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bearing number, what the ..?

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bearing number, what the ..?

Old 05-11-04, 09:32 AM
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bearing number, what the ..?

Hey folks, about two week ago I decided it'd be a good idea to repack the bearings in my front hub. Which turned out to be a good one since all the bearing grease was hard and in little chunks. This is probably due to the fact that it hadnt been changed since 1978 when the bike was made (78 (i think) schwinn traveler). When I did the front, I noticed that the left bearing had 10 balls, while the right only had 9. Yes, I'm positive that none fell out and got lost. When I reinstalled, I just stuck 9 back in both sides because that appeared to my untrained self the correct number. Probably have a couple hundred miles on that and it's smooth like butter.
Then this weekend I got a flat (first one ever, after 663 miles of minneapolis broken glass) and decided I'd repack the rear as well. To my surprise, AGAIN the left bearing (non-freewheel side) had 8 balls, and the right side had 9.
The rear could maybe make sense having more on one side than the other since it's not completely symmetric like the front, but I still assume it's supposed to be the same number on each side. Am I on crack or is the person who did the bearing before me?

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Old 05-11-04, 10:08 AM
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Cost savings?

-One bearing per wheel
-Two wheels per bike
-Thousands of bikes per year
-Profit !!
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Old 05-11-04, 10:41 AM
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sounds to me like the person that did your front wheel just did it wrong. it also sounds to me like that mistake didn't really amount to anything, if you didn't notice anything wrong with the wheel until the bearing grease became hard.

as for your rear wheel...

if it's like the rear wheel i overhauled for a kid this weekend, then it should NOT have the same number of bearings on each side. that hub had larger bearings on one side than the other, and it took fewer bearings to fill the cup all the way around.

Bicycle bearings are not a matter of rocket science. If it's not bike you're going to race, then i see no reason not to put in whatever is the largest number of bearings you can fit and still have the hub roll smoothly. (either that, or use the most you can fit with the hub able to roll, minus one.)

if things work okay, then one bearing more or less is probably not a big deal.
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