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How To Service Cartridge Bearings On Your Road Bike

How To Service Cartridge Bearings On Your Road Bike


– So the bearings on your
bike take a lot of abuse. Whether or not you’re
dropping a wattage bazooka, riding through bad weather, or just simply racking up the miles, or maybe it’s all of those. Today, I’m gonna show you how to make good of a
rough feeling bearing. Now, the tools you need
really actually does depend on where the bearing is
actually coming from, however, it’s very
likely you’re gonna need some Allen keys, a sharp knife or a pick, some spanners, an old toothbrush, some good quality grease,
and some degreaser. Those are the essentials really, but again, just check
with the manufacturer for what exactly it is you
need to remove that bearing or that part from your bike. So cleaning bearings is
actually what you’re gonna do when they feel a little bit
rough, a little bit gritty, but they’re not actually worn out, so there’s no side to side play, there’s no rocking of the part. If there is, unfortunately
that means new bearings time. There’s no way really of
bringing them back from the dead. Now, it is possible to
service the bearings while it is actually fitted
within the component, however, you’re not really
gonna do that thorough job, so it’s better to actually
remove the bearing completely from the part. Now, if you are unsure on how to remove any dust caps or axles, please do check with the manufacturer to make sure you’re doing it correctly. There are some rather rudimentary efforts that I’ve seen before,
and people have ended up damaging parts, and that’s
not what you want to do. What we’re doing today is
actually trying to save a part, so you don’t wanna end
up breaking something. Right, so you’ve managed to get
the bearing out of the part. Well done, that’s the first difficult job for some people to get their head around without damaging
everything else, good job. So what you’ve got in the bearing is a couple of rubber seals in this case. What you’re gonna need to do is get yourself a pick
or a very sharp knife, be careful whatever you use, and actually pick off that seal, but in doing so, be really
careful not to bend the seal, ’cause you’re gonna have to reuse that. So once your bearing’s all taken apart, what you wanna do is grab
yourself some degreaser and your old toothbrush, spray it pretty liberally, and just give it a good old scrub, make sure that all the dirt is gone, there’s no grease, there’s no grime. Once that’s done, just
rinse it underneath the tap just to make sure that all the
degreaser is actually gone. So now that you’ve got your
bearing as clean as possible, you’re gonna wanna dry it. If you’ve got a compressor,
you are laughing. This is gonna be so
simple and fast for you. You can just blast out the water as well as any remaining
dirt that’s in there. If not, you’re gonna wanna
get yourself a lint-free cloth and dry that bearing as much as possible. Ideally then leave it somewhere to dry. If you live in the UK, put it on top of a radiator. You could do that probably all year round, because we’ve always got our heating on. If not, you could also try it even, wait for this, in a bowl of rice. Don’t cook the rice, just some dry rice. The moisture will slowly get absorbed. Don’t eat the rice afterwards though. That’s pretty important. So you’ve got yourself perfectly clean, perfectly dry bearing. What you’re gonna need to do
now is refill it with grease. Personally, I like to
use a waterproof grease. In the past, in the winter in fact, I’ve even used marine grease, making them as resistant to
the elements as possible. The choice, though, is up to you. Now the next step is to
get yourself some grease and fill with a thin bead
about two thirds of the way around the race of the bearing. Repeat the process on the other side, and then just give the
bearing a little spin. Make sure that that grease is actually distributed evenly throughout. Then, if there is any gaps, just put a dab more grease in, give it a little spin again, and then refit the seals. Make sure, though, that
you don’t bend the seals when you’re doing it, otherwise all the hard work you’ve done so far is just wasted. So now you’ve done the bearing, you’ve refurbished it,
it’s running smoothly, it’s time to fit it back
into where it came from. I do recommend using a
special bearing press tool. There are people out there
who use threaded rods with washers and sockets,
that kind of thing. I don’t recommend that,
the bearing and parts, they’re just too fragile to risk it unless you really know what you’re doing. Now, if it’s a headset bearing
that you’ve been working on, don’t be afraid to cover
it in plenty of grease before putting it back in the frame. That way, you’re gonna protect it just that little bit more
against the road spray. If you haven’t been
able to save the bearing and you need to buy a new one, one bit of advice, don’t
buy cheap bearings, and in fact, if you can, buy some double sealed ones. They tend to last just
a little bit longer, a bit more resilient to the poor weather. On my winter bike, I actually use a double sealed bottom bracket. I find it just that little bit better and a little bit longer lasting. It’s worth the investment if you ask me. Now I hope this has been of use to you. Remember to give it a
big thumbs up down below and share it with all your friends, and to subscribe to the
Global Cycling Network, click on the logo, which
is just right here, and for two more great videos, you can find out is jet
washing bad for your bearings, click just down here, and to see Dan Lloyd service
cup and cone bearings, click just down here.

67 comments on “How To Service Cartridge Bearings On Your Road Bike

  1. #torqueback why do more teeth on the back make it easier but more cogs on the front stronger? It honestly makes 0 sense to me

  2. I once use marine grease in hub's bearings, but next time when I solve it, all grease was runaway from bearings and go to pipe, so after that I use real bearing grease.

  3. "If you have a compressor" *Squeezes Compressor trigger*…..*Nothing Happens*…."Your Laughing", don't quite think John was laughing at this point lol

  4. As we're seeing more and more of Jon recently (observation, NOT a complaint), can we have a 'Meet the Presenters' video of him?? Seems to know what he's talking about on most subjects!

  5. If like most people you don't have a compressor, you can buy can can of compressed air!! Find them at the 'Saver of Pounds'

  6. I like Jon, he seems like a good lad.. Not like some tosser that would come round when you are at work and shag the misses….

  7. You're not supposed to open the bearing seals, specially with a sharp knife. The risk of messing up them is pretty high.

  8. hm… that's much of work for a part what costs only a few €; put grease in it regularly as long as the bearing does work properly, that will help to extend its live span; but when it runs rough – buy a new one!

  9. Pick the seal off from the outer race, not the inner, because you're less likely to damage it that way; the outer seal stays fixed to the outer race, while the inner seal has the very fragile wiper that spins against the inner race. An exacto knife also tends to work better than a pick because picks are usually too blunt.

  10. The rice method works well, another option is to save all the Silica Gel packets that are in packaging to keep products smelling fresh. The packets work the same as the rice.

  11. Do you want your bearings to be fast or do you want them to be protected from bad road/weather conditions? You cannot have both. Those double-sealed bearings that Jon recommended will be slower because the increased sealing adds friction which "slows" the bearings. The "fastest" bearings have no seals at all and may use a light oil instead of grease. Some TT bikes have used unsealed, oiled ceramic bearings during dry, clean weather conditions because speed was paramount, the use was limited (only the duration of the time trial), and the road/weather conditions were excellent.

    The point is this: There is a continuum with maximum speed (low friction) on one end and maxiumum weather sealing on the other end. The point you choose along this continuum will be a compromise. You cannot have both at the same time. So make your decision based on your unique road/weather conditions, your priority for speed, and how frequently you are willing to service your bearings.

  12. Hello John,If I need new bearings, where can I purchase them from – my local bike shop?If the serial number is hard to read I guess the lbs would be able to determine the correct size or can I order them based on the type of wheel or frame set?

  13. I want to do more of the mechanical work but the tools are so expensive. The bearing press im seeing on Amazon is a couple hundred alone.

  14. rice??? RICE!!!!
    rice will probably add dust back onto the bearings

    better off using isopropyl alcohol bath after the water rinse. the alcohol will displace water and wash away what other impure stuff. and it evaporates better. and you can always reuse the left over alcohol left in the bowl/rinsing container.

  15. #torqueback What is the minimum seat post insert that you guys recommend? I have an 27.2 mm aluminum seat post from my old frame and it was cut a bit too short for my new one. It only has 3.80 cm of insert. Should I still be using it?

  16. How to adjust a rear derailleur when it skips or can't shift… Also how to adjust brakes when they rub or how to tell when its time to replace the pads.

  17. I learnt how to do this when my kids went through their fidget spinner craze and wanted theirs to spin longer than their friends. Only difference is we didn't re-grease at the end.

  18. Hi, in my opinion too much grease you put into bearing. According to the top producers of bearings we should put not more than 1/2 of bearing space. But generally very important topic you've presented which most of us don't remember.

  19. Just replace them. Bearings for the bottom braket cost about 2€
    each. In my aerozine bottom brakets, they can easily be removed. Also you are likely to damage the seal when removing it. You cannot heal an old bearing with pittings in it, when you put new grease in it

  20. Its amazing how many bike manufacturers and bike shops still let their new bikes go out without bearing assembly grease, the fastest way to get headset bearing races rusted and seized in to the frame!

  21. Waste of time. Just replace them. Bearings are cheap (except ceramic). The seals are damaged by removal and usually worn.

  22. After cleaning with a degreaser and water, rinse with 92% Isopropyl alcohol (available at any pharmacy) . The isopropyl removes any remaining dirt, displaces water (so no rust) and leaves no residue. Isopropyl also evaporates quickly, is relatively non-toxic and leaves nearly zero oil traces.

  23. Good video. Cleaning bearings is good to know how to do if you are on a tight budget. In the end, you have to ask, "How much is my time worth? Do I have more money than time?" If the bearings are high-dollar super-precision ceramic bearings, then this may make sense to try… but who would ride such a bearing every day anyway? Such bearings are normally saved for race day wheels and hence, take a long time to get gritty. Standard every day steel bearings are not expensive today like they were 20 years ago with the influx of high quality Chinese bearings. Even good ceramics have come way down.

    I've cleaned a lot of bearings in my day, including large industrial bearings. The method is OK as shown, but wont' get all the grit out, especially if a heavy synthetic grease is in there that a water-based degreaser won't cut. The bearing needs to be submerged in a degreaser and spun back and forth while in the solution, with the bearing cage's back facing upward. Then it needs blown out and the process repeated a couple if times. Petroleum based solvents work better than water based "green" degreasers, but are harder to dispose of. You also have to be careful to choose a petroleum based solvent that is compatible with the cage material in the bearing. You never have to worry about water with a petroleum based solvent or denatured alcohol.

    Seal removal is sketchy business. You WILL eventually damage one. I suggest keeping old bearings around just for their seals, assuming you stick with the same manufacturer of bearings. I'd use a flat soft plastic tool and oil the seal first, and not a small screwdriver or pick on a a dry seal, as a pointed metal tool on a dry seal is almost guaranteed to damage the seal. Unfortunately, small bearings do not have spare seals available, as they are not considered serviceable. If you do damage one, put it on the backside of the cage and make sure it goes to the inside of the hub, not the exposed outside of the hub.

    There is a more complex method and even special tools used for grease packing bearings, but the method shown is adequate if done correctly. It should feel very sluggish when spun by hand if done correctly. When you put the seals back in, grease should squish out, then when you spin them, even more should squish out. The right amount of grease will squish out on the first ride as the grease heats up, freeing up the bearings. Of course, grease packed bearings are good for training and bearing longevity, but race day bearings are something else and the cleaning/lubrication of such bearings are a different debate entirely.

  24. Anyone remember the oil port on their Raleigh Sports 3 speed? Who needs to do this if you can just flush out the nasty particles by refilling it with fresh oil. I'd still just use new bearings instead given the option, but that's coming from a mechanic who doesn't have to pay an RRP for parts. And yeah, I still watch technical videos, even though I don't have to. I just find it interesting to see how other people do things.

  25. 1:07 ooooooffff A handful of rotor there my man. Body oil is going to make those disc brakes howl! I appreciate the technique you are using here, however, if I had a customer with gritty bearings in a Zipp wheel I would remind them they spent major coin on these wheels. A $20-150 bearing is worth it in a nice set of wheels and replacing bearings will ensure the hub isn't ovalized from over use of the same bearing. Save the hub, trash the bearing.

  26. u got the bearing out of the part? well done

    hem no, if you hammered it out, the bearing is done for, u need a dedicated bearing extractor capable of pulling it out while resting on both races and applying and equal amount of force on them, cause if you hammer it out by applying force to just one race (like by hammering on the axle) you're actually ruining it just as if you seat it by hammering down on the inner race alone
    and basically hub bearings are a 1 time use thing

    is this seriously considered good maintenence advice?

  27. My bearing came out of my bike seperated. The inner part came off separately which caused a very annoying noise. The only way to be silent on the roads again are new bearings, right?

  28. This looks close to overfilling, as described by sealed bearing specifications, leading to unneeded drag. Even so, the miniscule wattage losses from bearing grease and seal drag is far less than your daily power output variation. With any acceptable lube and proper adjustment for preload, etc, service life and corrosion protection are the more important concerns regarding lube selection, as the bearing design, quality, and seal friction establish the limits, that the thinnest super-oil or thick high-temp grease will modify only slightly.

  29. good demo but please don't pack the bearing full to the top like he did. it will cause soo much extra drag having to push all that extra grease around. its not a car bearing you are the one that will have to pedal that thing.

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