Bike hubs

hubs Fixes, Reviews & Guides

Embedded thumbnail for Measuring Hub Bearing Replacements

Measuring Hub Bearing Replacements

To find hub replacement bearings, start by looking at the old hub bearings. Use the numbers printed on the seal to source your replacement. Find another bearing with the same numbers. Just make...

Part hubs
Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for How to Overhaul Cup and Cone Hub Bearings on Bike Wheels

How to Overhaul Cup and Cone Hub Bearings on Bike Wheels

Overhauling and Adjusting Cup and Cone Hubs:

Many wheels run on sealed bearing hubs these days, but there are many good cup and cone hubs worth maintaining.

A cone wrench and a...

Part hubs
Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for Adjust Shimano Dura Ace 9000 Hubs & Typical Cone or Cup Bicycle Hubs

Adjust Shimano Dura Ace 9000 Hubs & Typical Cone or Cup Bicycle Hubs

Adjust Shimano Dura Ace 9000 Hubs:

Before getting specifically into Shimano Dura Ace Hubs, it is important to understand how to adjust a typical cup or cone hub. With this hub, you have a...

Part hubs front rear
Company: Shimano
Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for Install Wolf Tooth Components' 42 Tooth Giant Cog

Install Wolf Tooth Components' 42 Tooth Giant Cog

We're going to install the 42 tooth giant cog from Wolf Tooth Components. The cog in this video is for a Shimano cassette. We're going to replace the 17 tooth cog and spacer from the cassette and...

Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for Installing Spokes on a SRAM XO HUB

Installing Spokes on a SRAM XO HUB

This video will show you a method for loading spokes on to SRAM XO hubs when you are building wheels.

XO hubs have a unique flange shaped design, which yields a much stronger and robust...

Company: SRAM
Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for Fulcrum Racing Zero Clincher Road Bicycle Wheelset Review

Fulcrum Racing Zero Clincher Road Bicycle Wheelset Review

Fulcrum wheels have been used to win championships all over the world, and Fulcrum has been working with the top racing teams to make their wheels lighter, stiffer, faster, and smoother.

...

Company: Fulcrum
Type: Review
Embedded thumbnail for How to Adjust a Shimano Nexus Internal 3 Speed Hub

How to Adjust a Shimano Nexus Internal 3 Speed Hub

Today, we’re going to work on internal multi speed hubs. This is the Shimano shifter. It is the Nexus model, which is written on the body. Another way to tell that this is Shimano is that the...

Company: Shimano
Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for Adjust A Bike Hub DIY

Adjust A Bike Hub DIY

We've shown you how to replace an entire hub assembly that goes bad in your bicycle tire but there may come a time when little adjustment is all that's needed. One common mantra among bicycle...

Part hubs
Tools cone wrench
Company: Sun
Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for Bicycle Wheel Cartridge Bearing Maintenance

Bicycle Wheel Cartridge Bearing Maintenance

Ian wants to know: the bearings in my Roval wheel feel rough when I spin them around. How do I replace the bearings or overhaul my hub?

The quick way to overhaul cartridge bearings is...

Part hubs wheels
Company: Easton
Type: Repair Tutorial

Shimano Component Groups for Mountain Bikes: A Comprehensive Overview

Just in case you mtb-ers thought I forgot about you, think again.

Here’s a look at all the component groups for mountain bikes that Shimano has out, starting from the bottom up.

...

Blog Tags: Shimano MTB Groupos
Company: Shimano
Type: Blog entry

Shimano Components Groups for Road Bikes: A Comprehensive Overview

Shimano is a major components company. That said, there are TONS (and I seriously mean TONS) of different options that you can choose from when you buy a component group from this maker.

...

Blog Tags: Shimano groupos
Company: Shimano
Type: Blog entry
Embedded thumbnail for How to Overhaul Your Wheel Hub's Bearings

How to Overhaul Your Wheel Hub's Bearings

Watching these YouTube videos, I am pleasantly surprised when someone can make a bike tutorial funny. Why I was pissing myself laughing at this particular video had to do probably with the deadpan...

Part hubs rear front
Company: Park
Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for How to Dish a Bike Wheel

How to Dish a Bike Wheel

In this vid Mike shows how to use a dishing wheel to make sure your bicycle wheel is properly dished.

A typical dishing tool is simply a gauge that allows you to set the distance from the...

Tools dishing tool
Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for Lacing a Rear 32 Spoke Wheel | How to Build a Bicycle Wheel

Lacing a Rear 32 Spoke Wheel | How to Build a Bicycle Wheel

In this tutorial we show you how to lace the drive side spokes of a rear bicycle wheel. It's important to remember that on the rear wheel the drive side spokes are slightly shorter than the non-...

Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for Lacing Non-Drive Side 32 Spoke Rear Wheel | How to Build a Bicycle Wheel

Lacing Non-Drive Side 32 Spoke Rear Wheel | How to Build a Bicycle Wheel

Mike finishes up lacing the 32 spoke rear wheel by lacing the non-drive side spokes. Note the parallel spokes that connect on each side of the valve hole. By now you might need to use a spoke...

Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for Build a Bicycle Wheel: How to Spoke Prep

Build a Bicycle Wheel: How to Spoke Prep

A vital step in bicycle wheel building is prepping the spokes with some kind of spoke prep.

There are two reasons to prep spokes:

  • Provides lubrication while you are lacing and...
    Tools spoke prep
    Type: Repair Tutorial
  • Embedded thumbnail for How to Build a Rear bicycle wheel (700c, 32 spoke), Calculating Spoke Length

    How to Build a Rear bicycle wheel (700c, 32 spoke), Calculating Spoke Length

    In this wheel building tutorial we build a 32 spoke rear 700C rear road wheel.

    In this first video we will determine the spokes length we need to build the wheel. First select your hub and...

    Tools caliper
    Type: Repair Tutorial
    Embedded thumbnail for Part 3.1 | Truing the 36 Spoke Bicycle Wheel

    Part 3.1 | Truing the 36 Spoke Bicycle Wheel

    Putting the finishing touches on the wheel.
    First:Now the spokes are beginning to tighten up nicely and the kinks in the wheel are becoming gradually smaller. Continue to...

    Type: Repair Tutorial
    Embedded thumbnail for Part 3 | Wheel Build 36 Spoke Truing a Wheel

    Part 3 | Wheel Build 36 Spoke Truing a Wheel

    ....without a truing stand.
    We wanted everybody to be able to build a wheel without buying an expensive truing stand, so just use the front fork. This video shows the process of truing....

    Type: Repair Tutorial
    Embedded thumbnail for Part 2.1: 36 Spoke Bicycle Wheel Build, Lacing the Spokes

    Part 2.1: 36 Spoke Bicycle Wheel Build, Lacing the Spokes

    Lacing the last 18 spokes to complete the lacing of this 36 spoke wheel!
    First:Take the next set of spokes and drop them through the remaining holes from the outside of the...

    Type: Repair Tutorial

    The hub is the component found at the center of the wheel. Internally, it contains the axle and the bearings necessary to facilitate free rotation. On the outer hub shell are flanges to which the spokes of the wheel attach. The cassette connects to and spins the hub via the freewheel, essentially a ratcheting mechanism that allows the drive train to propel the wheel and to coast when needed.

    Front hub

    The freewheel part of the hub has two main designs: 

    • The cassette slides onto a cartridge attached to the side of the hub containing the freewheel.
    • Interchangeable freewheels simply thread on to the hub. The cassette then threads onto the freewheel. 

    freewheel hub vs freehub

    Some terms to remember:

    • Axle - Firmly holds the wheel in the frame dropouts. It can secure the wheel by using a quick-release lever, or a nut and bolt design. Axle dimensions are standardized as much as possible in order to not interfere with alignment of brake systems to the wheels.
    • Bearings - Tolerates the wheel to move freely around the axle. The bearings contain steel or ceramic spheres that allow smooth rotation. 
    • Flanges - hold the spokes and their tension, giving structural support to the rim and the whole wheel.

    On the lower end, you can find many useable hubs on Amazon.com for just under $50. If this seems inexpensive, that's because it is. The hubs worth writing home about come in at around $100 along with the recognizable brand names. Competitive standard hubs for both mountain bikes and road cycles can run up to around $800. Any replacement part is available for the hub, so do some shopping before buying a brand new one.

    Monopoly dolla dolla bill

    There exists special "Rohloff Speedhubs" that have internal planetary gears (wired to a shifter) allowing a wide range of gear ratios to help performance. These are scarce because of their added weight, complexity, and effort due to the time required to "break them in." Speedhubs can become damaged by debris getting into the transmission, making them more frightening for mountain bikers. The limited number of speedhubs can range from $300 to over $1,500 online. Look out for developments into speedhub designs in the future.

    Speedhub

     

    Hub adjustments or overhauls can be difficult business. It is recommended if you are inexperienced in hub maintenance to start on the front hub. Without the complexities of drive train components as with the rear hub, front hubs are much simpler.

    Some tools you need are:

    • Cone wrenches
    • Lockring removal tool (for rear)
    • Bench vise
    • Open-end or adjustable wrenches
    • Small magnet
    • Grease
    • Wire ties
    • Solvent
    • Rags

    Start by removing the wheel from the frame dropouts. On the rear hub, remove the cogs, and record the number of threads visible. It will be important later that the axle isn't exposed beyond the frame dropouts.

    Count exposed threads

    Secure the wheel in the vise. This may sound trivial, but it's always important to see what you're working on, and you save a lot of time when the wheel doesn't roll all over the workbench.

    Cogs removed  lock nut removal

    On the rear hub, remove the cogs and freewheel assembly now. 

    Using the cone wrench in unison with the adjustable wrench loosen the locknut counter-clockwise until it comes off. Tie all washers and locknuts in the same order which they come off from the hub. Locknuts are different on each side of the hub, so keep everything separate and organized. This saves time during reassembly.

    removing hub bearings

    Unscrew the cone of the hub (counter-clockwise). This will let loose the bearings being held into place. Count all bearings on each side, and remove with a small magnet.

    bearing inspection

    With the bearings extracted, you can inspect all components for flaws or signs of wear.

    Bearing inspection 2

    Inspect the cups and cones for bumps and roughness, and the ball bearings and races for pits. Replace anything that isn't shiny and smooth like a new baby's bottom. Bearings are replaceable, cups are not. If the cup is damaged, a new hub will be required. Sorry bro.

    The easiest way to inspect the axle is to roll it around on the bench.  If it rolls flat, you're good.

    InstallationYou'll need a lot of grease. 

    Start with the axle, including the threads.

    Bearing set

    Grease the hub shell cups and cones. After the ball bearings are pressed into place, cover them with grease too.

    NOTE: According to Park Tool, common number of ball bearings is 9, 1/4" balls in the rear and 10, 3/16" balls in the front hub on each side

    The easy thing to remember here is to reinstall everything in the same exact order as was removed. 

    Tightening the locknut

    Install the right side first, the bearings, the cone, and the locknut fully,

    Install the axle through the right side, and assemble the left side. The bearings, the cone, but leave the locknut loose at this time.

    Tighten the cone down fully. Now back it off ever so slightly. This sets the bearings in place, but gives the hub an important amount of play that is eventually taken out when the wheel is installed.

    Tighten the left locknut (clockwise).

    Cog installation

    For the rear, reinstall the freewheel, and then cogs.

    axle protrusion

    At this point, you need to note that the axle is within the dropouts completely. When the nut is tightened on the axle, it's in everybody's best interest that it stays there. It needs to pinch into the frame, and if it's hanging too far out, it might not reach. This could mean the hub width is different or if you have a new axle, it needs to be grinded down a couple millimeters.

    When you get the wheel installed in the frame properly, you should feel the new bearings spinning smooth as butter.

     

    • hubadubdub
    • Weight: The hub is located as close to the center of rotation on a bicycle as possible. This means that the weight of the hub isn't as significant as the weight of other wheel components located further from the center of rotation (like spokes and nipples). On mountain bikes with suspension, the weight of the hub contributes to unsprung mass, as it is between the springs and the ground. On road bicycles, decreasing hub weight can affect steering characteristics. Lighter hubs mean less weight you need carry pedal down the road, plain and simple. 

    rear hub explosion

    • Flange: Refers to the force applied on the hubs by the spokes. Spokes set to a greater tension will result in a firmer wheel. It's not quite rocket science, but tight-angled, dense spoke patterns don't create as much stress on a hub than those with spokes more spread out. When the hub is being torn in more polar directions, it brings greater upon the flanges, sometimes to the point of cracking and breaking.

    Some manufacturers produce hubs with extra thick flanges, and their holes drilled closer to the axle. This extra material handles better the additional stress of radial lacing. Other manufacturers design their hubs to use with straight pull spokes, which apply loads differently.

    Generic hub pic

    • Other considerations: Before selecting a hub, consider compatibility with your rim. Some hubs are not available in very low or very high spoke counts. Pay close attention to the number of spokes on both the hub and rim to make certain they match.

     

    • Width: Most front hubs are 100mm wide. Rear hubs range from 120mm to 160mm. Common sizes are 130mm for road and 135mm for mountain bikes.