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hub bearings

Old 09-10-09, 04:02 PM
  #1  
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hub bearings

Hi there.
I'm trying to figure out which bike to buy.


One has sealed bearings in its hubs, and one has shielded ones (and is a bit cheaper).
I know the sealed ones are better, but do they give a smoother/faster ride?
Or are they just better for maintenance & longevity, and its not really going to matter either way for the first year or ____ ammount of months?


I'd really appreciate any tips/advice you could spare.
Thanks!
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Old 09-10-09, 06:45 PM
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There are more variables...

Do you know what brand and model the hubs are?
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Old 09-10-09, 09:09 PM
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There is no such thing as a truly "sealed" bearing...the better term is cartridge bearing. Some have better seals than others. Some cone/cup type hubs have poor sealing, some better. All need scheduled maintenance of some sort. One of the worst things for newbs is the concept of "sealed" bearings...
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Old 09-10-09, 09:20 PM
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Both sets of hubs are on some cheapy bikes from that bikes direct site, so I dont know if that levels the playing field or what.

One set says
Formula High Flange Alloy, 32H, Sealed Bearing, Nutted

The other says
Formula, 32H High-flange, TrackSpec Black Anodized Aluminum, FLIPFLOP rear, shielded ball bearings. M9/M10 Solid axles




https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...st_al_carb.htm

and

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...cane/track.htm



Other than frame material, they both seemed to be pretty much the same bike to me, so I didnt know if the bearings in the hubs is something that should effect the decision or if there would be no discernable difference. I don't really know much about component quality yet, still figuring out all the terms.


Thanks tons!

Last edited by shortshorts; 09-10-09 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 09-10-09, 10:43 PM
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The are both entry level hubs. I'd get the ones marked sealed bearing - they're cartridge so you won't wreck the hub even if you run the bearings into the ground. Unlike the other hub, which I assume to mean loose ball.
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Old 09-11-09, 07:46 AM
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It sounds like your going to be doing some track racing. I think your questioning the wrong thing about the hubs. The question should be which bike would perform the best under track racing conditions. To that end I would go with the Dawes because the aluminum tubing would have far less flex then the Motobecane which is essential due to the extreme power that a track cyclist will exert on the bike.

You can always upgrade components later by the way, if you find that the hubs don't roll the way you want then get different hubs. Also in track conditions a sealed hub is not important since you won't be racing in rain or through standing water.
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Old 09-11-09, 08:00 AM
  #7  
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The bikes aren't intended for the same use. The Dawes is really a fixie street bike and comes with brakes on both wheels. The Motobecane is an entry level true track bike and has no brakes.

What are you going to use one of these for? If it's only for track use, you will have to remove the brakes from the Dawes. If it's for street use, you should really add at least a front brake if you buy the Motobecane.

For trak use, as mentioned, the hub sealing is a non-issue.
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Old 09-11-09, 01:04 PM
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Thanks for all the advice fellas!

I'm not going to be doing any track riding. I'll be using this bike for my daily commute, about 8 miles each way.
Right now I'm riding a sturdy old schwinn sprint 10 speed, and have been eyeballing fixed gear bikes for awhile. They look real fun to ride. There are not really any hills around here and I very rarely seem to switch gears.

Also, I've got a few spare brakes in my parts bucket that I could use on the motobecane track.
And I ride in the street, if that makes any difference as the steel/aluminum frame material.


When you said for track use the hub sealing isn't an issue, are sealed hubs just mostly for keeping road dirt and grime out of there then? Or is it because tracks are just a smooth surface with no bumps and what not?


Thanks again!
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Old 09-11-09, 01:45 PM
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Keeps dirt out and lube in.

Worry more about fit than the details of the parts.
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Old 09-11-09, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by shortshorts View Post
When you said for track use the hub sealing isn't an issue, are sealed hubs just mostly for keeping road dirt and grime out of there then? Or is it because tracks are just a smooth surface with no bumps and what not?
Hub sealing isn't an issue because there's no weather and dirty roads from said weather on the track.
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Old 09-11-09, 03:54 PM
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I mentioned the track use because the Motobecane was a track bike and thought you knew that, thus you had track racing in mind. Oh well, forget everything I said!
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Old 09-11-09, 07:10 PM
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I've heard from so called experts that in general, the old cone and loose bearings are better than cartridge bearings. LBS touts cartridge. Hype?
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Old 09-11-09, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheels2 View Post
I've heard from so called experts that in general, the old cone and loose bearings are better than cartridge bearings. LBS touts cartridge. Hype?
Your LBS isn't talking hype, just talking what they know...which ain't much! The old cone and loose ball bearings are bullet proof as long as you maintain them. My Superbe hubs have over 150,000 miles on them and all I do is inject grease in the port till it oozes out the sides then keep oozing till the grease looks clean...I've NEVER had to replace the bearings yet. I've also ran into a couple guys that tour on Phill Woods hubs that had over 250,000 miles on theirs, and one friend of mine put currently has about 180,000 on his Woods hubs; I also knew guys that have the older early 80's Campy Record hubs that have over 100,000 miles on them, ran into another guy that had Grancompe front track hub he was using on his road bike and he had over 100,000 miles as well. I have yet to see any cartridge hubs go as long as cone and loose bearing style hubs can go.
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Old 09-11-09, 08:45 PM
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So does either type of hub bearings effect the speed or smoothness of the ride, or is it mainly just a different design & more to keep road grime out?
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Old 09-11-09, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by shortshorts View Post
So does either type of hub bearings effect the speed or smoothness of the ride, or is it mainly just a different design & more to keep road grime out?
Speed? that's subjective. Your not going to magically gain 10mph average over your current average. But they do spin longer and feel smoother if you spin them by hand with the bike suspended. On the road your not going to really notice it but it's there. Probably, strickly guessing here, that if you were racing a 100 mile race you might save 15 seconds? I'm just guessing, I have no real idea.

I forgot one small thing, I'm speaking of cone and loose bearing style feeling smoother and spinning longer.

Last edited by froze; 09-11-09 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 09-11-09, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by shortshorts View Post
So does either type of hub bearings effect the speed or smoothness of the ride, or is it mainly just a different design & more to keep road grime out?
In my limited experience, cup and cone (loose) will spin for just about ever, there seems to be a bit more drag with cartridge bearings, but since it is so close to the center of the wheel, it really doesn't matter (especially factoring in other variables).

There are advantages to both, but they are basically equal. Some high end hubs have loose ball (Campy/Shimano) and other's have high end cartridge bearings. Generally cheap hubs have cheap cartridge bearings.

Anecdotal . . .

When we were crazy kids, we would get ABEC 7 bearings (or 5 if we didn't make as much lawn mowing money) for our inline skates. Then, we would remove both seals, and soak the bearing cartridges in mineral spirits. Once all the factory grease was gone and the bearing cartridges were dry, we would apply a dry teflon/wax type lubricant (can't remember the name, but had a similar consistency to Boeshield). We would mount the cartridge on a power drill, and spin the lubricant around slowly to distribute the lube, and then let dry. Without reinstalling the seals, we would install the cartidges in the wheels (after replacing the axles with the higher end AL ones) and those inline skates wheels would spin forever, and sounded so nice. I still have a set like that on my inline skates. Does it make it faster? Probably not, but it was sure fun. I guess that was our way of making cartridge bearings into loose ball.
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Old 09-12-09, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by johnknappcc View Post
In my limited experience, cup and cone (loose) will spin for just about ever, there seems to be a bit more drag with cartridge bearings, but since it is so close to the center of the wheel, it really doesn't matter (especially factoring in other variables).

There are advantages to both, but they are basically equal. Some high end hubs have loose ball (Campy/Shimano) and other's have high end cartridge bearings. Generally cheap hubs have cheap cartridge bearings.

Anecdotal . . .

When we were crazy kids, we would get ABEC 7 bearings (or 5 if we didn't make as much lawn mowing money) for our inline skates. Then, we would remove both seals, and soak the bearing cartridges in mineral spirits. Once all the factory grease was gone and the bearing cartridges were dry, we would apply a dry teflon/wax type lubricant (can't remember the name, but had a similar consistency to Boeshield). We would mount the cartridge on a power drill, and spin the lubricant around slowly to distribute the lube, and then let dry. Without reinstalling the seals, we would install the cartidges in the wheels (after replacing the axles with the higher end AL ones) and those inline skates wheels would spin forever, and sounded so nice. I still have a set like that on my inline skates. Does it make it faster? Probably not, but it was sure fun. I guess that was our way of making cartridge bearings into loose ball.
Actually the best I've ever found for skate bearings was Speed Skate Lube by Tiodize, I use that stuff on my freewheel bearings.
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Old 09-12-09, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by froze View Post
I've also ran into a couple guys that tour on Phill Woods hubs that had over 250,000 miles on theirs, and one friend of mine put currently has about 180,000 on his Woods hubs


I have yet to see any cartridge hubs go as long as cone and loose bearing style hubs can go.
Phils are sealed bearing hubs.
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Old 09-12-09, 06:56 PM
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Wow, this is overthinking to the max. Get the bike with the brakes so you don't die on the road/don't need to retrofit brakes and keep the option of switching to a freewheel if you don't like fixed.

Hub durability/speed/smoothness all strike me as non-issues...unless it's defective, grossly misadjusted, or not maintained at all, a hub lasts practically forever and eats practically no comfort/speed compared to the theft rate and air/rolling resistance, respectively.

Good luck.
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Old 09-12-09, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by froze View Post
I've also ran into a couple guys that tour on Phill Woods hubs that had over 250,000 miles on theirs, and one friend of mine put currently has about 180,000 on his Woods hubs;
As mentioned above, Phil Wood hubs use sealed bearings.

I've heard several stories about hyper-mileage Woods hubs but wondner, did you ask those guys if the bearing are the originals? The hub shells themselves should last for decades but how often have the bearings been changed?

Reminds me of the guy I met a several ago with an early '80 Dodge Pickup Truck that had slightly over 200,000 miles on it. I was impressed since Chrysler products weren't (aren't?) known for their reliability. Then, he admitted the thing was on it's third engine and second transmission.
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Old 09-12-09, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
As mentioned above, Phil Wood hubs use sealed bearings.

I've heard several stories about hyper-mileage Woods hubs but wondner, did you ask those guys if the bearing are the originals? The hub shells themselves should last for decades but how often have the bearings been changed?

Reminds me of the guy I met a several ago with an early '80 Dodge Pickup Truck that had slightly over 200,000 miles on it. I was impressed since Chrysler products weren't (aren't?) known for their reliability. Then, he admitted the thing was on it's third engine and second transmission.
Supposely these hubs were never rebuilt according to ALL that I spoke to, nor has my Superbe hubs. I just bought the wheels to be used on the Mercian and I thought the rear Phil Wood hub (the only Wood hub I have (the front is a dynohub) were cone and loose bearings. In fact here is the step by step instructions on how to overhaul it and it seems to be cone and loose bearings without a seal being noted. https://www.philwood.com/support/service-your-fsa-hub/

On the Chrysler thing you just barked at the wrong tree pal. I've known too many people to count that got over 200,000 miles on various Chrysler engines that NEVER rebuilt their engines. Transmissions was another story EXCEPT for the 727 Torqueflite, that thing was bullet proof. The biggest problem Chrysler had in the 80's were those crappy K cars built on Renualt platforms, then add to it the near bankruptcy found Chrysler scrambling to make cars cheap, so they would do stupid crap like match a 318V8 with a auto trans designed for a 6 cylinder so the trans would last about 40,000 miles. But most of Chrysler's engines from the 80's on back, except for the K car class, were outstanding engines and lasting easily past 200,000 miles, and the cars lucky enough to have the 727 Torqueflite would have their trans also last over 200,000 miles.

Of course all this hub stuff and engine stuff requires proper maintanence, if you don't do that then your asking for a short life.
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Old 09-12-09, 09:57 PM
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Cup and cone bearings are so simple and cheap to keep up. Repack them with grease as needed, properly adjust them, and they will last for a long long time. There is a lot to be said about preventative maintenance. All you need is a set of cone wrenches, solvent, and fresh bearing grease. Simple. If they bind up even the slightest you take them apart, redo if needed and readjust.
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Old 09-13-09, 02:26 AM
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phil

Originally Posted by froze View Post
In fact here is the step by step instructions on how to overhaul it and it seems to be cone and loose bearings without a seal being noted. https://www.philwood.com/support/service-your-fsa-hub/
those are cartridge("sealed")bearing hubs.
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Old 09-13-09, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Soil_Sampler View Post
those are cartridge("sealed")bearing hubs.
Supposely according to Woods that if the hub bearings were to fail, you can buy bearings for it almost anywhere because they used a standard size bearing instead of some odd ball size, thus if you on the road and the bearings fail you can field service it yourself, whereas with the cartridge you would have to find a bike shop and probably order the cartridge since cartridge bearings are not serviceable and most bike shop in some podunk town wouldn't carry a Woods cartridge bearing kit but could carry a bearing that would.

Is this correct? Or did I buy a hub that I'm not going to be able to repair on the road "if" a problem arose?

Edit: I went to Woods site again and found that they are indeed sealed, so your correct and I was confused. I'm not sure what the hell all that means. But I've got the rim all built up ready for use so I can't take it back, I'll just hope the hub is as good as they advertise.

Last edited by froze; 09-13-09 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 09-13-09, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by nymtber View Post
Cup and cone bearings are so simple and cheap to keep up.
Word. I've come to prefer cup & cone for just that reason.
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