Wheel bearing question

BruceBanner1983

Well-Known Member
Local time
3:29 PM
Joined
Oct 11, 2023
Messages
392
Location
Pennsylvania
I plan to use a bicycle front wheel with a non-threaded motorcycle axle (to avoid goofy responses, I’m using a motorcycle fork and the end of the axle is threaded for the axle nut, but the part that goes through the hub is smooth, this is for a 212 build with a torque converter and I’m building it to resemble a motorcycle, so for speed and looks, I’m not wanting bicycle forks). My question is, can I drill out the cones to slide onto the axle and use spacers or washers to get the cone and bearings into proper position, or should I press out the bearing cups and find sealed bearings?
 
I was talking to Kenny Buchanan, from Buchanan Spoke and Rim last week with this same bearing question. They make spokes and rims for motorcycles, and also make custom length 12ga spokes for folks like us. Kenny told me he perfers to use individule balls rather than sealed bearings. His reason surprised me until I took a moment to ponder it. Kenny said they have seen failures with sealed bearings on front wheels because they do not support the side loading as well as the individule balls. Makes sense seeing the increased side loading while going around a corner.
 
I plan to use a bicycle front wheel with a non-threaded motorcycle axle If you choose to use ball bearings that rod will have to be threaded. How else will you set the preload on the cones if you can't screw them in and out ? You might be forced to use sealed bearings.
 
I was talking to Kenny Buchanan, from Buchanan Spoke and Rim last week with this same bearing question. They make spokes and rims for motorcycles, and also make custom length 12ga spokes for folks like us. Kenny told me he perfers to use individule balls rather than sealed bearings. His reason surprised me until I took a moment to ponder it. Kenny said they have seen failures with sealed bearings on front wheels because they do not support the side loading as well as the individule balls. Makes sense seeing the increased side loading while going around a corner.
That’s interesting, but I’m still not sure if it’s safe to drill out the cones and use spacers to push them into place on a non-threaded axle.
 
I plan to use a bicycle front wheel with a non-threaded motorcycle axle If you choose to use ball bearings that rod will have to be threaded. How else will you set the preload on the cones if you can't screw them in and out ? You might be forced to use sealed bearings.
Motorcycles use sealed bearings, all bearings have a chance of eventually failing, but I think if they can last 5-10k miles on a heavy motorcycle going way faster than most of our bikes go, they’ll probably last a good long time on a motorized bicycle going ~50mph. I don’t know what my bikes actual top speed will be, but the road from my house to my job is 35-45 speed limit and that’s where I’ll mostly be riding it.
 
I plan to use a bicycle front wheel with a non-threaded motorcycle axle If you choose to use ball bearings that rod will have to be threaded. How else will you set the preload on the cones if you can't screw them in and out ? You might be forced to use sealed bearings.
Now, the wheels I’m using will have pretty heavy gauge spokes, I know enough not to put standard bicycle spokes up against a 212 lol.
 
That’s interesting, but I’m still not sure if it’s safe to drill out the cones and use spacers to push them into place on a non-threaded axle. There's No Way you would be able to successfully set the preload using spacers do to the lateral flex in the forks. Like you said, "All motorcycle's have sealed bearings." You are going to have to use 'em. It'll be fine.
 
Back
Top