How to Service a Bike Hub

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This guide will show you how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble a cup and cone hub found on most bikes

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Step 1: Tools Needed

Tools needed

bike hub
cone wrench
regular wrench or socket
degreaser safe for bike parts
grease safe for bearings(axle and most other automotive greases work)
container
gloves and paper towels

Step 2: Remove the Lock Nut

hold the cone nut in place with a cone wrench (this hub uses a size 13) while turning the lock nut counter-clockwise with a wrench or socket (13mm)

Step 3: Remove the Bearings

Carefully remove the bearings one at a time. Be sure to count how many bearings come out of the hub. 10 to 11 is usually standard.

Many bike shops will say to keep the bearings separated by what side they came off of. This is done to keep the bearings in the same bearing race because they wear next to eachother and fit together differently than the bearings on the other side of the hub will.

Step 4: Clean the Bearings and Hub

Use the degreaser and a rag to clean your hub and bearings. Some grease is tougher than other grease and will require more effort to remove.
these bearings were sitting in the degreaser for about 5 minutes.

Step 5: Apply Grease to the Hub

Apply your grease to the hub and make sure it has adequate coverage.

(grease was NOT used in this hub. clear lubricant was used for demonstration purposes only)

Step 6: Repack the Bearings

Repack the bearings one at a time to avoid dropping any inside the hub.

Again, clear lubricant was used to demonstrate how the bearings sit in the hub.

Step 7: Adjust the Cone and Lock Nut

Once the bearings are in the correct position, tighten the cone nut until the axle feels like it's only slightly dragging, then loosen it just a little bit. Getting the hub to spin smoothly but securely at the same time will take a few trys. Just be careful not to over tighten or leave the nut too loose. You will know when it's tight enough when you can pull side to side on the axle and there is little to no play in the axle. Hold the cone nut in place while tightening the lock nut against the cone nut. Try not to move the cone nut or axle while doing this.

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    9 Discussions

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    seamster

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent instructable.

    I remember having a bit of trepidation the first time I took a hub apart, wondering what I was going to find inside (this was way back, pre-internet). This kind of guide is simple and great, and should convince beginners to just go for it! Thanks!

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    Ultra-Indigo

    5 years ago

    Great ibble clearly outlined and nice pics! thanks for being clear about the grease. Is there anything to be looking for in the chase or on the bearings to tell if they are worn-out?

    1 reply
    0
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    brainbuster19Ultra-Indigo

    Reply 5 years ago

    Just make sure there is no pitting where the bearings sit in the hub or on the bearings themselves. some slight pitting is not going to affect it too much, but anything deep will need to be checked out by a bike shop.