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.

Broken Ball Bearing

Old 09-15-18, 02:47 PM
  #1  
cannonride15
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Hampton Roads
Posts: 96

Bikes: Cannondales: '85 ST400, '86 SR800, '87 SM600

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Broken Ball Bearing

Anyone ever break one in their hub? Bought an old Peugeot with a broken bb in front hub, you would think least loaded of the two. I mean sheared right in half broken! Left a couple indentations in the cup. Of course original owner was still riding it around, looked like it had never been maintained, original grease I think! Between that, stuck seat post, stem and fixed side of bottom bracket, its been a real effort to resurrect this thing. Hope it will be worth it!
cannonride15 is offline  
Old 09-15-18, 07:32 PM
  #2  
cny-bikeman 
Mechanic/Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 7,510

Bikes: 2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Previous bikes:Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fave), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't understand these "did anyone ever" posts, especially when they refer to random events that could have a multitude of causes. I'm not being critical, more like confused. How does it help to know if it's ever happened before, other than perhaps misery loves company? To answer directly - yes, other people have had broken bearings in their hubs. But I wonder if you and others perhaps mean to ask a different question, such as what could be the cause, how to avoid in the future, how common is it.
__________________
There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please respect others by taking the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
cny-bikeman is offline  
Old 09-15-18, 08:08 PM
  #3  
AnkleWork
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Llano Estacado
Posts: 3,328

Bikes: old clunker

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 540 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 25 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
I don't understand these "did anyone ever" posts, especially when they refer to random events that could have a multitude of causes. . .
Some posters think this forum is a chat board -- an easy mistake to make considering some of the threads here.
AnkleWork is offline  
Old 09-16-18, 07:54 AM
  #4  
_ForceD_
Senior Member
 
_ForceD_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 1,013

Bikes: Several...from old junk to new all-carbon.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
Wow! Tough crowd (or couple) here. WTF is wrong with having a conversation about bike-related maintenance issues?

Dan
_ForceD_ is offline  
Old 09-16-18, 08:08 AM
  #5  
Colnago Mixte
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Center of Central CA
Posts: 1,685
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 897 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Some people object to the form of the question, as if that matters much.

I just wonder what the board is if it's not a chat board. Are we some sort of professional scientific technical journal? Should we start adding footnotes to our posts, to indicate where our information can be checked and corroborated? And include a bibliography at the end of each post? And a summary at the beginning?

Good luck with getting anyone to follow that format.
Colnago Mixte is offline  
Old 09-16-18, 08:14 AM
  #6  
Baboo 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Shawnee, KS
Posts: 230

Bikes: Bike Friday NWT, Rans Stratus, Cannondale R500, trek 720 multitrack, Rockhopper

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I am pretty interested in this, I’ve never had or seen a broken steel bearing on a bike. The causes would be very interesting, possible corrosion? A picture of the bearing would be nice.
Baboo is offline  
Old 09-16-18, 11:56 AM
  #7  
_ForceD_
Senior Member
 
_ForceD_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 1,013

Bikes: Several...from old junk to new all-carbon.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
Some posters think this forum is a chat board
It's not? Why?

Dan
_ForceD_ is offline  
Old 09-16-18, 12:57 PM
  #8  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 1,520

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 218 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 14 Posts
I've seen cleanly split BBs, in old bikes being rebuilt. I think an impact would be a more likely cause than wear, corrosion or age. Maybe a flaw. But I'm not a metallurgist.

Was the BB originally in a retainer cage? Seems I most often see split BBs with the twisted remains of cages. Maybe that makes it more susceptible to impact, more load on one ball.

I have seen worn and corroded BBs, too, with good sized chunks eaten away.

Was that an aluminum seat post in a steel frame, and were you able to free it? I try to remember to check that first when one of those comes in.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 09-16-18, 04:47 PM
  #9  
GamblerGORD53
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Elevation 666m Edmonton Canada
Posts: 1,327

Bikes: 2013 Custom SA5w / Rohloff Tourster

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 628 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts




Well I have experience with that. LOL
My SA XL-FDD dyno hub, with 17,000 miles, ATE 4 bearing in a sealed unit. This hub took a some hits on a tour 7 months before and I went for a 90 mile ride on the highway just a couple days before I noticed something wrong. It was feeling strange leaning in a curve and had an intermittent side to side looseness when I was stopped and trying to wiggle it. I was then riding slowly on a 12 mile ride when I finally decided it was seriously bad. But I still rode it home slowly keeping it straight up.

So the next day I took it apart. The crumbs were all stuck on the magnet, 4 of the 11 balls were gone. LOL Everything else had NO lube whatsoever and had no discernable pits or marks.
So I got out the vacuum cleaner to help suck the chips off. I then couldn't find any other scratches or damage. So I went to the industrial bearing warehouse and got some new sealed bearings. I had to unsolder the wire to get it apart. I didn't need a keeper for the magnet that I could tell., still powers fine. Oh, but first I had to make a 33.5 mm hexagon tool with 1/8" a steel plate, to open the soft Alu shell. This hub just did another tour, now 24,000 miles. Sturmey Archer stuff is TOUGH. ha I'm not sure how the hell 4 balls could make all those little bits.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 09-16-18 at 04:53 PM.
GamblerGORD53 is offline  
Old 09-16-18, 09:52 PM
  #10  
cny-bikeman 
Mechanic/Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 7,510

Bikes: 2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Previous bikes:Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fave), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
Some people object to the form of the question, as if that matters much. I just wonder what the board is if it's not a chat board. Are we some sort of professional scientific technical journal? Should we start adding footnotes to our posts, to indicate where our information can be checked and corroborated? And include a bibliography at the end of each post? And a summary at the beginning?
Good luck with getting anyone to follow that format.
The form of a question does not matter much, if one assumes that a person asking for help has no responsibility to be clear and informative, and if one does not really care about the quality or relevance of the answers.
Your suggestion that this is either a chat board or an absurd alternative is of course a false dichotomy. It's pretty clear above what the function is "If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help...drop in here..." However, there is absolutely no rule or prejudice against just having a conversation. It was simply not clear whether the OP just wanted to swap war stories or acquire knowledge.
__________________
There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please respect others by taking the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

Last edited by cny-bikeman; 09-17-18 at 06:17 AM.
cny-bikeman is offline  
Old 09-16-18, 09:57 PM
  #11  
cny-bikeman 
Mechanic/Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 7,510

Bikes: 2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Previous bikes:Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fave), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
Wow! Tough crowd (or couple) here. WTF is wrong with having a conversation about bike-related maintenance issues?

Dan
Asking the goal of a question or for more detail on what will help the OP is being tough? Wow. Did you somehow detect hidden sarcasm or "attitude"?
__________________
There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please respect others by taking the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
cny-bikeman is offline  
Old 09-16-18, 10:02 PM
  #12  
cny-bikeman 
Mechanic/Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 7,510

Bikes: 2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Previous bikes:Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fave), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Baboo View Post
I am pretty interested in this, Iíve never had or seen a broken steel bearing on a bike. The causes would be very interesting, possible corrosion? A picture of the bearing would be nice.
Serious question - What would you do with such information? Would you overhaul a hub more often specifically to avoid a broken bearing from corrosion? If it's due to a manufacturing defect would you have each bearing tested for faults? Would you be more careful with hub adjustment because that was suggested as a factor in a broken bearing? Is there any reason for focusing on a broken bearing if it's something you've never seen (and probably never heard about)?
__________________
There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please respect others by taking the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
cny-bikeman is offline  
Old 09-17-18, 12:48 AM
  #13  
tonyfourdogs
Senior Member
 
tonyfourdogs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Devon, UK
Posts: 236

Bikes: Marin Palisades Trail (1991)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Personally, I repeatedly test every individual bearing for strength and quality with a hydraulic press before allowing it anywhere near my bike...

tonyfourdogs is offline  
Old 09-17-18, 07:43 AM
  #14  
Baboo 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Shawnee, KS
Posts: 230

Bikes: Bike Friday NWT, Rans Stratus, Cannondale R500, trek 720 multitrack, Rockhopper

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Serious question - What would you do with such information? Would you overhaul a hub more often specifically to avoid a broken bearing from corrosion? If it's due to a manufacturing defect would you have each bearing tested for faults? Would you be more careful with hub adjustment because that was suggested as a factor in a broken bearing? Is there any reason for focusing on a broken bearing if it's something you've never seen (and probably never heard about)?
No real usefuf reason other than curiosity. I doubt it would ever be applicable to me.
I donít know why you think I owe you an explanation as to my interest, but obviously you do.
Baboo is offline  
Old 09-17-18, 08:16 AM
  #15  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 22,019

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 653 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 39 Times in 34 Posts
I buy loose bearing balls for about 2 cents each. So I always replace them. The time taken to tear down, clean and regrease a hub or bottom bracket, spending under 50 cents on replacement bearings is trivial.

Iíve seen a wide variety of things when opening old hubs and bottom brackets. Not knowing the bikes histories I donít know the causes.

+100 caged bearings tend to fair the worst. When the cage ass-plodes it tends to do other damage.

Last edited by wrk101; 09-17-18 at 08:21 AM.
wrk101 is offline  
Old 09-17-18, 12:59 PM
  #16  
cny-bikeman 
Mechanic/Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 7,510

Bikes: 2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Previous bikes:Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fave), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Baboo View Post

No real usefuf reason other than curiosity. I doubt it would ever be applicable to me.
I donít know why you think I owe you an explanation as to my interest, but obviously you do.
No, it's neither obvious nor true that I think you owe me anything.
__________________
There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please respect others by taking the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
cny-bikeman is offline  
Old 09-17-18, 02:57 PM
  #17  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 37,158

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 419 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5368 Post(s)
Liked 84 Times in 66 Posts
Yes, I have seen broken-in-half bearing balls in bicycles.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

ďWhen man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.Ē ó Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 09-17-18, 11:01 PM
  #18  
Bike Gremlin
Bike Gremlin
 
Bike Gremlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Novi Sad
Posts: 4,102

Bikes: Custom made on Scott Speedster frame, Custom made on a 1996. steel MTB frame (all but frame changed at least once in the past 20 years).

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 944 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
If it's of any use, I've seen broken (split) bearing balls in hubs more than once. On every occasion, the hub was with practically no grease (very old, completely dried grease, and little left of it, even dry as it was).
Bike Gremlin is offline  
Old 09-17-18, 11:37 PM
  #19  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 6,921

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1637 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 59 Times in 50 Posts
I"m guessing that the cones came new too tight (very common). If the bike is a UO-8, bearing quality is not especially good so there may well have been tighter places within the rotation of the axle. The balls may not have come from the same batch and one was slightly larger. Now add rider weight. That large ball gets regularly "squashed". After enough of these, it breaks. (It's also done some damage to the cone.)

I'd buy some new bearings, put them in fresh grease, tighten just until play is gone with the wheel on the bike and the QR tight and ride it. (Note that this means the axle will have a touch of play out of the bike.)

Ben
79pmooney is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Pogliaghi
Classic & Vintage
0
08-12-16 12:09 PM
MarkusForest
Classic & Vintage
10
05-18-13 07:01 PM
timmhaan
Foo
55
03-07-08 07:41 AM
Syndicate
Mountain Biking
1
01-11-08 05:03 PM

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


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.