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Best Bearing Press Tools

cossyrushcossyrush Posts: 36
edited April 2019 in Workshop
I always end up doing quite a bit of work on my bikes and my friends.
Generally I like to have the right tools.
The one set of tools I don’t have is a bearing press and associated drifts.
Mainly for wheels, bottom brackets and headsets.
I hate bodging with sockets and washers.
But it’s hard to justify £250+ for a professional set.

Can anyone recommend a set which is not too spendy.

Posts

  • AlejandrosdogAlejandrosdog Posts: 1,975
    No I can only recommend the wheels mfring large press coupled with the bb press set and some over axle adapters.

    At least 350 but that’s the cost for the proper stuff.

    I haven’t pressed a headset in for probably 12 months
  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,500
    Can't see why you're so averse to putting together your own press tool.

    Recently replaced the rear hub bearings on my Miche Primato hubs. A hex hey extension bar was the perfect drift and the old bearings were out in seconds.
    Something like this tho I paid about £5 for mine from B&Q

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Magnetic-Ext ... Sw42dZGc9Z

    New bearings were pressed in using a threaded rod, large square washers, nuts and some brass plumbing fittings which matched the external diameter of the new bearing. Job done in 10mins with no fuss.

    Total cost of the drifts and press tool - about £20 tops.

    OK to press BB30 bearings or similar you may need to modify the fittings to match the larger bearing sizes but it's not going to break the bank
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    We’ve got one of these. Had itforyearsand have used it for headsets a go-go and press fit b/bs:

    Bombproof and very recommended.

    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/cyc ... prod172499
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • munkstermunkster Posts: 819
    I’ve recently been tempted by the presses offered by Burton Bikes...
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    I want to do the work my self but will bodge the tools.

    Pressing drifts need to be the right size for the bearings to go in square and the spread the load over the bearing. A socket for example can damage the bearing a bit just pressing on the outer race.

    This is what shops are for. If you want to the jobs your self that's fine but don't skimp on the tools and bodge.

    Park tool do a bearing press. It cheaper I think. Wheels manufacturing do a consumer version of the press too.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • cossyrushcossyrush Posts: 36
    Ok thanks, I’ll have a look at the Wheels manufacturing kit.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,979
    Wheels manufacturing do a consumer version of the press too.

    8-BF06-BB3-CEEA-4-A73-B7-D0-795-C25-C56525.jpg

    which is little more than a threaded rod with a nut on each end (with threaded T handles acting as the nuts). Seems to me nothing that you couldn’t achieve with a couple of ring spanners.

    The important bits to ensure you press things in squarely are the adapters;

    https://wheelsmfg.com/presses-tools/drifts-over-axle-adapters.html

    I made my own press for bottom brackets with a length of threaded rod, suitable nuts and washers for each end and the appropriate adapters. Rod, nuts and washers came to less than a fiver at my local engineering supplies shop and the adapters were less than a tenner. Granted it’s not a fancy press with a box full of adapters, but you can buy the appropriate adapters as and when you need them.

    PP
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Actually you'd be surprised the difference a good press makes. Yes it a bar with nuts at the end but a threaded bard and ring spanners makes a poor press I had on as a headset press and it out the cups in off square all the time.
    Then there are the drifts. They should cover the bearing fully.

    Good tools help make a hood mechanic. If you make your own press it would end up looking like the wheels manufacturing offering which I why I have not bought a lathe and made my own.

    There is bodge DIY tendancy on this forum. I not sure it a great culture. Go into any good shop what bearing press do they have it won't be a home made one from bits out if a Hardware store. There is a reason for that as it makes the job quicker and easier.

    If you are doing your own spannering that's great but that also mean you should be buying shop quality tools or making the equivalent your self. A threaded bar and two nuts is a poor subsitute, I have tried.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,979
    In your opinion. I have a threaded bar which fits the adapters snugly, which are specific to the bearings I have pressed in. The tool does EXACTLY the same as any threaded bar with two T bar handles. The adapters ensure the bearings are pushed squarely. It would be no different to using the tool I pictured. It has been successfully used to press in 6 sets of BB bearings on my three bikes. Just because a shop uses a professional tool (as it is worth them investing in it as they will be pressing hundreds of bearing in a year) doesn’t mean everyone else needs to spend a fortune when an alternative adequate option is available. I do agree that sometimes a specific tool is a necessity. For example I have a Park tool bearing extractor for knocking out BB bearings.

    It is no different to buying a cheaper brand tool for occasional use over the professional quality tool. It would be great to have a fully equipped workshop with pro quality tools, but for the average home mechanic this is not money well spent.

    PP
  • AlejandrosdogAlejandrosdog Posts: 1,975
    Actually you'd be surprised the difference a good press makes. Yes it a bar with nuts at the end but a threaded bard and ring spanners makes a poor press I had on as a headset press and it out the cups in off square all the time.
    Then there are the drifts. They should cover the bearing fully.

    Good tools help make a hood mechanic. If you make your own press it would end up looking like the wheels manufacturing offering which I why I have not bought a lathe and made my own.

    There is bodge DIY tendancy on this forum. I not sure it a great culture. Go into any good shop what bearing press do they have it won't be a home made one from bits out if a Hardware store. There is a reason for that as it makes the job quicker and easier.

    If you are doing your own spannering that's great but that also mean you should be buying shop quality tools or making the equivalent your self. A threaded bar and two nuts is a poor subsitute, I have tried.

    Agreed and using good tools can be a pleasure
  • AlejandrosdogAlejandrosdog Posts: 1,975
    Pilot Pete wrote:
    In your opinion. I have a threaded bar which fits the adapters snugly, which are specific to the bearings I have pressed in. The tool does EXACTLY the same as any threaded bar with two T bar handles. The adapters ensure the bearings are pushed squarely. It would be no different to using the tool I pictured. It has been successfully used to press in 6 sets of BB bearings on my three bikes. Just because a shop uses a professional tool (as it is worth them investing in it as they will be pressing hundreds of bearing in a year) doesn’t mean everyone else needs to spend a fortune when an alternative adequate option is available. I do agree that sometimes a specific tool is a necessity. For example I have a Park tool bearing extractor for knocking out BB bearings.

    It is no different to buying a cheaper brand tool for occasional use over the professional quality tool. It would be great to have a fully equipped workshop with pro quality tools, but for the average home mechanic this is not money well spent.

    PP

    In your opinion.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,979
    Yes, and my opinion is based around the successful use of such a home made tool. Just because cycleclinic ‘failed’ when he tried doesn’t mean it is not an option others could employ successfully.

    405-CFB01-817-A-428-E-BED1-876-E843-CFBC6.jpg

    ADA14-DD4-C3-B8-4-E5-D-9682-CA216-B157-A7-D.jpg

    3-AC0-F386-B553-4-C93-807-A-E6004-A11-B39-D.jpg

    What would be the difference pushing those bearings in with the Wheels Manufacturing T bar handled press compared to the pictures above? Nothing. As I said, the bar was purchased to fit the ID of the adapters, the washers just stop the nut binding on the adapter. The adapter is purpose made to fit the bearing and carful application of a ring spanners does EXACTLY the same as turning the T handle.

    PP
  • jermasjermas Posts: 484
    Agree with pilotpete. Pressing in cycle bearings (at home) doesn't exactly need the highest quality workshop tools. Why spend a fortune if an equally effective cheaper option is possible? I've never had a problem or broken anything using threaded rod presses, a vice, or even a correct size socket and hammer. Remember they're only small bearings on a very low tech machine -a bicycle. For the price of some bike bearing presses you could buy a 20 tonne hydraulic press and still have change!!
  • AlejandrosdogAlejandrosdog Posts: 1,975
    jermas wrote:
    Agree with pilotpete. Pressing in cycle bearings (at home) doesn't exactly need the highest quality workshop tools. Why spend a fortune if an equally effective cheaper option is possible? I've never had a problem or broken anything using threaded rod presses, a vice, or even a correct size socket and hammer. Remember they're only small bearings on a very low tech machine -a bicycle. For the price of some bike bearing presses you could buy a 20 tonne hydraulic press and still have change!!

    The challenge with “low tech” bikes and wheels and pivots is that they require bearings to be pressed in absolutely square to work at their quietest and most efficient. A bearing press and specific drifts is invaluable for this.

    The small bearings used on bikes are not at all robust and are easily damaged. Again a bearing press with specific drifts is invaluable.

    But if If you only ever do one or two bearings a home made solution might be the best for you. PP seems to know what he’s talking about but so does cycleclinic. One does this for a living and the other very infrequently at home.

    I’ve used both and can say they do the same job but a proper press does it better, with more control and importantly if its not being done as a hobby quicker.
  • We’ve got one of these. Had itforyearsand have used it for headsets a go-go and press fit b/bs:

    Bombproof and very recommended.

    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/cyc ... prod172499

    I can also vouch for the cyclus headset press. I've had mine for years (bought in 2006) and was a bargain at £40. I have also recently bought the required bottom bracket press ring set for Ultra Torque so I can use it for bottom brackets as well. All of their press rings appear to have the same internal hole diameter so can be used on the headset press.
  • I bought a cheap Ebay press to do the BB on my Cannondale, was a bit fiddly to align it perfectly to get bearings in square but it worked. As I'm extremely unlikely to be doing many I couldn't see the point of spending much on the press. It can also be used for the headset bearings should it be needed.

    Undoubtedly paying a premium usually means you get a better quality but in my case I couldn't justify spending extra on tools I didn't need.
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