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Should sealed bearings leak?

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Should sealed bearings leak?

Old 07-30-13, 08:20 PM
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Should sealed bearings leak?

Hi,
I bought a pair of VO pedals with sealed bearings: https://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...g-236g-pr.html
and have put maybe 250 miles on them. I'm noticing now a baby-poop lime green grease on the inside of the pedal where it meets the axle. Is this normal? I'm not well learned on sealed bearings, but I was thinking that if they were sealed, grease would not work its way out. As of now, they seem to function just fine (except for one of the reflectors having already fallen off).
Thanks,
Jon
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Old 07-30-13, 08:28 PM
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over filling with grease , some of it may be getting forced out.

the seals are shaped to resist intrusion the pushing out is extrusion..


hot weather may have thinned the lubricant .. the seals are removable to repack at some future time..
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Old 07-30-13, 09:52 PM
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So maybe your notion of 'sealed bearing' is different than what was usually intended. A 'sealed bearing' isn't necessarily the same as 'a bearing with seals'. It usually means 'not user servicable'.

Sealed bearings are lubricated for life and are maintenance-free.
https://www.skf.com/group/products/be...ngs/index.html
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Old 07-30-13, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Burton
So maybe your notion of 'sealed bearing' is different than what was usually intended. A 'sealed bearing' isn't necessarily the same as 'a bearing with seals'. It usually means 'not user servicable'.



https://www.skf.com/group/products/be...ngs/index.html
^ This ^ Bearings used in the bicycle industry aren't truly 'sealed', they're cartridge bearings w/ shields or seals.
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Old 07-30-13, 10:29 PM
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"Sealed" is meaningless term when discussing bearings on bicycles. Some use it to mean cartridge bearings, others use it to mean the labyrinth seals (or any kind of seal for that matter) on loose ball bearings. Also, there are different degrees of sealing and no bicycle bearing is going to be air tight or waterproof.

The key word in the description of the pedals is cartridge. Cartridge bearings are removed/installed as a complete unit and are not user serviceable.

Anyway, regardless of the type of bearing, excess grease oozing out is nothing to worry about. Just wipe it off and keep riding. If anything, be happy the manufacturer put in more grease rather than not enough.
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Old 07-30-13, 10:40 PM
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Thanks, I feel better about it now. And they do operate just fine, I was just concerned whether the grease should be oozing out.
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Old 07-31-13, 06:30 AM
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Hmmm. Many cartridge bearings have rubber seals. These contact the inner race very lightly and serve mainly to exclude grime and splashed water. The lip of these seals is very thin to minimize drag and can easily be overcome by spraying the bearing with a forceful stream of water as might come out of your garden hose. Grease will weep out of these seals.

The seals can be lifted out with a thin blade, the bearing can be re-lubed, and the seals pressed back in. Depending on the situation, you can flush out the old grease with solvent and regrease, or simply add more compatible grease. I typically do the latter with BB cartridge bearings and find it greatly extends their life.
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