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Acceptable interfacing between sealed bearings and axle

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Acceptable interfacing between sealed bearings and axle

Old 04-23-18, 03:34 PM
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HuffyAllUltegra
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Acceptable interfacing between sealed bearings and axle

I'm modding a sealed bearing flip flop hub to accept a freewheel. Info as follows:

The hub is a KK/Joytech sealed bearing hub with 6000 series 2-RS bearings (ID 10mm, OD 26MM, Width 8mm).

I've removed the axle (a 3/8 axle with shoulders at 80mm apart and a machined 10mm bearing seat, for reference it looks exactly like the Formula TH51 axle but with 80mm shoulders instead of 78mm), because it's not providing enough room outside the dropouts with the needed respacing, and I picked up an M10 solid axle with no shoulders/seats and more threads to play with.

My plan was to set some lock nuts 80mm apart to act like shoulders (or find a 10mm ID sleeve and cut it to 80mm), but the 10mm bearing ID is just a touch wide for the axle diameter, and there's some radial play present. I don't have a micrometer, but eyeing it up it's about <.5mm total. Motion is limited/removed when the bearing is trapped between the "shoulder nut" and the outside cone nut, but I'm worried the tolerance between the ID and axle will cause some problems once it's actually being ridden as I'm not gonna crank down on the lock nuts, and as the seats for sealed bearings seem typically to be machined smooth, if the threads will gouge the bearing/the axle will misalign itself.

What kind of tolerances are OK on slip fit bearings? Anyone have any experience seating sealed bearings onto threads? Would it be OK to take up the space and smooth out the interface with something like silicone tape?

If this is a problem, my next plan is to size back down to a 3/8 axle and find a bushing to take up the space to 10mm or find 12mm ID x 26 OD bearings (if they even exist off the shelf) and use a 10mm ID x 12mm OD bushing, so I think I have a backup, but as always, any help is much appreciated.

Last edited by HuffyAllUltegra; 04-23-18 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 04-23-18, 06:19 PM
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Will the bearing seatless axle work, yes but. What you are trying has been done by others, I've seen a few. The results are never nice though. With use the thread crests will wear down and the slop fit in the bearing ID will get worse. This is what some will call a "kludge" mod. I would never suggest this to a customer unless it's what it took to get back on the road and to the next real bike shop for a proper solution (as in during a tour when your would otherwise be walking).


Years ago SunTour (and Suzue/Sunshine) produced a cartridge hub that did use a threaded axle with no on axle bearing seats. The seats were a threaded sleeve that supported the bearing on the sleeve. the sleeve was positioned along the axle with traditional lock nuts. The bearings had a larger ID then yours. If you got lucky you might find the sleeved (or a banged out hub to rob the sleeves from) and then purchase the correct axle threading/length and then also the different bearings that fit your shell and the sleeves. Don't hold your breath.


My suggestion is to scrap your plan and get a proper multy coged freewheel hub or wheel. You will be far better off the longer you use it. Andy
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Old 04-23-18, 07:22 PM
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Hrm, concerns confirmed then. Thanks.

The Sunshine setup you're describing is kind of what I was picturing but with a bushing rather than a threaded sleeve. Unfortunately even if I go down to an M9 axle I'd theoretically need to find bushings with .5mm walls (9mm ID to 10mm OD), and the threads would likely tear those up in little time too. Or 12mm ID bearings with 26mm OD (which aren't readily available as far as I can tell), and a bushing with 1mm walls.

This is for a bike I found in the garbage and I'm using parts I have on hand, though, so I'll continue to play around a bit.
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Old 04-25-18, 03:32 PM
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Not to resurrect this thread, but I'm still addressing the same problem, so maybe this'll be helpful to someone in the future...

Does anyone know if using something like https://theped.com/product/halo-soli...o-244672-1.htm would work?

I'll use the short side for the non-drive side, then use spacers against the other shoulder with the elongated seat to properly space the bearing. As far as I can tell this particular axle accepts 10mm bearings (based only on the fact that it's an M10 axle and the seats don't look much wider than the threads, but I've emailed to doublecheck), if not I'll have to find a different axle that does. Anyone know of any that definitely have 10mm bearing seats?

Decent solution?

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Old 04-25-18, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by HuffyAllUltegra
Not to resurrect this thread, but I'm still addressing the same problem, so maybe this'll be helpful to someone in the future...

Does anyone know if using something like https://theped.com/product/halo-soli...o-244672-1.htm would work?

Decent solution?
I'm confused about what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to convert a flip-flop single speed hub to accept a multi-speed hub, you have to consider that a multi-speed hub has narrower shell than a single-speed hub. That is, the flanges and bearings are closer together on a multi-speed hub than a single-speed.

Unless you have a lathe and the gumption to cut your hub in half and splice it back together (I have friends who have done this for other specialized applications) I think you should find the correct hub to begin with.
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Old 04-26-18, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills
I'm confused about what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to convert a flip-flop single speed hub to accept a multi-speed hub, you have to consider that a multi-speed hub has narrower shell than a single-speed hub. That is, the flanges and bearings are closer together on a multi-speed hub than a single-speed.
That's exactly it. I have an old track wheelset on hand, found an old steel bike with a 120mm frame in the garbage, stripped her down, cleaned her up, etc. but with the rest of what I had to buy/have to buy to get her close to working order my bike budget is running low. Could just use it as a single speed but I'm fatter and lazier than I used to be.

Also, trying to learn more, you know? I can take bikes apart and put them back together like anyone else, but I never really had the gumption to go and try altering things too much (despite, yes, having some access to machine tools). At least beyond what's necessary to fit relatively like-for-like parts.

But yes, I had considered that, with my hubs flange to flange distance I figured I'd need another 2-4 mm's of space with a 5 speed freewheel. The one I picked up fits if the dropouts are spaced to around 122ish mm, but the chain hits the stay in the smallest cog. Spread the frame to 126mm, redished the wheel, now the axles too short on the drive side and way long on the other...picked up a longer axle as wide as the bearings ID, and ran into the issue in the OP.

Anyway...I just put in an order for one of the cheap steel 126mm hubs off Niagara and a velocity rim for under $20, so you'll be happy to hear my gumption has worn off.
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Old 04-27-18, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by HuffyAllUltegra
Anyway...I just put in an order for one of the cheap steel 126mm hubs off Niagara and a velocity rim for under $20, so you'll be happy to hear my gumption has worn off.
Well, I guess my work here is done.

Hi-yo Silver! Away!
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