Are my wheel bearings worn?

ilikeslowbikes

New Member
Local time
9:33 PM
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
27
Hey all, I have a Kent Bayside with a Honda GX50 friction drive powering it. It's been a solid little bike so far with no issues (knock on wood) and the odometer just rolled over the 1100 mile mark. My rear wheel suddenly got stiffer to turn on a ride. The bike struggled to exceed 30 mph, which it did easily before. I rode it to work the next day and the wheel loosened up again to a normal level, and drove normal except for a squeaking sound. I went out for groceries today, and the speaking sound is gone, everything is back to normal.

I am on the crappy stock Walmart rims that came with the bike, and have never repacked the bearings because I don't feel any play yet. The squeaking and hard to turn wheel though make me think they are on their way out, but now that everything feels normal, I dunno. We've also had a couple rainy days in the area, so I'm wondering if some dirt just got stuck somewhere in the wheel and later fell out. Any thoughts?

Should I repack the bearings/ get a new rear wheel pre-emptively or wait for more obvious signs?
 

darwin

Well-Known Member
Local time
10:33 PM
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
5,799
Yeppers, time to take wheel apart and inspect the bearings, regrease them too. If you have a cassette on 1 side you can grease them by sticking grease on your lil finger and carefully sticking grease against the bearings just a little at a time. Be careful if any drop out. Have to put them back. When putting axle don't over tighten the cone nut. Just enough for no side to side play and easy spin. Then lock it down with the lock nut w/o letting the cone nut move. When done wheel should spin like new.
 

ismellnownlatters

Well-Known Member
Local time
12:33 AM
Joined
Oct 1, 2022
Messages
850
So weird I have same bike and this am I went to repack bearings .but they was so tight I couldn't remove cone nut the bearing wasn't tight just the cone nut
 

darwin

Well-Known Member
Local time
10:33 PM
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
5,799
That cone nut, inside nut has a lock nut up against it on the outside. You should notice 2 flat areas to put 2 wrenches on them. The inside nut you need a really thin wrench to grab it properly. Maybe you can w/o a cone wrench. Can't see it here. That lock nut keeps the cone nut from turning as the wheel spins and is necessary to be there.
 

ilikeslowbikes

New Member
Local time
9:33 PM
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
27
Yeppers, time to take wheel apart and inspect the bearings, regrease them too. If you have a cassette on 1 side you can grease them by sticking grease on your lil finger and carefully sticking grease against the bearings just a little at a time. Be careful if any drop out. Have to put them back. When putting axle don't over tighten the cone nut. Just enough for no side to side play and easy spin. Then lock it down with the lock nut w/o letting the cone nut move. When done wheel should spin like new.
I'm thinking of just having one of the local bike shops build a wheel for me. I've heard the rims that come stock with these bikes are terrible, and mine's not true anymore anyways. Is that a better idea or am I just throwing money away? Also, is it safe to ride for a bit longer or is this something I should be taking care of immediately?
 

darwin

Well-Known Member
Local time
10:33 PM
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
5,799
Is this a rim with a cassette? How much is the local shop going to charge you? Yes, for safety your wheel needs to spin freely and function properly. You can hurt your bike and yourself if the wheel comes apart while riding. Is this a 26" wheel? For example, $51.95 free shipping.
 

ilikeslowbikes

New Member
Local time
9:33 PM
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
27
Is this a rim with a cassette? How much is the local shop going to charge you? Yes, for safety your wheel needs to spin freely and function properly. You can hurt your bike and yourself if the wheel comes apart while riding. Is this a 26" wheel? For example, $51.95 free shipping.
I believe it's a free wheel, and yes a 26". I haven't gotten a quote from the shop yet. I'm guessing from what I've heard from others it'll be around $120. I was looking at the exact wheel you sent me, but I'm wondering if having someone build a rim with a branded hub is a better investment. Will that wheel really just fall apart on me with no warning? I was hoping to get to and from work for the next couple days.
 

darwin

Well-Known Member
Local time
10:33 PM
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
5,799
Can't answer your ?. Dunno how bad it is. Good luck on your choices.
 
Top