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Novatec Hub Bearings

Old 06-19-11, 01:41 PM
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mkadam68
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Novatec Hub Bearings

A while ago, I purchase some Novatec hubs off eBay. I was building up some deep-rim carbon wheels as an experiment: would they work for my big butt, or would they need truing after every ride.

I went somewhat cheap: generic Hong Kong 88mm rims and Novatec hubs. The hubs were the A271SB (front) and F372SB (rear) models. I have maybe 500-miles on the wheels, most likely less, as they are race-wheels only and susceptible to windy conditions (of course).

The bearings are a little rough when I turn the wheels holding the axle in my hand. The guy who built the wheels (does great, BTW), opened up the hubs and put some lube he referred to as "liquid grease" into the sealed bearings. I didn't ask for specifics. He said it helped but only a little bit. He thought they may have been over-tightened when I got them, then combined with my clydesdale weight, it may be too much for the sealed bearings.

Anybody else have or hear of this issue? Any possible recourse with Novatec (since it was via eBay)? Could I just replace the bearings (is this possible w/sealed bearings?)?
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Old 06-19-11, 02:33 PM
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You can get new bearings and replace the cartridges. They are not expensive. At your weight (really any rider weight) a hub with larger bearings will generally have longer bearing life. The shop can press the new bearings in if you do not want to deal with it.
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Old 06-19-11, 06:28 PM
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If the bearings are a little rough there are a few things you should check:

1. Are they bearings seated properly?

2. Is it the bearings in the hub that are rough or the bearings in the freehub?

3. Check that the O-ring seals are not binding and specifically that there is only one seal between the freehub body and the hub shell. If the freehub was swaped between Campagnolo and Shimano sometimes the seals will stay on the hub (and not come off with the freehub) and then, when you install the new freehub you will have two seals and binding.

4. All Novatec hubs come with two bearing options: Cheap Chinese bearings or either Japanese EZO bearings/ German F.A.G. bearings. If they are the cheaper Chinese bearings change them out now as you will be changing them out later. This also could be the entirety of the problem.

Please note that your rear hub uses an "A' Type freehub body. Although Novatec uses 7000 series alloy (which is a pretty hard alloy) as a big guy you may want to consider swaping the freehub out to the new Anti-Bite Guard (ABG) freehubs which will prevent your steel cassette from digging into the softer alloy freehub body.

All of these parts are available from authorized Novated dealers. Swapping out the bearing will require a removal tool and a press so I'd suggest an LBS if you don't have access to this equipment. Swapping out freehub bodies is a breeze and you can do it in 5 minutes with basic tools.

I hope that helps.
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Old 06-19-11, 10:46 PM
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Helps very much, thanks.
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