Wheel Bearings

H

Hive

Guest
I was going to enter the below in one of the threads on Split Bolts and Drive Rings under "Snapping on the Drive Ring" or "GEBE Don's ..." threads, but it is new topic, so here we go.

I was out pedaling and a tech at local garage saw me fiddling with my balking front derailleur and came out and admired the motor (not running or connected to ring) and we had a nice talk.

He wondered if the wheel bearings would take the stress of higher speeds?

I had no clue and still do not. Seems they should work as is but I know so little about this stuff.

Might be worth exploring, particularly for motorized commuters and fast runners.

Food for thought.
 
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Nuttsy

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
Messages
328
Hive,
It can depend on the bearings your wheels have and the quality of the hub. Years ago my local bike shop mech. turned me on to removing the caged bearings the cheaper bikes use and just pack free loose bearings in its place. That allows room for one or two more bearings and therefore better support. The quality of the bearings and the hub then becomes the issue. So using quality parts will get you down the road. All that aside, there is much more stress on the spokes than the center of the wheel, but, naturally you're going to want to keep a close eye on both and do regular maintenance. Then you can evaluate the condition of the bearings. Another option would be a different hub that uses sealed bearings.
WC
 
L

Large Filipino

Guest
Here's my take on that. Look at scooters and motorcycles. There's a reason for the heavy duty bearings. I don't know about Whizzers,though. I would assume their bearings should be more heavy duty than a bicycle.
This is why I keep my speeds down.
I'm sure a bicycle can handle the speeds,but can it handle PROLONGED speeds?
I keep my bearings greased monthly and I check for wear. But I KNOW not everybody does this.
This was partly the reason that I switched my happy time over to another bike. My Diamond back had quick release bearings and the bearings and race were looking worn down when I did my last monthly greasing.
My rear rim was getting warped pretty bad too.
My new bike is old but made strong. I'm sure this bike would last a bit longer.
 
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Mountainman

Active Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
3,572
Most bicycles we would think -- are made for at least -- at times -- very fast high speeds -- down large hills -- 40 mph maybe -- BUT -- to run a bicycle MB at those speeds daily requires a good eye mixed with some maintenance -- if wheel bearings while spinning wheel make ANY noise or we feel something rough going on -- time to take it apart and check those bearings and races.. Happy Riding from - Mountainman
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
688
My bearings went in less than 100 miles in my rear wheel. I kept them greased, and greased them when I got the bike new. I replaced the bearings in the rear and removed cages, and installed more bearings.
 
H

Hive

Guest
My O My!

What a treasure trove of insight.

Thanks!

Project this winter will be to replace cages with loose bearings and grease, with lithium?

I think I will let the basic axles go for time.

I motor about 25% of the time, if that ...


 
U

uncle_punk13

Guest
If I might be so bold as to add- In addition to the above mentioned "Hip tips and tricks", I also use a high quality Automotive type bearing grease, seems to work very well for higher speeds as it doesn't melt down and run out of the wheels nearly as fast or often...
 

rossfree

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
71
My two cents...

A 26 inch wheel doing 30mph is only turning the blazing speed of 388 RPM. This is not a speed likely to burn up grease or put undo stress on bearings.

A clean race, descent grease and properly assembled bearings should give you a long life. Overtightening the nuts holding the bearings together could significantly shorten their life, as would dirt or grit finding its way in.

Poor quality materials in the bearing itself can allow premature failure but if they are properly lubricated... I'd say even they should last a reasonably long time.

I like the cage removal... adding extra balls... but doubt that all but the heaviest riders really need to do so.

Trail riders would likely need the best bearings... and I'd really entertain sealed if it were within monetary reach.

There are a lot of old bikes still tossing around out there with the same bearings that came with them. If you keep them clean, dry and lubed I should think you will get many years out of all but the very cheapest bike bearings.

That's just my two cents. I don't discourage anyone from improving the bearings on their bikes... or any other components. By all means do so.

Happy trails,

Ross
 
K

kerf

Guest
I've had no problems with loose bearings but the higher end hubs are going to sealed ball bearings. The Staton rear hub has four sets of sealed ball bearings, maybe overkill but makes me feel good anyway.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
688
My two cents...

A 26 inch wheel doing 30mph is only turning the blazing speed of 388 RPM. This is not a speed likely to burn up grease or put undo stress on bearings.

A clean race, descent grease and properly assembled bearings should give you a long life. Overtightening the nuts holding the bearings together could significantly shorten their life, as would dirt or grit finding its way in.

Poor quality materials in the bearing itself can allow premature failure but if they are properly lubricated... I'd say even they should last a reasonably long time.

I like the cage removal... adding extra balls... but doubt that all but the heaviest riders really need to do so.

Trail riders would likely need the best bearings... and I'd really entertain sealed if it were within monetary reach.

There are a lot of old bikes still tossing around out there with the same bearings that came with them. If you keep them clean, dry and lubed I should think you will get many years out of all but the very cheapest bike bearings.

That's just my two cents. I don't discourage anyone from improving the bearings on their bikes... or any other components. By all means do so.

Happy trails,

Ross


I dont know that it is the speed of the wheel, but the stress of the weight of the rider pushing down on the bearings, as well as the motor pulling the drive side of the wheel forward constantly. I replaced my rear bearings within 100 miles and it was only the drive side that was bad....
 
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