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Convert wheels to sealed bearings?

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Convert wheels to sealed bearings?

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Old 11-18-17, 09:49 PM
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bmwjoe
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Convert wheels to sealed bearings?

I am on my 3rd or 4th set of Vuelta track wheels. These wheels work great for me as they look great, are light and run true. The only issue is the bearings last 1.5 to 5k miles. The original set lasted 5k, then I replaced the cones and balls and they lasted 1.5 to 3k. These wheels coas as much as a tire, so I am not breaking the bank. However I would much rather have sealed bearings that have lasted 10k+ miles for me on other bikes. Is it possible to swap out the bearings by pressing out the cups and pressing in sealed bearings with an axle spacer?

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Old 11-19-17, 06:17 AM
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All bearings where you don’t see straight into the balls and races are sealed bearings.
What I believe you’re asking about is replacing cup & cone bearings with cartridge bearings.
That is generally not doable unless you have access to a lathe and can rework the cup seats in the hub.
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Old 11-19-17, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bmwjoe View Post
I replaced the cones and balls and they lasted 1.5 to 3k.
It sounds like something is wrong here. What wore out, the balls, the cones, or both? What grade balls are you using? Are you setting the preload too high?
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Old 11-19-17, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
It sounds like something is wrong here. What wore out, the balls, the cones, or both? What grade balls are you using? Are you setting the preload too high?
The cones more than the balls. There were a few pits on some of the balls, but the cones were toast. The preload was set so it was just past the no-play setting. The original cones with the preload set by the factory, and the factory lube only lasted about 2x longer. i also replaced the cones with the factory cones and cone from Wheels mfg. Same results.

I did not like the fact these are not sealed. They have a shield, but nu rubber seals. Cartridge bearings would have seals.

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Old 11-19-17, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
All bearings where you donít see straight into the balls and races are sealed bearings.
What I believe youíre asking about is replacing cup & cone bearings with cartridge bearings.
That is generally not doable unless you have access to a lathe and can rework the cup seats in the hub.

I assume the cup seats are steel and the hub is aluminum and they can be pressed out. I do have access to a lathe, so i can make custom spacers.

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Old 11-19-17, 11:04 AM
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Convert wheels to sealed bearings?

Not a conversion, but a Replacement. it requires new hubs , and probably just buying new wheels..

Phil Wood Company makes very nice sealed bearing hubs in San Jose California..






...
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Old 11-19-17, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bmwjoe View Post
The cones more than the balls. There were a few pits on some of the balls, but the cones were toast. The preload was set so it was just past the no-play setting. The original cones with the preload set by the factory, and the factory lube only lasted about 2x longer. i also replaced the cones with the factory cones and cone from Wheels mfg. Same results.

I did not like the fact these are not sealed. They have a shield, but nu rubber seals. Cartridge bearings would have seals.

Ride Safe,

Joe

No rubber seals? That aint good. Wheel's Manufacturing stuff is good stuff. So I'm curious. When you opened them up, was the grease gone? Or was it there and badly contaminated.

Since the wheels are so cheap you might just try pushing one of the cups out. Nothing to lose. Try some heat. We used to remove press fit cartridge bearings from aluminum motorcycle hubs with no tool. Just got them good and warm and the bearing would fall out. Same principle might work on the cups.
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Old 11-19-17, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bmwjoe View Post
I assume the cup seats are steel and the hub is aluminum and they can be pressed out. I do have access to a lathe, so i can make custom spacers.
A very common cup diameter is 29.6 mm.
A very common cartridge bearing OD with a suitable ID is 30.0 mm.
Thatís a tricky spacer to make.
Which leaves you with two options:
- track down a cartridge bearing with a smaller OD while still having a useful ID.
- tear down to bare hub, and rework the hub.

And you need a hub with a central cavity large enough to house a support sleeve to go between the inner races.

As far as machining goes, itís a quite nice job. But it does take a fair bit of time.
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Old 11-19-17, 02:01 PM
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You don't need sealed bearings to get thousands of miles of service out of your hubs; just quality hubs and routine maintenance. I have 40+ year old loose bearing Campagnolo Record hubs with untold thousands of miles still going strong.
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Old 11-19-17, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
You don't need sealed bearings to get thousands of miles of service out of your hubs; just quality hubs and routine maintenance. I have 40+ year old loose bearing Campagnolo Record hubs with untold thousands of miles still going strong.
I understand there are millions of bikes that ride on loose ball bearings w/o problem. I think the major problem with these is that they are not sealed (that is they have no rubber seals) and I ride a lot. I am not willing to service bearings every other month. I had cheap wheels (<$100) with sealed bearings that lasted 15k+ miles w/o issue. I am specifically looking to change from loose balls to sealed cartridge bearings. I have learned this is not a common endeavor.

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Old 11-19-17, 03:03 PM
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I just pressed out the old cups and the bore in the hub is 1.098" or 27.9mm. I see that 10x28x8mm bearings are available all day long on the interwebs. Bearings123.com has them from $2.50-15.00 with seals. I am guessing that will be a nice press fit in the existing bore. So far, so good.
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Old 11-19-17, 03:28 PM
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Yup it's possible as long as you match the diameters correctly.
I've converted a set of suntour superbe pro hubs with toasted races to sealed bearings with a philwood rebuild kit w/ bearings + axles.

Be sure to take your time adjusting the cone washers/ spacers afterwards so that they're "just right" where they dont bind the bearings from spinning freely or are too loose.
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Old 11-21-17, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
You don't need sealed bearings to get thousands of miles of service out of your hubs; just quality hubs and routine maintenance. I have 40+ year old loose bearing Campagnolo Record hubs with untold thousands of miles still going strong.
Campy stuff doesn't die out like the cheap stuff. Campy has always had high quality. Comparing a quality Campy hub with a cheap Vuelta hub is like comparing a Michelin chef with a burger flipper at McDowells!
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