Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wheel Overhauling

About a month ago, I posted about overhauling the front hub on my touring/commuter bike. The bearing cone was deeply pitted and in really bad shape. Last weekend, after ordering the right bearings (but the wrong cones since there's almost no good way to buy stuff like that if you're not a shop), I took the axle out of my rear hub for bearing replacement and repacking with grease. Bad news- the cones were wrong so I couldn't complete the job. Good news- I didn't have to. Cones were in pristine condition (as you can see in the picture above). Why? Both wheels had seen the same mileage, through the same weather and road conditions. And, the rear wheel sees much more load due to my center of gravity location and panniers always on the bike.

Differences that might explain why the rear wheel bearing races are lasting so much longer:
-Larger bearings (1/4" vs 3/16" for a larger contact patch, less stress on the cone)
-More braking load on the front wheel
-Occasional front fork chatter which may stress the hubs

Anyway, I packed everything with grease, buttoned it back up and lubed the drivetrain. Now she purrs like a kitten.

1 comment:

Matt Bryant said...

Hi - sorry to ask this in the form of a comment, but I cannot seem to locate any email contact for you. I am in the process of restoring two vintage folding Bianchis....and I am wondering if I can ask you a related question. Is there an email that I can reach you at? Thanks much! - Matt