in the new bearings. stupid design

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Old 03-23-11, 11:37 PM   #18
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If you're running loose ball bearings, you need to be servicing them at least once a year (if not more - I've been doing twice a year) after the bad weather season (winter) and making sure you keep as much water out of them as you can. Servicing your bearings with regularity will slow the pitting rate significantly.

Edit: What the heck someone explain how an adjustable cartridge bearing works?!
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Old 03-23-11, 11:46 PM   #19
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Like, you pedaled so hard your bearings were ground into dust? To get to your question, we need more info. What hubs do you have? Do they take cartridge bearings or loose ball?
you know i think i must have i ask a lot from my bike. i commute about 40kms a day @ 84 gear/inches. i go for 50km road rides (less stopping/starting) on saturdays/sundays. i've had the bike just short of 12 months and i've never serviced the bearings before. i'm a bit green (new) when it comes to bike maintenance so i think they're cartridge bearings. the hubs are surly 32h 120mm fixed/free.
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Old 03-23-11, 11:58 PM   #20
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Edit: What the heck someone explain how an adjustable cartridge bearing works?!
Just like a loose ball. You have a cone('cept it's cylindrical) and a lock nut. The cone(cylinder) presses against the inner race of the cartridge. If you don't adjust them right then the axle has play in the hub. Over tighten during adjustment and you **** the bearings.

Last edited by hairnet; 03-24-11 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 03-24-11, 12:00 AM   #21
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FFFF Surly hubs. I had one and it did the same thing. Who the **** designs a cartridge bearing hub to be adjustable like a loose ball hub? After replacing the first set of shot bearings I over tightened the cones(I guess you can call them that) by hand on re-installation and that put some play in the new bearings. stupid design
this happened to you too? ah, i'm not a freak then maybe

so when you replaced the bearings, you overtightened the cones - and you mentioned that putting some play in the new bearings. do you mean the wheel could be slightly, um, "rattled" from side to side?

that's a bad thing isn't it?

if so: is there anything in your experiences that may help me judge a correct tightness of the cones?

thanks!
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Old 03-24-11, 12:11 AM   #22
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Yes, that's what happened. How were the sounds from the hub? I honestly thought my frame was going to break before I inspected the hub.

Since then I learned some tricks to bearing adjustment (and I sold the hub). You can adjust so there is just a little bit of play (tiny) and then tighten both 17mm locknuts at he same time to remove the little bit of play. But I don't think Surlys are worth it because if you mess up then those bearings aren't perfect and you have to either tighten the cones(further screwing the cartridge) to remove the play or order new ones.

Last edited by hairnet; 03-24-11 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 03-24-11, 12:11 AM   #23
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i was wondering about those. smooth?
They are pretty much useless on a bicycle...
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Old 03-24-11, 12:17 AM   #24
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Good hubs with good cartridge bearings are good for 20,000 plus miles and we have had wheel sets go 30,000 and they still spin as smoothly as they did on day one... and when they need servicing it takes 5-10 minutes and then you are good to go for another 20,000 miles or more.

You can get the same life out of quality loose ball hubs but they need to be properly maintained and if they are Shimano hubs they cannot be overhauled with new cups like a Campy hub can.
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Old 03-24-11, 12:31 AM   #25
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Yes, that's what happened. How were the sounds from the hub? I honestly thought my frame was going to break before I inspected the hub.
man, the noise from my hub? i thought it was judgement day. HEAR YE HEAR YE THE END IS NIGH.

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You can adjust so there is just a little bit of play (tiny) and then tighten both 17mm locknuts at he same time to remove the little bit of play.
i'll remember that, cheers. bloody strange design for sure - plenty of room for error.

may i ask which hub you found to be best from a maintenance point of view?
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