Thursday, 18 September 2014

Wheel Bearing Warranty

Are you wearing out your wheel bearings or destroying them regularly?

(This can be for all bearings on a bicycle)

What can have an impact on rapid wear to wheel bearings:
  • Jet washing your bike
  • Spraying oil into the hub
  • Your weight
  • Incorrect size tyres, fitment and pressures 
  • Loose spokes  
  • Lack of service and adjustment 
  • Hubs over tightened 
  • Poor quality hubs fitted to new bikes
  • Minimal amount of grease in hubs and of poor quality
  • Sealed bearings (Cartridge type) Contrary to the name, these are not truly weather sealed
  • The type of seals used can actually contain water than keeping it out 
  • Poorly assembled hubs (That are best thrown away)

Note that some customers like to talk about how many miles they do on their bikes, riding in all weather conditions, but then if there's an issue with a component following it's fitting they often say I've only been out on a ride once or twice since the work was done!

A good mechanic will inspect and will workout why there is wear with bearings and advise you with what options are available. 

Many people are riding their bikes with worn hubs and don't even know. 

Regular checks before a ride will determine any signs of wear/play before it completely wears a hub and makes economical sense to replace the wheel.   
An experienced mechanic can tell by just by spinning the wheel in the bike, you can feel or hear the rough sound from bearings that have no grease and are running dry. 
A side to side feel to determine worn bearings or adjustment is required. 

Wheels fitted on many new bikes, generally require upgrading after 6 months. 

Wheel are more likely built to be light, spin fast and not durable. Do consider what wheelset is required for your use. Don't just buy because they are on special, do your research, do you want  to reduce weight for competitions or winter training and durability. Having the correct wheels is the most signal upgrade to your bike where will make a very big difference. A good gauge is spending 30% of the value of your bike. 
Wheels with sealed bearings have minimal servicing, other than replacing bearings, where cup and cone hubs can be cleaned, re-greased and adjusted regularly to weather conditions. 

Replace bearings with manufacturer's recommendations, cheap bearings on ebay are not manufactured the same, using cheap materials and poor quality grease. 

To prolong the life of your bearings
  • Use mudguards where possible to help avoid dirt  
  • Fit wheels that have hubs that can be serviced (Shimano offer some of the best wheels)
  • Consider having wheels hand built for your type of riding 
  • Have 2 wheel sets one for winter/training and one for racing/dry use.
  • Check tyre pressures and spoke tension regularly
  • Learn to identify the signs of worn hubs
  • Learn to service your own hubs 
  • Keep the area around the hub clean, just by wiping the dirt away

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