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Wheel/hub question

Old 01-26-20, 08:56 AM
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Wheel/hub question

Hi all:

my 1987 Schwinn Super Sport came with a set of un-original wheels, Wolber Super Champion clinchers with no-name sealed hubs, no markings but a sticker that says “sealed bearings”. The front wheel has developed quite a bit of side-to-side slop in the year or so I’ve been riding this bike. I understand adjusting the cones on conventional hubs, but I have no experience with sealed bearing hubs. Is it worth trying to replace the bearings, or replacing the hubs? Or is it time for new wheels? How good are these Wolbers anyway?
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Old 01-26-20, 09:21 AM
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Take a closer look. You might find the "sealed" bearings can be overhauled just like any other traditional bearing.
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Old 01-26-20, 09:32 AM
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Sounds like you have Specialized hubs or maybe they are Sansin hubs. The Sansin are most likely cup and cone, the Specialized are press fit.

Last edited by Mr. 66; 01-26-20 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 01-26-20, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
Hi all:

my 1987 Schwinn Super Sport came with a set of un-original wheels, Wolber Super Champion clinchers with no-name sealed hubs, no markings but a sticker that says “sealed bearings”. The front wheel has developed quite a bit of side-to-side slop in the year or so I’ve been riding this bike. I understand adjusting the cones on conventional hubs, but I have no experience with sealed bearing hubs. Is it worth trying to replace the bearings, or replacing the hubs? Or is it time for new wheels? How good are these Wolbers anyway?
“Sealed bearings” doesn’t necessarily mean that the bearings are cartridge bearings. Shimano hubs are usually marked as “sealed” and they are all loose bearing hubs. They do have labyrinth seals and rubber boots that seal them against the elements. Cartridge bearing hubs seldom develop any kind of play since the bearings are usually pressed into place and can’t really move side to side. The axle just can’t move.

Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
Sounds like you have Specialized hubs or maybe they are Sansin hubs. The Sansin are most likely cup and cone, the Specialized are press fit.
Huh? There are several thousand suppliers of hubs around the world. There are several thousand more if you include the ones that are no longer in business. There is no reason to think that the hub in question is a branded Specialized hub in particular.
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Old 01-26-20, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
“Sealed bearings” doesn’t necessarily mean that the bearings are cartridge bearings. Shimano hubs are usually marked as “sealed” and they are all loose bearing hubs. They do have labyrinth seals and rubber boots that seal them against the elements. Cartridge bearing hubs seldom develop any kind of play since the bearings are usually pressed into place and can’t really move side to side. The axle just can’t move.



Huh? There are several thousand suppliers of hubs around the world. There are several thousand more if you include the ones that are no longer in business. There is no reason to think that the hub in question is a branded Specialized hub in particular.
Thousands? And thousands more? I doubt that.

Specialized hubs have no engraving, the branding on the seal covers comes off pretty easy.

For the op Wolbler Super Champion were about the best of the day.

Last edited by Mr. 66; 01-26-20 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 01-26-20, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
Thousands? And thousands more? I doubt that.

Specialized hubs have no engraving, the branding on the seal covers comes off pretty easy.

For the op Wolbler Super Champion were about the best of the day.
Yes, thousands currently when you include all of the Chinese companies making both OEM and aftermarket hubs. As for Specialized, they use different hubs on different levels of bikes. Some are those OEM Chinese hubs and some are branded as Specialized hubs with engraving. I’ve had a number of Specialized bikes and many of them had hubs branded as Specialized. Most often the front hub is a Specialized hub with a Shimano on the rear. A few had Specialized front and rear but that is rarer in my experience. Most of the Specialized hubs have been cartridge bearing hubs, but not all of them. The hubs, however, weren’t manufactured by Specialized. They are made by the same companies that make other OEM hubs.

It’s unlikely, however, that an undescribed hub on an aftermarket wheel is from Specialized. Their footprint isn’t that large. It could be Sansin or Joytech or any of a few thousand...yes, thousand...other companies. Not that it matters. The main point is that if the bearing is loose, it is probably a cup and cone hub that just needs adjustment.
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Old 01-26-20, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
Hi all:

my 1987 Schwinn Super Sport came with a set of un-original wheels, Wolber Super Champion clinchers with no-name sealed hubs, no markings but a sticker that says “sealed bearings”. The front wheel has developed quite a bit of side-to-side slop in the year or so I’ve been riding this bike. I understand adjusting the cones on conventional hubs, but I have no experience with sealed bearing hubs. Is it worth trying to replace the bearings, or replacing the hubs? Or is it time for new wheels? How good are these Wolbers anyway?
I apologize for not addressing you question in my first post. Seal bearings are a bit more difficult to replace than cup an cone but it’s worth doing it. Cartridge bearing hubs are usually a better quality than cup and cone so they are worth servicing. The process is to remove the old bearing and replace it with a new one. This article explains it fairly well. The key is to press on the outside of the bearing rather than the middle when pressing it into place.

But, again, cartridge bearings seldom fail in the manner you’ve described. Cup and cone bearings often have this problem, especially if the locknut isn’t tight enough.
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Old 01-26-20, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Yes, thousands currently when you include all of the Chinese companies making both OEM and aftermarket hubs. As for Specialized, they use different hubs on different levels of bikes. Some are those OEM Chinese hubs and some are branded as Specialized hubs with engraving. I’ve had a number of Specialized bikes and many of them had hubs branded as Specialized. Most often the front hub is a Specialized hub with a Shimano on the rear. A few had Specialized front and rear but that is rarer in my experience. Most of the Specialized hubs have been cartridge bearing hubs, but not all of them. The hubs, however, weren’t manufactured by Specialized. They are made by the same companies that make other OEM hubs.

It’s unlikely, however, that an undescribed hub on an aftermarket wheel is from Specialized. Their footprint isn’t that large. It could be Sansin or Joytech or any of a few thousand...yes, thousand...other companies. Not that it matters. The main point is that if the bearing is loose, it is probably a cup and cone hub that just needs adjustment.
I never suggested the "described" wheel and hub is from a Specialized bike, but hey maybe it was.
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Old 01-26-20, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
I never suggested the "described" wheel and hub is from a Specialized bike, but hey maybe it was.
That’s about the only way that a “Specialized” wheel would be on any bike. Specialized has never really been into aftermarket wheels. Someone may have built a wheel with a Specialized branded hub but it would still be clearly marked. Specialized was an importer for a while but, to my knowledge, they didn’t import wheels. They were known for tires. Even if they did import wheels, they quickly transitioned from a parts importer to making bicycles.

While it’s possible that the wheel is question is a “Specialized”, it’s just highly unlikely. Nor would it matter all that much.
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Old 01-26-20, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
That’s about the only way that a “Specialized” wheel would be on any bike. Specialized has never really been into aftermarket wheels. Someone may have built a wheel with a Specialized branded hub but it would still be clearly marked. Specialized was an importer for a while but, to my knowledge, they didn’t import wheels. They were known for tires. Even if they did import wheels, they quickly transitioned from a parts importer to making bicycles.

While it’s possible that the wheel is question is a “Specialized”, it’s just highly unlikely. Nor would it matter all that much.
Yes the S started with marketing of tires, then hubs, bb, and headsets, before full bikes.
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Old 01-26-20, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
Yes the S started with marketing of tires, then hubs, bb, and headsets, before full bikes.
But, again, expecting a random wheel set to have a Specialized hub is a stretch.
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Old 01-26-20, 12:30 PM
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The first step is to determine if this is some kind of "sealed cup and cone" setup. Or, a sealed cartridge bearing.

Virtually all of the sealed cartridge bearings are standard, and should be able to be simply pressed out, measured, and replaced with stock off-the-shelf bearings from your local industrial bearing supply store, or a quick internet search.
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Old 01-26-20, 12:44 PM
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I have a set of Wolber Super Champion Gentleman 81 rims that came to me on a bike that I can't recall right now, but they are laced to Cycle Pro hubs that have a red label that says sealed bearings. I think Cycle Pro was made by Miche.
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Old 01-26-20, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
Hi all:

my 1987 Schwinn Super Sport

-----

sealed bearing hubs. Is it worth trying to replace the bearings, or replacing the hubs?
Terrific bike. If sealed cartridge bearing hubs, they're easily available and DIY serviceable.

Whatever number is on the bearing (closely inspect the rubber seal for part number), enter it in Google and cross reference to other potential replacements. If unable to verify number, measure with precise calipers and then search sealed cartridge bearing supply houses / online. First check ebay and Amazon.

Also, various bearing grades and type of seal (or none at all) will be listed. You want at least one side sealed.

Depending on bearing grade, one can find pricing under $6 pair (sometimes free shipping from China!)

Servicing is a 10 minute ordeal. The hub housing is aluminum and much softer metal than the bearing. That makes it easy to pop the cartridge bearing out but use caution to avoid marring.

Lastly, if one doesn't want to measure or able to I.D. part number, take it to an auto parts store and they will match the bearing.

Last edited by crank_addict; 01-26-20 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 01-26-20, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
Hi all:

my 1987 Schwinn Super Sport came with a set of un-original wheels, Wolber Super Champion clinchers with no-name sealed hubs, no markings but a sticker that says “sealed bearings”. The front wheel has developed quite a bit of side-to-side slop in the year or so I’ve been riding this bike. I understand adjusting the cones on conventional hubs, but I have no experience with sealed bearing hubs. Is it worth trying to replace the bearings, or replacing the hubs? Or is it time for new wheels? How good are these Wolbers anyway?
could the front hub be one of these?

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F163495684766
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Old 01-26-20, 02:26 PM
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I've seen quite a few no-name hubs with the "Sealed" decal on entry/mid level MTBs from BITD. So far they've all been "sealed" cup and cone, and have either nothing, Joytech or Sansin on the QR.

The Shimano "sealed" cup and cone hubs I've seen usually say "sealed mechanism"; I reckon it's to distinguish it from a cartridge-type sealed-bearing hub.
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Old 01-26-20, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
I never suggested the "described" wheel and hub is from a Specialized bike, but hey maybe it was.
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
That’s about the only way that a “Specialized” wheel would be on any bike.
Bike makers in the US outfitted some of their '80s bikes with Specialized components at the buyers' request. My '84 Davidson had Specialized hubs, pedals and stem. I also had a '79 Trek with the same cartridge-bearing Specialized hubs.
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Old 01-26-20, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
could the front hub be one of these?

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F163495684766
Original Poster needs to chime in, but that was a good find, Prices that Meet and Exceed New York prices.
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Old 01-26-20, 05:48 PM
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I'll post a pic later. Thanks, everyone
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Old 01-26-20, 08:51 PM
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Here’s a couple of bad pics. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-26-20, 09:07 PM
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Anything on the QR skewer?

Look closely at that seal that says Japan. Does it have a brand elsewhere around it?
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Old 01-26-20, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post

Here’s a couple of bad pics. Any thoughts?
They look like loose bearing cup and cone hubs. They even look like they are OEM (original equipment manufacturer) since they have the original retention system. The red lines in the picture below point to the cone and lock nut.

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

The lock nut will need a 17mm wrench to adjust it and the cones will likely need a 13mm cone wrench.

On a side note, that wheel retention system is far superior to the other wheel retention systems we are stuck with now.
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Old 01-26-20, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
They look like loose bearing cup and cone hubs. They even look like they are OEM (original equipment manufacturer) since they have the original retention system. The red lines in the picture below point to the cone and lock nut.

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

The lock nut will need a 17mm wrench to adjust it and the cones will likely need a 13mm cone wrench.

On a side note, that wheel retention system is far superior to the other wheel retention systems we are stuck with now.

Agreed about the wheel retention system, it's such a good idea I'm shocked nobody carried it on.

Thanks for the info! That's very helpful.
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Old 01-27-20, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Yes, thousands currently when you include all of the Chinese companies making both OEM and aftermarket hubs. As for Specialized, they use different hubs on different levels of bikes. Some are those OEM Chinese hubs and some are branded as Specialized hubs with engraving. I’ve had a number of Specialized bikes and many of them had hubs branded as Specialized. Most often the front hub is a Specialized hub with a Shimano on the rear. A few had Specialized front and rear but that is rarer in my experience. Most of the Specialized hubs have been cartridge bearing hubs, but not all of them. The hubs, however, weren’t manufactured by Specialized. They are made by the same companies that make other OEM hubs.

It’s unlikely, however, that an undescribed hub on an aftermarket wheel is from Specialized. Their footprint isn’t that large. It could be Sansin or Joytech or any of a few thousand...yes, thousand...other companies. Not that it matters. The main point is that if the bearing is loose, it is probably a cup and cone hub that just needs adjustment.
cycco coming in aggressive yet again.
Why are you bringing up current produced generic Chinese hubs? Thats a 30+ year old rim and the odds of it having a modern generic hub are really small for obvious reasons.
Specialized hubs werent marked, the original post noted the hub isnt branded, and so it was suggested that maybe its a Specialized hub. It may be wrong, but it isnt some crazy comment to criticize either.

Take a breath man, take a breath.
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Old 01-27-20, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
cycco coming in aggressive yet again.
Nope. Not aggressive. I merely pointed out that Mr. 66’s assertions were wrong.

Of course some might say that you are “coming in aggressive yet again” since you are rather late to a discussion that has been settled and want to relitigate it. We can do that if you like.

Why are you bringing up current produced generic Chinese hubs? Thats a 30+ year old rim and the odds of it having a modern generic hub are really small for obvious reasons.
Roypercy said

...my 1987 Schwinn Super Sport came with a set of un-original wheels...
in his original post. Although I’ve shown that they were OEM wheels, we didn’t know that at the beginning of the discussion. We didn’t know that the hubs and wheels were 30+ years old. Unoriginal wheels could be be from just about any date with a nearly infinite combination of hub, spokes and rims, hence the inclusion of generic Chinese hubs.

Specialized hubs werent marked, the original post noted the hub isnt branded, and so it was suggested that maybe its a Specialized hub. It may be wrong, but it isnt some crazy comment to criticize either.
Some Specialized hubs weren’t branded. Many have been. Specialized hasn’t had that large of a footprint in terms of individual components...as I’ve noted many times in this thread...so the possibility that the hubs were “Specialized brand” hubs based on zero information is very, very small.

Take a breath man, take a breath.
My breathing is just fine. Perhaps you should mind your own breathing and take one before relitigating something that is settled.
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Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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