Introduction: Cleaning Up Some Bicycle Bearings

About: I have many different interests, and one of them is building, fixing, bossing others around and travelling. Here are some things that I have done.

I had just finished posting another instructable yesterday about how I fixed up a BMX I found in the


and a comment asked about checking the bearings. Seeing as that is what I was going to do yesterday anyways. Here's the show and tell for that.

Step 1: Remove Gunk

The title of this step explains it pretty simply. Get rid of the stuff that is stuck all around the bearing hub and the freewheel.

I used a pointy thing and a brush to get the big stuff (as illustrated).

Step 2: Getting at the Bearings

In order to get to the bearings, you have to take 2 wrenches (should work with one, but this was again found in the garbage and seized all over the place).

Loosen one end, and the other will loosen as well seeing as the nuts on the axle only come off on the one side.

When you are doing this make sure you are doing it over a bowl to catch the bearings as they will fall off the bottom side.

Remove the axle completely (which I couldn't do because the thread on the axle was worn so I had to stop about half way).

You should have an even number of bearings. When you put them back in place it doesn't matter which side you put them on as long as they are clean.

Step 3: Put Everything Back and Grease It Up

Once the inside of the bearing chamber and the bearings themselves have been cleaned up, get yourself some bearing grease (cost and brand vary depend on your budget, but it's grease so as long as it is greasy you should be alright).

Put that bearing grease on your finger and put it all over the bottom of the chamber.

Put your bearings back in on one side.

Flip the wheel around, always applying pressure to the axle so as to not let the bearings fall out.

Do the same thing with the grease and the bearings on the other side.

Tighten everything up.

A note on tightening. If you have ever played with Lego you (as I am sure many of you on this site have), the Lego Technique had diagrams when it came to how tight you should put your gears on whatever it was you were building.

One of them was smiling because it was tightened just right and the other was frowning because it was too tight. Yeah so, you're going to want to make your bearings smile.

To do so, you have to test out how tight you want it. If it is too tight, your wheel will not spin freely, and if it is too loose your wheel will flop side to side banging your bearings and wearing at the axle itself.

And there you go, how to clean up your bicycle bearings!

Once again, thank you for reading!

If you have any questions, comment or suggestions, please let me know as I would like to improve upon what I have done. I do not necessarily know what people want so let me know that too!

Have a good one!