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Rusty bearing?

slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,495
edited March 2013 in Road general
On a trail ride I noticed a lot of noise coming from my tricross - I isolated the chain set by stopping pedalling and the noise continued. So it had to be a wheel bearing.

Spinning the wheels I could feel the front wheel bearing grumbling - so decided to open it up when at home.

Have just got it all apart to find a brown sludge coating all the inside, but predominantly on one side. I've cleaned it up as best I can, but quite a few of the ball bearings are now dull instead of shiny and there is a noticeable layer of surface rust inside one of the bearings.

The wheels are stock wheels - mavic cxp22 that came with my tricross in Jan. I used it during the rubbish weather and only changed back to my road bike last week - the bike and wheels have covered about 600miles. It's been washed by hose quite a few times and once it was jet washed off along with a load of other bikes. I've always tried to keep away from direct jet of water at the bearings.

My question is what to do? As it is so new is it a "take it back to the shop for new bearings please" or just put it back together with a good dollop of grease and let the ball bearings clear it up....
I know they're not expensive wheels, but the ones on our other bikes have had similar treatment and survived without fuss - a wheel is a wheel and it is useful for a spare at least.

Tia

Posts

  • you're very thorough in your description of your problem and potential ways to solve it! I recon repacking them with some good grease will do the trick since the bearings probably only have some surface corrosion on them. They should clear up fine! (just in case: new balls should be about 3 quid). Clean the races well and let them dry thoroughly before regreasing. When done check if sealed properly and adjust the preload (the nut outboard of the bearings tensioning them) so there no play on the axle.

    that should keep them running for at least as long as you've had them for!
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,448
    Check the cones and cups for roughness {if it is a cup and cone hub} with a ballpoint pen, if the cones are rough replace them and the bearings, if the cups are rough then it is usually new wheel time.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,495
    Ta. I've repacked it with a good dollop of grease and put it back together.
    It is the cups that have the surface rust - but it looks like a pressed bearing - I assume those can be replaced ?

    I've got an easy family ride tomorrow so Ill see if it behaves. Question was really how long these stock wheels should last..

    I know a reasonable amount through rebuilding boat and car engines as well as working in an engineering firm for a few years (not as an engineer - but y pick up a few bits here and there) but my knowledge of bikes is quite low.
  • There may have been some confusion. I recon because you where talking about ball bearings you meant cup and cone bearings. (The one that easily are taken apart and lets you have a look at the balls themselves) Just now you've mentioned pressed bearings (cartridge bearings) which can't be serviced and should be replaced (with special tools) when worn. Can you maybe clarify which ones you meant? If it's the latter repacking the internals with grease won't really do anything for you at this point. Cartridge bearings are normally well sealed but if water (i.e. by means of water jet) has gotten into them it's hard for it to get out and will most likely be the source of your problem. The sealed bearings are around 10 quid a piece but installation may ramp up the price a little.

    anyways, enjoy the easy family ride!
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    Chris - by 'pressed bearing' he is referring to the hub race, which is a hard steel race that has an interference fit in the aluminium hub.

    OP - Bike wheel bearings are pretty tolerant; if you can put up with a little rumbling then you can get away with rebuilding the bearing with fresh grease and preferably new balls. It won't be the most efficient bearing in the world but neither is it going to suddenly seize up and throw you off the bike. If the rims are OK then you could also consider getting a new front hub and relacing the rim onto it.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,495
    Thanks - yes. It's a pressed steel bearing in an Ali hub.

    Went out today but used the spare wheel as i tried the wheel this morning and it didn't feel right. But the wife bust her hanger (caught a branch) so need to take that to be sorted, so will ask about the wheel at the same time.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,495
    Just as an update to this ...

    I contacted the LBS where I bought the bike and it was dropped back in there today ... The mechanic had a look and confirmed my thought that it was shot. So, it looks like I'm getting a new wheel under warranty. :)
    No fuss and polava - easy to deal with..
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 2,367
    Rusty Bearing, i'm sure I saw him play at a blues bar in Camden a few years back?


    :-)
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • slowbike wrote:
    Just as an update to this ...

    I contacted the LBS where I bought the bike and it was dropped back in there today ... The mechanic had a look and confirmed my thought that it was shot. So, it looks like I'm getting a new wheel under warranty. :)
    No fuss and polava - easy to deal with..

    Good to hear you've got it under warranty. That is not evident because it's generally considered a wear-article (like derailleurs and tires). The LBS must have stepped up in your favor. Good job to them.

    Hope you'll be smoothly enjoying your replacement wheel.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,285
    Good for them and for you... But where are we heading? Even a bearing replacement is too much of a job for a shop...
    Honestly, it takes 5 minutes and the spare costs 2-5 pounds... Replacing the all wheel is actually a bigger job, if you factor in fitting cassette and tyre...
    There is a real lack of skill in the trade...
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,495
    Good for them and for you... But where are we heading? Even a bearing replacement is too much of a job for a shop...
    Honestly, it takes 5 minutes and the spare costs 2-5 pounds... Replacing the all wheel is actually a bigger job, if you factor in fitting cassette and tyre...
    There is a real lack of skill in the trade...
    Well, if it wasn't a warranty job then I'd be looking to replace the bearing - extract the old and press in the new - I'm assuming thats possible - it was a cup/cone arrangement and the cup was significantly corroded ..

    I'm assuming the shop don't get any money for warranty work - so they want the simplest solution I guess - it was a front wheel, so just tyre & tube to swap over - otherwise they'd have to extract the axle & balls then sort the bearing out ...

    Anyway - I've ended up with an Omega rim on a Shimano Tiagra hub - replacing a Mavic CXP22 rim on an OE? hub - it seems ok and rolls fine ... it's not as though it's top end kit! ;)
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,448
    You can't really replace cups anyway, some people say you can knock them out though.
    Smarter than the average bear.
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