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Hub cartridge bearings play

Old 03-06-18, 01:57 AM
  #1  
ammarolli
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Hub cartridge bearings play

I have a play in the front wheel hub that has a Bontrager alloy sealed cartridge bearing hub.

Do I need to replace the bearings or can I adjust the hub like with the cup and cone hubs?
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Old 03-06-18, 03:32 AM
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Don’t know Bontrager cartridge hubs offhand. But some cartridge bearing hubs do have a bearing preload adjustment. It doesn’t really do the same thing as on cup&cone hubs.
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Old 03-06-18, 04:03 AM
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Maybe it's best for me to talk to my trek dealer and see if it's possible to adjust the preload or the bearings needs to be replaced.
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Old 03-06-18, 08:58 AM
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How much play? Does it allow rim/pad rub or disrupt the steering?


Some hubs have no allowence for preload adjustment. True radial contact (the typical "sealed" cartridge bearing) really want to have the balls running in the center of the ball tracks, not on one side or the other side. And preload adjustment forces the balls between sides of the inner and outer tracks.


Millions of bikes are being ridden many miles with slight bearing freeplay with no issues. Is this really a functional problem causing some sort of additional issues.? Or is this a problem of observation and OCD thinking? Andy (who has 5 sets of Phil hubs with some that have a tiny freeplay).
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Old 03-06-18, 11:30 AM
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there are sealed bearings of radial contact, and angular contact.. only with angular contact bearings,
can you take out the run out / play, you may feel at the rim, on a hub, designed to take advantage of that feature..






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-06-18 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 03-06-18, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
How much play? Does it allow rim/pad rub or disrupt the steering?


Some hubs have no allowence for preload adjustment. True radial contact (the typical "sealed" cartridge bearing) really want to have the balls running in the center of the ball tracks, not on one side or the other side. And preload adjustment forces the balls between sides of the inner and outer tracks.


Millions of bikes are being ridden many miles with slight bearing freeplay with no issues. Is this really a functional problem causing some sort of additional issues.? Or is this a problem of observation and OCD thinking? Andy (who has 5 sets of Phil hubs with some that have a tiny freeplay).
Slight lateral play on radial contact bearings is necessary for proper function. As @Andrew R Stewart says, it allows the bearings to run in their races correctly. Remove that lateral play and you'll wear out your bearings in relatively short order.

There are "magneto" cartridge bearings that are angular contact, but not often seen in bike hubs. Curtis Odom offers them on his, and other than that the only ones I recall seeing are on Maxi-Car hubs.
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Old 03-06-18, 12:35 PM
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Chris King uses angular contact "cartridge/sealed" bearings. These are adjustable. Andy
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Old 03-06-18, 01:58 PM
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Just get a bunch of your people to form a tight circle around the victim..
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Old 03-06-18, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Chris King uses angular contact "cartridge/sealed" bearings. These are adjustable. Andy
Yeah, that's right. But they're also made in-house. So not the kind of thing you could pick up from a local bearing supply store.
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Old 03-06-18, 02:49 PM
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I have disc brakes on that bike and the the rotor moves when I push hard on the tire.
I found it out when I was riding yesterday because I had lot of brake rub when I was cornering.

However I like to mention that I took the wheel out of the bike and turned the axle and the bearings are smooth.

Last edited by ammarolli; 03-06-18 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 03-06-18, 02:50 PM
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you have a CK hub, OP had a Bontrager Trek Brand.. My Bullseye hubs, uses 6001 radial contact bearings..

Being Radial,type, you cannot put them in upside down ... I got Enduro, brand, 90% ball fill, , thru my LBS, they're carried by QBP..








...

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-08-18 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 03-06-18, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by n0+4c|u3 View Post
If they're the right size, go for it.
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Old 03-06-18, 04:45 PM
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I’m having a little trouble following who’s intending to order what bearings for which hub, so apologies if this is obvious to everybody, but the OP should be aware that you have to be careful about substituting angular contact bearings in an application designed for radial contact, and vice versa. Radial bearings don’t react well to axial loads, whereas angulars actually need a little bit of axial preload to work optimally, and they have to be pressed in the right way around as well (with Enduros, the preload must press on the side with the orange seal, not the black seal). If the hub doesn’t have a mechanism to add preload, you won’t get good bearing life.

I have angular contact bottom brackets for a couple of cranksets and the installation procedure involves placing a wave washer on the drive side, under the crank spider, to press in on the bearing (orange seals facing out on both sides of the BB)
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Old 03-06-18, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ammarolli View Post
I have disc brakes on that bike and the the rotor moves when I push hard on the tire.
I found it out when I was riding yesterday because I had lot of brake rub when I was cornering.

However I like to mention that I took the wheel out of the bike and turned the axle and the bearings are smooth.
how tight is the QR or is it thru axle?
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Old 03-07-18, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
how tight is the QR or is it thru axle?
Its a 5mm hex key qr and its fully tigthen down so it is a play in the hub.
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Old 03-07-18, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghrumpy View Post
There are "magneto" cartridge bearings that are angular contact, but not often seen in bike hubs. Curtis Odom offers them on his, and other than that the only ones I recall seeing are on Maxi-Car hubs.
Yes. Not sure why magneto bearings aren't more common, but for track hubs at least, I'm becoming a convert. I sponsor a competitive track rider whom I provided with a set of Curtis Odom hubs with mag bearings. 13,000 km so far, and nothing rolls like them.
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Old 03-07-18, 11:25 AM
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Radial bearings will have a small amount of play at the rim when properly adjusted. If you preload them you shorten their life. You can buy angular contact bearings hare: ENDURO ANGULAR CONTACT STEEL BEARINGS FOR WHEEL HUBS
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Old 03-08-18, 11:38 AM
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There shouldn't be excessive play from cartridge bearings. Either the hub is out of adjustment or it is time to replace the bearings.
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Old 03-08-18, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
There shouldn't be excessive play from cartridge bearings. Either the hub is out of adjustment or it is time to replace the bearings.
Yep, true of any bearing. Problem is, what does "excessive play" mean? I have not seen a spec that would allow one to determine whether a radial-contact cartridge bearing is worn. If properly adjusted, and not side-loaded in an attempt to adjust all the axial play out, almost all the wear would be radial, of course. Trying to measured indirectly by deflection at the rim (and with a little math) will include both axial and radial looseness. This then would be considerably less accurate. Good enough? Who knows. We're all going by feel and by comparison until we can get an engineering spec.

To be accurate in adjusting a cartridge bearing hub, you'd need an endplay spec, and a dial indicator to measure it, the same way you measure an engine crankshaft's. Having never seen one from a hub manufacturer, I'd guess you'd have to get one from a bearing manufacturer. That might be worth looking into....

I generally adjust my adjustable cartridge hubs a little looser than I set my cuppy-coney ones, so that I can feel a bit of play at the rim, whereas you don't want any play with loose ball hubs. With non-adjustable ones like Phil or Bullseye, replacing the bearing is about all you can do if it feels very loose.

The nice thing about cartridge bearing hubs is that you can ride on a really well-worn-in set of bearings for a long time without concern that the hub itself will be damaged. They roll really nicely when they're worn in.
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Old 03-08-18, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghrumpy View Post
Yep, true of any bearing. Problem is, what does "excessive play" mean? I have not seen a spec that would allow one to determine whether a radial-contact cartridge bearing is worn. If properly adjusted, and not side-loaded in an attempt to adjust all the axial play out, almost all the wear would be radial, of course. Trying to measured indirectly by deflection at the rim (and with a little math) will include both axial and radial looseness. This then would be considerably less accurate. Good enough? Who knows. We're all going by feel and by comparison until we can get an engineering spec.

To be accurate in adjusting a cartridge bearing hub, you'd need an endplay spec, and a dial indicator to measure it, the same way you measure an engine crankshaft's. Having never seen one from a hub manufacturer, I'd guess you'd have to get one from a bearing manufacturer. That might be worth looking into....

I generally adjust my adjustable cartridge hubs a little looser than I set my cuppy-coney ones, so that I can feel a bit of play at the rim, whereas you don't want any play with loose ball hubs. With non-adjustable ones like Phil or Bullseye, replacing the bearing is about all you can do if it feels very loose.

The nice thing about cartridge bearing hubs is that you can ride on a really well-worn-in set of bearings for a long time without concern that the hub itself will be damaged. They roll really nicely when they're worn in.
I don't see how any of that sort of hand-wringing is necessary. No hub should have noticeable play if the bearings are in good shape, and I have seen virtually no cartridge bearing hubs that had any real play - even in the truing stand.


It seems like this topic has veered off into the land of bearing theory, while back in the real world cartridge hubs feel solid until the bearings are worn out.
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Old 03-08-18, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I don't see how any of that sort of hand-wringing is necessary. No hub should have noticeable play if the bearings are in good shape, and I have seen virtually no cartridge bearing hubs that had any real play - even in the truing stand.


It seems like this topic has veered off into the land of bearing theory, while back in the real world cartridge hubs feel solid until the bearings are worn out.
Obviously I disagree, and so do Sutherland's and Barnett's.
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Old 03-08-18, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghrumpy View Post
Obviously I disagree, and so do Sutherland's and Barnett's.
I just went and tried to get every cartridge wheel I have to wiggle at the rim. They don't, just like all the other cartridge wheels I've ever serviced or handled in the last 30 years.


This just seems like yet another occasion where Sutherland's is full of either inaccurate or misleading information. Cartridge hubs shouldn't have noticeable play. I owned one hub with play in it once, and it went away the moment I installed new bearings.
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Old 03-08-18, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
This just seems like yet another occasion where Sutherland's is full of either inaccurate or misleading information.
You can believe what you want, but if I were you I'd see what it is they wrote and why before jumping to such a conclusion. I'd be happy to send you the relevant pages if you don't have them.
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Old 03-08-18, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghrumpy View Post
You can believe what you want, but if I were you I'd see what it is they wrote and why before jumping to such a conclusion. I'd be happy to send you the relevant pages if you don't have them.
I'm not jumping to conclusions - you said that Sutherland's disagrees with me that hubs shouldn't have noticeable play.

Cartridge hubs should not have noticeable play.
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Old 03-08-18, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I'm not jumping to conclusions - you said that Sutherland's disagrees with me that hubs shouldn't have noticeable play.

Cartridge hubs should not have noticeable play.
Originally Posted by Sutherland's, 5th edition, p. 10-7
Figure A shows a bearing mounted in a bicycle hub. Note that the load pushes down in the center of the raceways and there is a slight gap at the top, exaggerated for clarity in the drawing. This gap is essential if the bearing is to function smoothly; it can be felt at the rim of a built-up wheel as a trace of side-play. Trying to eliminate his side-play by pushing one of the bearing raceways to the side will ruin the bearing quickly....
[Emphasis mine]

There is a point at which the radial wear of a cartridge bearing becomes excessive, but as I said, I have seen no such specification, nor a method that would allow a measurement on a bicycle. There is no harm or danger in riding cartridge bearings with some wear-in so that you feel that bit of sideplay. That's the sweet spot, if you ask me. They get nice and smooth, in fact. What is harmful is adjusting that wear-in out.

If you wish to replace your cartridge bearings as soon as there is any detectable sideplay at the rim, that's fine with me. Do your own thing. It's just more work than is necessary.
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