I just got a new wheelset. I suspect that there is a problem with the Suzue hub. Both bearings wobble as the wheel is turned. I noticed it at first when I spun the wheel holding onto the bearings - there was a noticeable wobble. I thought it was my imagination, so I mounted the wheel in the frame with the frame clamped to my bicycle stand. I spun the wheel and the wobble was very noticeable visually. There are only two possible causes - either both bearings are cocked on the axle, or the hub axle is not straight. I can’t imagine that the bearings are cocked, so I’m left to conclude that the hub is faulty.
Joe - the wheel is perfectly true. If it wasn’t, then the rim would wobble relative to frame (it doesn’t) when mounted in the frame. The bearings are pressed on as far as they will go. What else can there be but a bent axle?
Sorry for the confusion - the wobble that I’m referring to is the wobble of the bearings. The rim runs true. I strongly suspect that the axle is bent - which I find surprising since Suzue hubs are supposed to be high-quality.
Do you notice this wobble when spinning the wheel fast and holding onto the frame? That would be caused by the pedals (imbalance) rotating with the wheel. If you turn the wheel slowly do you notice the same effect?
Before you put the wheel on the frame I would guess there were no pedals or cranks mounted, just the bearings. If so, when you spun the wheel it behaved like a gyroscope and resisted a change in the orientation of the axle. If you tried to move the axle it would exert a force against your motion and feel like it was wobbling. Is this what you experienced? This same effect would be noticeable with wheel and bearings in the frame and no cranks on the axle.
Clearly, I’m not making myself understood. Let me try again.
I have a new wheel: a 700c rim built with a Suzue hub. The bare wheelset is mounted in the frame, without a tire, and without cranks. When I spin the wheel, the rim runs perfectly true relative to the frame. The problem is that both bearings wobble back and forth as the wheel turns. I believe that there are only two possibilities: (1) both of the bearings are not concentric with the axle, or (2) the axle is bent (not straight).
The bearings are fully seated. The bearing/axle interference fit is so snug that the likelihood of a cocked bearing is virtually nil.
Has anyone encountered this problem with a new Suzue hub?
The bearings may be nice and snug, but they can still be off-kilter or off-center on the axle. I have pressed bearings on a hub and messed up the process such that a bearing was off-kilter and damaged. It happens. The solution was to pull off the bearing I had damaged and replace it with a new one.
It is so easy to damage a bearing while pressing it on that it is not unusual to accidentally damage one. The easiest way to damage a bearing is to have your tool slip and put force on the bearing seal. You must be careful to only put force on the inner race of the bearing while pressing it on. Never use something that can slip and put force on the seal. A short section of a 22.2 mm seatpost can work to press a bearing on. Or find some other short piece of tubing that has the right ID and OD to press the bearing on without risking damage to the seal if the pipe or your tool slips.
Pull off the bearings. Spin the bearingless wheel in a stand and see if there is any wobble in the hub. Now check the bearings to try to see if one is damaged. Pulling the bearings off the hub can damage them so you may have to replace both bearings with brand new ones. Carefully press the bearings back on. I would suggest using Loctite Sleeve Retainer when you press the bearings back on. The sleeve retainer will keep the bearings from slipping later on. If both bearings are in good shape your wheel should be in good shape with no more wobble.
I have built a fair number of wheels with Suzue hubs & the wobbling of bearings as you describe is something I have noticed too. I believe the reason is that the suzue hub does not always have a nice square seat for the bearing to be pressed onto, consequently the bearing may end up very slightly out of line. In practice it dosn’t seem to cause any problems but I think your best way to get it perfect is to pull the bearing back off it’s (uneven) seat by the smallest amount.
Thanks Mike. I think you may have hit the nail on the head. I did notice that neither of the shoulders on the axle are fully square. I would try your suggestion, but last night I sent the wheel back to the dealer to get it sorted out. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long to finally get this 29er ready to ride.