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Cup & Cone to Sealed Bearings

Old 03-01-21, 12:35 PM
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Daytriker
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Cup & Cone to Sealed Bearings

I have a pair of brand new Weinmann 16 inch trailer wheels with cup & cone bearings. I would like to replace the cup & cones with sealed cartridge bearings & also be able to use the push button axle releases as found on many commercial trailers such as Burleys. I realize this is dependant on the availability of the correct size cartridge bearing to fit the hub but is this theoretically possible or do I need to rebuild the wheels with new hubs to accept the cartridge bearings? Also, if it is possible, would the new bearing replace the bearing cup or fit inside the cup? Thank you.
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Old 03-01-21, 12:39 PM
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are you a skilled machinist with access to equipment that can machine out the cones within tight enough tolerances to fit a cartridge bearing?

even if you do, it seems a bit silly. pack the bearings with good quality grease and set the pre-load carefully.
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Old 03-01-21, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Daytriker View Post
I have a pair of brand new Weinmann 16 inch trailer wheels with cup & cone bearings. I would like to replace the cup & cones with sealed cartridge bearings & also be able to use the push button axle releases as found on many commercial trailers such as Burleys. I realize this is dependant on the availability of the correct size cartridge bearing to fit the hub but is this theoretically possible or do I need to rebuild the wheels with new hubs to accept the cartridge bearings? Also, if it is possible, would the new bearing replace the bearing cup or fit inside the cup? Thank you.
You will have to replace the hub. While you might be able to remove the cups from the hub, I doubt that the hub shell will be machined correctly for any commonly available cartridge bearing much less be able to press the bearing in. Replacing the hub will also mean replacing the spokes since hub flange dimensions arenít standard.

It would be best to just use the wheel as is. Replacing the axle is fairly easy so converting to some kind of quick release is much less hassle than rebuilding the wheel.
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Old 03-01-21, 01:03 PM
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You can't just stick a sealed cartridge bearing in there. The cup and cone are part of the design.

If you want cartridge bearings you will need new hubs.
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Old 03-01-21, 01:11 PM
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Step 1: Sell your existing wheels.
Step 2: Buy the wheels you actually want.
Doing the conversion will involve new hubs, new spokes, and re-lacing the wheel. You might as well just buy new wheels and sell these since they're new.
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Old 03-01-21, 02:05 PM
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FWIW, Those wheels look pretty new and in good serviceable condition. I may be alone here, but I for one still LOVE cup/cone bearings. They're incredibly easy to break down and clean, and super simple (and cheap) to service. In college (~1990) I rebuilt my hubs and bottom bracket after just about every heavy rainstorm. Unless there's a compelling need, I would just run those wheels, and service them until you have to replace them completely.
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Old 03-01-21, 02:46 PM
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I don't see much advantage of any kind with cartridge over cup and cone for trailer wheels. Yes you'll maybe get a little more mileage before needing service/replacement but hardly worth the trouble and expense of switching. No extra tools needed to switch out bearing balls.......if needed. Check the bearings every year, if the grease is still in place and not too dirty try it every 2 years then 3, etc.
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Old 03-01-21, 02:52 PM
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I'd keep the wheels.
Buy a tub of either synthetic or boat trailer bearing grease, if you ride "wet".
REPACK the hubs NOW. Clean out all the old "lube" to avoid any "possible" incompatibility issues with the new grease.
MANY factory hubs come with a minimal amount of grease and poor preload adjustment. Usually too tight.
Some appear to be a thin wax type lube that was sprayed on. Usually on the cheapest bikes.
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Old 03-02-21, 04:37 AM
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Assuming that one could find bearings that fitted and there was enough of a step on the inner cone or that the inner cone were removable, those bearings have to be suitable for axial and vertical loads - and not all are.

If I really loved those rims then I would consider investigating the possibilities, or finding another pair of hubs. For small wheels the hubs are often pretty standard in size because you are up against the limits of having to fit it between an axle and set of spokes. All my 24" wheels share the same length spokes, no matter whether they are for front, fixed, derailleur or coaster brake hubs, in steel or aluminium rims - and your hubs look pretty much the same size.
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Old 03-07-21, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
are you a skilled machinist with access to equipment that can machine out the cones within tight enough tolerances to fit a cartridge bearing?

even if you do, it seems a bit silly. pack the bearings with good quality grease and set the pre-load carefully.
Many years ago you used to be able to pop out the cups in wheel bearings. I am not sure with current hub designs if this is still possible.
The idea might seem silly to you but there is a good reason for wanting the change. The standard axle diameter on these is 3/8" & the diameter
on the push button axles in 1/2. " It is next to impossible to find a 3/8" diameter push button release so the next logical step is to find bearings that would take the 1/2" axle. As for selling these & buying new wheels that's a nice thought but Burley wants $65. each U.S. plus shipping, cdn. $ exchange & duty & taxes across the border. A little more than buying 2 bearings & axles if I can just replace them. There are videos on Youtube of people doing it but I suspect they are not a similar hub design.

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Old 03-07-21, 08:41 PM
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I look at this from the trailer's view. What hub attachment design is the current trailer using. I note that there's no mention of what kind of trailer is involved. How the trailer holds the hubs will drive what hubs are applicable. Otherwise I like the other answers, once the method of trailer/wheel mounting is filtered for.

Some trailers have wheel upgrade options. If your trailer does I strongly suggest you consider them first. If you're making your own trailer then see post #2 Andy
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Old 03-07-21, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Daytriker View Post
Many years ago you used to be able to pop out the cones in wheel bearings. I am not sure with current hub designs if this is still possible.
The idea might seem silly to you but there is a good reason for wanting the change. The standard axle diameter on these is 3/8" & the diameter
on the push button axles in 1/2. " It is next to impossible to find a 3/8" diameter push button release so the next logical step is to find bearings that would take the 1/2" axle. As for selling these & buying new wheels that's a nice thought but Burley wants $65. each U.S. plus shipping, cdn. $ exchange & duty & taxes across the border. A little more than buying 2 bearings & axles if I can just replace them. There are videos on Youtube of people doing it but I suspect they are not a similar hub design.
It's not the cones you'd be removing, it's the cups.
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Old 03-07-21, 10:26 PM
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Thank you, Corrected.
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Old 03-08-21, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Daytriker View Post
The standard axle diameter on these is 3/8" & the diameter
on the push button axles in 1/2. " It is next to impossible to find a 3/8" diameter push button release so the next logical step is to find bearings that would take the 1/2" axle.
Do you means something like these, as used for wheelchairs?
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Old 03-08-21, 11:02 AM
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Yes. Exactly but hard to find in 3/8" diameter, so need to change the cups or what I am trying to do & use cartridge bearings for 1/2" diamter axles.
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