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
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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.