Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Mismatched Number of Balls in a Hub Bearing

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Mismatched Number of Balls in a Hub Bearing

Old 06-23-15, 07:05 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Scotland
Posts: 157

Bikes: Diamondback Topanga, Scott CX Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Mismatched Number of Balls in a Hub Bearing

I dismantled the hub of my wife's bike this morning and found that one side had 8 bearing balls while the other had 9. I am sure that I did not drop a bearing as I had a cloth over my lap. Has anyone else ever found a bearing to contain a different number of balls on either side?
rodscot is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 07:11 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
okane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,029
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by rodscot
I dismantled the hub of my wife's bike this morning and found that one side had 8 bearing balls while the other had 9. I am sure that I did not drop a bearing as I had a cloth over my lap. Has anyone else ever found a bearing to contain a different number of balls on either side?
Yes. Once on an older bike I was rehabbing. Just figured previous "mechanic" lost count or factory mistake. Wouldn't surprise me a bit to find wally world bikes with differences!
okane is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 07:17 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 33,656

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2027 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,099 Times in 745 Posts
Check inside the hub shell as a bearing ball will sometimes disappear into the interior. Otherwise it was an assembly mistake somewhere along the line.
HillRider is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 07:42 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,104
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 363 Post(s)
Liked 131 Times in 90 Posts
Was this a front or rear hub? I assume the rear. Yes, there can be a different number of bearings on each side for the rear hub as well as dfferent size bearings on each side. Look close and compare the sizing.

Last edited by Jicafold; 06-23-15 at 07:49 AM.
Jicafold is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 07:53 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
JonathanGennick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Munising, Michigan, USA
Posts: 4,131

Bikes: Priority 600, Priority Continuum, Devinci Dexter

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 685 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 55 Times in 37 Posts
I've seen different sizes, and hence different counts, on the left and right sides of rear hubs. Not often. But it does happen.

Don't sweat it though. Just put back as many as will fit in the race. Don't cram in the last one, because there is usually almost enough space for one more but not quite enough, and you want that little bit of free space. Get the size right of course. Then just fill in the race.
JonathanGennick is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 07:54 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,688
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1074 Post(s)
Liked 295 Times in 222 Posts
Originally Posted by Jicafold
Was this a front or rear hub? I assume the rear. Yes, there can be a different number of bearings on each side for the rear hub as well as dfferent size bearings on each side. Look close and compare the sizing.
+1
Not that uncommon for hubs with a definite left/right difference to use different bearings.
dabac is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 08:32 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Scotland
Posts: 157

Bikes: Diamondback Topanga, Scott CX Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Thanks, it was the rear hub.

I did check inside the shell but nothing there. Having read the responses here now, I reckon that there is no 'missing' ball. I am sure that both races are the same size - the balls are definitely the same size - but will look more closely to make sure. I have ordered some more balls and will do as suggested by adding back as many as will fit inside comfortably without forcing or 'squashing' them in.

Last edited by rodscot; 06-23-15 at 08:35 AM.
rodscot is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 08:35 AM
  #8  
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 22,644

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Mentioned: 98 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3873 Post(s)
Liked 2,576 Times in 1,583 Posts
You sure one didn't sneak out stuck to the axle?
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 08:36 AM
  #9  
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 13,954

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds. 2019 Giant Explore E+3

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1829 Post(s)
Liked 1,316 Times in 907 Posts
Specifying WHICH hub would go a long way to giving you a correct answer.
Bill Kapaun is online now  
Old 06-23-15, 08:37 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Scotland
Posts: 157

Bikes: Diamondback Topanga, Scott CX Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
You sure one didn't sneak out stuck to the axle?
No, checked the axle and cones. The clothes, the floor, even my trousers. I am sure the garage mice got there before me.
rodscot is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 08:38 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Scotland
Posts: 157

Bikes: Diamondback Topanga, Scott CX Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
Specifying WHICH hub would go a long way to giving you a correct answer.
Sorry but I have clarified this now. It was the rear, which is a freewheel hub.

Last edited by rodscot; 06-23-15 at 08:41 AM.
rodscot is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 08:42 AM
  #12  
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 13,954

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds. 2019 Giant Explore E+3

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1829 Post(s)
Liked 1,316 Times in 907 Posts
Originally Posted by rodscot
Sorry but I have clarified this now. It was the rear, which is a freewheel hub.
Specifying WHICH BRAND/MODEL.........
Bill Kapaun is online now  
Old 06-23-15, 09:31 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Scotland
Posts: 157

Bikes: Diamondback Topanga, Scott CX Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
Specifying WHICH BRAND/MODEL.........
I am sorry. I misunderstood. It is an old bike and worth very little. My wife has had it for 25 years and I have no idea what the make is or the make of the wheel. However, I think that I got enough info to help me deal with the problem. Many thanks.
rodscot is offline  
Old 06-23-15, 10:26 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 5,846

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1956 Post(s)
Liked 2,201 Times in 1,339 Posts
Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
Just put back as many as will fit in the race. Don't cram in the last one, because there is usually almost enough space for one more but not quite enough, and you want that little bit of free space. Get the size right of course. Then just fill in the race.
^ Yes it is a pretty simple solution. Take one from the other side and see if it fits without "cramming in the last one." If it fits, you need 9... if not, you need 8. She has been riding it for 25 years. Easiest way to find the lost ball is to buy a replacement and it will pop up right after you attach the wheel to the frame.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
joedab
Bicycle Mechanics
16
12-17-18 05:11 PM
richard4993
Bicycle Mechanics
3
01-31-16 06:30 PM
krfarstad
Bicycle Mechanics
22
06-25-15 01:26 PM
Crevatsch
Classic & Vintage
3
06-16-12 11:18 AM
norbikes
Bicycle Mechanics
4
08-30-10 04:21 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.