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Loose Bearing Hub & Cartridge Hub Axle Differences

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Loose Bearing Hub & Cartridge Hub Axle Differences

Old 05-19-20, 11:08 AM
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prairiepedaler
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Loose Bearing Hub & Cartridge Hub Axle Differences

Hello - I'm doing an axle thickness swapover on a rear wheel I've got. The hub is sealed cartridge bearing type which requires a press fit. The current axle on it is a 14mm BMX thickness. I want to replace the axle with a standard 10mm thickness and replace the I.D. bearings to fit. I haven't worked on any press fit bearings before therefore I don't know what the axle looks like compared to an axle which uses a loose bearing (i.e. cone type). I imagine that on the press fit axle there are two unthreaded sections along it's length that corresponds to where it mates the hub flange. The bearing sits on those sections? Is the press neccessary to seat it onto those "flats" or is a press only neccessary to seat it into the hub, or both.

I'm going to try and source a few used 10mm cromo axles from the local bike co-op to mess around with. Ultimately I'm going to take this wheel into an LBS and let them do the work but I want to get some preliminaries out of the way. They have the tools to do it, I don't. It's funny because the hub uses a freewheel and the axle is so thick I can't get a standard removal tool onto it. Any input on the situation is welcome.

BTW, how can a guy tell by sight if an axle is cromo or just plain jane steel?

Last edited by prairiepedaler; 05-19-20 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 05-19-20, 01:49 PM
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It's hard to imagine a shop would want to get involved with something like this. Do you have a source for the new bearings?
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Old 05-19-20, 05:55 PM
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Hi there, there are the stock bearings still in the hub for O.D. reference and thickness. I would think this job shouldn't be too bad for a decent shop(?). These bearing guys are local and pretty good for stock assortment. Just a matter of finding an appropriate axle. I'd like to use this wheel as it is a cargo bike wheel going onto another cargo bike.
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Old 05-19-20, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by prairiepedaler View Post
BTW, how can a guy tell by sight if an axle is cromo or just plain jane steel?
You can't, really. Either take the manufacturer's word for it, or do a "spark test" with a grinding wheel:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spark_testing
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Old 05-20-20, 02:10 PM
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I suppose all things being equal, weight too might be a way to tell the difference between a regular steel and a cromo axle.

Another way to solve this problem might be to mill and re-die the existing axle from the inside of the dropout width outward. Bit of a PITA that way - much easier to find a 10mm axle that'll just work.
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