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Adding dust boots to budget bike hubs?

Old 04-19-22, 06:32 PM
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MyRedTrek
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Adding dust boots to budget bike hubs?

This Walbike I've been working on doesn't have rubber dust boots on the hubs. Is there such a thing as an aftermarket dust boot for hubs like this?

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Old 04-19-22, 08:04 PM
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I doubt anyone makes aftermarket parts for bikes of that "quality". You can improvise with suitable size O-rings. In the past people used to wrap pipe cleaners around the hub seams as a seal.
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Old 04-19-22, 08:32 PM
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Between this and the grease thread you're wayyyyy overthinking this.
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Old 04-19-22, 08:50 PM
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Nope, hubs with rubber shields have grooves the rubber can run in while ones without don't have good ways of sealing them to the hub. Most with boots also use a larger washer and specific spacers to give the shield room to work with and stay in place, not easy to replicate. The metal dust shields work fairly well in general and unless you ride in a lot of mud and rain really do keep the dust out in general.
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Old 04-19-22, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Between this and the grease thread you're wayyyyy overthinking this.
Interesting that you felt a compulsion to express this and have no information to impart.
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Old 04-19-22, 09:36 PM
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I don't need to 'impart' any information. None is needed.
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Old 04-19-22, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
I don't need to 'impart' any information. None is needed.
Interesting.
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Old 04-20-22, 09:51 AM
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I tend to try to figure out work arounds, but I think that there is really no way to keep any sort of seal in place.

The cone would need a groove, like Shimano freehub dust seals, and adding a grooved spacer would increase the OLD.

The only thing that comes to mind are the old Parallax hub seals, but I have no clue on getting them to stay in place.

John
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Old 04-20-22, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I tend to try to figure out work arounds, but I think that there is really no way to keep any sort of seal in place.

The cone would need a groove, like Shimano freehub dust seals, and adding a grooved spacer would increase the OLD.

The only thing that comes to mind are the old Parallax hub seals, but I have no clue on getting them to stay in place.

John
I'm experimenting with making something with Shoe Goo. If I end up with something I like I'll post pics.
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Old 04-20-22, 02:59 PM
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I have no clue what will work. But any flexible/crushable material will need to be attached to a washer, maybe a fender washer, so it can be placed between the cone and the locknut and tightened without destroying it.

Now if you were so inclined, and had access to a lathe, you could put a seal groove on the outside of the cones.

None of this is worth the effort, but if you have the time there are worse things someone could do. I’ve seen some BF posts that have much less value than working on a Walmart bike.

John
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Old 04-20-22, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
Interesting.
Glad you think so.
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Old 04-20-22, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Now if you were so inclined, and had access to a lathe, you could put a seal groove on the outside of the cones.
Not going to go quite that nuts with it - I anticipate adhering a flat donut/washer made of Shoe Goo or black automotive silicone material to the outer surface of the cone, wide enough to cover the gap between the cone and hub and have it spin over the edge of the hub riding on a coating of clear grease. I imagine it won't provide quite as good a seal against contamination as a proper boot but it should keep out a lot of potential contamination. There'll be a small amount of friction against the lip of the hub, I figure in about 50 - 75 years it might cause noticeable wear - lol.
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Old 04-21-22, 07:39 AM
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Even the cheap Schwinn bikes I got back in the 60's and 70's didn't have dust covers on the hubs or on the one-piece Ashtabula crank. As a kid, I rode the snot out of them for many a mile in dirt, sand, and all kinds of filth. I never had to replace any bearings or races on them. All I did was regularly clean and grease the wheel hubs. And every great now and then clean and lube the crank.
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Old 04-22-22, 09:30 AM
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Wasted time spent. Just use your grease in plenty it will do just fine as a protective without seals.
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Old 04-22-22, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
Wasted time spent. Just use your grease in plenty it will do just fine as a protective without seals.
Yes, I agree. Most of my vintage bikes do not have rubber seals on the hubs and that has no affect on their performance over tens of thousands of miles. If you decide to go ahead with the DIY fabrication, consider doing only one side of the hub so in a year or so you can compare 'sealed' vs. unsealed wear.
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Old 05-05-22, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I tend to try to figure out work arounds, but I think that there is really no way to keep any sort of seal in place.

The cone would need a groove, like Shimano freehub dust seals, and adding a grooved spacer would increase the OLD.

The only thing that comes to mind are the old Parallax hub seals, but I have no clue on getting them to stay in place.

John
Here's what I came up with - made molds off the outer ends of the hubs with molding putty and used clear nail polish as a mold release. The curved part rides just a hair off the hub. The boots are silicone gasket maker material - it took me a couple of tries to work out how to load the molds with the silicone. I sprayed them with a cocoon of Plasti-Dip because nothing really sticks to the silicone except other silicone and then a couple of coats of vinyl paint on the exposed side to make them a bit cosmetically nicer.

I imagine with more obsessive attention to detail they could be made more "factory" in appearance.




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Old 05-05-22, 03:18 PM
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They actually look decent. How well they hold up or do their job, is not a concern since you are passing the bike along.

Regardless, it looks like a fun project. Good job.

John
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Old 05-05-22, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
They actually look decent. How well they hold up or do their job, is not a concern since you are passing the bike along.

Regardless, it looks like a fun project. Good job.

John
Thanks - since they're made of silicone rubber and there's no friction unless they encounter some trauma I would expect them to outlive the bike's owner by several centuries - lol.
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Old 05-08-22, 06:54 PM
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I’ve made simple replacement dust covers out of sturdy, pliable plastic…like the plastic used for some ice cream tubs for example. You can cut them in one of two ways. Either precisely so that it fits snug in the cup and spins around the cone, or vise-versa so that it fits snug on the cone and spins in the cup. They worked fine, and lasted a long time.

Dan
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