I took off my KH24 wheel to change a flat. This is a rare occurrence and it hasn’t been taken apart in a long time (years). One side’s hub bearing spins beautifully and silently, and stays spinning for a long time. The other bearing makes gritty noises and stops spinning pretty quickly. Not good.
Can I take apart and clean it, or am I looking at a new hub and subsequent wheel build?
Typically, a sealed bearing should move with a slight resistance, which comes from the grease inside the bearing housing. If it’s spinning truly freely, the grease is probably gone, so that’s not great either.
But, bearing problems on a non-Sclumpf uni are very unlikely to result in catastrophic failure. If you don’t notice it when you spin the fully-built wheel, I wouldn’t worry about it, and even if you do, you don’t need to be in a rush to fix it.
New bearings come filled with grease and will not not spin freely, the grease makes drag. So both your bearings have an appointment in the trash can.
At about 15 $/ pair from UDC (the only place I know you can find them), you should pull off the old and tap on the new with a pipe or socket that only hits the inner race.
Unlike motorcycle, where a “spun” bearing may toast the hub, on a uni, you will know when it’s gone serious toast, and can walk it home undamaged. 5 MPH doesn’t have a lot of advantages, but that’s one of them.
I think the tradition of cleaning and regreasing sealed bearings traces to the older Torker Dx series, where the bearings were a screwy size you could only get from Torker for about 30 $.
My 05 KH uses a standard size (20x42x12 mm I think), that standard bearing houses will sell for 10 for 20 $.
The ISIS size is uni only, but they aren’t screwing that bad. At 8 ish $ from UDC, that’s not so terrible for an oddball size. Just make sure you only tap the inside race when you do the new ones on.
Cleaning and regreasing sealed bearings on a uni isn’t crazy, just saying that only on a uni forum would you find such advices. On a motorcycle tire change, if anyone finds even the slightest stick when turning the bearing inner race, new bearings are installed. No one works on bearings, it’s all new bearings, always.
$16 for a pair of oddball bearings isn’t that bad, but you can get 10 of the 20x42x12 for that price. I am coming more to the opinion that we should make a true ISIS-spec hub with 25x47x12 bearings; those are a more standard size than the 22x42x12, so they’d be cheaper and more available, we’d be able to lose the spacers, and have fewer problems with cranks.
Spring for a bearing puller too SteveYo. Can be quite a challenge, and a Pain in the butt, trying to get old bearings off without one, ESP. if theyre pressed on like their supposed to be. An automotive ball joint separator can work in a pinch too, if you didn’t want to spend the money for a single time repair.