Wheels Wheel bearings

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by fishhead, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. fishhead

    fishhead New Member

    Does anyone know of a supplier of high quality wheel bearings ?
    My Schwinn with a HT engine seems to eat up the rear wheel bearings, but looking at the bearings - it's no wonder - the cheapest, weakest, a real POS.

    Also, any thoughts on endplay ? How much endplay ... or preload ?

    Thanks all.

  2. biken stins

    biken stins Member

    Have you checked with any bike shop ?
    Like all parts some good some bad.
    Industrial parts and repair shop ? Northern Tool ?
    Use search box . Rear hubs. Coaster brake. there is a link to a totortial that is great.
    With all the different makes and types it is best to check and make sure you are working on right one.
    Good Luck.
    Welcome to the site.
  3. mountain80

    mountain80 Member

    I just went to a bearing supply house and bought a bag of 50 1/4'' loose ball bearings for 15 dollars i believe. It is enough to do both front and rear wheels.
  4. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Are they sealed bearings? I'd be somewhat surprised if they were on a Schwinn but that would be the only reason to be looking for that source.

    I guess until you answer that I wouldn't know but my guess would be they are caged hub bearings with nuts and cones. If that is the case an upgrade would be to go to loose ball bearings of a good quality and good grease.
  5. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    I would find some bearnings made in US or Japan -- that's quality stuff

    good bearnings with good grease should last a long time

    how is the inside race looking -- check with finger nail and the old eye ball

    ride that thing
  6. fishhead

    fishhead New Member

    loose ball bearings ?

    Happy Vally -

    Do you mean to remove the cage the ball bearing seat in ?

    Does one just grease the raceway and shove balls in without the cage ?

    Thanks guys.....
  7. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    if one is to be rid of cage -- it will take extra ((more)) bearnings to fill
    rather than taking bearnings out of cages -- best to buy loose bearnings

    just grease up the race and fill with proper size bearnings

  8. fishhead

    fishhead New Member

    The problem ?

    I was puzzled why I was eating up wheel bearings. I have a coaster brake hub. When I first made the installation it was necessary to enlarge the ID of the drive sprocket so that it would fit on a coaster brake hub. When I opened up the ID it fit snug on the hub.

    Today I disassembed the sprocket and hub and found the bearing raceway wall was cracked. I suppose that the tension from the chain drive to the sprocket was being transfered on the raceway wall ( in addition to the spokes) and eventually cracked it.

    I guess I will get a new hub and increase the ID of the drive sprocket alot more than I had it before.
  9. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Sounds like you found the root of your bearing problem, a bad race.
    I thought I'd mention you might be able to replace the race without needing to replace the whole hub.
    You need a specific tool for the job but most any bike shop should be able to do that.

    On the caged bearing question: the low end bike companies use caged bearing to make assembly faster and the bearing quality is usually low. I get rid of them and replace with high quality loose balls that sell for a few bucks for a hundred.
    You need to use exactly the same diameter loose balls as were the caged, and you will replace them until the race is filled leaving a one ball or less gap.

    Use a high quality bearing grease, white Teflon is good and fill the race cup.
    That will hold the new ball bearings in place as you manipulate them to get the spacing correct.

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  10. fm2200

    fm2200 Member

    another problem can be if you make the bearing to tight it wont matter how much good grease you have is or the quality of the bearings, over tightening will burn them out.
  11. I think that was my problem with my Cranbrook. I had the cage come apart and I need to replace my bearings. I'm thinking of using the cageless type with more bearings. I go to the bike shop tomorrow!
  12. Everyone seems to be beating up on caged bearings here. Cheap, low quality bearings, caged or not, are the culprit. High quality caged bearings will work as well as high quality loose bearings and are a little easier to work with. I have both types of bearings on my 2 MBs and both, when properly greased and maintained, will likely outlive me. Look for reputable US, German, Swiss, Japanese, and Russian made bearings from one of the quality bearing makers, such as Fafnir, SKF, etc. I would avoid the cheap Chinese made bearings as they seem to lack good quality control and out-of-round, soft or poorly heat treated ball bearing balls appear to be the norm.

    Prior to WWII, Russian bearings were not very good. At the end of the war, the Russians took German bearing making machinery, technology, and technicians back to Russia and have made very high quality bearing ever since. They are not always installed properly, but they are of good quality.

    Every Chinese built bike I have bought and motorized has had the wheel bearings replaced as a matter of course. The originals were dirty and full of metal shavings. Cleaning the races and replacing the bearings using good quality bearings and grease are keys to long trouble free performance. Even better is replacing the wheel hubs/entire wheels with good quality units from your local bike shop or a reputable wheel maker. This will ensure you get quality bearings, including the races. Cheap ball bearing races are hardened through and through and are brittle, subject to cracking. High quality ball bearing races are case hardened on the faces only, a small but very important difference.

    A rule of thumb for setting the bearing preload is to slowly tighten the bearing nut while rotating the wheel. When you feel the bearing start to tighten/bind back off the nut a tenth of a turn or untill the wheel turns freely with just a hint of tightness. No wobble or looseness should be apparent.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  13. Thanks Motorbike. Just got off the phone with the bike shop and will be going down there at noon. Being my first MB, I appreciate the information.
  14. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

  15. craisin

    craisin Member

    yeah right friction cause heat and heat makes things expand and as the brake is in there too
  16. Got the bearings replaced and freshly greased. Also tweaked the sprocket to get it a little closer to perfect. It seems that everything I do to this bike just improves it a little more each time. It gets quieter, smoother and more enjoyable each time I do something. I think it's called getting the bugs out of it. :grin5:
  17. Many of us here have worked most, or all, of the bugs out and now are just tinkering. I keep making improvements as they occur to me. It's half the fun of the hobby. Keep making those improvements and having fun, or as Mountain Man might say, "Ride that thing."
  18. Been riding it and I'm getting it ready for a scheduled ride over in Tampa next month. I REALLY don't want to be the guy that holds everyone up along the road!