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Can you put too many bearings in a hub?

Old 09-19-21, 08:18 PM
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Can you put too many bearings in a hub?

I am rebuilding a 1990 MTB with Deore hubs. If I recall, when I opened it up, out came 9 bearings. When I repacked them, I was able to get 11 in. Should I go back to the 9 or is the 11 ok/better?
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Old 09-19-21, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx View Post
I am rebuilding a 1990 MTB with Deore hubs. If I recall, when I opened it up, out came 9 bearings. When I repacked them, I was able to get 11 in. Should I go back to the 9 or is the 11 ok/better?
9. If you use too many the bearing will bind. Loose bearings should look like there is room for one more but that one can’t fit. 11 is way too many.
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Old 09-19-21, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
9. If you use too many the bearing will bind. Loose bearings should look like there is room for one more but that one can’t fit. 11 is way too many.

thanks
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Old 09-21-21, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx View Post
I am rebuilding a 1990 MTB with Deore hubs. If I recall, when I opened it up, out came 9 bearings. When I repacked them, I was able to get 11 in. Should I go back to the 9 or is the 11 ok/better?
Are you using the right ones? They should be 1/4" in back and 3/16" in front.
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Old 09-21-21, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Are you using the right ones? They should be 1/4" in back and 3/16" in front.
I got it figured out. Thanks. Bike shop told me 10, 11, 9 front to back.
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Old 09-22-21, 12:21 AM
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Can you put too many bearings in a hub?
Sort of a good question. And if you're using the correct size bearings, I don't think you can put in too many to allow for proper adjustment.

A few times I've overhauled a used hub that was new to me, and there's been one bearing too few. Always seem to be a Campy hub, too. Never understood that.
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Old 09-22-21, 06:22 AM
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https://si.shimano.com/api/publish/s...-M550-1116.pdf
https://si.shimano.com/api/publish/s...-M550-1106.pdf
https://si.shimano.com/api/publish/s...M650-1100A.pdf
https://si.shimano.com/api/publish/s...-M650-1115.pdf

Shimano says 9 on each side of the rear hub(1/4") and 10 on each side of the front hub (3/16") for the 7 speed Deore DX and LX of that era.
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Old 09-22-21, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Sort of a good question. And if you're using the correct size bearings, I don't think you can put in too many to allow for proper adjustment.

A few times I've overhauled a used hub that was new to me, and there's been one bearing too few. Always seem to be a Campy hub, too. Never understood that.
The bearings need to be able to move while the hub is rotating. If you have too many bearings in the hub, the bearings will rub against each other and the cone. This can lead to the bearing binding and not rotating as freely as they should. By having what looks like one bearing missing, the bearings have space to spread out and roll individually rather than keep bumping into its neighbors.

Give ‘em space. Every bearing in a bicycle should look like it has space for one more bearing but they really can’t take that last one.
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Old 09-22-21, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
By having what looks like one bearing missing, the bearings have space to spread out and roll individually rather than keep bumping into its neighbors.
I'm talking about a hub that comes to my workspace that should have the required number of bearings (you know, based on velobase and basic common knowledge) but has one less than that. No reason to make the topic more complicated. It's a very simple issue.
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Old 09-22-21, 10:43 PM
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Its an old school thing that applies to many types of old equipment that used bearings and races. As a kid was rebuilding an old 8hp swamp cooler motor that had the brushes and bearings missing from one end of the armature. Guy at the junk yard told me to after cleaning line up 1/4" balls without the grease then remove one and then grease it up to assemble. It worked fine for years.
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Old 09-23-21, 07:46 AM
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There's no good reason to use fewer than the recommended amount, though. "Full race minus one" is what you do if you don't know how many balls are recommended or if you're bad at counting. I don't know why we're on this tangent...
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