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deacon mark 02-08-14 05:38 PM

old freewheel hub/axle set up
I should know this but my brother brings me his old 1980's freewheel over to repair the tube. He managed to also remover the axle from the hub unscrewing it and the ball bearings dropped out. Well I did not see him take it apart and manage to get the ball bearings back in and the question I have is the use of the ball bearings. The wheel spins on the axle set in the dropouts but the ball bearings do not really spin as such right? I see as I set the cone nut back on and tighten it against the bearings but nothing spins as far as the bearings themselves correct? This is different that the front hub where the wheel sit on the axle and spins around the axle correct? I am probably not making any sense but just wondered. I do not do much hub maintenance as I all my hubs are sealed bearings and never have required anything.

Andrew R Stewart 02-08-14 06:20 PM

Not sure i really understand your question. The axle should be secured in the drop outs such that it remains stationary and the wheel spins on it. BTW the complement of balls (typically 9 per side) will rotate around the cone at half the "cadence" that the wheel does. If you're unable to securely tighten the cone and the locknut before you try to tighten the axle into the drop outs it very possible to cause the cone to thread into the balls so tightly that the cone/balls/hub bind up and the next item that will spin is the axle. This is wrong and will lead to damage. Think of what would happen to the cartridge bearings that you say you are familiar with (and have on another bike) is the inner and outer races of the bearings seized up.

But since I'm unable to really know what you're trying to ask or describe my above comments might not help. Andy.

deacon mark 02-08-14 07:33 PM

Andrew thank you that was enough to get me back in business. I in fact do have 9 bearings on each side. I took them out and then regreased and tighten them so that the whole wheel spins and not the axle. I simply applied to much pressure and having not ever had to adjust a hub this was my first. It came out find it is just a matter of touch to get the proper adjustment that allows free spin without play in the wheel. BTW, if I wanted to replace with new bearings what size are they and can you get them at any decent hardware store.

Andrew R Stewart 02-08-14 08:01 PM

The usual rear ball is 1/4". But one measurement is worth more money then most have in their pockets:) Whether your LHS has this size is to be discovered. Andy.

xenologer 02-08-14 08:44 PM

based on the OP i'd say either the bearings are dead, or will be shortly due to improper adjustment.
take it to an LBS

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