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Heliocomatic hub rebuilding??

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Heliocomatic hub rebuilding??

Old 07-05-21, 02:53 PM
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Hello again on this crazy quest. Yep, it seems to be postal misplacement going on somewhere along the way. Anyhow, upon disassembly of my old hub I found 2 bad cones with one pitted much more than the other. I was actually a bit surprised as the bike and components looked to be low miles. Both sides were the small 5/32 bearings with 13 per side. I knocked out the cones from the old hub for practice as they were in perfect shape. Stock axle and locknuts all fine too.

So, if I get the hub from Dave without the post office loosing it again, I would really only need the cones. My lock ring seems fine and came off easily with a small sized strap wrench. Perhaps just the cones in a padded shipping pack, or whatever way you wish. If stuff will be discarded, the flat rate box is fine too. I appreciate the offers.
Steve
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Old 07-05-21, 04:45 PM
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Sam and Steve,
If you can send me the defective cones I will re-condition them and then send them back to Steve. Send to me at: Dave Hohnke
2633 De Kist St.
Bloomington, IN 47408-4216
Thanks, MH
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Old 07-05-21, 05:45 PM
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Thanks, and will do

Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Sam and Steve,
If you can send me the defective cones I will re-condition them and then send them back to Steve. Send to me at: Dave Hohnke
2633 De Kist St.
Bloomington, IN 47408-4216
Thanks, MH
Thanks Dave. I will get them out tomorrow.
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Old 07-06-21, 03:04 PM
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Bearing number

So, I have a replacement hub from kind member MadHonk. I had to swap out a pitted race, but cones on this one were fine. Now a question about bearing numbers for the collective genius here. 13 balls came out per side in both my destroyed hub and the replacement hub. I reassembled the new hub dry and without the grease dust caps. Looking at the bearings in each side, they sure looked crowded together if not touching.

I have always read that proper number is whatever fits minus one. I took one out on each side to look at things and it looked more “normal”. Who am I to question the engineers, but these hubs have a long history of bearing problems. These are small 5/32” balls FYI. Bearings loading against each other rather than cups and cones? Thoughts?
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Old 07-06-21, 03:08 PM
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You got the replacement hub? Shall I stand-down, then? What a roller coaster you're on.

Sheldon says 13 is the lucky number. I would trust it. As long as they turn freely and the bearings do not bind against each other, you are fine.
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Old 07-06-21, 03:11 PM
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"Minus one" is almost always the wrong number.

Think about it. Why would the component designer leave any more than the absolute minimum of clearance/space between balls?

It's only space which can accumulate between two particular balls, causing very significant stress increases on the local balls, race and cone!

If in doubt, check for any binding of the assembled full-complement bearing. No binding equals no problem, and the minimum of clearance is what maximizes the bearing's load capacity and rigidity.

The two most persistent errors that I've found in old-days bike publications might be the "minus one" myth and also the myth that Schwinn bicycles of the day were not good, high-quality machines.

Last edited by dddd; 07-06-21 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 07-06-21, 03:14 PM
  #32  
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Yes, I got the long lost hub, so I am set for now.I will see if I can take a pic showing the balls in there. With such small balls I wondered if one would feel any binding. The thought crossed my mind that perhaps the original number of 13 perhaps wasn’t optimal and hence the question. Maybe some engineering types have insight.
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Old 07-06-21, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
"Minus one" is almost always the wrong number.

Think about it. Why would the component designer leave any more than the absolute minimum of clearance/space between balls?

It's only space which can accumulate between two particular balls, causing very significant stress increases on the local balls, race and cone!

If in doubt, check for any binding of the assembled full-complement bearing. No binding equals no problem, and the minimum of clearance is what maximizes the bearing's load capacity and rigidity.

The two most persistent errors that I've found in old-days bike publications might be the "minus one" myth and also the myth that Schwinn bicycles of the day were not good, high-quality machines.
That makes perfect sense.
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Old 07-06-21, 03:24 PM
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One thing to know about the Helicomatic six-speed hubs (and perhaps all of the other versions as well?) is that the cog spacing is narrow, akin to "Ultra" or 7s spacing.

This is a factor in terms of what chains can be used, and how delicate that the shifting inputs from the rider need to be.

Unfortunately, the narrow cog spacing didn't seem to have been exploited in terms of improving wheel dish, as the cog stack sits rather far out from the spokes, and rather inward from the dropout (the latter is home-improvable but only to the tune of one washer's thickness or perhaps 1.5mm which I will take).

Also, the "forked" tips of the cog teeth give smooth chain pickup, but not under much load at all (as compared to period Uniglide or Suntour freewheels) without gross slippage of the "false neutral" or "skating" sort.

I have not found a better chain for use on a Helico freewheel than the Sedisport chain (have tried modern 7-8s and 9s chains).

I too wanted to keep my ~1984 (Trek 720 and Peugeot PH501) bikes original, but in both cases I finally replaced the rear hub.
I re-used the original spokes with no problems (using an HG-7 freehub and a Sunshine freewheel hub) in both cases.

It helps bearing life if the axle bearings are set up with pronounced freeplay that just goes away as the QR lever is fully secured.

Last edited by dddd; 07-06-21 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 07-06-21, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
You got the replacement hub? Shall I stand-down, then? What a roller coaster you're on.

Sheldon says 13 is the lucky number. I would trust it. As long as they turn freely and the bearings do not bind against each other, you are fine.
Sam,
It seems I got the address wrong and it caused a bit of delay. I think dyslexia may be setting in (smiles). I have had a time with sending a few things out to BF members, like the six month quarantine of a bike to WGB, and miss-directed mail like this. But for the most part I have been pretty lucky in distributing my junk around the country to BF members. My next go round is gonna be my Trek 670 and we'll see how that goes. I trust all is well, Smiles, MH
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Old 07-06-21, 03:54 PM
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All good info, thanks. May be awhile until assembly as it will be my first wheel build and the rest of the bike needs gone through. This UO14 has a different looking headset lock ring so other French things to learn. Retiring in perhaps 5 moths so time then maybe. It sounds as though this later Canadian Peugeot is not totally French with everything though.
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Old 07-07-21, 06:03 PM
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Well folks,
A trip to the Co-Op and look what I scored! Of course I bought a couple of other items like a Campy Record 5spd and a wheel that had a good Mavic rim on it. And a Gipiemme front hub. Pics:

hub is in a 27" wheel with freehub attached

a bit of damage to the dork disk but all else seems ok
So this one may go to To Le Do as a complete wheel. Let me know your thoughts. Smiles, MH

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Old 07-07-21, 06:25 PM
  #38  
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That wheel and hub appear to be from a mid 80's Trek 720. I've got those wheels on my Austro Daimler,



The rims were Matrix Titan T, a little heavy, but plenty strong. The helicomatic hub should be the 700 Pro with the 3/16 bearings both sides and labyrinth seals.
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Old 07-07-21, 06:29 PM
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...going to all this trouble to rebuild a wheel with a Helicomatic rear hub, reminds me of the old threads that used to pop up from time to time about restoring a Schwinn Varsity.
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Old 07-07-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...going to all this trouble to rebuild a wheel with a Helicomatic rear hub, reminds me of the old threads that used to pop up from time to time about restoring a Schwinn Varsity.
At least with a Varsity you can count on it continuing to function for a long time to come.
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Old 07-07-21, 08:06 PM
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Ouch, and double ouch. Actually I have too many bikes to ride anyhow and was looking for a learning experience. I’ve never rebuilt a wheel, and the gearing choices on this bike with the helio seemed pretty good and that concave weinmann still belongs there so I’m ready for the mis adventure. Seriously though, I wouldn’t put more than 100 miles a year on it unless I really liked this bike, so learning and then trying it in stock form might be fun.

And thanks Dave, but I think I may be fine with that hub you sent. My original main purpose was to get that weinmann back on there and rebuilding the heliocomatic seemed like another new experience, so I don’t really need a whole wheel. As wiser folks say, I am probably wasting my time and energy, but I’ve done worse.
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Old 07-07-21, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by daverup View Post
That wheel and hub appear to be from a mid 80's Trek 720. I've got those wheels on my Austro Daimler,
The rims were Matrix Titan T, a little heavy, but plenty strong. The helicomatic hub should be the 700 Pro with the 3/16 bearings both sides and labyrinth seals.
But the 720 would have a 5 speed freewheel/cassette. I don't know how interchangeable those freewheel/cassettes/hubs are. (In other words, would a 5 speed hub take a 6 speed freewheel)
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Old 07-07-21, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
But the 720 would have a 5 speed freewheel/cassette. I don't know how interchangeable those freewheel/cassettes/hubs are. (In other words, would a 5 speed hub take a 6 speed freewheel)
My '83 720 has 700 series helico hubs with a six speed freewheel. It's gotta be stock.
However, it would have stainless spokes on a 720. Those don't appear to be stainless (referring the wheel with the broken dork disk).

Last edited by Hobbiano; 07-07-21 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 07-07-21, 10:45 PM
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Mad Honk what rim is on that wheel from the co-op?
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Old 07-08-21, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
But the 720 would have a 5 speed freewheel/cassette. I don't know how interchangeable those freewheel/cassettes/hubs are. (In other words, would a 5 speed hub take a 6 speed freewheel)
The 5 and 6 speed freewheels both fit. The 6 speed has thinner spacers between the cogs.
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Old 07-08-21, 06:56 AM
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The one and only reason I did not pursue rebuilding the hub
P1000288 on Flickr

When after assessing what I was going to do, this is what I had left over
Helicomatic 6V 13-21 on Flickr

I would be willing to let it go for a small fee +shipping. PM me if interested.

Removed from and 1984 Trek 610. The rim had rusted out eyelet's.
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Old 07-08-21, 09:26 AM
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It does seem as though the cones are the weakest point. Interesting that postings on the later 700 version of this hub has 3/16” balls. They must have known something. I’m not out too much except my time and just a few bucks, so education is priceless.

I just completed lacing up my first wheel with the nice weinmann concave rim and the despised heliocomatic. Had a little confusion at one point, but it looks like my other rims now. I still need to tension and true it. If it self destroys in short order after I get the bike rideable, then I can do it again with a more sensible hub.
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Old 07-08-21, 05:51 PM
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Good on ya! for the rebuild. I will do something with the wheel here, It looks like a Matrix rim but the stickers are worn off, but will still be service able for some build. If anyone is interested in it give me a shout. Smiles, MH
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Old 07-09-21, 02:16 AM
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I don't understand all the hate towards the Maillard Helicomatic system. I have an '84 Peugeot PH10LE that I bought new. I'm still riding the Helicomatic system (13-28) and the Sedisport chain that it came with. Wheels are original except for the spokes. It still works as good as new.
I've rebuilt and relaced the rear twice. The front once.


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Old 07-09-21, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
I don't understand all the hate towards the Maillard Helicomatic system. I have an '84 Peugeot PH10LE that I bought new. I'm still riding the Helicomatic system (13-28) and the Sedisport chain that it came with. Wheels are original except for the spokes. It still works as good as new.
I've rebuilt and relaced the rear twice. The front once.

Would yours happen to be the 700 professional version of these hubs? Most bikes came with the destructo version.
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